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76 Ky. L.J. 707 (1987-1988)
An Essay on the Constitutional Parameters of Federal Impeachment

handle is hein.journals/kentlj76 and id is 717 raw text is: An Essay on the Constitutional
Parameters of Federal Impeachment*
The time is particularly appropriate for discussing the federal
law of impeachment because impeachment is not currently a part
of our daily news diet.1 We can thus discuss this issue calmly,
without the pressures, either conscious or subconscious, of re-
sult-oriented thinking.
I propose to examine some of the legal issues relating to
impeachment in an effort to outline what the constitutional
definition should be. Much has already been written on this
* Adapted from a speech given at the Symposium on Judicial Discipline and
Impeachment, sponsored by the Kentucky Law Journal.
** Professor of Law, University of Illinois. B.A., Harvard University, 1967; J.D.,
Harvard University, 1970. I would like to give special thanks to Richard Underwood,
who read an earlier draft of this piece and made several helpful suggestions.
I In October 1986, Federal District Judge Harry Clairborne of Nevada became
the first judge in approximately a half century to be impeached by the House and
removed by the Senate after he was convicted in Federal court of income tax evasion.
T. MORGAN & R. ROTUNDA, PROFFSSioNAL REsPoNsiBriTY 515 (4th ed. 1987). Judge
Miles Lord resigned after various charges were made against him concerning allegedly
intemperate statements that he made in open court. See Gardiner v. A.H. Robbins Co.,
Inc., 747 F.2d 1180 (8th Cir. 1984).
Investigation of bribery allegations concerning Judge Alcee L. Hastings of Florida
continued after his acquittal in a criminal trial. See Matter of Certain Complaints Under
Investigation, 783 F.2d 1488 (11th Cir. 1986). A special judicial panel reported clear
and convincing evidence that Judge Hastings conspired to solicit a $150,000 bribe and
attempted to corruptly use his office for personal gain. It then recommended im-
peachment by Congress. N.Y. Times, Oct. 8, 1987, at 15, col. 1-4. Unlike Judge
Clairborne, Judge Hastings was acquitted of bribery charges in his criminal trial. How-
ever, William Borders, Jr. was convicted at a separate trial of conspiring to arrange
sending the bribe to Hastings. The special judicial panel also accused Hastings of giving
false testimony and presenting fabricated evidence at his criminal trial.

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