April 17, 2014
Should the Governor Nixon be impeached?
Article VII Section I of the Missouri Constitution says, “All elective executive officials of the state, and judges of the supreme court, courts of appeals and circuit courts shall be liable to impeachment for crimes, misconduct, habitual drunkenness, willful neglect of duty, corruption in office, incompetency, or any offense involving moral turpitude or oppression in office.”
Notice that most of the constitutional grounds for impeachment are NOT criminal in nature. The purpose of impeachment is to “check” an official who is damaging the People and his office in some way, even if no crime has been committed. It doesn’t even have to be a malicious act – notice that “incompetency” is grounds for impeachment.
In1843 Judge John Leland was impeached for deficiency in legal knowledge, negligence, tardiness, and inattentiveness.
Impeachment is NOT a Finding of Guilt
When the House of Representatives votes to impeach an official, they are not saying he is guilty – all they are saying is that there’s enough evidence to hold a trial. In Missouri, unlike virtually all the other states, the actual impeachment trial and determination of guilt is left up to seven judges. When the governor is the object of the impeachment, the Senate selects “seven eminent jurists” from among sitting judges across the state.
So the question before the House Judiciary Committee next week, and possibly the whole House later on, is, “Is there enough cause to hold an impeachment trial of Governor Nixon?”
I think there is. What do you think? Please learn more about impeachment and fill out a witness form, either for or against impeaching Governor Nixon, and we will deliver it to the committee. (See more details below the witness form link.)
Hearing On Wednesday!
Fill out your witness by Tuesday.
Witness Form – I will hand deliver your witness form and also make your testimony available online for the committee to read.
Generic Witness Form: Witness form link for HR 380, 476, 923
The House Resolutions — Articles of Impeachment
Tuesday, April 22nd, the House Judiciary Committee will hold public hearings for three separate articles of impeachment:
- HR 380: Adopts Articles of Impeachment for Governor Jay Nixon for the issuance of Executive Order 13-14, which recognizes same-sex couples for the purpose of filing joint married tax returns in spite of the Missouri’s Constitution marriage amendment.
- HR 476 Adopts articles of impeachment against Governor Nixon for failure to issue writs of election to fill vacancies in the General Assembly without delay as required by state law
- HR 923 Adopts articles of impeachment for the Governor based on his failure to discipline or dismiss executive branch employees responsible for the released of concealed carry endorsement information to the federal government.
Learn About Impeachment Here
What is impeachment?
Why is it important?
Who can impeach a judge in Missouri?
Why does the power to impeach rest with the house of representatives alone?
What happens once articles of impeachment have been approved by the house?
What are the possible penalties if found guilty?
For what reasons can a judge be impeached?
- Public Officers (Article VII)
- Grounds for impeachment (Section 1)
- House responsible for impeachment (Section 2)
- Consequences (Section 3)
Missouri Revised Statutes
- Removal and Impeachment of Public Officials (RSMo 106)
- About impeached judges (RSMo 476.480)
- About removed judges (RSMo 476.480)
Impeachment is one of the tools the Framers of our Constitution gave us to keep government abuse in check. Even when there is no conviction, the threat of impeachment helps to keep public officials honest.
To be a viable threat, it needs to be used once in a while.