Tent Talk: Dr. Carol Anderson and Lauren Groh-Wargo – Voting in Georgia

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Wednesday, May 22, 2024, 12:00 pm EDT

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Throwing Out The Trash. Article 1.

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What does it take to get George Santos out of office before he serves his full term?   The United States Constitution expressly provides in Article I, Section 5, clause 2, that: “Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two-thirds, expel a Member.”

So to expel Santos, roughly 1/3 of the seated GOP members and all of the democrats must vote to oust Santos.  If you were a Member of Congress, how would you explain your vote to a child? 

Historically, the House has been reluctant to expel a member based on information known to the voters before the election, fearing that doing so would displace the will of the electorate.  Bowman and Bowman, Article I, Section 5: Congress’ Power to Expel—An Exercise in Self-Restraint, 29 Syracuse Law Review 1071, 1101 (1978).  While some of Santos’s lies were brought to light before the election by the North Shore Leader, it is not at all clear how many of the voters had read the reports and were aware of how many of his claims were false.

Addressing the behavior with a lesser sanction, the House of Representatives may censure or reprimand a member by formal vote of the majority of Members present and voting on a resolution disapproving a Member’s conduct. When censured, the Member must stand at the “well” of the House chamber to receive a verbal rebuke and reading of the censure resolution by the Speaker of the House.

Asking for a friend, how do you get rid of a United States Supreme Court Justice?

The United States House of Representatives can impeach a Justice with a simple majority vote. To remove the Justice though, that vote must be followed by a trial and a vote to convict by a two-thirds majority of the Senate. 

Federal judges (including Supreme Court Justices) may be removed following impeachment and conviction for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors”; otherwise, under Article III, Section 1, judges “shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour.”

To date, only one Justice, Samuel Chase, has been impeached but he was acquitted at trial.