Federal Judge impeachment process:http://www.legalaffairs.org/webexclusive/debateclub_goodbehavior1205.mspArticle III of the Constitution says that judges "shall hold their offices during good behavior."
To remove misbehaving judges, the Constitution specifies the process of impeachment, but this hasn't stopped members of Congress from trying to figure out how else to get rid of judges they don't like.
In the November | December issue of Legal Affairs, Todd David Peterson concludes that the Constitution's rigorous process for removing judges makes good sense. If firing judges were easier, Peterson says, their independence would be in jeopardy. Is impeachment the only way for Congress to fire judges?
?" One might argue (and, Sai, maybe you will take this up) that the Good Behavior Clause sets a higher standard for federal judges than the Impeachment Clause and that Congress could specify methods for removing federal judges other than through the impeachment process.
There may be some logic to this argument, but it has not met with the approval of history. In the 206 years since the ratification of the Constitution, no federal judge has ever been removed from office other than through impeachment by the House and conviction after a trial in the Senate
Although the Supreme Court has never directly ruled that impeachment is the exclusive method for removing federal judges, it has stated so in dicta on a number of occasions. The great majority of scholars (as well as the National Commission on Judicial Discipline and Removal, established by Congress to examine issues relating to federal judicial tenure) agree that federal judges may not be removed except through the cumbersome impeachment process. The Good Behavior Clause simply does not allow removal of federal judges other than by impeachment
. And, more broadly, as Justice O'Connor reminded us, the Clause says to Congress, "Hands off the federal courts."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impeachment
...One Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Samuel Chase in 1804. He was acquitted by the Senate
. Fourteen other federal judges
, including Alcee Hastings, who was impeached and convicted for taking over $150,000 in bribe money in exchange for sentencing leniency.
The Senate did not bar Hastings from holding future office, and Hastings won election to the House of Representatives from Florida. Hastings's name was mentioned as a possible Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, but was passed over by House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi, presumably because of his previous impeachment and removal. Source U.S. Senate