Republicans love to cheapen the idea of impeachment by constantly calling on people to be impeached whenever they disagree with their opinions. Ohio State Representative John Becker (R-Union Township) has called for Judge Timothy Black to be impeached.
Because Judge Black ordered the state of Ohio to follow the United States Constitution and honor the marriage licenses of two gay couples, at least in terms of listing the men’s husbands as the surviving spouse on the other’s death certificate.
Becker cannot initiate impeachment proceedings given that he is a state official and Black is a federal judge; however, he has called upon his fellow Republicans in the House of Representatives to impeach Black.
Becker claims that Black’s rulings in favor of Arthur and Obergefell and Michener and Ives amounts to a “malfeasance and abuse of power.”
Black noted that the Ohio state constitutional amendment forbidding marriage equality “likely violate[s] the U.S. Constitution… by treating lawful same-sex marriages differently than it treats opposite-sex marriages.”
The United States Constitution states clearly that each state must honor the contracts entered into inside another state, and that includes marriage licenses. Additionally, the US Supreme Court opinion in Loving v. Virginia found that a person remains married even if they cross into a state where their marriage is not permissible under state law.
Becker, of course, does not understand the Constitution works. HE claims that he is expressing his “concerns about the federal government’s ever growing propensity to violate state sovereignty.” In a letter to US Representative Wenstrup, he apparently whined about how federal judges are appointed for life. He went on to kvetch that “Judge Black has demonstrated his incompetence by allowing his personal political bias to supersede jurisprudence. This will begin the process of restoring state sovereignty back to the original intent of the Constitution.”
Tea Party members often cry about state sovereignty without understanding how the Constitution limits sovereignty for the individual states. Often times, they push ideas that are flat out unconstitutional and illegal.
Wenstrup, for his part, said he will not take any action until the federal appeals court has ruled on Black’s rulings.
Wenstrup claimed that “While Judge Black’s ruling violated the Ohio constitution and the will of Ohio voters, the question of whether this decision also violated the U.S. Constitition remains before a higher court. I will watch those appellate proceedings closely to see if Judge Black’s decision is upheld, and I have full confidence in the Ohio’s office of the Attorney General during the appeals process.”
Of course, this is a load of hogswash meant to appease the Tea Party crusaders.
The odds of Black being impeached in negligible. While the House could bring up charges, they would have to either find something that he did which was a high crime or misdemeanor, or they would have to make something up to charge him with.
After that, they would have to get a two-thirds majority of the Senate to vote to expel Black from the bench. That is, they would have to get a two-thirds majority of a Democratically controlled Senate to back removing Black from his judgeship.
And the constant cheapening and abuse of the term ‘impeachment’ continues in the mouths of Republicans.