There has been a lot of buzz around the blogosphere regarding the recent announcement that Attorney General Eric Holder will resign his position “as soon as a replacement can be found.”
Rush Limbaugh opined that Holder may have resigned now to grease the skids for the President to nominate him to the high court. Now would be a good time, while the President has a majority in the Senate, or at least it looks good if you don’t look too closely.
Arguing against such a move would be that Obama would have to convince one of the sitting justices to retire, and retire with the full knowledge that they will be replaced by Eric Holder who has managed to run his string of 9-0 losses before the Supremes up to a staggering total of twenty. Imagine which one of the Supremes would agree to retire just to the individual that ALL of them said was wrong twenty times.
Also arguing against the nomination of Eric Holder is the fact that he has already been censured by the House of Representatives. In and of itself, such a censure has no legal standing to block Holder’s nomination, but it does indicate that at least 218 members of the House were seriously upset with Mr. Holder’s evident refusal to cooperate in a legal matter before them. His constant delaying tactics, editing and failure to turn over documents (or if you prefer the term – evidence) was hardly consistent with the responsibilities of the “Chief Law Enforcement officer” in the nation.
Why mention the vote to censure Holder? Because the same 218 members of the House would be sufficient to deliver a Bill of Impeachment to the Senate regarding a new Justice Eric Holder.
Most Americans hear the word “impeachment” and think only of the President. However, the President is not the only person that can be impeached. Are you thinking “Say it ain’t so”? Here is the relevant section of the United States Constitution:
Article II, Section 4
The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
Federal judges have been impeached in the past, and the phrasing of Article II, Section 4 allows a lot of flexibility in terms of the charges that can be laid at the feet of any “civil Officers of the United States”, probably including simply being a complete idiot, as long as you can get enough Senators to agree that the Officer really is a complete idiot. And there are no appeals.
So while it is possible that Mr. Limbaugh may be correct in stating that Barack Obama would nominate Eric Holder to the Supreme Court, and even if Harry Reid could ram through the nomination with a complaisant Senate, such an event is hardly the end of America. If necessary, Holder could be removed from office once Harry Reid’s gang is once again in a minority.