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A Pa.. State House Committee held a hearing today to consider impeaching Kathleen kane, newly minted ag, ostensibly for liking the gays and deciding not to let what she considered a weak sting case to continue (a debatable call, but impeachment?).

(By The Associated Press)
Posted: 05/06/14, 10:06 AM EDT|
HARRISBURG (AP) — Democrats on a state House committee walked out of a hearing on a resolution calling for the impeachment of Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, a fellow Democrat.

They called Tuesday’s hearing an unfair end-run of the parliamentary process. One of them, Philadelphia Rep. Michael O’Brien, called it a “kangaroo court.”

And what are chances of a successful removal from office of the attorney general? Slim and none, and slim...


A proceeding brought against a public official by the General Assembly seeking that official's removal from public office due to misbehavior in office.

The Constitution gives sole power to initiate the impeachment process to the House of Representatives (see Article VI, Section 4).

The Constitution requires all impeachments to be tried by the Senate (see Article VI, Section 5).

No one can be convicted in an impeachment trial without a two-thirds vote of the Senate members present.

According to the Constitution, the Governor and all other civil officers are liable for impeachment for any misbehavior in office (see Article VI, Section 6).

Pennsylvania has not often used the impeachment process, probably because citizens are wary of political trials. The House of Representatives demands very clear and serious evidence before it will begin the impeachment process.
The first impeachment was in 1685, barely three years after the founding of the unicameral Colonial House. Nicholas More, a physician and the second Speaker of the House, was expelled from the body and removed by the Governor as judge of the Provincial Court.

In 1803, the House impeached three Pennsylvania Supreme Court judges, but the Senate acquitted them.

On three different occasions in 1816, the House voted to impeach Judge Walter Franklin. But his attorney, James Buchanan, (only 25 and just completing two years as a Representative) argued brilliantly to convince the General Assembly that it should undertake impeachment only in the most dire circumstances. Buchanan later became the 15th President of the United States.

Efforts were made to impeach Governor George H. Earle during the Great Depression of the 1930s for failing to send the state police to arrest unemployed bootleg coal miners in northeastern Pennsylvania. The House, however, did not consider the charge serious enough.

On May 24, 1994, Rolf Larsen, Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, was impeached by the House. As of the printing of this book, he was awaiting trial in the Senate.

But of course, like in Washington, the point is not to remove from office, but to 1) gin up the base 2) have a hissy fit. If this (improbably) goes anywhere the result could be activating the Democratic base (especially in northeast Pa.) and alienating independenta from GOp candidates.

Originally posted to TofG on Tue May 06, 2014 at 12:26 PM PDT.

Also republished by DKos Pennsylvania.


Will the GOP actively try to impeach Kathleen Kane?

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| 47 votes | Vote | Results

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