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The House is duty-bound to Bring Articles of Impeachment against Clarence Thomas

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Headlined to H1 10/24/10

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Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas can and should be impeached. The case and the grounds for impeachment proceedings against him are virtually iron-clad. The evidence is compelling that Thomas perjured himself in his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee during his court confirmation hearings in 1991. The evidence is equally compelling that this constituted lying under oath to Congress during the hearings.

The impeachment case against Thomas is not based on personal or political disagreement over his views, decisions, opinions and rulings on the bench, his penchant for pornographic material, or for sexual harassment. It is based on clear legal and constitutional grounds, precedents, and Congressional mandates. Article III, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution explicitly states that a Supreme Court Justice that "lacks good behavior" can be impeached. This is not an ambiguous, subjective term. It has been interpreted by the courts to equate to the same level of seriousness as the 'high crimes and misdemeanors" clause that unequivocally mandates that the House of Representatives initiate impeachment proceedings against any public official, or federal judge in violation of that provision.

The Constitutional precept is the first legal ground for impeachment proceedings against Thomas. The second is Title 18 of the U.S. Code. It states that any official of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the government of the United States who knowingly and willfully falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact , makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or entry can be impeached. In other words lying to Congress is not only an impeachable offense. It's also illegal.

It's also clearly established that a public official whether the president, presidential appointees, or judges can be punished for giving false information and that's any false information of any nature to the House or Senate.

The Nixon impeachment debates and Clinton impeachment hearings were ample proof that the constitutional phrase of "good behavior" embraces not only indictable crimes but "conduct ... grossly incompatible with the office held and subversive of that office and of our constitutional system of government."

Thomas was asked directly by Utah senator Orin Hatch during his confirmation hearings about Anita Hill's allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct and whether he used sexually suggestive language. Thomas answered: "I deny each and every single allegation against me today that suggested in any way that I had conversations of a sexual nature or about pornographic material with Anita Hill, that I ever attempted to date her, that I ever had any personal sexual interest in her, or that I in any way ever harassed her. "

Thomas was emphatic, "If I used that kind of grotesque language with one person, it would seem to me that there would be traces of it throughout the employees who worked closely with me, or the other individuals who heard bits and pieces of it or various levels of it." This was stated under oath to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Thomas's sworn testimony was clearly contradicted even then in public statements by witnesses. The witnesses were not called to testify. The one witness that contradicted Thomas's sworn testimony, Angela Wright, did testify. She worked with Thomas at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and was emphatic that Thomas sexually harassed her and used explicit and graphic sexual language. Her story was corroborated by a former EEOC speechwriter who told investigators about Thomas' penchant for improper sexual talk. Letters to the committee from other women who worked with Thomas confirmed that he was a serial sexual harasser and had a penchant for sexually perverse talk. The Senate panel had other sources to corroborate the Hill-Wright charge that Thomas engaged in sexual harassment and obsessive interest in sexual smut. These sources were ignored too.

Two decades later Thomas's apparent perjured testimony to Congress is now squarely back on the legal table. Lillian McEwen put it there. Her legal credentials are impressive. She is a former assistant U.S. attorney and Senate Judiciary Committee counsel. She also dated Thomas. In interviews, she again confirmed that Hill and the other women's allegations that Thomas engaged in sexual harassment, was addicted to pornography, and talked incessantly and graphically about it and women were truthful.

Thomas's personal warped sexual predilections and perversions are not the issue as personally reprehensible as some may find them. The issue is his apparent perjured testimony to a congressional body about his words and conduct. There is no statute of limitations on bringing impeachment proceedings against officials who lie to Congress. The U.S. Code and the Constitution clearly spell out that when there's evidence a Supreme Court justice may have lied under oath the House must bring articles of impeachment to determine guilt or innocence.

The ball is now squarely in the court of House judiciary Committee Chair John Conyers Jr. He is legally bound to do his and the House's legal and Constitutional duty and begin impeachment proceedings immediately against Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He hosts nationally broadcast political affairs radio talk shows on Pacifica and KTYM Radio Los Angeles.
Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter: http://twitter.com/earlhutchinson

 

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is a nationally acclaimed author and political analyst. He has authored ten books; his articles are published in newspapers and magazines nationally in the United States. Three of his books have been published in other (more...)
 
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The God's of Mount Olympus will throw leal reason ... by Michael Morris on Monday, Oct 25, 2010 at 8:57:01 AM
The only "duty" the House recognizes and acts on i... by B York on Monday, Oct 25, 2010 at 9:51:32 AM
There is nothing new to report about this man. He ... by Angel Ocasio on Monday, Oct 25, 2010 at 10:13:10 AM
If you open the can of worms marked "Contestable s... by Phil Weingart on Monday, Oct 25, 2010 at 10:18:06 AM
The one that involves statement of fact. How do y... by Maxwell on Monday, Oct 25, 2010 at 10:47:17 AM
It would be entirely inconsistent to say Thomas sh... by Laura Stein on Monday, Oct 25, 2010 at 2:12:58 PM
Despite all the hubris tossed out by Earl - the fa... by Doc McCoy on Monday, Oct 25, 2010 at 10:20:18 AM
I am not sure that the statute of limitations for ... by BFalcon on Monday, Oct 25, 2010 at 2:12:25 PM
Impeachment carries penalties - i.e. the loss of... by Doc McCoy on Monday, Oct 25, 2010 at 5:34:16 PM
But the real argument is that the impeachment was ... by BFalcon on Tuesday, Oct 26, 2010 at 11:54:47 AM
Your argument that if Thomas lied to the congressi... by Maxwell on Monday, Oct 25, 2010 at 10:29:07 AM
The differences between the two parties and how t... by Walter Barton on Monday, Oct 25, 2010 at 10:35:11 AM
in all the anti-war/anti-torture/anti-police state... by LiveFree on Tuesday, Oct 26, 2010 at 4:31:02 AM
Impeachment of Thomas should happen -- probably wo... by Chantal Laurent on Monday, Oct 25, 2010 at 10:39:22 AM
At the time the hearings were being broadcast all ... by Mariea Gill on Monday, Oct 25, 2010 at 10:48:02 AM
my dear Mariea,I couldn't believe it when a hollyw... by martin weiss on Monday, Oct 25, 2010 at 1:55:24 PM
The house is not duty-bound to impeach the potenti... by HarveyY on Monday, Oct 25, 2010 at 10:57:56 AM
Are Democrats outraged enough about the Supreme Co... by Chantal Laurent on Monday, Oct 25, 2010 at 11:43:27 AM
Maybe impeachment is not feasible - loud, informed... by Kevin Tully on Wednesday, Oct 27, 2010 at 10:43:59 AM
Remember that? The only thing which will impeach t... by John De Herrera on Monday, Oct 25, 2010 at 11:47:05 AM
...They didn't just SHOOT EACH OTHER in the face r... by Bia Winter on Tuesday, Oct 26, 2010 at 8:02:45 AM
impeach Thomas, Alito, Scalia and Robertsbefore ch... by martin weiss on Monday, Oct 25, 2010 at 1:46:53 PM
proving George W. Bush is a borg,sent to this plan... by martin weiss on Monday, Oct 25, 2010 at 2:19:29 PM
With the Bag Party poised to take over the House n... by Paul Cohen on Monday, Oct 25, 2010 at 3:28:09 PM
To think we have had this scumbag sitting in the h... by patricia win on Monday, Oct 25, 2010 at 11:50:32 PM
Earl, as a conservative I agree with you that one ... by Roberto Benitez on Friday, Oct 29, 2010 at 3:07:53 AM