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Impeach John Roberts for Lying to Congress

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Hugh Conrad
Message Hugh Conrad

Lying to Congress is forbidden by Title 18, Chapter 47, Section 1001 of the U.S. Code. It states that "whoever willfully (2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation" to Congress shall be fined or imprisoned ...


When he was testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee at his confirmation hearing to be Chief Justice of the United States in 2005, John G. Roberts, Jr. said that he came "before this committee with no agenda, no platform. I will approach every case with an open mind."


Roberts even used a sports metaphor to explain his role. --Judges are like umpires. Umpires don't make the rules. They apply them. The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules. But it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ball game to see the umpire."


Roberts' tenure on the court shows that he is trying to rewrite the rulebook, not apply the rules established by the Founding Fathers or the Congress. He is effectively making the laws, not determining that "everybody plays by the rules." His role has been aggressive, not "a limited role." His decisions are not predicated upon justice, but upon hardened ideology. His words in those hearings distorted what he planned to do because they were a blatant lie -- and he knew it.


Roberts' record now reflects that deception, as the late Sen. Edward Kennedy said in an American Prospect article two years ago. Kennedy wrote that Roberts effectively lied to the committee with those words and others. "As we enter the third year of the lifetime appointments of Roberts and (Samuel) Alito to the Court, it is clear that their approach to judging mocks the commitment to open-mindedness, modesty, and compassion that they professed during their confirmation hearings. President Bush had openly expressed his desire to select judges who would satisfy the most radical voices in his political base. We now know that the president got exactly what he wanted."


Majority leader Sen. Harry Reid was even more blunt last March in his assessment of Roberts' performance on the court. According to an Associated Press story, Reid said that Roberts had lied to the Senate during his confirmation hearings by pretending to be a moderate -- and that the United States "is now stuck with him as chief justice." The Majority Leader said, "Roberts didn't tell us the truth. At least (Samuel) Alito told us who he was. But we're stuck with those two young men, and we'll try to change by having some moderates in the federal courts system as time goes on-- I think that will happen."


Roberts should be impeached for lying to Congress. Roberts' deceit has angered many on the left and those in the philosophical center, along with those on the right who care for honesty and justice.


However, the American people are not "stuck" with Roberts. In fact, when an American officeholder lies to Congress, the Constitution provides a legal remedy. That person can be impeached by the House of Representatives and tried before the U.S. Senate in which Reid leads the majority (Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about a sexual liaison).


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Hugh Conrad lives in Western Pennsylvania and is a person who fervently believes in the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.
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