Idea of impeachment of judges just a stunt

July 06, 2001 12:00 am

Charles Porter, a Eugene lawyer and former Democratic congressman, has come up with an idea that Oregons Democratic Executive Committee and state party chairman Jim Edmunson likes.

In fact, Edmunson convinced the Democratic Executive Committee to vote in favor of the idea during a recent meeting. He expects the states Democratic Party full central committee to adopt the resolution during its July 22 meeting. So whats the idea?

To impeach five members of the U.S. Supreme Court. According to Porter, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, William Rehnquist, Anthony Kennedy and Sandra Day OConnor have violated their oaths to uphold the Constitution when they voted to stop the presidential vote recount in Florida.

According to Porter, the justices made their decision based on politics. (Porter was a two-term congressman from 1957 to 1961.) He acknowledges that getting Congress to begin an impeachment inquiry is a long shot.

We have to wonder what makes Porter a constitutional scholar?

The idea seems like a publicity stunt on the part of some Democrats, who appear still bitter about the results of last years presidential election.

If we were to impeach justices, congressional representatives or the president every time we disagreed with them, we would never get anything done.

We believe that impeachment, like recalls, should be done only when the individual involved has committed a criminal act.

Perhaps Porter, Edmunson and the Democratic central committee will get some publicity, but not the kind they were hoping.

They might do better to stop living in the past and move forward by helping local Democrats get elected.

Its about time

Good news for federal retirees. The state has begun printing the rebate checks that the retirees have been owed for several years. About 25,000 retirees or their heirs will be receiving $111 million in rebates and accrued interest. The checks are supposed to be headed to mailboxes July 10.

The legal battle over the rebates has been going on for about a decade. From 1991 to 1994, the state taxed federal retirees pensions but exempted state retirees. It doesnt take a legal expert to figure out that such a practice isnt fair and is, in fact, downright wrong.

But after years of haggling, the state is moving ahead with repaying the debt. The federal retirees have waited long enough.