SUPREME COURT justices are nominated by presidents and remain on the bench until death or retirement if confirmed by the Senate.
However, there are ways that justices can be removed from their pristine position.
Can Supreme Court justices be impeached?
The United States Supreme Court is made up of nine justices who often interpret the meaning of the law to decide how it should be applied.
In June 2022, the court made headlines after it was decided to overturn Roe v. Wade, which made abortion legal throughout the United States.
Shortly after the decision was made, protests erupted across the country, with many Americans calling for some of the justices to be impeached, claiming that they are unable to separate church and state.
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As with anyone in the office, it is possible to impeach a sitting justice, but that does not mean he or she would be removed from the bench.
According to Insider, the process of impeaching a Supreme Court justice is identical to removing a sitting president.
The House must first draft articles of impeachment against the justice, and then get a majority to vote against them.
However, Insider notes that a two-thirds majority is required in the Senate to convict.
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Donald Trump was the first president to be impeached twice, but he was still able to remain in office until the end of his term.
Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton were also impeached during their presidencies and not removed from office.
Has a Supreme Court justice ever been impeached?
Throughout history, there has only been one Supreme Court justice impeached.
In 1805, Associate Justice Samuel Chase was impeached after he was accused of "refusing to dismiss biased jurors and of excluding or limiting defense witnesses in two politically sensitive cases," but he was later acquitted by the Senate, according to the Senate's records.
As a result of the acquittal, he was able to resume his duties at the bench, and he remained there until his death in 1811.
Chase was first appointed to the Supreme Court by George Washington in 1796.
Who are the Supreme Court justices?
Members of the Supreme Court include:
- Chief Justice John G. Roberts
- Associate Justice Clarence Thomas
- Associate Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.
- Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor
- Associate Justice Elena Kagan
- Associate Justice Neil M. Gorsuch
- Associate Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh
- Associate Justice Amy Coney Barrett
- Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson
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Jackson was sworn in on June 30, 2022, and became the first-ever black woman to serve as a Supreme Court justice.
She was nominated by Joe Biden to replace Justice Stephen Breyer following his retirement.
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