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THE Nooner for December 15, 2017


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THE NOONER for December 15, 2017


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Cory Iverson

CalFire from Escondido, Lost yesterday in the Thomas Fire

To our public safety officials across the state who have fought the wildfires this year, we thank you. We share particularly heartfelt love and sympathy to the family and friends of those lost in the line of duty.


Dammit. Cory has a two-year-old and a baby due in the spring.  

Well, let's get a few more issues that SD32 kept me from this morning.

AD45 (West San Fernando Valley): The intel from multiple sources makes the race like a LSAT logic question or a Thanksgiving dinner seating arrangement for a family divided. 

HARASSMENT BEHIND THE ROBE: Following an order by Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Sidney Thomas instituting a formal complaint against colleague Judge Alex Kozinski in alleged sexual misconduct with clerks and externs reported by the Washington Post, SCOTUS Chief Justice John Roberts has  assigned the investigation to Chief Judge Robert Katzmann of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, reports John Todd of The Recorder.

This led to an interesting discussion on Facebook, which could have been in a law school classroom. Article III (federal district court judges and above confirmed by Congress) have lifetime appointments during "good Behaviour." However, they appear to also be "civil Officers" subject to impeachment under Article II, § 4 of the Constitution that provides:

The President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.

I checked with a brilliant constitutional law professor friend who offered that the "good Behaviour" provision comes from English law and doesn't really match up with the "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" language of impeachment. Impeachment is non-justiciable as found in Nixon v. United States, as the Constitution makes impeachment an Article I function, a political question, and thus not justiciable. 

That said, to see the House and Senate both determining that sexual harassment is a High Crime and Misdemeanor is extremely unlikely. While the articles of impeachment only require a simple majority in the House, the actual removal from office by the Senate requires two-thirds. Granted, some of you were still wearing onesies in 1998, but it was a good lesson on impeachment.

So, if the allegations against Judge Kozinski are true, he likely couldn't be removed from office for such. However, if he lied to a tribunal about it, it is possible although very unlikely. A majority in a partisan House is one thing; removal from office by the Senate is a whole other animal, regardless of party control.

Unfortunately, for those of us in law school at the time, the Clinton situation all happened during finals a day after my birthday that year. For my class, it was Con Law II, and impeachment was breezed over in Con Law I as an arcane issue the year before because it hadn't been an issue for 24 years. 

SPLIT ROLL:  California Calls, a coalition of 31 progressive organizations, filed a petition for an initiative today that would establish a split roll property tax for the benefit of local governments, schools and community colleges. "Split roll" means generally that commercial and industrial property is not subject to the inflationary protections that apply under Proposition 13 to residential properties.

Anyway, a correction after our Probolsky jump and a #CAKEDAY reprisal. They get a two-fer. (I'm trying to catch up in age.)


Probolsky Research



#CAKEDAY: Happy birthday to former Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, Senate Republican Leader Pat Bates, David Zay Latt, Tricia Lipper, Josh Pulliam, Jennifer Quan, and Laura Velkei!

DEPT OF CORRECTIONS: On the John Myers article on Consumer Watchdog, "commuter advocacy" should have been "consumer advocacy."



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