Democrats seeking to impeach Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh will be hamstrung by the Constitution, according to Harvard Law School Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz.
“The Constitution would not permit impeachment of a sitting justice for actions he took while a private citizen 35 years ago, nor would it permit using the laws of perjury, which are very tough,” Dershowitz said Monday during an interview with Fox News.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the New York Democrat poised to chair the House Judiciary Committee should his party win a majority after the 2018 midterm elections, has suggested the panel may investigate Kavanaugh under his leadership. Reps. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., and Ted Lieu, D-Calif., have already voiced their support for probing the newly installed justice.
Pushing aside the high legal bar, Dershowitz added on Monday that Democrats would also face political ramifications should they try to remove Kavanaugh from the bench.
“That would be absolutely foolish, inconsistent, and hypocritical,” he said. “Those who believe that Bill Clinton should never have been impeached for allegedly lying about his sex life are now going to lead the campaign to impeach Kavanaugh for allegedly lying about his sexual and drinking activities back when he was a 17-year-old? It’s hypocrisy run rampant.”
President Trump on Monday suggested any effort to unseat Kavanaugh would be considered as “an insult to the American public.”
“The American public has seen this charade, has seen this dishonesty by the Democrats,” the president told reporters at the White House.
Impeachment proceedings begin in the House with a vote before the Senate holds a trial to investigate the alleged misconduct. Under the Constitution, articles of impeachment can only be brought against a judge when he or she no longer exhibits “good behavior.”
Kavanaugh was sworn in Saturday evening as the 114th Supreme Court justice. His confirmation process was roiled by questions regarding his treatment of women and alcohol consumption in the 1980s, including one allegation of sexual assault dating back to 1982. He has denied all accusations leveled against him.