[House Practice: A Guide to the Rules, Precedents and Procedures of the House] [Impeachment] [From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov] [[Page 531]] IMPEACHMENT A. Generally Sec. 1. In General; House and Senate Functions Sec. 2. Who May Be Impeached Sec. 3. Grounds for Impeachment Sec. 4. -- Impeachable Misconduct Sec. 5. Effect of Adjournment B. Procedure in the House Sec. 6. In General; Initiation and Referral of Charges Sec. 7. Committee Investigations Sec. 8. Consideration in the House; Voting C. Procedure in the Senate Sec. 9. In General Sec. 10. Voting and Judgment Research References 1 Hinds Secs. 63-79 6 Cannon Secs. 193-202 3 Deschler Ch 14 Manual Secs. 173-176; 603-620 U.S. Const. art. I Secs. 2, 3; art. II Sec. 4 A. Generally Sec. 1 . In General; House and Senate Functions Impeachment is a constitutional remedy addressed to serious offenses against the system of government. It is the first step in a remedial process--that of removal from public office and possible disqualification from holding further office. The purpose of impeachment is not personal punishment; rather, its function is primarily to maintain constitutional government. Deschler Ch 14 App. pp 726-728. Impeachment proceedings have been initiated more than 60 times since the adoption of the Constitution. 3 Hinds Secs. 2294 et seq.; 6 Cannon Secs. 498 et seq.; Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 1. Fifteen of these cases resulted in impeachment by the House--President Andrew Johnson in 1868, Secretary of War Wil- [[Page 532]] liam W. Belknap in 1876, Senator William Blount in 1799 and 12 federal judges. Only seven impeachments have led to Senate convictions--all of federal judges. An impeachment is instituted by a written accusation, called the ``Articles of Impeachment,'' which states the offense charged; the articles serve the same purpose as an indictment in an ordinary criminal proceeding. See Manual Sec. 609. The impeachment power is delineated by the U.S. Constitution. The House is given the ``sole Power of Impeachment'' (art. I Sec. 2); the Senate is given ``the sole Power to try all Impeachments'' (art. I Sec. 3). Impeachments may be brought against the ``President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States'' (art. II Sec. 4). Conviction of ``Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors'' (art. II Sec. 4) is followed by ``removal from Office'' and may include ``disqualification to hold'' further public office (art. I Sec. 3). The term ``impeach'' is used in different ways at various stages of the proceedings. A Member rises on the floor to ``impeach'' an officer in presenting a resolution or memorial. 3 Hinds Sec. 2469. The House votes to ``impeach'' in the constitutional sense when it adopts an impeachment resolution and accompanying articles. Sec. 8, infra. The Senate then conducts a trial on these articles and either convicts by two-thirds vote or acquits the ``impeached'' accused federal official. Sec. 9, infra. Sec. 2 . Who May Be Impeached The ``President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States'' are subject to removal under the impeachment clause of the Constitution. U.S. Const. art. II Sec. 4. A private citizen who has held no public office may not be impeached. 3 Hinds Secs. 2007, 2315. It has been said that the term ``civil Officers,'' as used in the Constitution, is broad enough to include all officers of the United States who hold their appointment from the federal government, whether their duties be executive, administrative, or judicial, or whether their position be high or low. Impeachment, Selected Materials, Committee on the Judiciary, H. Doc. No. 93-7, p 691, Oct. 1973. On the other hand, military officers are not subject to impeachment, since they are subject to disciplinary measures according to military codes. 3 Willoughby, The Constitution (1929) Sec. 929; 9 Hughes, Federal Practice (1931) Sec. 7228. A Member of Congress is not a ``civil Officer'' within the meaning of the impeachment provisions of the Constitution. 3 Hinds Secs. 2310, 2316. The contention that a Senator was not a civil officer within the meaning of the [[Page 533]] impeachment provisions of the Constitution was sustained by the Senate in 1799. The Senate dismissed impeachment charges brought to its bar by the House, finding that an impeachment of a Senator was beyond its jurisdiction. 3 Hinds Sec. 2318. Federal judges are subject to removal under the impeachment provisions of the Constitution. Of the 15 impeachments reaching the Senate, 12 have been directed at federal judges, and in seven of these cases the Senate voted to convict: Pickering in 1803 (3 Hinds Secs. 2319-2341), Humphreys in 1863 (3 Hinds Secs. 2385-2397), Archbald in 1912 (6 Cannon Secs. 498-512), Ritter in 1936 (S. Doc. No. 200, 74-2, 1936), Claiborne in 1986, and Nixon and Hastings in 1988 and 1989 (see Manual Sec. 176). Impeachment proceedings were initiated against a Member of the President's Cabinet in 1876, when impeachment charges were filed against William Belknap, who had been Secretary of War. The House and Senate debated the power of impeachment at length and determined that the former secretary was amenable to impeachment and trial. 3 Hinds Secs. 2007, 2467. In 1978, the House voted to table a privileged resolution impeaching Andrew Young, the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. 95-2, July 13, 1978, p 20606. A Commissioner of the District of Columbia has been held not to be a civil officer subject to impeachment under the Constitution. 6 Cannon Sec. 548. Effect of Resignation The House and Senate have the power to impeach and try an accused who has resigned. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 2. It has been conceded (in the Blount impeachment proceeding) that a person who has been impeached cannot escape punishment simply by submitting his resignation. 3 Hinds Secs. 2317, 2318. As a practical matter, however, the resignation of an official about to be impeached generally puts an end to impeachment proceedings because the primary objective--removal from office--has been accomplished. This was the case in the impeachment proceedings begun against President Nixon in 1974 and federal judge George English in 1926. Deschler Ch 14 Secs. 2.1, 2.2. President Nixon having resigned following the decision of the Committee on the Judiciary to report to the House recommending his impeachment, further proceedings were discontinued. H. Rept. No. 93-1305, 93-2, Aug. 20, 1974, p 29361. [[Page 534]] Sec. 3 . Grounds for Impeachment Generally The Constitution defines the grounds for impeachment and conviction as ``Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.'' U.S. Const. art. II Sec. 4. When the House determines that grounds for impeachment exist, and they are adopted by the House, they are presented to the Senate in articles of impeachment. Any one of the articles may provide a sufficient basis or ground for impeachment. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 3. The interpretation which has been placed on the words ``high Crimes and Misdemeanors'' is a broad one. The framers of the Constitution adopted the phrase from the English practice. At the time of the Constitutional Convention, the phrase ``high crimes and misdemeanors'' had been in use for over 400 years in impeachment proceedings in Parliament. Some of these impeachments charged high treason; others charged high crimes and misdemeanors. The latter included both statutory offenses and nonstatutory offenses. Many of the charges involved abuse of official power or trust. Deschler Ch 14 App. pp 706-708. An offense must be serious or substantial in nature to provide grounds for impeachment. This requirement flows from the language of the clause itself--``high Crimes and Misdemeanors.'' While there is some authority to the contrary, it is generally accepted that the adjective ``high'' modifies ``Misdemeanors'' as well as ``Crimes.'' Impeachment--Selected Materials, Committee on the Judiciary, 93-1, Oct. 1973, p 682. As to what constitutes a serious, impeachable offense, one commentator has said: To determine whether or not an act or a course of conduct is sufficient in law to support an impeachment, resort must be had to the eternal principles of right, applied to public propriety and civil morality. The offense must be prejudicial to the public interest and it must flow from a willful intent, or a reckless disregard of duty. . . . It may constitute an intentional violation of positive law, or it may be an official dereliction of commission or omission, a serious breach of moral obligation, or other gross impropriety of personal conduct which, in its natural consequences, tends to bring an office into contempt and disrepute. Brown, The Impeachment of the Federal Judiciary, 26 Harv. L. Rev. 684, 703, 704. The time when the offenses were committed is a factor to be taken into consideration. In 1973, the House declined to take any action on a request by Vice President Agnew for an investigation into allegations of impeachable offenses, where the offenses were not committed during his term of office as Vice President and where the offenses were pending before the courts. 93-1, Sept. 25, 1973, p 31368. [[Page 535]] Exactly 100 years earlier, by coincidence in a case that also involved the Vice President, the Judiciary Committee found that Schuyler Colfax could not be impeached for an alleged offense committed before his term of office as Speaker of the House. 3 Hinds Sec. 2510. Presidential Impeachments The grounds for invoking the impeachment power against the President were illustrated in 1974 when the House initiated an inquiry into President Nixon's conduct as a result of charges arising out of a 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Headquarters in the Watergate Office Building in Washington, D.C. The House Judiciary Committee adopted three articles of impeachment against Nixon late in July 1974. The articles charged him with abuse of his Presidential powers, obstruction of justice, and contempt of Congress. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 3.7. Before the full House voted on these articles, Nixon resigned, after having been assured that his impeachment was a virtual certainty. His resignation terminated further action on the issue, although the articles were submitted to and accepted by the House. 93- 2, Aug. 20, 1974, pp 29219-29362. This was but the second time in the history of the United States that the House resolved to investigate the possibility of impeaching a President. Some 107 years earlier the House had investigated whether President Andrew Johnson should be impeached. Johnson was impeached by the House on the ground that he had violated the Tenure of Office Act by dismissing a Cabinet chief. The theory of the proponents of impeachment was succinctly put by one of the managers in the Senate trial: An impeachable high crime or misdemeanor is one in its nature or consequences subversive of some fundamental or essential principle of government or highly prejudicial to the public interest, and this may consist of a violation of the Constitution, of law, of an official oath, or of duty, by an act committed or omitted, or, without violating a positive law, by the abuse of discretionary powers from improper motives or for an improper purpose. The Constitution of the United States of America--Analysis and Interpretation, p 607, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1982. Judicial Impeachments Since federal judges hold office ``during good Behaviour'' (U.S. Const. art. III Sec. 1), it has been suggested that misbehavior properly defines the bounds of ``high Crimes and Misdemeanors,'' or even that lack of good behavior constitutes an independent standard for impeachment. 6 Cannon Sec. 464. The more modern view, however, is that the ``good Behaviour'' clause is more aptly descriptive of judicial tenure; that is, that it does not constitute a standard for impeachability, but merely means that federal [[Page 536]] judges hold office for life unless removed under some other provision of the Constitution. Under this view, the power of removal, together with the appropriate standard, are contained solely in the impeachment clause. Impeachment--Selected Materials, Committee on the Judiciary, 93-1, Oct. 1973, p 666. The grounds for impeachment of federal judges were scrutinized in 1970, in the inquiry into the conduct of Associate Justice Douglas of the Supreme Court. The report concluded that a federal judge could be impeached for judicial conduct which is either criminal or a serious abuse of public duty, or for nonjudicial conduct which is criminal. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 3.13 (proceedings discontinued for lack of evidence). Sec. 4 . -- Impeachable Misconduct Impeachments have commonly involved charges of misconduct incompatible with the official position of the office holder. This conduct falls into three broad categories: (1) abusing or exceeding the lawful powers of the office; (2) behaving in a manner grossly incompatible with the office; and (3) using the power of the office for an improper purpose or for personal gain. See Deschler Ch 14 App. p 719. Abusing or Exceeding the Powers of the Office The impeachment by the House of Senator William Blount in 1797 was based on allegations that he attempted to incite an Indian attack in order to capture certain territory for the British. He was charged with engaging in a conspiracy to compromise U.S. neutrality, and with attempting to oust the President's lawful appointee as principle agent for Indian affairs. 3 Hinds Secs. 2294-2318. Although the Senate found that it had no jurisdiction over the trial of an impeached Senator, it expelled him for having been guilty of a ``high misdemeanor, entirely inconsistent with his public trust and duty as a Senator.'' Deschler Ch 14 App. p 720. The impeachment of President Andrew Johnson in 1868 was likewise based on allegations that he had exceeded the power of his office. Johnson was charged with violation of the Tenure of Office Act, which purported to limit the President's authority to remove members of his own Cabinet. Johnson, believing the act unconstitutional, removed Secretary of War Stanton and was impeached by the House three days later. Johnson was acquitted in the Senate by a single vote. 3 Hinds Secs. 2399. A serious abuse of the powers of the office was a charge included among the recommended articles impeaching President Nixon in 1974. The Judiciary Committee found that his conduct ``constituted a repeated and continuing abuse of the powers of the Presidency in disregard of the fun- [[Page 537]] damental principle of the rule of law in our system of government.'' Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 3.7. Behavior Grossly Incompatible With the Office Judge John Pickering was impeached by the House in 1803 for errors in a trial in violation of his trust and duty as a judge, and for appearing on the bench during the trial in a state of intoxication and using profane language. Pickering was convicted in the Senate and removed from office. 3 Hinds Secs. 2319-2341. Associate Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase was impeached by the House in 1804. The House charged Chase with permitting his partisan views to influence his conduct in certain trials. His conduct was alleged to be a serious breach of his duty to judge impartially and to reflect on his competence to continue to exercise the power of the office. Chase was acquitted in the Senate. 3 Hinds Secs. 2342-2363. Judge West Humphreys was impeached by the House and convicted in the Senate in 1862 on charges that he joined the Confederacy without resigning his federal judgeship. Judicial prejudice against Union supporters was also alleged. 3 Hinds Secs. 2385-2397. Judge George W. English was impeached by the House in 1926 for showing judicial favoritism and for failure to give impartial consideration to cases before him. It was alleged that his favortism had created distrust of his official actions and destroyed public confidence in his court. 6 Cannon Secs. 544-547. Judge English resigned prior to commencement of trial by the Senate and the proceedings were discontinued at that point. Using the Office for an Improper Purpose or Personal Gain In 1826, Judge James Peck was impeached by the House for taking action against a lawyer who had publicly criticized one of his decisions, imprisoning him, and ordering his disbarment. The House charged that such conduct was unjust, arbitrary, and beyond the scope of his judicial duties. Peck was acquitted in the Senate. 3 Hinds Secs. 2364-2366. Vindictive use of power also constituted an element of the charges in the articles of impeachment voted against Judge Charles Swayne in 1903. It was alleged that he maliciously and unlawfully imprisoned two lawyers and a litigant for contempt. 3 Hinds Secs. 2469-2485. Several impeachments have alleged the use of office for personal gain or the appearance of financial impropriety while in office. Secretary of War William Belknap was impeached by the House in 1876 for receiving substantial payments in return for his making of an appointment. He was acquitted in the Senate. 3 Hinds Secs. 2444-2468. [[Page 538]] The use of the office for direct or indirect personal monetary gain was also involved in the impeachments of Judges Charles Swayne (1903), Robert Archbald (1912), George English (1926), Harold Louderback (1932), and Halsted Ritter (1936). Judge Swayne was charged with falsifying expense accounts. Judge Archbald was charged with using his office to secure business favors from litigants and potential litigants before his court. Judges English, Louderback, and Ritter were charged with misusing their power to appoint and set the fees of bankruptcy receivers for personal profit. See 3 Hinds Secs. 2469-2485 (Swayne); 6 Cannon Secs. 498-512 (Archbald); Secs. 544-547 (English); Secs. 513-524 (Louderback); 74-2, Jan. 14, 1936, p 5602 (Ritter). In 1986, the House agreed to a resolution impeaching federal district judge Harry Claiborne, who had been convicted of falsifying federal income tax returns. His final appeal was denied by the Supreme Court, and he began serving his prison sentence. Because he declined to resign, however, Judge Claiborne was still receiving his judicial salary and, absent impeachment, would resume the bench on his release from prison. Consequently, a resolution of impeachment was introduced on June 3, and on July 16, the Committee on the Judiciary reported to the House four articles of impeachment against Judge Claiborne. On July 22, the resolution was called up as a question of privilege and agreed to by a recorded vote of 406 yeas, 0 nays. After trial in the Senate, Judge Claiborne was convicted on three of the four articles of impeachment and removed from office on Oct. 9, 1986. Manual Sec. 176. In 1988, the House agreed to a resolution reported from the Committee on the Judiciary impeaching federal district judge Alcee L. Hastings. The resolution specified 17 articles of impeachment, some of them addressing allegations on which the judge had been acquitted in a federal criminal trial (H. Res. 499, 100-2, Aug. 3, 1988, pp 20206 et seq.). The judge was convicted in a trial before the Senate in the One Hundred First Congress. 101-1, Oct. 20, 1989, p ____. In 1989, the House voted 417 to 0 to impeach U.S. District Court Judge Walter L. Nixon, Jr. after he had been convicted on two counts of perjury before a grand jury about his relationship to a man whose son was being prosecuted for drug-smuggling. The impeachment resolution charged that Nixon had given false information about whether he had discussed the case with the local district attorney and attempted to influence its outcome. 101-1, May 10, 1989, p 8814. [[Page 539]] Noncriminal Misconduct In the history of impeachments under the U.S. Constitution, the most closely debated issue has been whether impeachment is limited to offenses indictable under the criminal law--or at least to offenses which constitute crimes--or whether the word ``Misdemeanors'' in the impeachment clause extends to noncriminal misconduct as well. While the precedents are not entirely uniform, the majority clearly favors the broader definition. As stated in the Ritter impeachment, the modern view is that the provision for impeachment in the Constitution applies not only to high crimes and misdemeanors as those words were understood at common law, but also to acts which, though not defined as criminal, adversely affect the public interest. H. Rept. No. 93- 653, pp 9, 10 (1926). The historical evidence establishes that the phrase ``high crimes and misdemeanors''--which over a period of centuries evolved into the English standard of impeachable conduct--had a special and distinctive meaning, and referred to a category of offenses that subverted the system of government. Deschler Ch 14 App. p 724. The American experience with impeachment likewise reflects the view that impeachable conduct need not be criminal. Of the 15 impeachments voted by the House since 1789, at least 10 involved one or more allegations that did not charge a violation of criminal law. Deschler Ch 14 App. p 725. The impeachment of Judge Pickering in 1803 was the first such proceeding to result in conviction and was based, at least in part, on noncriminal misconduct. The first three articles involved a series of flagrant errors on the part of the judge in his conduct of a case. 3 Hinds Secs. 2319 et seq. Similarly, in 1974, in recommending articles impeaching President Nixon, the House Committee on the Judiciary concluded that the President could be impeached not only for violations of federal criminal statutes, but also for abuse of the power of his office and for refusal to comply with proper subpenas of the committee. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 3.7. In drawing up articles of impeachment, the House has placed little emphasis on criminal conduct. Less than one-third of all the articles the House has adopted have explicitly charged the violation of a criminal statute or used the word ``criminal'' or ``crime'' to describe the conduct alleged. Much more common in the articles are allegations that the officer has violated his duties or his oath or seriously undermined public confidence in his ability to perform his official functions. Deschler Ch 14 App. p 723. [[Page 540]] Sec. 5 . Effect of Adjournment An impeachment may proceed only when Congress is in session. 3 Hinds Secs. 2006, 2462. But an impeachment proceeding does not die with adjournment. An impeachment proceeding begun in the House in one Congress may be resumed by the House in the next Congress. 3 Hinds Sec. 2321. And an official impeached by the House in one Congress may be tried by the Senate in the next. 3 Hinds Secs. 2319, 2320. Managers on the part of the House who were appointed in the prior Congress to conduct the trial in the Senate may be reappointed in the following Congress by resolution. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 4.2. Thus, the resolution and articles of impeachment against Judge Alcee Hastings were presented in the Senate during the second session of the 100th Congress (100-2, Aug. 3, 1988, p 20223) but were still pending trial by the Senate in the 101st Congress, when the House reappointed managers (101-1, Jan. 3, 1989, p 84). B. Procedure in the House Sec. 6 . In General; Initiation and Referral of Charges Generally Under the modern practice, an impeachment is normally instituted by the House by the adoption of a resolution calling for a committee investigation of charges against the officer in question. This committee may, after investigation, recommend the dismissal of charges or it may recommend impeachment. Impeachment--Selected Materials, Committee on the Judiciary, H. Doc. No. 93-7, Oct. 1973, p 699. A resolution recommending impeachment is reported to the House simultaneously with the articles of impeachment setting forth the grounds for the proposed action. Sec. 8, infra. Following the adoption of a resolution to impeach, the House appoints managers to conduct the impeachment trial in the Senate. The Senate is then informed of these facts by resolution. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 9. When this resolution reaches the Senate, the Senate advises the House as to when the Senate will receive the managers appointed by the House. The managers then present themselves and the impeachment articles to the Senate, the House reserving the right to file additional articles later. Deschler Ch 14 Secs. 10, 11. Initiation of Charges In most cases, impeachment proceedings in the House have been initiated either by introducing resolutions of impeachment by placing them in [[Page 541]] the hopper, or by offering charges in a resolution on the floor of the House under a question of constitutional privilege. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 5. Other methods of setting an impeachment in motion in the House include:
Charges initiatd by a memorial from one or more citizens and referred to committee. 3 Hinds Secs. 2364, 2491, 2494. A message from the President. 3 Hinds Secs. 2294, 2319; 6 Cannon Sec. 498. Charges transmitted from the legislature of a state. 3 Hinds Sec. 2469. Charges arising from a grand jury investigation. 3 Hinds Sec. 2488. In the 93d Congress, Vice President Agnew used a letter to the Speaker to attempt to initiate an investigation by the House of charges against him of possible impeachable offenses; the House took no action on the request. 93-1, Sept. 25, 1973, p 31368. Referral to Committee Resolutions introduced through the hopper which directly call for an impeachment are referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, whereas resolutions merely calling for a committee investigation with a view toward impeachment are referred to the Committee on Rules. See 93-1, Oct. 23, 1973, p 34873. Thus, a resolution authorizing an investigation in the 89th Congress into the conduct of three federal judges was referred to the Committee on Rules. 89-2, Feb. 22, 1966, p 3665. But where a Member announces on the floor that he is introducing a resolution of impeachment, the resolution is referred to the Committee on the Judiciary if it is a direct proposition to impeach. 91-2, Apr. 15, 1970, pp 11912, 11920, 11941 (Douglas). All impeachments to reach the Senate since 1900 have been based on Judiciary Committee resolutions. Prior to that committee's creation in 1813, impeachments were referred to a special committee for investigation. 6 Cannon Sec. 657; Manual Secs. 603 et seq. Sec. 7 . Committee Investigations Committee impeachment investigations are governed by those portions of Rule XI relating to committee investigatory and hearing procedures, and by any rules and special procedures adopted by the committee for the inquiry. See Deschler Ch 14 Secs. 6.3 et seq. The House may by resolution waive a requirement of these rules in a particular case. In one recent instance, the House agreed to a resolution authorizing the counsel to the Committee on the Judiciary to take depositions of witnesses in an impeachment investigation and waiving the provisions of Rule XI which requires at least [[Page 542]] two committee members to be present during the taking of such testimony. 93-2, Feb. 6, 1974, pp 2349 et seq. Under the earlier practice, the committee sometimes made its inquiry ex parte (3 Hinds Secs. 2319, 2343, 2385), but the modern trend is to permit the accused to testify, present witnesses, cross- examine witnesses (3 Hinds Secs. 2445, 2471, 2518), and be represented by counsel (3 Hinds Secs. 2470, 2501; 93-2, Aug. 20, 1974, p 29219). Constitutionality, see Sec. 9, infra. Confidentiality of Material; Access The Committee on the Judiciary may adopt procedures which insure the confidentiality of impeachment inquiry materials and which limit access to such materials. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 15.3. Where a federal court subpenas certain evidence gathered by the committee in an impeachment inquiry, the House may adopt a resolution granting such limited access to the evidence as will not violate the privileges of the House or its sole power of impeachment under the Constitution. 93- 2, Aug. 22, 1974, p 30047. Subcommittee Investigations An investigatory subcommittee charged with an impeachment inquiry is limited to the powers expressly authorized by the full committee. See Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 6.11. After completing its investigation, the subcommittee ordinarily submits recommendations to the full committee as to whether impeachment is warranted. See, for example, Final Report of the Special Subcommittee on H. Res. 920 of the Committee on the Judiciary, 91-2, Sept. 17, 1970 (Douglas). Forms For forms of resolutions authorizing an investigation of the sufficiency of grounds for impeachment and conferring subpena power and authority to take testimony, see Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 6. Sec. 8 . Consideration in the House; Voting Generally The target of an impeachment proceeding is impeached by the House if it adopts a resolution with articles of impeachment. Only a majority vote is necessary (whereas a two-thirds vote is required in the Senate for conviction). Impeachments--Selected Materials, Committee on the Judiciary, H. Doc. No. 93-7, Oct. 1973, p 700. In this regard, as is the usual practice, the committee's recommendations as reported in the resolution are in no way binding on the House. In 1933, the House voted to impeach Judge Har- [[Page 543]] old Louderback even though the House Judiciary Committee found insufficient grounds to recommend impeachment. 6 Cannon Sec. 514. Impeachment Propositions as Privileged A resolution impeaching an officer is highly privileged under the Constitution, and therefore supersedes other pending business (3 Hinds Secs. 2045-2048; 6 Cannon Sec. 468), including an election contest (3 Hinds Sec. 2581). Such a resolution may be immediately considered in the House as a question of high privilege [and is therefore not subject to the three-day layover requirement of Rule XI]. 95-2, July 13, 1978, p 20606 (Andrew Young). It does not lose its privilege from the fact that a similar proposition has been made at a previous time during the same session. 3 Hinds Sec. 2408. However, a resolution simply proposing an investigation is not privileged, even though impeachment may be a possible consequence. 3 Hinds Secs. 2050, 2546; 6 Cannon Sec. 463. A committee to which resolutions of impeachment have been referred may report and call up as privileged resolutions incidental to the consideration of the impeachment question. If, however, such a resolution is offered on the floor by a Member on his own initiative and not reported from the committee to which the impeachment has been referred, it is not privileged for immediate consideration, since not directly calling for impeachment. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 5.8. Propositions incidental to an ongoing impeachment proceeding taken up as privileged (3 Hinds Sec. 2400), have included: Reports relating to the investigation (3 Hinds Sec. 2402; Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 8.2). Resolutions providing for the selection of managers (6 Cannon Sec. 517). Propositions to abate an impeachment proceeding (6 Cannon Sec. 514). Proposals to confer subpena authority or to provide funding for the investigation (6 Cannon Sec. 549; 93-2, Feb. 6, 1974, p 2349). Resolutions incidental to the consideration of the impeachment question may be called up as privileged by the committee considering the matter. 93-2, Feb. 6, 1974, p 2349. Although charges or resolutions of impeachment are privileged, they cannot be presented while another Member has the floor unless he yields for that purpose. 91-2, Apr. 15, 1970, p 11920. Debate; Motions Propositions of impeachment are considered under the general rules of the House applicable to other simple House resolutions, unless the House otherwise provides by special order. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 8. Since 1912, the [[Page 544]] House has considered the resolution together with the articles of impeachment. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 8.2. The House may consider the resolution and articles under a unanimous-consent agreement fixing and controlling the time for debate. Deschler Ch 14 Secs. 8.1, 8.4. The motion for the previous question and the motion to recommit are applicable, and a separate vote may be demanded on substantive propositions contained in the resolution. Deschler Ch 14 Secs. 8.8- 8.10. The resolution is also subject to a motion to lay on the table before debate thereon. 95-2, July 13, 1978, p 20606. A wide range of debate is permitted on impeachment proposals, and a Member may refer to the political, social, and even the family background of the accused. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 8.5. C. Procedure in the Senate Sec. 9 . In General The sole power to try impeachments is vested in the Senate under the Constitution. U.S. Const. art. I Sec. 3 clause 6. On the day of the trial, the Senate resolves itself into a court for the trial of the impeachment. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 11.5. The President of the Senate presides over the trial, except in the case of the impeachment of the President of the United States or the Vice President, in which case the Chief Justice presides. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 11. Upon organization of the court, the managers appear and the trial of the case proceeds. In the later practice, the resolution and articles of impeachment have been considered together and exhibited simultaneously in the Senate by the House managers. 6 Cannon Secs. 501, 515; 74-2, Mar. 10, 1936, pp 3485-88. Objections to the articles of impeachment, on the ground that they duplicate and accumulate separate offenses, have been overruled. 74-2, Apr. 3, 1936, p 4898; 74-2, Apr. 17, 1936, p 5606. The presentation of the evidence follows a traditional sequence. The evidence against the accused is first presented, then evidence in defense and concluding evidence by the managers. The accused is permitted to testify in answer to the charges contained in the articles. 6 Cannon Secs. 511, 524; Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 12.11. Counsel are permitted to appear, to be heard, to argue on preliminary and interlocutory questions, to deliver opening and final arguments, to submit motions, and to present evidence and examine and cross-examine witnesses. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 12. The use of a Senate committee in judicial impeachment proceedings does not violate any constitutional rights or offend fundamental notions of justice. Hastings v U.S. Senate, Impeachment Trial Committee, D.D.C. 1989, 716 F Supp 38. In one recent case, the court denied the claim of a former [[Page 545]] federal judge that conviction voted by the Senate on two articles of impeachment adopted by the House was void because the judge was not afforded trial before the ``full'' Senate, rather than before a Senate committee. The court ruled that the Senate's denial of the former judge's motion for hearing before the full Senate, while according him the opportunity to present and cross-examine witnesses before the 12- member committee, and an opportunity to argue both personally and by counsel before the full Senate, did not make the controversy justiciable and the claim meritorious. Nixon v US, D.D.C. 1990, 744 F Supp 9, affirmed 938 F2d 239, 290 U.S. App. D.C. 420, affirmed 113 S.Ct. 732, 122 L.Ed.2d 1. At the conclusion of the evidence, there is argument, followed by deliberation by the Senate in executive session and a vote in open session. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 13. Prior to the vote, the proceedings may be dismissed in the Senate on the advice of the House managers. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 2.2. Sec. 10 . Voting and Judgment Under the Constitution, a two-thirds vote is required to convict the accused on an article of impeachment (U.S. Const. art. I Sec. 3 clause 6), the articles being voted on separately under the Senate rules (Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 13). The yeas and nays are taken on each article separately. 3 Hinds Secs. 2098, 2339. In some instances, the Senate has adopted an order to provide a method of voting and putting the question separately and successively on each article. 6 Cannon Sec. 524; 74-2, Apr. 16, 1936, p 5558. The Constitution provides for removal from office on conviction and also allows the further judgment of disqualification from holding further office. U.S. Const. art. I Sec. 3 clause 7. No vote is required on removal following conviction, since removal follows automatically from conviction under this constitutional provision. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 13.9. But the further judgment of disqualification from holding future office requires a majority vote. Deschler Ch 14 Sec. 13.10. The question on removal and disqualification is divisible. 3 Hinds Sec. 2397; 6 Cannon Sec. 512. The impeachment and removal from office of a United States District Judge did not necessarily disqualify him from holding office as a Member of the House, absent any specific action taken by the Senate to disqualify him from future federal office. Waggoner v Hastings, S.D.Fla. 1993, 816 F. Sup. 716.