The House on Wednesday impeached U.S. District Judge Walter L. Nixon of Mississippi, who is serving a five-year perjury sentence, and sent the case to the Senate for trial to decide whether he should be ousted from office. The vote was 417 to 0.
"Let's get on with this task, unpleasant as it may be, before he returns to the bench," Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) told the House as it acted on the third judicial impeachment case in recent years.
The three impeachment articles were sent to the Senate for a trial to determine whether Nixon will be removed from office and deprived of the $89,500 annual salary he has been collecting while serving his sentence at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
Impeachment Trial Under Way
The Senate currently is holding an impeachment trial for U.S. District Judge Alcee L. Hastings of Florida. He was acquitted in 1983 on charges of conspiracy to receive a $150,000 bribe but lawmakers are seeking his removal anyway, saying there is ample evidence.
U.S. District Judge Harry Claiborne of Nevada was impeached by the House in 1986 while serving a tax evasion sentence and was later removed from the bench by the Senate.
Nixon was convicted of perjury after denying in 1984 before both a federal grand jury and Justice Department investigators that he intervened in a narcotics case involving the son of Hattiesburg business executive Wiley Fairchild.
Nixon was acquitted of accepting an illegal gratuity in that case.