Attorneys for Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner made the case that the Republican-led effort in the state General Assembly is an attempt to remove a locally elected Democratic official over ideological disagreements and not impeachable conduct.
During a virtual hearing on Thursday before Commonwealth Court judges, the embattled DA’s lawyers called the impeachment effort a “profound distraction” for Krasner and his office.
“The stakes could not be greater,” said John S. Summers. “What GOP lawmakers are seeking is not only the erasure of votes and elections, but they are asking for a rule that says any time the majority party doesn’t like the policies of [another] party, we’ll go impeach the guy, and we can get a trial. … That is a constitutional crisis. That is an invitation to chaos.”
Attorneys for GOP legislative leaders took a different tack, telling the Court that the House and Senate have acted within their constitutional authority in approving articles of impeachment against Krasner, thereby nullifying any role the judges would have in the ongoing process.
“The courts have no jurisdiction in impeachment proceedings, and no control over their conduct, so long as actions are taken within constitutional lines,” said Lawrence F. Stengel.
Krasner, who is scheduled to stand trial in the Senate in mid-January, has denied the allegations of enacting policies that have fueled Philadelphia’s shooting crisis and several other offenses.
He filed suit in Commonwealth Court challenging the validity of the impeachment drive, and submitted a petition earlier this month asking judges to declare the proceedings unlawful. Beyond arguing that legislators had found no evidence of the “misbehavior in office” required for impeachment, his lawyers said the legislature lacks the authority to oust local officials, and were improperly stretching impeachment proceedings over two different legislative sessions.
Thursday’s hearing was an opportunity for judges to hear further argument on how or whether they might intervene. They did not make a ruling, or provide a timeline for when they might do so.
Tyranny of the minority as Republicans who are in the minority in Philly seek to oust Dem who are the majority. So,hack politicians in Harrisburg can replace duly elected officials because they don’t like them?
These MAGA GOP hack politicians probably don’t actually believe so, but it makes good political theater for them and keeps them in the headlines.