Re: Impeach SCOTUS!

by Daniel Foster

Jonah, this is rich. The author of the piece — one David R. Dow — is listed as both a professor of law and of history. Which is what makes this goof especially hilarious:

Jefferson believed Supreme Court justices who undermine the principles of the Constitution ought to be impeached, and that wasn’t just idle talk. During his presidency, Jefferson led the effort to oust Justice Salmon Chase, arguing that Chase was improperly seizing power. The Senate acquitted Chase in 1805, and no Justice has been impeached since, but as the Supreme Court threatens to nullify the health-care law, Jefferson’s idea is worth revisiting.

Salmon P. Chase, at various times governor of Ohio, senator, and treasury secretary before becoming Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, was but a twinkle in old Ithamar Chase’s eyes in 1805. He wouldn’t grace the world with his presence until 1808.

The justice Professor Dow is looking for is Samuel Chase. Maybe we should give him the benefit of the doubt and chalk this one up to his copy editors?

UPDATE: Checking the comments on Jonah’s post, and unsurprisingly a couple of readers beat me to the punch.

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