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Mr. Speaker, I think a little history is in order here, because only Congress can remove a Federal judge. It is part of the checks and balances in our Constitution. It prevents the executive who doesn't like what a judge is doing from taking that person out of office. It prevents other judges in the United States in the judicial branch from removing a judge when they don't like that judge's opinion. That is our duty today, to resolve this issue.
Over my career, I have been somewhat critical of Federal judges, but the reason is because of a philosophical difference sometimes with interpretation of the Constitution and constitutional law. For the most part, most of our judges, the hundreds that serve all over the United States in the third branch of government, have the utmost integrity and demeanor. In our judicial branch, I would hope we would always have the best legal minds on the bench, not the best legal minds that appear before the bench as attorneys. Unfortunately, that's not universally true, because our Federal judges are underpaid. The lawyers that appear before them, for the most part, make more than the Federal judges. But they serve, not because of money. They serve because of their pride and belief in our Constitution and public service.
Judge Kent is the exception to this rule. We are past the stage of allegations because he made admissions against his own interest in a court of law sufficient to convict him of a felony to the degree it is an abuse of office, abuse of duty, while serving on the bench in a courtroom. That basically is the end of the story. It is a felony. It is a high crime and misdemeanor. He's in prison, and his actions since his conviction show a haughty spirit and a total disregard for his conduct.
Mr. Speaker, in the United States, we don't pay Federal judges to go to the penitentiary. He should be impeached today by this body.
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