McGeorge Adjunct Professor Chris Micheli

Title I, Division 4, Chapter 7, Article 2 of the California Government Code provides for impeachment of officials by the California Legislature.

The process is spelled out through multiple sections of the California Government Code. The Code provides that state officers elected on a statewide basis, including members of the Board of Equalization and judges of state courts, are subject to impeachment for any misconduct in office and that the Senate, when sitting as the court of impeachment, is a court of record and that the officers of the Senate are the officers of that court.

All impeachments must be made by resolution, adopted, originated in, and conducted by managers who are elected by the Assembly. Those managers are to prepare the articles of impeachment, present them at the bar of the Senate, and prosecute them. The trial is conducted before the Senate sitting as a court of impeachment. When an officer is impeached by the Assembly, the articles of impeachment must be delivered to the President of the Senate, the Lieutenant Governor. If the Lieutenant Governor is impeached, a notice of that impeachment must be immediately given to the Senate so that another President of the Senate may be chosen.

California’s Government Code requires the defendant to answer the articles of impeachment. If they plead guilty or refuse to plead, the Senate must render judgment of conviction against them. If the defendant pleads not guilty, the Senate must try them. It requires a two-thirds vote of the California State Senate to convict. Further, if the judgment of suspension is given during the continuance of the judgement then the defendant is disqualified from receiving any salaries, fees, or anything else of that particular office.

You can find the full transcript of today’s podcast here.