The Pennsylvania State Senate voted on Wednesday to postpone a trial to impeach the progressive Philadelphia district attorney following a court ruling that articles of impeachment fail to meet the standard required by the Constitution. .
The motion was unanimously approved in the Republican-controlled Senate and indefinitely postpones the trial of Democrat Larry Krasner, which was scheduled to begin Jan. 18.
It was cast in doubt by last month’s ruling by Commonwealth Court Judge Ellen Ceisler, who wrote that articles of impeachment approved by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives fell short of the required constitutional standard of “misconduct in office” to impeach an audience. office official.
The practical effect of Ceisler’s decision was not immediately clear, and Ceisler has yet to issue a notice further explaining his order.
Led by the GOP, the House voted to impeach Krasner in November. Krasner dismissed the House Republicans’ claims as targeting his policy and filed a lawsuit to halt the lawsuit. Democrats say Republicans are abusing their legislative authority.
The House’s seven articles of impeachment asserted that Krasner should be removed from office for a variety of reasons, including complaints about his inability to prosecute certain minor crimes.
Krasner, who was overwhelmingly re-elected by Philadelphia voters last year, has not been charged with a crime or sanctioned by a court.
Ceisler agreed with Krasner that the seven complaints against him failed to meet the inscrutable standard of “misconduct in the line of duty.”
Ceisler also wrote that three of the claims unconstitutionally impinge on the exclusive power of the state Supreme Court to govern the conduct of attorneys in Pennsylvania and that two of the claims wrongly challenge Krasner’s discretion as a state attorney. district.
She, however, rejected Krasner’s claims that the legislature does not have the constitutional power to remove local officials like him and that impeachment proceedings against him should have stopped with the November 30 end of the legislative session of two years.
Brooke Schultz is a member of the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places reporters in local newsrooms to report on underreported issues.