H.Amdt. 1031: Impeaching G. Thomas Porteous, Jr., judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, for high crimes and misdemeanors

H.Amdt. 1031

Impeaching G. Thomas Porteous, Jr., judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, for high crimes and misdemeanors

Sponsor
Rep. John Conyers Jr.

Date
March 11, 2010 (111th Congress, 2nd Session)

Staff Contact
Sarah Makin

Floor Situation

H.Res. 1031 is expected to be considered on the floor of the House on Thursday, March 11, 2010, as a priveledged resolution.  The legislation was introduced by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) on January 21, 2010, and referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.  The bill was ordered to be reported by a vote of 24 - 0 on January 27, 2010.

Bill Summary

H.Res. 1031 would impeach G. Thomas Porteous, Jr., judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, for high crimes and misdemeanors.  The bill sets forth four articles of impeachment.

Among the reasons for impeachment, the bill lists the following:

  • While a U.S. district court judge, G. Thomas Porteous, engaged in a pattern of conduct incompatible with the trust and confidence placed in him as a judge;
  • Judge Porteous denied a motion to recuse himself from a case where one of the parties was represented by a corrupt law firm with which he had a financial relationship;
  • Judge Porteous made intentionally misleading statements at the recusal hearing and engaged in corrupt conduct after the trial, and while he had the case under advisement;
  • Judge Porteous engaged in a longstanding pattern of corrupt conduct that demonstrates his unfitness to serve as a U.S. District Court Judge and engaged in a pattern of conduct inconsistent with the trust and confidence placed in him as a federal judge by knowingly and intentionally making material false statements and representations under penalty of perjury related to his personal bankruptcy filing, and by repeatedly violating a court order in his bankruptcy case; and
  • Judge Porteous knowingly made material false statements about his past to both the U.S. Senate and to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in order to obtain the office of U.S. District Court Judge.

H.Res. 1031 states that Judge Porteous is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors and should be removed from office.

 

Background

In June 2008, the Judicial Conference of the U.S. transmitted to the Speaker of the House a Certificate indicating that "consideration of the impeachment of Judge Porteous may be warranted."  After an extensive investigation and a series of hearings the Judiciary Committee voted to refer four articles of impeachment to the House for its consideration.  The articles involve the following conduct:

(1)   A curatorship kickback scheme the judge had with two attorneys;

(2)   The judge's inappropriate handling of a federal case involving both material misrepresentations he made during a recusal hearing, and his soliciting and accepting money from an attorney involved in the case, while he had the matter under advisement;

(3)   The judge's corrupt relationship with two bail bondsman and his actions taken both as a State and federal judge to assist them in their business;

(4)   The judge's numerous false and misleading statements and other violations of orders of the bankruptcy court in connection with his 2001 bankruptcy filing; and

(5)   The judge's false statements to both the FBI and the Senate during his nomination and confirmation process which led him to obtain his judgeship under false pretenses.

Cost

CBO does not have a score of H.Res. 1031.