Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch (LLAW) today launched an online petition to urge the United States Senate, which just wrapped up an impeachment trial on U.S. District Judge Thomas Porteous, to quickly and faithfully complete its investigation and take the final step to remove Judge Porteous from the bench.
“We are calling on the people of Louisiana and concerned citizens across the country to stand with us in speaking out against this corruption,” said Melissa Landry, Executive Director of LLAW, the state’s leading grassroots legal watchdog group. “By seeking bribes, taking kickbacks and falsifying statements, Judge Porteous misused his judicial power and eroded the public’s trust. Every day he continues to claim the title of a federal judge and draws his $174,000 salary is an insult to the citizens and taxpayers of this country. One house of Congress has already investigated charges against him and certified the impeachment, and it is long past time for him to go.”
After a lengthy investigation earlier this year, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved four articles of impeachment against Judge Porteous in March 2010.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the chair of a House Task force that reviewed the accusations against Porteous, recently said in an Associated Press article, “It is the unanimous view of the House of Representatives that his conduct is not only wrong but so violative of the public trust that he cannot be allowed to remain on the bench without making a mockery of the court system.”
The “Impeach Judge Porteous” petition is available online at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/impeachjudgeporteous/.
LLAW has also established a FaceBook Fan Page to track daily developments in the case. It is available online at www.facebook.com/ImpeachTheJudge <http://www.facebook.com/ImpeachTheJudge> .
Porteous’ Senate trial is the final step in the impeachment process, and the panel wrapped up hearings on the matter yesterday. Now, the U.S. Senate Impeachment Trial Committee will complete an impartial summary of the trial and submit it to the full Senate for consideration. The Senate is expected to vote on the matter sometime after the Nov. 2 mid-term elections. A two-thirds vote is needed in the Senate to convict him.
The online petition to support Judge Porteous’ impeachment is part of LLAW’s ongoing campaign to improve Louisiana’s legal system.
With the fall primary elections approaching, LLAW is also urging Louisiana voters to study their local judicial races and be prepared to make an informed decision when getting to the ballot box on October 2nd.
“There are more than a dozen judicial races taking place all across the state and it’s important that voters take the time to get to know these candidates,” said LLAW board member Dr. Elisa Arrillaga.
“Judge Porteous impeachment trial is a sobering reminder that sometimes judges do not live up to the high ethical standard that is expected of them. When this happens, our faith in the legal system can be diminished. But that’s why it is so important for us, the voters, to hold them accountable for their actions. We have the power to elect them into office, and we have the power to kick them out.”
Prior to his appointment to the federal bench, Porteous – a Clinton appointee – served as an elected judge in Jefferson Parish from 1984 and 1994.