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Federal Impeachment

Case Law

Carol M. Highsmith, photographer. Supreme Court Building, Washington D.C. [between 1980 and 2006]. Carol M. Highsmith Archive. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

No challenge to impeachment proceedings was filed in federal court prior to the impeachment and conviction of Halsted L. Ritter in 1936. After his conviction by the Senate, Ritter filed suit in the U.S. Court of Claims for his salary on the grounds that he had not been convicted under the constitutional standards for impeachment. The Court of Claims rejected Ritter's claims, and the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his request to review the decision. Since Ritter, Judges Claiborne, Hastings, and Nixon have tried to have their convictions overturned in federal court. The defining decision — which established that most challenges to impeachment are nonjusticiable — is Nixon v. United States, 506 U.S. 224 (1993).

The resources listed below relate to the actions filed by Judges Ritter, Hastings, and Nixon.

The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are provided when available.