Monday, May 05, 2008

Impeachment Timeline

For those still getting caught up, Marc Dann got a letter from Strickland, Brown, Brunner, Cordray, Beatty, Miller, and Redfern (every Ohio Dem with a statewide constituency), demanding he step down or face impeachment. He has refused to step down, and there is no indication that the House Dems are bluffing about impeachment.

When I heard this, my mind immediately started considering whether or not this could either underhandedly or inadvertently lead to the the lemonadiest political outcome for Dems, namely that the party gets to run against the rogue incompetent, but gets to avoid a special election by invoking a process that takes more time than a simple resignation.

So, how long does a state-level impeachment take? The only modern-day precedent I could find was Evan Mecham, the oh-so-charming former governor of Arizona, who was impeached in 1988. The timeline there starts with criminal charges, etc., but I think the relevant date was the presentation of a report by a special counsel on the 15th of January. Conviction took place on April 19. So in that case, it was 3 months, 4 days. If we use the May 2 Espy report as a starting point, we have an approximate Aug. 6 target for removal. Factors could obviously add or subtract from that, but it doesn't look like he can possibly hold on through Sept. 25, which is the date most commonly bandied about as the statutory cutoff for a special election.

So there's no upside in stalling. Godspeed ye, General Assembly.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What's interesting about this event is that it's not the Republicans initiating the calls for impeachment, it's the Republicans. When your own party calls for impeachment in a state where your party is the minority, it's only a matter of time before you are ousted. The Republicans want another chance at the AG seat and the Dems want enough time to get a suitable candidate some experience.