do not afford the flexibility of oral presentations, they do not permit the recipient to mold his argument to the issues the decision maker appears to regard as important. Particularly where credibility and veracity are at issue, as they must be in many termination proceedings, written submissions are a wholly unsatisfactory basis for decision." A federal judge facing the loss of his office and salary and permanent banishment from public service is facing consequences of equivalent significance for him as is a welfare recipient about to lose the means of subsistence.
Six years later in Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 U.S. 319 , 47 L. Ed. 2d 18 , 96 S. Ct. 893 (1976), Justice Powell cited Justice Frankfurter for his statement, "'The right to be heard before being condemned to suffer grievous loss of any kind, even though it may not involve the stigma and hardships of a criminal conviction, is a principle basic to our society.'" Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 U.S. at 333 citing Joint Anti-Fascist Comm. v. McGrath, 341 U.S. 123, 168, 95 L. Ed. 817 , 71 S. Ct. 624 (1951) (Frankfurter, J., concurring). This principle cannot be ignored.
Without depriving the House or the Senate of one iota of their exclusive constitutional powers to impeach, try and convict "officers" of the United States, this Court has jurisdiction to interpret what the Constitution says about impeachment. It states that the accused officer is entitled to a trial. This means a trial by the full Senate.
Judge Hastings did not get a trial by the full Senate. He is entitled to have one. The defendants' motion to dismiss is denied.
The Court having found that Judge Hastings was entitled to a trial by the full Senate, his impeachment and conviction must be overturned and remanded to the Senate for a trial that comports with constitutional requirements. This being the decision of the Court, judgment will be entered in favor of Judge Hastings. Because there is such an important issue and will clearly be settled by the Supreme Court, the Court will stay its order until the issue has been decided on appeal.
United States District Court
ORDER - September 17, 1992, Filed
For the reasons stated in the foregoing opinion, it is this 17 day of September, 1992, hereby
ORDERED that the defendants' motion to dismiss is denied; and it is
FURTHER ORDERED that summary judgment is granted in favor of the plaintiff; and it is
FURTHER ORDERED that the judgment of the United States Senate convicting the plaintiff under Articles of Impeachment is vacated; and it is
FURTHER ORDERED that the plaintiff be given a trial to be conducted by the full Senate in accordance with this Court's opinion; and it is
FURTHER ORDERED that the judgment of this Court is stayed pending appeal.
United States District Court
RULES OF PROCEDURE AND PRACTICE IN THE SENATE WHEN SITTING ON IMPEACHMENT TRIALS
XI. That in the trial of any impeachment the Presiding Officer of the Senate, if the Senate so orders, shall appoint a committee of Senators to receive evidence and take testimony at such times and places as the committee may determine, and for such purpose the committee so appointed and the chairman thereof, to be elected by the committee, shall (unless otherwise ordered by the Senate) exercise all the powers and functions conferred upon the Senate and the Presiding Officer of the Senate, respectively, under the rules of procedure and practice in the Senate when sitting on impeachment trials.
Unless otherwise ordered by the Senate, the rules of procedure and practice in the Senate when sitting on impeachment trials shall govern the procedure and practice of the committee so appointed. The committee so appointed shall report to the Senate in writing a certified copy of the transcript of the proceedings and testimony had and given before such committee, and such report shall be received by the Senate and the evidence so received and the testimony so taken shall be considered to all intents and purposes, subject to the right of the Senate to determine competency, relevancy, and materiality, as having been received and taken before the Senate, but nothing herein shall prevent the Senate from sending for any witness and hearing his testimony in open Senate, or by order of the Senate having the entire trial in open Senate.