Even before Sen. Dianne Feinstein dropped that letter she’d been sitting on for six weeks, there were plenty of wishful thinking articles and tweets about how even if Judge Brett Kavanaugh were confirmed, he could be impeached after he was seated.

Kavanaugh has been seated, but the anti-Kavanaugh faction isn’t giving up yet. In the Washington Post Wednesday, University of Chicago law professor Aziz Huq argued that there are two ways to remove Kavanaugh from the Supreme Court that don’t rely on impeachment.

In short, here they are:

In the first, a new president would nominate and the Senate would confirm by majority vote a justice — in this case Kavanaugh — to a different post on an intermediate court of appeals (say the D.C. Circuit, where Kavanaugh formerly served). The justice would, in effect, be demoted.

That brings us to the second alternative method of relieving a justice of his or her duties. In a 2006 article in the Yale Law Journal, two scholars (conservatives, as it happens), Saikrishna Prakash and Steven D. Smith, amassed historical evidence that the Framers understood the “good behavior” standard to be judicially, rather than just politically, enforceable.

Little good has come from the Kavanaugh confirmation process. But Kavanaugh opponents have a rare chance to push for a positive institutional change as they press their immediate agenda. If the political stars align, something good for our constitutional democracy might result from their efforts: a better way to discipline errant federal judges.

Discipline Kavanaugh for what, exactly?


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