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Nixon v. United States

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 506 U.S. 224, 113 S. Ct. 732, 122 L. Ed. 2d 1 (1993)

Brief Fact Summary. Walter Nixon (P) was a federal judge who was impeached by the House and convicted by the Senate on bribery charges. He challenged his impeachment based on the procedures used by the Senate.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. The Senate Impeachment Clause in the Constitution makes clear that “the Senate shall have sole power to try all Impeachments”. Thus, this is a political question and not reviewable by the Court.


Facts. Plaintiff was charged with bribery and convicted by the Senate. The House later impeached him. P argued that the Senate had used a committee of Senators to hold hearings on the bribery accusations. This committee reported their findings to the full Senate and they voted by majority to convict him. P claimed that the Constitution requires the Senate to try all impeachments and therefore because only a Committee reviewed the evidence instead of the entire Senate, the Senate had not followed proper procedure.

Issue. Is this a justiciable issue that the Supreme Court can review?

Content Type: Brief


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