(The Center Square) – A state court ruling favored Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner against Pennsylvania Republicans trying to impeach him, but it’s unclear whether it will end impeachment proceedings.
A Commonwealth Court order on Friday declared that “none of the Amended Articles of Impeachment satisfy the requirement imposed by Article VI, Section 6 of the Pennsylvania Constitution that impeachment charges against a public official must allege conduct that constitutes what would amount to the common law crime of ‘misbehavior in office,’ i.e., failure to perform a positive ministerial duty or performance of a discretionary duty with an improper or corrupt motive.”
Signed by Judge Ellen Ceisler, the order didn’t find the impeachment allegations to rise to “misbehavior in office” by Krasner, but also didn’t order an end to the impeachment proceedings. The order noted that an opinion from the court will follow.
In November, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted to impeach Krasner, as The Center Square previously reported. A House committee investigating Krasner had sent a subpoena to Krasner, who called the investigation anti-democratic and illegal.
The court order, however, denied Krasner’s motion for a dismissal of impeachment, as “in keeping with our extant corpus of case law, all public officials throughout the Commonwealth are subject to impeachment and trial by the General Assembly, regardless of whether they are local or state officials.”
While the Legislature’s power to impeach public officials in Pennsylvania appears to be on solid ground, the order questioned state Republicans’ overall impeachment case and what constitutes “misbehavior in office.”
Anthony Hennen is a reporter for The Center Square. Previously, he worked for Philadelphia Weekly and the James G. Martin Center for Academic Renewal. He is managing editor of Expatalachians, a journalism project focused on the Appalachian region.