Here is an interesting one! Judge Kent of the Galveston District Court has been sentenced to just under 3 years in Federal prison for obstruction of justice for lying to an inquiry looking to sexual harassment allegations. He has qualified for retirement as a federal judge. Since federal judges are appointed for life, when the retire they will continue to receive their salary for the rest of their life just like the President. So since he qualified for retirement, he will continue to be paid his current salary while serving his prison term. Many people are commenting that they want the Congress to stop paying Kent. The Constitution forbids Congress from decreasing a federal judge’s salary. The only way to keep from paying him is to impeach and convict him. Only then will they be able to stop Kent from receiving salary.
While this is a pain and many people are upset about having to pay Kent until he is impeached, I believe that it is a necessary evil. If it was easy to remove a federal judge, it would be to easy to blur the line between Congress and the Federal Courts. Separation of powers between the three branches of government is one of the things that makes our system of government work. Giving Congress the ability to reduce a justice’s pay would give them influence over the federal courts and affect their impartial judgment. In my opinion, we should let the Constitution work. The Congress should start the impeachment process and remove him from the bench, ending his salary.
Now if Congress fails to act on this quickly, then we have another issue.