Evaluation of Nebraska's Impeachment Standard - State v. Douglas, An

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DeWald, Terrance
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1986
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INTRODUCTION|Except for a brief flurry of excitement in the early 1970's over the prospect of the impeachment of Richard M. Nixon, impeachment at both the state and federal levels remains a little known constitutional process. The significance of the removal process, however, should not be underestimated; its obscurity from public view does not lessen its importance. In any stable representative government, there must be a means available to remove public officials for offenses which "proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust." Equally important is the need for a clearer understanding of the standard used by a court of impeachment in its determination of what conduct constitutes an impeachable offense to justify removal from office. The removal process was recently brought to the limelight in the impeachment trial of former Nebraska Attorney General, Paul L. Douglas. It had been nearly one hundered years, 1893, since the Nebraska Supreme Court had convened as a court of impeachment to remove a state civil officer. Douglas was charged with violating several Nebraska statutes and several provisions of the Code of Professional Responsibility ("Code"). The Code is the standard governing the conduct of attorneys in Nebraska. The Nebraska Supreme Court, however, held that the Code is not an appropriate standard by which to judge the conduct of the state's highest attorney. This Comment focuses on the standard set in State v. Douglas by which to judge impeachable conduct. This standard is viewed in...
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19 Creighton L. Rev. 357 (1985-1986)
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Creighton University School of Law
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