Federal judges have no grant of immunity from the Constitution
In a system of “equal justice under law” they must be liable to prosecution as defendants in a class action like anybody else
Dr. Richard Cordero, Esq.
The judicial power of the United States is established by Article III of the U.S. Constitution. That article does not immunize judges for their judicial actions from prosecution under the laws of the United States, or those of any state for that matter. The sole protection that it affords judges is found in section 1, which provides that they “during their Continuance in Office shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished”. (Authorities Cited:U.S. Constitution) Neither the Legislative nor the Executive Branches can retaliate against judges by diminishing their salary; otherwise, Article III leaves judges as exposed to other sanctions for their official and personal acts as any government officer or private person is.
Indeed, that same Article III, section 1 specifically states that “The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour”. To be meaningful, this necessarily implies that they ‘can no longer hold their Offices’ if they engage in ‘bad Behaviour’. Given the fundamental principle of our democracy that government is by the rule of law, judges engage in ‘bad Behaviour’ when they, as members of the Third Branch of Government, violate such law.
As a matter of fact, Article II, section 4, of the Constitution sets forth types of ‘Behaviour’ that when engaged in by judges results in the obligation, not merely the possibility, that they “shall be removed from Office”. They include not only “Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes”, but also “Misdemeanors”. This means that the offense need not threaten national security, involve corruption, or manifest itself outrageous evil or harmful to warrant removal from office, but rather it may entail such a relatively small deviation from legally accepted conduct as to be classified as a misdemeanor and still give cause for removal.
Removal from office is not the only consequence that judges risk for ‘Bad Behaviour’. This follows also from Article II, section 4, for it provides the same consequence for “The President, the Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States”. Never has it been affirmed even by a reasonable judge, let alone by Congress or any top member of the Executive Branch, that citizens that are elected or nominated and confirmed, not to mention merely hired, as “civil Officers of the United States”, receive a grant of immunity providing that if they, whether in their official or personal capacity, commit any act of ”Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors”, no sanction shall be visited upon them graver than removal from office and no compensation shall be demanded of them for the benefit of those that they harmed. Hence, judges, like “all civil Officers”, may not do whatever they want, however unlawfully injurious to the life, liberty, and property of others, and if they are caught, they simply move on to a different job.