On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Arenda Wright Allen issued a decision striking down Virginia’s same-sex marriage ban, declaring it unconstitutional. On Monday, Virginia lawmaker Del. Bob Marshall called for the judge’s impeachment, reports ABC affiliate WVEC in Virginia.
"In Virginia, one judge invalidated our Marriage Amendment, which became part of our Constitution upon its ratification by 1.3 million Virginia voters," Marshall said in an email.
Wright Allen’s decision has been stayed by the court pending appeals.
Marshall, though, is not waiting for the lengthy process to decide the ultimate fate of the Virginia Marriage Amendment, a law that has been on the books since 2006. He is going on the offensive immediately, urging citizens of the state to contact their representatives and tell them to support traditional marriage. He also recommended that concerned citizens contact U.S. Rep. Bob Goodlatte, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee. Goodlatte “would be especially influential in starting the process for removal of judges who promote an agenda,” Marshall said in the email.
Marshall’s political stance is that if same-sex marriage is to be the law of the land, it should become so by a vote of the people rather than by a decision passed down by the courts.
“Legislating through the Courts against the will of the people is lawless disregard for our representative form of government,” he said, according to Virginia’s WAVY. ”If same-sex marriage proponents want to take down legitimately passed laws and Amendments, then they should attempt to do so without using an end run against the legitimate legislative process.”
The standards for removing a federal judge are extremely high. The process is the same as is required to remove a sitting president from office.
First, the U.S. House of Representatives would have to impeach Wright Allen. That requires a simple majority and is similar to an indictment in regular courts. Then she would face trial in the Senate, where a two-thirds majority would be required to convict and remove her from office.
Fifteen federal judges have been impeached in U.S. history, and only eight were successfully tried and removed by the Senate.