US House voted to impeach federal judge for sexual harassment, obstruction

On June 19, 2009, the US House of Representatives approved four articles of impeachment against Judge Samuel Kent of the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Kent wrote a letter of resignation to President Barack Obama earlier in June 2009 after becoming the first federal judge to be impeached in 20 years, following allegations of sexual harassment and making false statements to federal agents. In May 2009, Kent pleaded guilty to a criminal charge of obstruction of justice in a plea agreement that prevented him from being charged for sexual harassment. Kent was sentenced to 33 months in prison and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine. The US Senate later voted to terminate the impeachment proceedings after Kent's resignation was accepted by the White House.

Learn more about Samuel Kent from the JURIST news archive, and read more about the potential misuse of the obstruction charge in the case by JURIST Guest Columnist Michael Lowe in Hotline.


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