Pickering Is First Federal Judge To Be Impeached, Convicted

1804

Judge John Pickering of New Hampshire is the first federal judge to be removed from office after serving nine years on the bench. After being impeached by the House of Representatives in February 1803, he stands trial before Vice President Aaron Burr and the Senate. The trial ends with a guilty verdict and a 19-9 impeachment vote along party lines on March 12. News reports from the time claimed that Pickering showed signs of mental illness while he was on the bench and that his impeachment stemmed from accusations of smuggling, political favoritism, greed, drunkenness and insanity.