N.H. Readies For Impeachment Case

Monday, August 21st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The state Senate prepared to tackle the case against Supreme Court Chief Justice David Brock by hearing arguments on motions relating to next month's impeachment trial.

On Monday, Brock's lawyers were set to argue that the articles of impeachment should be dismissed, while House prosecutors will present the case against the jurist.

On Tuesday, the senators plan to meet again in public session to vote on the motions. Senate President Beverly Hollingsworth said the session would continue on Wednesday if necessary. The House voted in July to impeach Brock; the Senate trial was to begin Sept. 18.

Brock, who has been chief justice since 1986, is accused of improperly calling a lower-court judge about a politically connected lawsuit; talking to another justice about the handling of that justice's divorce; lying under oath during the investigation; and allowing justices who had been disqualified from hearing certain cases to comment on impending rulings.

Michael Madigan, Brock's lawyer, has asked the Senate to dismiss the four impeachment articles.

If not, he asked the Senate to adopt the more difficult ``beyond a reasonable doubt'' standard of proof instead of the easier ``preponderance of the evidence'' or ``clear and convincing evidence'' standards.

He also asked that a two-thirds vote of the Senate be required to convict instead of a simple majority, and to allow a lesser penalty if there is a conviction.

The state constitution makes no specific reference to whether more than a majority is needed to convict. The U.S. Constitution requires a two-thirds vote of the U.S. Senate.

The House prosecutors' response argued for the Senate to deny three motions and took no position on the fourth.


On the Net:

Supreme Court: http://www.state.nh.us/courts/supreme.htm

New Hampshire government: http://www.state.nh.us