PHILADELPHIA (December 2, 2022) – District Attorney Larry Krasner on Friday filed a Petition for Review in the Nature of a Complaint for Declaratory Judgement and an Application for Summary Relief and Expedited Briefing in Commonwealth Court in response to unlawful impeachment proceedings against him, which were initiated by the outgoing Republican House majority in a lame duck, previous legislative session. DA Krasner has not been accused of corruption or criminal misconduct, and is the first sitting locally elected official in Commonwealth history to be targeted for impeachment by the General Assembly over his policies and ideas.
The Petition for Review names as respondents Senator Kim Ward (Westmoreland County), in her official capacity as President Pro Tempore; Representative Tim Bonner (Mercer/Butler County), in his official capacity as impeachment manager; Representative Craig Williams (Delaware/Chester County), in his official capacity as impeachment manager; and Representative Jared Solomon (Philadelphia County) in his official capacity as impeachment manager; as well as as yet unnamed members of the Senate Impeachment Committee (referred to as John Does). The petition seeks a declaration from Commonwealth Court that the impeachment proceedings are unlawful and that, if permitted to proceed, would have grave implications for the exercise of power by the legislature to target political dissenters.
The application for summary relief makes three independent and compelling arguments for the unlawfulness of the ongoing impeachment proceedings:
- The Amended Articles of Impeachment that were adopted during the Two Hundred Sixth General Assembly do not carry over to the (current) Two Hundred Seventh General Assembly. This ground is simple, straightforward and clear: the Pennsylvania Constitution, statutory law, and precedent mandate this conclusion.
- DA Krasner is not subject to impeachment by the General Assembly because the Pennsylvania Constitution does not authorize impeachment of the Philadelphia district attorney by the General Assembly. He is not a “civil officer” as the Pennsylvania Constitution uses that term but is instead a local officer.
- The Amended Articles of Impeachment do not allege “any misbehavior in office,” the prerequisite for impeachment under the Pennsylvania Constitution.
DA Krasner has also requested expedited briefing in Commonwealth Court because on November 30, the final day of the previous lame duck legislative session, the Senate as constituted at the time adopted a resolution that requires a Writ of Impeachment Summons to be issued “immediately” from the Senate to DA Krasner, thereby commencing unlawful proceedings against the Philly DA.
“Our courts are the bulwark to stop a majority political party’s attempts to weaponize the General Assembly’s impeachment powers against elected local officials from a different party to reverse the outcome of a local election,” the petition states. “Left unchecked, the gate will be opened wide. The Commonwealth’s Constitution and the Rule of Law cannot allow this to occur.”
The petition for review and application for summary relief filed today, as well as previously filed motions and other documents, are available here: https://linktr.ee/phillydalarrykrasner.
Jane Roh, 215-686-8711, [email protected]
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office is the largest prosecutor’s office in Pennsylvania, and one of the largest in the nation. It serves the more than 1.5 million residents of the City and County of Philadelphia, employing 600 lawyers, detectives, and support staff. The District Attorney’s Office is responsible for the prosecution of approximately 40,000 criminal cases annually. Learn more about the DAO by visiting PhillyDA.org.