Impeachment nears for convicted Pa. Supreme Court justice

    The impeachment process for convicted Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin could begin this week.

    A state House resolution is set to be rolled out, allowing lawmakers to begin an investigation into Orie Melvin, who was convicted last month on campaign corruption charges.

    But this first step is likely to take longer than other procedures that could remove the judge from her seat even sooner.

    The House is unlikely to wrap up its probe before Orie Melvin’s May 7 sentencing, when the sentencing judge could order her to relinquish her post, says Rep. Glen Grell, R-Cumberland, who’s sponsoring the resolution.

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    “That could happen or she could resign voluntarily,” Grell said. “Or the court of judicial discipline could issue an order prior to the House having to take impeachment action.”

    Orie Melvin has been suspended from the bench since she was charged last May.

    The suspension has left the state’s high court with an even number of justices, which legal experts have said could lead to a hamstrung bench on high-profile cases that have yet to be decided.

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