Judicial Accountability in a Time of Tumult: New Hampshire’s Impeachment Crisis of 2000


In recent years, constitutional jurisprudence emerging from state courts has assumed increasing importance. The assertiveness of state courts, however, has generated considerable backlash, most often involving adverse reactions to particular court rulings, and commonly expressed in efforts to out the judges responsible through the electoral or appointive processes by which judges in most states maintain their positions. In New Hampshire, there was a backlash involving a deeper challenge to the legitimacy of the entire judicial branch of government, driven by concerns about judicial accountability to citizens and officials in the elected branches. This Article looks at the impeachment of Chief Justice David Brock in 2000, in terns of its antecedents and its aftermath. The authors place the impeachment in the context of legislative-judicial relations over the course of the state’s history and examine steps taken since the impeachment to help restore stability in those relations.


History; Business, Politics and Security Studies

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Rutgers University Law Review

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