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ASUCI Judicial Board Impeached

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On Dec. 3, all seven members of the ASUCI Judicial Board were impeached by the ASUCI Senate. 

This action was brought on due to a recall petition submitted on Oct. 14 by Henry Vu to the elections commissioner that earned enough signatures to trigger a recall election. 

“[This] recall election would make it possible for students to vote out the justices,” School of Social Sciences senator and future ASUCI Senate President Ivan Fonseca said. 

In his petition, Vu listed many instances of corruption performed by the justices including their use of student fees “to raise the pay for Justices 233% during a pandemic,” and “for abusing their power of injunction to censor legislation they disagree with.” 

Members of the judicial board were subject to a recall election which was supposed to have a timeline proposed by the elections commissioner. As a result of the elections commissioner’s failure to do so, the ASUCI Senate made their own election timeline. 

“We wanted to ensure that we were hearing out the student body and that democracy was being fulfilled,” Senate President Pro-Tempore and At-Large Senator Reema Saad said. 

However, the judicial board then overturned the recall election. 

“The judicial board went on to issue lots of injunctions nulling any special election from happening. Their reason for doing this was because they simply did not want to leave their job, it was that simple,” Fonseca said. “They get paid to be on the judicial board. Many of them even voted to raise their own wages in the spring, tripling their stipend.” 

No recall election occurred despite the timeline set by ASUCI Senate; however, the senate did move forward and subjected the justices to impeachment.

“The ASUCI Senate has the Constitutional power to impeach all Justices at the same time for neglect of duty, malfeasance, or misconduct by a unanimous vote. If a senator finds the judicial board in violation, they have the ability to author a legislation outlining the reasons for impeachment. The legislation must be seconded by at least one other Senator,” Saad said. 

Once the legislation was finished, it was put on the agenda for the senate meeting on Dec. 3 to be discussed. 

“During the meeting, there is a discussion portion where the author of the legislation is able to answer questions and address concerns. Once that is over, a Senator will have to move to adopt the legislation and get a second from another Senator,” Saad said. 

“The legislation ended up passing and impeachment was carried forward, with the ASUCI Executive branch then voting to remove the impeached members,” At-Large Senator, Steven Gong said. 

Members of the former judicial board include: Kimo Gandall, Chief Justice; Madison Craw, Vice Chief Justice; Joshua Wolfe, Associate Justice; Heriberto Mendez, Associate Justice; Logan Knight, Associate Justice; Mario Lopez, Associate Justice; Nick Ortiz, Associate Justice. 

Ashley Shah is a Staff Writer. She can be reached at akshah2@uci.edu