New Hampshire justice's removal will require a two-thirds vote

CONCORD, N.H. - New Hampshire's chief justice won a major victory Tuesday: a two-thirds vote will be required to convict him at his state Senate impeachment trial next month.

The Senate voted 19-3 Tuesday to impose the requirement on itself in recognition of the seriousness of its duty in the case against David Brock. New Hampshire has never before held a Senate impeachment trial.

''We're only 22 people sitting here,'' Sen. Lou D'Allesandro said. ''It seems to me a majority would be a travesty.''

Earlier in the day, the Senate refused to dismiss any of the four impeachment articles against Brock.

He is accused of making an improper call to a lower-court judge in 1987, talking to then-Justice Stephen Thayer about the handling of Thayer's own divorce case, lying to House investigators and letting justices comment on cases from which they were disqualified for conflicts of interest.

Thayer resigned earlier this year rather than face the possibility of criminal charges. Last month, the House voted to impeach Brock.

Brock's Senate trial is scheduled for Sept. 18. Two of the Senate's 24 members have disqualified themselves, so 15 votes would be required to convict.


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