OLR Research Report

March 12, 2004




By: Mary M. Janicki, Director

You asked for a chart depicting the steps in the possible impeachment process related to Governor John G. Rowland.

Article IX of the State Constitution sets out the authority and framework for impeaching the governor and all other executive and judicial officers. Section 1 gives the General Assembly's House of Representatives the “sole power of impeaching.” In this case, the House established a 10-member Select Committee of Inquiry to investigate and consider the governor's conduct and report to the House on its findings, including whether sufficient grounds exist to impeach Governor Rowland. (A 1984 Supreme Court case found that the House's power to impeach includes the inherent authority to conduct necessary investigations and hearings to resolve any question of impeachable conduct (Kinsella v. Jaekle et al., 192 Conn. 704)).

Section 2 requires the Senate to try all impeachments. The chief justice of the Connecticut Supreme Court presides over the trial of an impeached governor and a two-thirds vote is required to convict.

Article IV establishes the succession in the event a governor is impeached and removed from office.

Steps In The Case Of The Possible Impeachment Of Governor Rowland

House of Representatives authorizes the Select Committee of Inquiry

January 26, 2004 Special Session

HJ 702

House of Representatives has the sole power of impeachment

Majority vote required

Const. Art. IX, 1

If the governor is impeached, the lieutenant governor

exercises the powers and authority and performs the duties of the office of governor

until the process is resolved

Const. Art. IV, 18(b)

Senate tries the governor

Two-thirds vote required to convict

Chief Justice presides

Const. Art. IX, 2

In case of an acquittal, the governor resumes his office

Const. Art. IV, 18(a)

In the case of a conviction, the lieutenant governor takes the oath of office as governor and becomes the governor

Const. Art. IV, 18(a)


The senate president pro tempore takes the oath of office as lieutenant governor and becomes the lieutenant governor

Const. Art. IV, 19