Student Government President Connor Clegg was found not guilty by the Student Government Supreme Court following weeks of protest on campus and calls for action from students.
Student Government Supreme Court convened Feb. 27 at the LBJ Teaching Theater and found Clegg not guilty with a unanimous vote on all six of the articles presented before them.
Alissa Guerrero, international relations senior, who helped draft the articles of impeachment said she was not defeated, but wondered about the objectivity of a court with five members appointed by Clegg.
“I feel like a lot of people who are in office are friends with Connor,” Guerrero said. “I feel like it has to be taken to a much wider perspective.”
Guerrero said this hearing is only the beginning and plans to take the articles of impeachment before the administration.
“In the conclusion of the articles of impeachment, I wrote that if Student Government failed to find Connor Clegg guilty, we would take it to the administration,” Guerrero said.
Clegg was accused of committing six impeachable acts but six separate times the court found him not guilty unanimously.
“I was on the right side of this issue and I never committed any violation of the constitution or code of ethics,” Clegg said. “The court deliberated and I think they made a good decision.”
The court heard arguments during the hearing from Claudia Gasponi, University College senator and general studies senior, sponsor of the articles of impeachment and Clegg.
“It was a difficult decision, we went through each separate article and tore it apart,” John Garcia, chief justice, said. “We did not feel there was enough evidence to impeach Connor Clegg on any of the articles provided to us.”
The court will issue its written findings with the reasoning behind the decision early next week, according to Garcia. This is not constrained by time per Student Government code. No dissent will be provided as the court voted unanimously across each article.
“We have to preside over difficult situations,” Garcia said. “We may have agreed with the sentiments that every person in that auditorium was feeling, at the end of the day our job is to make decisions based on rule of law and not public popular opinion.”
Garcia said it should not matter who they were appointed by as the justices went through their own senate vote and appointment process.
“I don’t think that carries any merit, ultimately that is the president’s duty to appoint justices to the supreme court,” Garcia said. “Every single justice that has ever been appointed has been given my full advice to be appointed.”
Garcia said each justice is evaluated and an official report was submitted to Clegg with reasons for consideration and appointment.
“Connor Clegg, or the president, ultimately has to be the one that appoints, but they’re all voted by the senate, all passed unanimously, and all appointed by Connor Clegg with my advice,” Garcia said.
Garcia was appointed as an associate justice two administrations ago by former Student Government President Lauren Stotler then as chief justice by former Student Government President Andrew Homann, who currently serves as Special Advisor to the Clegg administration.
“Just because something is morally wrong, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s against the rules,” Garcia said. “We can agree with these people and these sentiments that maybe this isn’t the best course of action that could have happened but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s illegal and he should be impeached for it.”