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A&M Judicial Court halts Student Body President Hudson Kraus’ impeachment trial

Senior+Student+Body+President+Hudson+Kraus+sits+at+the+Student+Senate+meeting+on+Wednesday%2C+Sept.+13%2C+2023.+%28Chris+Swann%2FThe+Battalion%29
Photo by Chris Swann

Senior Student Body President Hudson Kraus sits at the Student Senate meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)

The Texas A&M Judicial Court has issued an injunction that temporarily halted proceedings for Student Body President Hudson Kraus’ impeachment trial. The trial was intended to be held during the Sept. 13 Student Senate meeting, but now, the Student Senate and Kraus will fight a judicial battle in front of the court’s seven justices.

The charges are a culmination of tension between the Student Senate and Kraus, according to an anonymous high-ranking official from the Student Government Association, or SGA. They said the situation climaxed with Kraus’ attempt to lower the qualifications of a cabinet position to match his brother Hunter Kraus’ lack of SGA experience.

The official said after the nomination attempt at the Aug. 30 senate meeting, senators demanded an official apology from Kraus.

According to another anonymous source with access to internal affair documents, on Friday, Sept. 8, Kraus attended a Student Senate Internal Affairs meeting with the top senate leaders, where he passed out a written statement.

“First, I acknowledge full responsibility for my actions,” the letter from Kraus reads. “While my behavior was absolutely incorrect, this was a one-off incident due to the relation of Hunter and myself.”

Kraus went on to issue a private apology to the group.

“Furthermore, my feeling is that impeachment is a tool to be utilized when all other options have been exhausted,” the letter reads. “In this case, I made a mistake and I take ownership of the error. However, my actions have not been indicative of a negative pattern of behavior that would warrant such an impeachment action occurring.”

The document proposes creating legislation from the Student Senate mandating the president meet with committee chairs once a month and attend each committee meeting once during the fall semester, so he can “begin to atone for [his] actions.”

The document ends by stating SGA should not contribute to further upheaval in the current university climate and that a public impeachment would “derail the credibility of SGA further.”

However, the anonymous SGA official said senators continued to ask for a public apology.

“There [were] a variety of meetings where an apology was demanded,” the official said. “And finally, people started saying, ‘Enough is enough. We value integrity. We want to preserve that.’”

According to the SGA Code, approval from one-third, or 22 members, of the Student Senate is required to file for Kraus’ impeachment. But in just days, the petition had amassed 43 signatures.

While the senate needs a one-third vote for the initial motion, a two-thirds majority is required to impeach Kraus and remove him from office.
“The senate exists because it’s a diverse body that represents every corner of [A&M],” the anonymous SGA official said. “It exists to hold accountable student leaders. [The senators] are in a place where they haven’t been worked well with by the student body president.”

Once the signature threshold was met, the impeachment trial was scheduled for the senate’s next general meeting on Sept. 13. However, Kraus filed an appeal to SGA’s Judicial Court, resulting in the court issuing an injunction on Sept. 12, temporarily pausing any proceedings related to the impeachment.

“Effective immediately, this injunction shall halt any procedure, hearing or communication by any Student Government member or official regarding the impeachment of Student Body President Kraus,” the injunction reads. “The Writ of Injunction shall remain in effect until such time an official opinion of the court has been rendered.”

After accepting the appeal, the court shared the order with members of SGA on the night of Sept. 12, giving them 72 hours to submit evidence to the Judicial Court, according to the SGA Code. They will then deliberate in front of the court’s justices, who will make the final opinion for the case of “Student Body President Kraus v. Student Senate.”

The injunction also issued a “gag order” on communication regarding the impeachment process. According to the SGA official, if any member speaks about the proceedings while the order is in effect, they can be immediately dismissed from the senate and unable to serve in the next session.

“An injunction means that someone believes that there has been a technical error in the processes of student government and would like for [the Judicial Court] to step in and figure it out,” the anonymous official said. “One of the effects of an injunction — in addition to looking into a potential error — is [that] it functions as a gag order, preventing any members involved in the issue from speaking to students, faculty, administration or the public.”

The Battalion contacted multiple current senators but all were unable to comment on the impeachment, such as Constituency Affairs Chair Marcus Glass.

“At this time, I do not want to give my opinion on anything due to the Writ of Injunction,” Glass said to The Battalion. “I have high respect for the process.”

The Student Senate and Kraus have both been assigned counsel by the court in the form of Judge Advocates Generals, or JAGs. Each JAG is trained by the court to provide fair representation for all parties, according to the court’s website.

Chief Justice Sawyer Bagley declined to comment on the situation.
“The court will be unable to release any statement prior to the trial in order to protect all parties that may be involved with the court,” Bagley wrote in a Sept. 13 statement to The Battalion. “We have a process we must follow, and this is part of it.”

However, because of the injunction, the anonymous official said the trial would likely take place at the next Student Senate meeting on Sept. 27. They said it might be sooner if Speaker of the Senate Andrew Applewhite calls a special session.

Applewhite did not comment on the proceedings. However, in a statement, he said he had faith in the senate.

“I would like to affirm my belief in the senate that they will make the right decisions, and that we have followed the code every step of the way,” Applewhite said.

Former student senator Brandon Rea, the speaker pro tempore during the last Student Senate session, said the proceedings will delay the senate from discussing other issues.

“It’s definitely going to take more time to handle this instead of it all getting done tonight,” Rea said. “[There will be] at least two more weeks of delays before this issue is resolved.”
The anonymous official said the decisions made by the student body president and student senate affect every Aggie, including how students perceive the worth of A&M’s Core Values.

“I hope the student leaders remain committed to preserving Integrity and leading [A&M] in a way that upholds our character and our desire to selflessly serve our state and our country,” the official said.

Editor’s note: Student Body President Hudson Kraus was unable to be reached by the time of publication.

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About the Contributors
Nicholas Gutteridge
Nicholas Gutteridge joined The Battalion in January 2023 as a news reporter before being promoted to news editor in August 2023. He interned at The Pentagon in Washington D.C. from January-May 2024 with the U.S. Air Force Office of Public Affairs before rejoining The Battalion. He specializes in investigative reporting and will be the managing editor for the 2024-25 academic year.
Ana Renfroe
Ana Renfroe, Head News Editor
Ana Renfroe, Class of 2025, is a journalism junior with a minor in professional writing from Bryan, Texas. Ana has served as The Battalion's head news editor from May 2023 to May 2024. Previously, she was the assistant news editor for the spring 2023 semester. Ana has covered breaking news, politics, and more. She typically covered the Texas A&M System and university administration, Texas and Bryan-College Station politics, student government and more. Ana previously hosted and produced episodes of The Batt Signal, The Battalion's news podcast. Additionally, she was a copyeditor and feature writer for Maroon Life magazine, and helped contribute to the Aggieland Yearbook.
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