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NiLP Commentary

United States Constitution's Impeachment Clauses

By Angelo Falcón

The NiLP Report

In light of the total insanity that has become the Trump Presidency, we thought we should review the terms of impeachment as they appear in the US Constitution, courtesy of The Founders' Constitution website of the University of Chicago Press and the Liberty Fund.

Even within the psychiatric profession there is currently an instense debate over Trump's mental state. As I read over these articles of impeachment, however, I was sorry to see that you can't be impeach for simply being an self-serving asshole. But how such a total asshole became President is more a reflection on us than him, isn't it?.

The Impeachmetn Clauses

Article 1, Section 2, Clause 5

The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

Article 1, Section 3, Clauses 6 and 7

The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried the Chief Justice shall preside; And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

Judgement in Cases of Impreachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgement and Punishment, according to Law.

Article 2, Section 4

The President, Vice President and all Civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

Article 3, Section 1

. . . The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour. . . .

There is, as well, the clause in the Constitution that the President must "take care that the laws be faithfully executed." (Sewction 3, Clause 5) This clause in the Constitution imposes a duty on the President to enforce the laws of the United States and is called the Take Care Clause, also known as the Faithful Execution Clause or Faithfully Executed Clause. Does Trump's public statements that he plans to undermine Obamacare constitute a violation of this clause?

If anything, this Trump political travesty is getting more Americans to read the Constituton and hopefully more fullyvalue and strengthen those positive aspects of American democracy. But, as the Trump phenomenon makes clear, we should never take these values and institutions for granted.

Angelo Falcón is President of the National Institute for Latino Policy(NiLP). He can be reached at afalcon@latinopolicy.org.


The NiLP Report on Latino Policy & Politics is an online information service provided by the National Institute for Latino Policy. For further information, visit www.latinopolicy. org. Send comments to editor@latinopolicy.org.