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Mon Dec 9, 2019, 12:01 PM

Impeachment Does Not 'Overturn' an Election-The founders were extremely clear about the importance..





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Impeachment Does Not ‘Overturn’ an Election

The founders were extremely clear about the importance of dealing with the abuse of executive power.


By Stephen I. Vladeck

Mr. Vladeck is a professor at the University of Texas School of Law.

Oct. 28, 2019

The founders originally gave Congress the power to elevate the president’s top rival.
The founders originally gave Congress the power to elevate the president’s top rival.Credit...Damon Winter/The New York Times

As House Democrats ramp up their impeachment investigation into President Trump, an increasingly vocal charge from the president’s supporters (and the White House) is that the House is attempting to “overturn” the results of the 2016 election.

The charge is that impeaching and removing an elected president is illegitimate because it is anti-democratic — because the person the voters (or, at least in this case, the Electoral College) chose ends up out of office. This argument is silly — impeachment is in the Constitution as a way of dealing with the abuse of executive power.

But to fully understand why the charge is ludicrous, it may help to go back 219 years — to the origins of a constitutional provision that receives virtually no attention in contemporary discourse, the 12th Amendment.

As “Hamilton” fans (and plenty of others) know, the election of 1800, in which President John Adams ran against his vice president and political rival, Thomas Jefferson, revealed a serious flaw in how the Constitution structured presidential elections. The founders, who did not anticipate the rise of political parties, provided for an Electoral College in which electors cast votes for two candidates — without specifying which one they supported for president and which one they supported for vice president. Under Article II, Section 1, Clause 3 of the Constitution, whoever received the most electoral votes would be president, and whoever received the second-most electoral votes would be vice president.



This arrangement meant, as was true after the election of 1796, that the vice president, and thus the president of the Senate, could easily be the president’s principal political rival. (Imagine if Hillary Clinton’s reward for losing the 2016 election was to serve as Mr. Trump’s vice president.) It also meant that, if every elector representing the party ultimately in the majority voted for both of the party’s candidates, there would be a tie no matter how large their relative majority was.

That’s what happened in 1800, when .........................


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This is why impeachment and removal remain extraordinary remedies for extraordinary misconduct by the president of the United States. But the founders would have been appalled at the suggestion that such measures are illegitimate solely because their result would be that the president is no longer the president. If that didn’t faze them even when the result could have been to hand the presidency to the president’s rival, it certainly wouldn’t faze them today, when it would hand the presidency to the president’s own handpicked running mate.




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Reply Impeachment Does Not 'Overturn' an Election-The founders were extremely clear about the importance.. (Original post)
riversedge Dec 9 OP
The Velveteen Ocelot Dec 9 #1
eppur_se_muova Dec 9 #4
mopinko Dec 9 #2
no_hypocrisy Dec 9 #3
Nitram Dec 9 #5

Response to riversedge (Original post)

Mon Dec 9, 2019, 12:04 PM

1. Stated more simply:

We, the voters, "hire" a president for a period of time, four years. But if our employee doesn't work out, we can fire him before that four-year period has elapsed. All employers should have a way to get rid of an unsatisfactory employee.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 9, 2019, 12:18 PM

4. Uglicans ***LOVE*** the idea of at-will employment !!

Last edited Mon Dec 9, 2019, 02:37 PM - Edit history (1)

Just not for Uglicans.

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Response to riversedge (Original post)

Mon Dec 9, 2019, 12:07 PM

2. i'm still waiting for them to make a cogent argument. one. one cogent argument.

one exculpatory fact.
there are none. none. none. none.

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Response to riversedge (Original post)

Mon Dec 9, 2019, 12:16 PM

3. If impeachment "overturns an election,"

HRC would be the replacement President, not Mike Pence.

Republicans should read The Constitution before they open their mouths.

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Response to riversedge (Original post)

Mon Dec 9, 2019, 07:21 PM

5. Duh! But the Cult of Trump will still say Democrats are trying to cancel a legal election.

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