CDZ The Constitutional Basis for Impeachment

jwoodie

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"High crimes and misdemeanors" is a phrase from Section 4 of Article Two of the United States Constitution: "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."

Let's take a look at the entire phrase. It starts by listing Treason and Bribery, and then adding other high crimes and misdemeanors. In this context, the term "other" can only mean "similar." (Otherwise, there is no need or meaning for that term.)

Thus the "other" high crimes and misdemeanors means those of similar seriousness to treason and bribery. To claim that impeachment is nothing more than a legislative popularity contest is to ignore the specific wording of the Constitution which authorizes this procedure in the first place.
 

Syriusly

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Of course that is your interpretation.
The House of Representatives ... shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.
The Constitution leaves the interpretation of those words entirely to Congress- first the House for the articles of impeachment and then the Senate for the trial. According to the Constitution- Congress's interpretation is the Constitutional interpretation.

And Congress has interpreted them differently than you.

3 officials have been impeached for bribery.
1 judge was impeached for 'drunkenness and unlawful rulings'
1 judge for tax evasion
1 judge for filing false disclosures
And Nixon would have been impeached for obstruction of justice and abuse of power
 

candycorn

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The whole impeachment gambit is ridiculous.

I”m not sure what the remedy is but anytime in the future you have the Oval controlled by one party and the House controlled by another…this will happen.

Maybe make the DOJ independent from both Congress and the Executive and have the power to start impeachment proceedings rest with the AG?
 

diver52

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"High crimes and misdemeanors" is a phrase from Section 4 of Article Two of the United States Constitution: "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."

Let's take a look at the entire phrase. It starts by listing Treason and Bribery, and then adding other high crimes and misdemeanors. In this context, the term "other" can only mean "similar." (Otherwise, there is no need or meaning for that term.)

Thus the "other" high crimes and misdemeanors means those of similar seriousness to treason and bribery. To claim that impeachment is nothing more than a legislative popularity contest is to ignore the specific wording of the Constitution which authorizes this procedure in the first place.
The Congress determines what constitutes a high crime or misdemeanor.
 

Pellinore

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"High crimes and misdemeanors" is a phrase from Section 4 of Article Two of the United States Constitution: "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."

Let's take a look at the entire phrase. It starts by listing Treason and Bribery, and then adding other high crimes and misdemeanors. In this context, the term "other" can only mean "similar." (Otherwise, there is no need or meaning for that term.)

Thus the "other" high crimes and misdemeanors means those of similar seriousness to treason and bribery. To claim that impeachment is nothing more than a legislative popularity contest is to ignore the specific wording of the Constitution which authorizes this procedure in the first place.
That's not why the phrase is written like that.

What happened was Mason, Madison, and one delegate (I forget which) said that an impeachment mechanism was necessary, but Gouverneur Morris and a few others said that being voted out was enough of a check. Mason and Madison's argument prevailed, so they appointed a committee to write it up, and they wrote it as only saying it would be used only for "treason and bribery." The problem was, there was a case going on in England at the time (again, I forget the name) in which a Governor in India had been super-abusing the locals, but he weaseled out of impeachment because his *specific* charges weren't listed in the impeachment clause. So, Madison added in "and other high crimes and misdemeanors" in order to provide a catch-all for future generations (us) so that American politicians wouldn't be able to weasel out of deserved charges the way that British Governor did.

The word 'other' is included in order to allow for a wide range of charges, including ones the Founding Fathers hadn't thought of yet. In the end, diver52 is correct; it's up to the House of Representatives to determine what it is, by design.
 

Slade3200

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"High crimes and misdemeanors" is a phrase from Section 4 of Article Two of the United States Constitution: "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."

Let's take a look at the entire phrase. It starts by listing Treason and Bribery, and then adding other high crimes and misdemeanors. In this context, the term "other" can only mean "similar." (Otherwise, there is no need or meaning for that term.)

Thus the "other" high crimes and misdemeanors means those of similar seriousness to treason and bribery. To claim that impeachment is nothing more than a legislative popularity contest is to ignore the specific wording of the Constitution which authorizes this procedure in the first place.
For an explanation of high crimes and misdemeanors you should check out the federalist papers. Here is a good explanation of how impeachment was framed in the constitution

High Crimes and Misdemeanors - Constitutional Rights Foundation

After the Constitutional Convention, the Constitution had to be ratified by the states. Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay wrote a series of essays, known as the Federalist Papers, urging support of the Constitution. In Federalist No. 65, Hamilton explained impeachment. He defined impeachable offenses as “those offences which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or in other words from the abuse or violation of some public trust. They are of a nature which may with peculiar propriety be denominated political, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself.”
 
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jwoodie

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So, Madison added in "and other high crimes and misdemeanors" in order to provide a catch-all for future generations (us) so that American politicians wouldn't be able to weasel out of deserved charges the way that British Governor did.
So, Madison et al intended for the House of Representatives to exercise veto power over the election of a President just because a majority doesn't like him?

P.S. How do you feel about Pelosi circumventing the House rule requiring a majority vote to initiate an impeachment investigation? Did Madison intend that, too?
 

C_Clayton_Jones

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In a Republic, actually
"High crimes and misdemeanors" is a phrase from Section 4 of Article Two of the United States Constitution: "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."

Let's take a look at the entire phrase. It starts by listing Treason and Bribery, and then adding other high crimes and misdemeanors. In this context, the term "other" can only mean "similar." (Otherwise, there is no need or meaning for that term.)

Thus the "other" high crimes and misdemeanors means those of similar seriousness to treason and bribery. To claim that impeachment is nothing more than a legislative popularity contest is to ignore the specific wording of the Constitution which authorizes this procedure in the first place.
Wrong.

Misdemeanor refers to bad acts or bad conduct by a president, unrelated to criminal wrongdoing.
 

Agit8r

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"High crimes and misdemeanors" is a phrase from Section 4 of Article Two of the United States Constitution: "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."

Let's take a look at the entire phrase. It starts by listing Treason and Bribery, and then adding other high crimes and misdemeanors. In this context, the term "other" can only mean "similar." (Otherwise, there is no need or meaning for that term.)

Thus the "other" high crimes and misdemeanors means those of similar seriousness to treason and bribery. To claim that impeachment is nothing more than a legislative popularity contest is to ignore the specific wording of the Constitution which authorizes this procedure in the first place.
Quid Pro Quo arrangements fall within that definition. So does obstruction of justice, in trying to cover up said actions, interfering with the investigation of said actions, etc, etc.
 
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jwoodie

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The Congress determines what constitutes a high crime or misdemeanor.
Where does the Constitution say that?
Article I, section 2 clause 5 and section 3 clauses 6 & 7.
Nice try, but these sections say no such thing:

Section 2.

(5) The House of Representatives shall choose their speaker and other officers; and shall have the sole power of impeachment.

Section 3.

(6) 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.

(7) Judgment in cases of impeachment 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, judgment and punishment, according to law.
 

Syriusly

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So, Madison added in "and other high crimes and misdemeanors" in order to provide a catch-all for future generations (us) so that American politicians wouldn't be able to weasel out of deserved charges the way that British Governor did.
So, Madison et al intended for the House of Representatives to exercise veto power over the election of a President just because a majority doesn't like him?

P.S. How do you feel about Pelosi circumventing the House rule requiring a majority vote to initiate an impeachment investigation? Did Madison intend that, too?
There is no "Constitutional basis" for House rules- House rules are- like impeachment- whatever the House decides that they are.

And the House has no veto power of the election of a President.

The House has the Constitutional authority to impeach a sitting President- if for example a President lied under oath about getting a blow job, or if a President asked a foreign government to investigate his chief political rival.

Only the Senate has the authority to convict a President and remove him from office.
Neither of those are "exercising veto power" - they are specifically the remedies the Constitution provides for to deal with corrupt Presidents(and judges and others)
 

Syriusly

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The Congress determines what constitutes a high crime or misdemeanor.
Where does the Constitution say that?
Article I, section 2 clause 5 and section 3 clauses 6 & 7.
Nice try, but these sections say no such thing:

Section 2.

(5) The House of Representatives shall choose their speaker and other officers; and shall have the sole power of impeachment.

Section 3.

(6) 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.

(7) Judgment in cases of impeachment 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, judgment and punishment, according to law.
Section 2.

(5) The House of Representatives shall choose their speaker and other officers; and shall have the sole power of impeachment.


'have the sole power of impeachment'


There is no qualifier there.

The House could have impeached Clinton for getting the blow job and didn't need to impeach him for perjury. Totally up to the House.

The Senate can decide whether the Impeachment meets whatever standards the Senate decides.
 

diver52

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The Congress determines what constitutes a high crime or misdemeanor.
Where does the Constitution say that?
Article I, section 2 clause 5 and section 3 clauses 6 & 7.
Nice try, but these sections say no such thing:

Section 2.

(5) The House of Representatives shall choose their speaker and other officers; and shall have the sole power of impeachment.

Section 3.

(6) 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.

(7) Judgment in cases of impeachment 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, judgment and punishment, according to law.
That is exactly what they say. I'm not sure what problem you have with the word "sole". It means no other agency has that power. Of course, you can not accept that but your acceptance is not required. That is because the Congress has the sole power.
 

miketx

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Of course that is your interpretation.
The House of Representatives ... shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.
The Constitution leaves the interpretation of those words entirely to Congress- first the House for the articles of impeachment and then the Senate for the trial. According to the Constitution- Congress's interpretation is the Constitutional interpretation.

And Congress has interpreted them differently than you.

3 officials have been impeached for bribery.
1 judge was impeached for 'drunkenness and unlawful rulings'
1 judge for tax evasion
1 judge for filing false disclosures
And Nixon would have been impeached for obstruction of justice and abuse of power
Still no input on what crimes he has committed. Uh oh, I feel a media "link" about to appear, lmao.
 

Syriusly

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Of course that is your interpretation.
The House of Representatives ... shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.
The Constitution leaves the interpretation of those words entirely to Congress- first the House for the articles of impeachment and then the Senate for the trial. According to the Constitution- Congress's interpretation is the Constitutional interpretation.

And Congress has interpreted them differently than you.

3 officials have been impeached for bribery.
1 judge was impeached for 'drunkenness and unlawful rulings'
1 judge for tax evasion
1 judge for filing false disclosures
And Nixon would have been impeached for obstruction of justice and abuse of power
Still no input on what crimes he has committed. Uh oh, I feel a media "link" about to appear, lmao.
Who has committed? I wasn't speaking of anyone.

This thread is supposedly about the Constitutional nature of impeachment- and it is very clear the House can impeach on anything it can get the votes for- such as the judge impeached for 'drunkenness'.
 
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jwoodie

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The Congress determines what constitutes a high crime or misdemeanor.
Where does the Constitution say that?
Article I, section 2 clause 5 and section 3 clauses 6 & 7.
Nice try, but these sections say no such thing:

Section 2.

(5) The House of Representatives shall choose their speaker and other officers; and shall have the sole power of impeachment.

Section 3.

(6) 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.

(7) Judgment in cases of impeachment 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, judgment and punishment, according to law.
That is exactly what they say. I'm not sure what problem you have with the word "sole". It means no other agency has that power. Of course, you can not accept that but your acceptance is not required. That is because the Congress has the sole power.
Try rereading this again:

The Congress determines what constitutes a high crime or misdemeanor.
Where does the Constitution say that?
I understand that the House has the sole power to impeach; However the sections you cited don't even mention high crimes and misdemeanors. Maybe you should have cited Section 4 of Article Two of the United States Constitution: "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."

Why on earth would the framers bother to specify these impeachable offenses if they wanted to give the House unlimited* power to impeach for any reason?

*"Unlimited" is not a synonym for "sole."
 

diver52

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The Congress determines what constitutes a high crime or misdemeanor.
Where does the Constitution say that?
Article I, section 2 clause 5 and section 3 clauses 6 & 7.
Nice try, but these sections say no such thing:

Section 2.

(5) The House of Representatives shall choose their speaker and other officers; and shall have the sole power of impeachment.

Section 3.

(6) 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.

(7) Judgment in cases of impeachment 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, judgment and punishment, according to law.
That is exactly what they say. I'm not sure what problem you have with the word "sole". It means no other agency has that power. Of course, you can not accept that but your acceptance is not required. That is because the Congress has the sole power.
Try rereading this again:

The Congress determines what constitutes a high crime or misdemeanor.
Where does the Constitution say that?
I understand that the House has the sole power to impeach; However the sections you cited don't even mention high crimes and misdemeanors. Maybe you should have cited Section 4 of Article Two of the United States Constitution: "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."

Why on earth would the framers bother to specify these impeachable offenses if they wanted to give the House unlimited* power to impeach for any reason?

*"Unlimited" is not a synonym for "sole."
Limited by whom? Where in the Constitution does it say the sole power of the Congress to impeach is limited?
 

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