The Law Behind Impeachment Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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considers it to be at a given moment in history”(1). Also, Nickles continues, is that during 1974, the House Judiciary Committee stated that “historically, Congress had issued Articles of Impeachment in three broad categories. These categories are (1) exceeding the constitutional bounds of the powers of office; (2) behaving in a manner grossly incompatible with the proper function and purpose of the office; and (3) employing the power of the office for an improper purpose or for personal gain. Lawyers and historians still debate the exact meaning of “high Crimes and Misdemeanors”. Their debate has three schools of thought. They are “(1) serious criminality evidenced by breaking existing law; (2) an abuse of office; (3) and the Alexander Hamilton (Federalist Paper #65)

of “violation of public trust”(1). Article I, section 2 of the Constitution gives the House of Representatives the “sole power of Impeachment”(2). This means the House of Representatives has the duty to write up Articles of Impeachment and list any impeachable offenses. The House votes on the Articles of Impeachment. A simple majority vote wins. The Articles are then transferred to the Senate. Select members of the House of Representatives present the evidence to the Senate. The Senate has the “sole power to try” the impeachment. This power was given to them by Article I, section 3 of the Constitution. If the person being impeached is the President, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides over the trial. The Vice-President presides over any other impeachment

trial. The Senate votes on the Impeachment after all the evidence is presented. A two-thirds majority of votes is needed for a conviction and the expulsion from office (2-3). The impeachment process began three times in history. President Jackson went through an impeachment trial and was acquitted. President Nixon resigned when Articles of Impeachment were drawn up and more recently, President Clinton finds himself at the beginning of the impeachment process. Our Founding Fathers struggled with the birth of a nation and how to govern that nation. They were clear in their communications about their expectations of the President. The Framers were very clear about what justifies impeachment and how the impeachment process works. Our Congress has an obligation to impeach the

Presidents of less than honorable character. If they do not, they themselves are delinquent in their responsibilities. Works Cited Cloud, John. “What exactly are high crimes and misdemeanors’?” Time Magazine 21 Sept. 1998: 12.152. Galileo http://venuse.galib.uga.edu:4000/FETCH:% ecno=36:numrecs=1 next=htms/Article.html (6 Dec. 1998) Committee, Judiciary. “Constitutional Groups for Presidential Impeachment.” Washington Post 1974: II.B. Washington Post Online http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/pol ecial/ clinton/stories/watergatedoc_3.htm (16 Dec. 1998) Jay, John. “Powers of the Senate.” Federalist No. 64. 7March 1788. http://www.mcs.net/ Knautzr/fed/fed64.htm (13 Dec 1998) Nickles, Ilona. “The Constitution says a President can be impeached for ‘high crimes and

mis- Demeanors,’ but it doesn’t define the term. Who decides what that means? Columbus, Ohio”. Capital Questions. C-Span. http://www.c-span.org/questions/week119.htm (6 Dec. 1998) United States. Dept. of Defense. The Constitution of the United States. Washington: GPO, 1989 Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary. Springfield, MA: 1979