The Federal Impeachment Process: A Constitutional and Historical Analysis, Third Edition

University of Chicago Press
Free sample

As President Trump and Congressional Democrats battle over the findings of the Mueller report, talk of impeachment is in the air. But what are the grounds for impeaching a sitting president? Who is subject to impeachment? Is impeachment effective as a safeguard against presidential misconduct? What challenges does today’s highly partisan political climate pose to the impeachment process, and what, if any, meaningful alternatives are there for handling presidential misconduct?

For more than twenty years, The Federal Impeachment Process has served as the most complete analysis of the constitutional and legal issues raised in every impeachment proceeding in American history. Impeachment, Michael J. Gerhardt shows, is an inherently political process designed to expose and remedy political crimes—serious breaches of duty or injuries to the Republic. Subject neither to judicial review nor to presidential veto, it is a unique congressional power that involves both political and constitutional considerations, including the gravity of the offense charged, the harm to the constitutional order, and the link between an official’s misconduct and duties. For this third edition, Gerhardt updates the book to cover cases since President Clinton, as well as recent scholarly debates. He discusses the issues arising from the possible impeachment of Donald Trump, including whether a sitting president may be investigated, prosecuted, and convicted for criminal misconduct or whether impeachment and conviction in Congress is the only way to sanction a sitting president; what the “Emoluments Clause” means and whether it might provide the basis for the removal of the president; whether gross incompetence may serve as the basis for impeachment; and the extent to which federal conflicts of interest laws apply to the president and other high ranking officials.

Significantly updated, this book will remain the standard work on the federal impeachment process for years to come.
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About the author

Michael J. Gerhardt is the Samuel Ashe Distinguished Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of North Carolina School of Law in Chapel Hill.
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Apr 12, 2019
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9780226554976
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Language
English
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Genres
History / United States / General
Law / Constitutional
Political Science / American Government / Executive Branch
Political Science / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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When Thomas Jefferson struck a deal for the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, he knew he was adding a new national power to those specified in the Constitution, but he also believed his actions were in the nation’s best interest. His successors would follow his example, setting their own constitutional precedents. Tracing the evolution and expansion of the president’s formal power, Untrodden Ground reveals the president to be the nation’s most important law interpreter and examines how our commanders-in-chief have shaped the law through their responses to important issues of their time.

Reviewing the processes taken by all forty-four presidents to form new legal precedents and the constitutional conventions that have developed as a result, Harold H. Bruff shows that the president is both more and less powerful than many suppose. He explores how presidents have been guided by both their predecessors’ and their own interpretations of constitutional text, as well as how they implement policies in ways that statutes do not clearly authorize or forbid. But while executive power has expanded far beyond its original conception, Bruff argues that the modern presidency is appropriately limited by the national political process—their actions are legitimized by the assent of Congress and the American people or rejected through debilitating public outcry, judicial invalidation, reactive legislation, or impeachment. Synthesizing over two hundred years of presidential activity and conflict, this timely book casts new light on executive behavior and the American constitutional system.
NATIONAL BESTSELLER

“Lichtman has written what may be the most important book of the year.”  —The Hill

What are the ranges and limitations of presidential authority? What are the standards of truthfulness that a president must uphold? What will it take to impeach Donald J. Trump? Professor Allan J. Lichtman, who has correctly forecasted thirty years of presidential outcomes, answers these questions, and more, in The Case for Impeachment—a deeply convincing argument for impeaching the 45th president of the United States.

In the fall of 2016, Allan J. Lichtman made headlines when he predicted that Donald J. Trump would defeat the heavily favored Democrat, Hillary Clinton, to win the presidential election. Now, in clear, nonpartisan terms, Lichtman lays out the reasons Congress could remove Trump from the Oval Office: his ties to Russia before and after the election, the complicated financial conflicts of interest at home and abroad, and his abuse of executive authority.

The Case for Impeachment also offers a fascinating look at presidential impeachments throughout American history, including the often-overlooked story of Andrew Johnson’s impeachment, details about Richard Nixon’s resignation, and Bill Clinton’s hearings. Lichtman shows how Trump exhibits many of the flaws (and more) that have doomed past presidents. As the Nixon Administration dismissed the reporting of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein as “character assassination” and “a vicious abuse of the journalistic process,” Trump has attacked the “dishonest media,” claiming, “the press should be ashamed of themselves.”

Historians, legal scholars, and politicians alike agree: we are in politically uncharted waters—the durability of our institutions is being undermined and the public’s confidence in them is eroding, threatening American democracy itself.

Most citizens—politics aside—want to know where the country is headed. Lichtman argues, with clarity and power, that for Donald Trump’s presidency, smoke has become fire.

This treatise was the first comprehensive study of the United States Constitution, and one of the most important. Originally published: Philadelphia: Philip H. Nicklin, 1829. viii, 349 pp. Though concise, Rawle provides a systematic analysis of the Constitution's articles, as well as its historical background and philosophy. It is also a historically significant work because it suggests that states have a right to secede from the Union. A popular textbook used in schools with large numbers of southern pupils, such as the U.S. Military Academy, it and is generally considered to have influenced the leaders and supporters of the Confederacy).

"Though admittedly a valuable and able study, Rawle's View of the Constitution stirred up controversy. Rawle himself was a Federalist, but his studies in government had led him to the judgment that the Union was not irrevocable. His final chapter on "The Union" includes a detailed statement that the right of secession was necessary to the fundamental right of a people to choose their own form of government. (. . .) In several ways, Rawle may be considered as providing the transitional step between the North and the South. His View was published midway between the inauguration of the Federal Government and the outbreak of the War Between the States." --Elizabeth Kelley Bauer, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1790-1860 63).

WILLIAM RAWLE [1759-1836] was a pillar of Pennsylvania's legal establishment and a highly regarded attorney and educator. In 1791 President George Washington appointed him the U.S. district attorney for Pennsylvania. In 1830 Rawle helped revise the civil code of Pennsylvania.

THE ROOSEVELT COURT is a brilliant analysis of Supreme Court decisions during a crucial decade in the Supreme Court’s history, by a political scientist “interested in the social and psychological origins of judicial attitudes and the influence of individual predilections on the development of law.” A much-cited classic of the Court and judicial decision-making from the point of view of social science and not just doctrine, this work is at last available in a convenient and well-formatted digital edition. The presentation includes active Contents, linked notes, and all tables and graphics from the original edition.

“One of the most informative, judicious, and illuminating of all the books on our judicial history.”
— Henry Steele Commager

“His analysis is continuously interesting to the general student of the Court.... Excellent analysis of the subject matter of Court opinions.... No one has done a better job of catching the true meaning of the Supreme Court’s role as an instrumentality of government, or of putting that meaning into striking yet comprehensible language.... No better brief summary of the constitutional law of [this] decade can be found anywhere. Finally, the book Is studded with wise insights into the nature of judicial review and the business of the Supreme Court.”
— American Historical Review

“Provocative, well-written, and adventurous.”
— The New York Times

“Written in an easy style, free of dogma, and interspersed with a sense of humor, it will solve for many the enigma of seven justices appointed by the same President and presumably endowed with a kindred social outlook attaining unprecedented heights of disagreement.”
— Christian Science Monitor

The 2014 digital representation of this important and still-cited work is an authorized and unabridged republication of all previous printed editions, instructing generations of court-watchers how such research is done and what it means to this important moment in constitutional history. Part of the Classics of Law & Society Series from Quid Pro Books.

The instant #1 bestseller.

“This taut and terrifying book is among the most closely observed accounts of Donald J. Trump’s shambolic tenure in office to date."
- Dwight Garner, The New York Times

Washington Post national investigative reporter Carol Leonnig and White House bureau chief Philip Rucker, both Pulitzer Prize winners, provide the definitive insider narrative of Donald Trump's unique presidency with shocking new reporting and insight into its implications.

“I alone can fix it.” So went Donald J. Trump’s march to the presidency on July 21, 2016, when he accepted the Republican presidential nomination in Cleveland, promising to restore what he described as a fallen nation. Yet over the subsequent years, as he has undertaken the actual work of the commander in chief, it has been hard to see beyond the daily chaos of scandal, investigation, and constant bluster. It would be all too easy to mistake Trump’s first term for one of pure and uninhibited chaos, but there were patterns to his behavior and that of his associates. The universal value of the Trump administration is loyalty - not to the country, but to the president himself - and Trump’s North Star has been the perpetuation of his own power, even when it meant imperiling our shaky and mistrustful democracy.

Leonnig and Rucker, with deep and unmatched sources throughout Washington, D.C., tell of rages and frenzies but also moments of courage and perseverance. Relying on scores of exclusive new interviews with some of the most senior members of the Trump administration and other firsthand witnesses, the authors reveal the forty-fifth president up close, taking readers inside Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation as well as the president’s own haphazard but ultimately successful legal defense. Here for the first time certain officials who have felt honor-bound not to publicly criticize a sitting president or to divulge what they witnessed in a position of trust tell the truth for the benefit of history.

This peerless and gripping narrative reveals President Trump at his most unvarnished and exposes how decision making in his administration has been driven by a reflexive logic of self-preservation and self-aggrandizement - but a logic nonetheless. This is the story of how an unparalleled president has scrambled to survive and tested the strength of America’s democracy and its common heart as a nation.
The role that precedent plays in constitutional decision making is a perennially divisive subject among scholars of law and American politics. The debate rages over both empirical and normative aspects of the issue: To what extent are the Supreme Court, Congress, and the executive branch constrained by precedent? To what extent should they be? Taking up a topic long overdue for comprehensive treatment, Michael Gerhardt connects the vast social science data and legal scholarship to provide the most wide-ranging assessment of precedent in several decades. Updated to reflect recent legal cases, The Power of Precedent clearly outlines the major issues in the continuing debates on the significance of precedent and evenly considers all sides. For the Supreme Court, precedents take many forms, including not only the Court's past opinions, but also norms, historical practices, and traditions that the justices have deliberately chosen to follow. In these forms, precedent exerts more force than is commonly acknowledged. This force is encapsulated in the implementation and recognition of what Gerhardt calls the "golden rule of precedent," a major dynamic in constitutional law. The rule calls upon justices and other public authorities to recognize that since they expect others to respect their own precedents, they must provide the same respect to others' precedents. Gerhardt's extensive exploration of precedent leads him to formulate a more expansive definition of it, one that encompasses not only the prior constitutional decisions of courts but also the constitutional judgments of other public authorities. Gerhardt concludes his study by looking at what the future holds for the concept, as he examines the decisions and attitudes toward precedent exhibited by the shift from the Rehnquist to the Roberts Court. Authoritative and incisive, Gerhardt presents an in-depth look at this central yet understudied phenomenon at the core of all constitutional conflicts and one of undeniable importance to American law and politics. Ultimately, The Power of Precedent vividly illustrates how constitutional law is made and evolves both in and outside of the courts.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Washington insiders operate by a proven credo: when a Peter Schweizer book drops, duck and brace for impact.

For over a decade, the work of five-time New York Times bestselling investigative reporter Peter Schweizer has sent shockwaves through the political universe.

Clinton Cash revealed the Clintons’ international money flow, exposed global corruption, and sparked an FBI investigation. Secret Empires exposed bipartisan corruption and launched congressional investigations. And Throw Them All Out and Extortion prompted passage of the STOCK Act. Indeed, Schweizer’s “follow the money” bombshell revelations have been featured on the front pages of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, and regularly appear on national news programs, including 60 Minutes.

Now Schweizer and his team of seasoned investigators turn their focus to the nation’s top progressives—politicians who strive to acquire more government power to achieve their political ends.

Can they be trusted with more power?

In Profiles in Corruption, Schweizer offers a deep-dive investigation into the private finances, and secrets deals of some of America’s top political leaders. And, as usual, he doesn’t disappoint, with never-before-reported revelations that uncover corruption and abuse of power—all backed up by a mountain of corporate documents and legal filings from around the globe. Learn about how they are making sweetheart deals, generating side income, bending the law to their own benefits, using legislation to advance their own interests, and much more.

Profiles in Corruption contains tomorrow’s headlines.

Their names linger in memory mainly as punch lines, synonyms for obscurity: Millard Fillmore, Chester Arthur, Calvin Coolidge. They conjure up not the White House so much as a decaying middle school somewhere in New Jersey. But many forgotten presidents, writes Michael J. Gerhardt, were not weak or ineffective. They boldly fought battles over constitutional principles that resonate today. Gerhardt, one of our leading legal experts, tells the story of The Forgotten Presidents. He surveys thirteen administrations in chronological order, from Martin Van Buren to Franklin Pierce to Jimmy Carter, distinguishing political failures from their constitutional impact. Again and again, he writes, they defied popular opinion to take strong stands. Martin Van Buren reacted to an economic depression by withdrawing federal funds from state banks in an attempt to establish the controversial independent treasury system. His objective was to shrink the federal role in the economy, but also to consolidate his power to act independently as president. Prosperity did not return, and he left office under the shadow of failure. Grover Cleveland radically changed his approach in his second (non-consecutive) term. Previously he had held back from interference with lawmakers; on his return to office, he aggressively used presidential power to bend Congress to his will. Now seen as an asterisk, Cleveland consolidated presidential authority over appointments, removals, vetoes, foreign affairs, legislation, and more. Jimmy Carter, too, proves surprisingly significant. In two debt-ceiling crises and battles over the Panama Canal treaty, affirmative action, and the First Amendment, he demonstrated how the presidency's inherent capacity for efficiency and energy gives it an advantage in battles with Congress, regardless of popularity. Gerhardt explains the many things these and ten other presidents have in common that explain why, in spite of any of their excesses, they have become forgotten chief executives. Incisive, myth-shattering, and compellingly written, this book shows how even obscure presidents championed the White House's prerogatives and altered the way we interpret the Constitution.
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