More from Prof. Michael McConnell on Impeachment
Prof. McConnell passes along this follow-up, responding to Prof. Michael Ramsey at The Originalism Blog:
The Volokh Conspiracy recently published my view that, based on the explicit text of the Constitution, officers who have been impeached by the House of Representatives while in office can be tried by the Senate even if they have left office in the meantime. The public debate has been over whether the House has power to impeach a former officer, but that is irrelevant to the current situation. The House impeached President Trump on January 13, 2021, one week before his term expired. No one has suggested any problem with the timing of that resolution. If the Senate has power to try “all impeachments,” as Article I, Section 3, Clause 6 says, it has power to try the Trump impeachment. There seemed to be no textual counter-argument. Or so I argued.
It turns out there is a textual counter-argument. Michael Ramsey contends in The Originalism Blog, that under founding-era practice, “a President is not impeached (under the Constitution’s original meaning) until the Articles of Impeachment are delivered to the Senate.” Other di
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