Can the 25th Amendment Remove POTUS from Office?

As a result of the outcry over Trump’s latest scandalous tweets, freshman Rep. Jamie Raskin is proposing a bill that could remove Trump from office if he was deemed mentally or physically unfit.

Raskin wants to build an 11-member panel made of mostly psychiatrists and doctors. Known as the “Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity.” they would carry out a medical examination and decide if Trump is mentally and physically able to continue as President.

Commissions members would also include high ranking political officials: former presidents, vice presidents, secretaries of state or attorney generals..

This proposal is quite controversial and a very long shot.  Raskin is relying on the 25th Amendment of the Constitution, to establish prececence in situations where the president is incapaciatated. Raskin does have a following as around 24 Democrats have agreed to join the effort to remove Trump from office.

Raskin’s focus in the 25 Amendment is a section that lets the vice president take powers if either the majority of the Cabinet or “such other body as Congress” finds that the President is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of office.” (The vice president would also have to agree to the assessment of the President’s abilities.) Raskin is proposing his commission to serve as that “body.”

 

So what does the 25th Amendment say?

25th Amendment

Amendment XXV

Section 1.

In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

Section 2.

Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

Section 3.

Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

Section 4.

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.

 

What does the 24th Amendment mean?

It means Congress isn’t the only party that can remove POTUS from office. Under the 25th Amendment, the vice president and a majority of the executive cabinet may remove presidential power from POTUS.  If they did so they would notify Congress, and the vice president take office as president.

The President can challenge his removal from office. If he does then Congress  would have to decide with a vote.  A two-thirds majority in both houses would be needed to all the vice president to remain as acting president. If that threshold isn’t reached, the president would regain his position

Resources:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/30/politics/jamie-raskin-bill-panel-remove-donald-trump/index.html

https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/amendmentxxv

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*