The Law of Presidential Impeachment: A Guide for the Engaged Citizen

NYU. Jan. 2024. 200p. ISBN 9781479824694. $24.95. LAW
U.S. Constitutional scholar Gerhardt (Univ. of North Carolina Law School; The Forgotten Presidents) scrutinizes the text, history, and application of the impeachment process laid out in Articles I and II. He describes the founders’ vision as a two-stage process. Exercising its grant of “sole power,” the House of Representatives has impeached 20 people, including 14 federal judges, who had been accused of treason, bribery, and more. The Senate, on the other hand, has convicted nine judges. The author’s focus falls on detailing and evaluating the proceedings against the three impeached presidents—Andrew Johnson in 1868; Bill Clinton in 1998, and Donald Trump twice, in 2019 and 2021. Two themes dominate his analysis: the tug-of-war between Congress and the president and the founders’ intent to safeguard the nation from abuse of power by assuring that no person is above the law. He finds that extreme partisanship has broken the presidential impeachment process, leaving the nation unprotected from abuse of power.
VERDICT A clear and comprehensive primer about the culture and values required to operate constitutional government as the country’s founders intended. This is, indeed, an imperative read for engaged citizens.
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