President Trump: Is Impeachment an Option?

A+political+comic+implying+that+the+25th+Amendment+will+be+used+to+depose+President+Donald+Trump.+%28cagle.com%29
A political comic implying that the 25th Amendment will be used to depose President Donald Trump. (cagle.com)

A political comic implying that the 25th Amendment will be used to depose President Donald Trump. (cagle.com)

A political comic implying that the 25th Amendment will be used to depose President Donald Trump. (cagle.com)

Leanne Moczynski, Contributing Writer

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This week, the media has been buzzing about the 25th Amendment of the Constitution, and, in particular, its potential use as a way to depose President Donald Trump. Prominent figures in politics and the press have been expressing clashing viewpoints on its legality and the probability that it will be used during his four year term. In order to make a decision, first, one needs to know what the 25th Amendment is all about.

The 25th Amendment is broken into four sections. The first two (and most widely known) sections make provisions to fill the offices of President and Vice President should either be removed, die, or resign. The third section explains the duties of the President pro tempore and the Speaker of the House during this time.

However, current intrigue now lies in the last section. Essentially, if the Vice President and a majority of cabinet members (eight) feel that the president is unable to do the job properly, they may send a letter to Congress stating as such.

Immediately, the Vice President would become Acting President. Afterward, if the President sent a letter to Congress vouching for his ability to perform as President, he would take back his office.

However, if the Vice President and a majority of cabinet members sent another letter within four days, this one arguing for the President’s inability to remain president, Congress would hold a vote with a two-thirds majority rule to decide if the Vice President should assume the presidential office for the rest of the term instead.

As this is all written in the Constitution, the reason for conflict lies not in its legitimacy, but in the context of the amendment’s ratification. The 25th Amendment was added after many questions were raised about proceeding when a president died, fell ill, or was otherwise incapacitated.

The fourth section in particular was merely intended as a temporary provision for when a president fell ill or was injured. The wording itself clearly indicates that the President is expected to be able to resume his duties after the Vice President steps in. However, because of the last step detailed in the section, people have recently begun to look at this as an opportunity to get rid of Trump for good.

Critics of the use of the 25th Amendment in this situation cite the amendment’s intended impermanence. They also point out that this method has never been used to remove a president from office. Many others actually do support Trump, and obviously don’t want him kicked out.

Others do oppose Trump, but do not think that Vice President Mike Pence and a majority of cabinet members find it within their interests to organize in order to get rid of Trump. Some believe that there are better, more probable solutions.

Freshman Keirs Lee eloquently explained, “‘I believe that we should make sure to consider… the context of the situation. I really want to, [but] as much as I want to I feel there are other way to remove him from office that would go better.”

Some have higher hopes and believe that there is a chance this method could be used, or want change enough to hope Pence and the cabinet members will take action. Sophomore Riley Potter asserted, “I believe that we should use it because Trump has done so much damage to our country…. if he were to continue his term, he would completely destroy America.”

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