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Why the 25th Amendment Route for Dumping Trump Will Probably Remain a Fantasy

January 13, 2018 in Blogs

By Steven Rosenfeld, AlterNet

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As Trump's presidency begins its second year, talk of the 25th Amendment is back on the table—but it's just talk.


Democrats and Republicans who are desperate to end Donald Trump’s presidency are looking with renewed interest at the U.S. Constitution’s 25th Amendment, which provides a path for the vice president, Cabinet and Congress to remove a president if he is deemed “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

“The 25th Amendment is back on the table,” blared Politico.com. “D.C. pundits are contemplating it. Cable news shows are talking about it. And in a recent television interview, Michael Wolff…has much of the free world agonizing over the possibility that President Donald Trump is mentally unfit to be chief executive.”

“If we’re being specific, what we’re talking about is Article 4 of the 25th Amendment,” echoed CBSNews.com. “Thanks to author Michael Wolff, whose recently published Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House has rocketed to the top of bestseller lists, we’re talking about Article 4 once again.”

Is this a serious possibility or an escapist fantasy? Beyond a rash of articles that recite histories of incapacitated presidents, medically and mentally, what would it look like today if we acted on the 25th Amendment? What likelihood exists that the executive branch and Congress would seize the chance?

In short, it's a tantalizing but legally unfounded and politically impractical remedy, constitutional scholars say. But it is understandably appealing as Trump's second year begins.

“Who’s to say where our political melodrama will end?” author Jon Meacham asked in Time. “It’s highly unlikely, but this unprecedented presidency could lead to unprecedented constitutional ground: the invocation of the boring-sounding yet world-shaking Section 4 of the 25th Amendment—a provision that enables the Vice President, with a majority of members of …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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