Impeachment, Then and Now: Essential Readings from Law & Liberty

Last week, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) announced the opening of formal impeachment inquiries against President Trump. While it is easy to find reporting on the subject, those looking for the longer view may be asking for something more. With this collection of past Law & Liberty essays, we invite you to dig into the issue of the moment for yourself.

If you only have time for one essay, read Keith Whittington’s 2017 essay, What Is the Impeachment Power For?

For those interested in a deeper dive, we begin with Michael Stokes Paulsen’s informative series on the constitutional issues and opportunities presented by impeachment and presidential prosecution:

Taking Impeachment Seriously

Constitutional Interpretation and the Impeachment Power

Could Aaron Burr Have Been Impeached for the Duel?

Impeaching Judges: Some Preliminary and Prior Thoughts

The Propriety of Presidential Impeachments, Past and Present

The Original Meaning of “High Crimes and Misdemeanors,” Part I

The Original Meaning of “High Crimes and Misdemeanors,” Part II

Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist, and the Power of Impeachment

The Ratification-Era Understanding of “High Crimes and Misdemeanors”

Is Early Impeachment Practice Relevant to Original Meaning?

The Constitutional Categories of Impeachable Offenses

The Constitutional Propriety of Prosecuting the President

Does Holding Federal Office Confer Immunity from Prosecution?

Professor Paulsen also considers a number of objections to impeachment:

The Specter of Abuse

The Specter of the “No Confidence” Vote

Overturning the Result of An Election

The Protest that “This Hasn’t Been Our Practice,” Part I

“This Hasn’t Been Our Practice,” Part II

In addition to Paulsen’s systematic commentary, consider the diverse perspectives offered by a number of our other authors:

An Impotent Congress Can’t Impeach Trump

by Greg Weiner

The House Has No Obligation to Impeach the President

by John O. McGinnis

Obama and Trump: At What Point Has a President Forfeited the Public Trust?

by Jeremy A. Rabkin

And finally, for some pre-Trump discussion of impeachment:

Our Impeachment Future

by Michael S. Greve (October 2016)

Impeachment Won’t Stop the Debasement of Our Government

by Angelo M. Codevilla (August 2014)

Defining Impeachment Up

by Greg Weiner (July 2014)