Dear Anti-Trump Legal Derelicts, You Can’t Remove the President Over Mika Facelift Tweet


June 29, 2017

A few liberals recommend use of the succession clause and the Twenty Fifth Amendment to effectuate a coup against the elected President Trump, citing his recent tweets as the supposed cause. A textual recollection of the Constitution, a deferential respect of the rule of law, and a due regard for democratic institutions, including legislative history and public assent, require a rejection of the new Constitutional coup theory of the anti-Trump legal derelicts.

The Succession clause — clause 6 of Article II — provides that the Vice President takes over for the President whenever there is an “inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the Office.” The 25th Amendment provided a means for that succession clause to take effect. The first succession was Vice President Tyler in 1841, who interpreted the clause to mean that he took the office of the Presidency upon the death or disability of the President, a pattern subsequently followed as precedent, despite its legal controversy at the time. The 25th Amendment removed the right of the Vice President to make that decision unilaterally, requiring the Vice President and another Congressionally-delegated group (or a majority of cabinet members, if no such group so designated) make that determination. The 25th Amendment imposed further restraints, including two-thirds support from Congress for any involuntary disability designation of the President...