In an article in another journal, Professor Josh Chafetz wrote: “[I]mpeachment maintains the link between removal and death, but attenuates it. . . . Impeachment is . . . a political death—a President who is impeached and convicted is deprived of his continued existence as a political officeholder. And, like death, impeachment and conviction may be permanent.” In this response, it is my purpose to show that Chafetz’s proposed metaphor does not work and, indeed, that inferences drawn from this metaphor lead Chafetz far afield from the Constitution’s original public meaning. But before doing so, I think it might be helpful to focus on the mechanics of House impeachment and Senate trial proceedings as settled by the Constitution’s text and long-standing practice.
Seth Barrett Tillman,
Interpreting Precise Constitutional Text: The Argument for a “New” Interpretation of the Incompatibility Clause, the Removal & Disqualification Clause, and the Religious Test Clause—A Response to Professor Josh Chafetz’s Impeachment & Assassination,
61 Clev. St. L. Rev.
available at https://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/clevstlrev/vol61/iss2/4