THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Wednesday, JuneS 17
Page Six THE MiCHIGAN DAiLY Wednesday, June 5, 1974
A guide to impeachment procedure
WASHINGTON (A') - The Sen- in the Senate. In four of those ing the impeachment provisions separate proces. it is possible, tee currently is studying sever
ate, its 100 members silenced cases, federal judges were con- of the Constitution are neces- therefore, for a person to be proposed impeachment resole
by their own rules, would hear victed and ousted. sarily based on the cases ;nvolv- impeached but not convicted, as tions against President Nixo
the evidence. Prosecutors sent Only one president has been ing judges, particularly those in Johnson's case. but is sure to draft its termsa
over from the House would pre- impeached, Andrew Johnson in which went through to convic- The impeachment process in it recommends impeachment.
sent the case. President Nixon 1868, although impeachment ef- tion. the House is roughly compar- When the investigation is con
could attend if he wanted, but forts were raised and defeated But this creates problems in able to indictment by a grand pleted the committee must r
he probably would not appear. in the House against Presidents applying the precedents to pres- jury in criminal law. Trial in port its decision to the f a 1
That, according to the rules John Tyler and Herbert Hoover. idential impeachment. .n addi- the Senate is comparable to the House. There also may be
and the precedents, is how it tion to the impeachment pro- trial of criminal charges in the minority report. An impeact
would be if a House majority Johnson was acquitted by the visions the Constitution s a y s courts.
voe oipahNxnadsn eae hc eloe v isionsuts.ment report is 'privileged" an
voted to impeach Nixon and sent Senate, which fell ose vote federal judges shall hold office goes directly to the House tloo
the case to the Senate for trial. short of the two-third, neces sary only "during good behavior," a M P H A C HMENT action for a vote.
have been initiated in taae H.ouse
some SO times in American his-
tory. Only in 12 cases did the
House actually impeazh an of-
fice holder and prosecute him
for convictionaarm airo
office. But his harsh treatment
by Congress gave impas neat
a bad name that is nav'ng re-
percussions to phis day.
MOST OF the legal and his-
torical precedents for interpret-
restriction not applied to pres-
Since the only presidential
case to go to trial was Jo h n-
son's, it provides the only exa--
ples. That case was fraught with
partisan spleentand abuses of
fair play, and the current Con-
gress seems to be trying not to
emulate its only predecessor in
THE CONSTITUTION, House
and Senate rules and past prac-
tice provide a guile to what
would happen in an impeach-
ment and trial.
Although the term impeach-
ment was used historically to
cover the entire process of re-
moving officeholders, in U S.
constitutional practice it mwans
strictly the action v) the house
in bringing impeachment charg-
es against a federal official.
The charges are then sent to
the Senate for trial, which is a
against a president may be in-
itiated by a resolution introduc-
ed by one or more members of
A SIMPLE majority is needed
for impeachment. The first
Most of the legal and historical precedents
for interpreting the impeachment provi-
sions of the Constitution are necessarily
based on cases involving judges, particular-
ly those which went through to conviction.
But this creates problems in applying them
to presidential impeachment. In addition
to the impeachment provisions, the Consti-
tution says federal judges shall hold office
onlyy 'during good behavior,' a restriction
not applied to presidents.
the House. The speaker of the Johnson inpeachment recsm-
House may then rule the resolu- mendation was voted down by
tion out of order, put it direct- the House. A second was ap-
ly to a vote as happened in the proved resulting in his trial.
Tyler case or refer it to a com- The accused is not present,
mittee for investigation. Im- nor is he represented by counsel
peachment motions against during the House debate. The
Johnson went to both the Judic- debate is public and the galler-
iary and Reconstruction commit- ies were packed as Johnson's
tees. impeachment was voted.
The House Judiciary Commit- See IMPEACHMENT, Page 7
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