Wednesday, June 5, 1974
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
Wednesd-. Jn ,17 TEMCIAAIYPg ee
Impeachment rules revealed
THE HOUSE JUDICIARY Committee meets last month in one of the early sessions of its im-
peachment inquiry. The committee is investigating charges against President Nixon in view of
drafting articles of impeachment against the President.
(Continued from Page 6)
If the committee should re-
commend against impeachment,
the House could accept its de-
cision and drop the case, in-
struct the committe to study it
some more or ignore the recom-
mendation and vote impeach-
AFTER voting impeachment,
the House informs the Senate of
its action and appoints man-
agers to represent it before the-
Senate and act as prosecutors.
The number varies, but it us-
ually is from three to seven. In
Johnson's case there were sev-
en managers, all House mem-
The managers then present
the articles of impeachment to
the Senate, which organizes it-
self as a court of impeachment.
The Senate issues a summons to
the accused, who may respond
in nerson or by counsel.
Johnson never appeared at his
imneachment trial, although he
was represented by five lawyers
including Atty. Gen. Henry
Stanberry, who resigned from
the Cabinet to defend Johnson.
THROUGHOUT the trial, the
President remains in office and
carries on his normal functions.
The framers of the Constitution
considered the possibility of su-
spending an accused president
while his trial was in progress
but rejected the idea. There
have been some sugoestions that
under the 25th Amendment,
which allows a caretaker gov-
ernment when a nresident is in-
capacitated, the President sten
aside voluntarily if imneach-
ed until the case is settled.
The chief justice presides
over the impeachment trial of a
president or vice president. He
or she takes an oath of fairness
and impartiality, then administ-
ers a similar oath to each mem-
bers aofte Senate.
As presiding officer, the Chief
Justice rules on points of law
as a judge goes in a court trial,
following accented rules of evi-
dence from federal court pro-
cedure. But the Senate, at the
motion of any member, may
vote on any of the chief mstice's
rulings and override them by
moority vote. In Johnson's
trial, the chief justice was re-
peatedly overruled, and the
Senate made up its own riles of
evidence as it went along.
THE TESTIONIAL portion of
the trial is open to the punlic.
The senators do not engage" in
deate during this portion, al-
though they may submit ques-
tions in writing, which the chief
justice will ask of witnesses.
Once the testimony is com-
pleted, the Senate goes into a
closed session for debate.
At the end of the debate, the
sessions are opened again and
the voting begins. The articles
of impeachment are voted on
one at a time by roll-call vote.
Conviction requires a twa-thirds
vote of senators present, or 67
votes in today's Senate if all
are present and voting.
IF NONE of the articles gets
the two-thirds vote necessary
for conviction, the Senate form-
ally enters a formal judgment of
But if a president is found
guilty on any of the articles he
is removed from office. A cer-
tified judgment. of guilty is de-
posited with the secretary of
The minite the senate votes
conviction on any count, t h e
accused office-holder is out of
office. In the case of a presi-
dent, the vice president or oth-
er successor would take t h e
oath of office immediately and
assume the presidency as has
been done in the past in cases
of presidential deato.
THE CONSENSUS of consti-
tutional scholars is that there is
no appeal from an impeach-
ment conviction Only once was
anything even approaching this
tried in the case of an impeach-
ed judge who sued in the Court
of Claims for back pay. The
court dismissed the suit. Never
has an ousted official sued to
get his job back.
Although the Constitution giv-
es sole power of impeachment
to Congress, there are those
who say, nevertheless that oth-
er provisions of the Constitution,
such as guarantees of due pro-
cess, would justify Supteme
Court review if these rights
And although the 5th Amend-
ment prohibits a person being
placed twice in jeopardy for the
same offense the Constitution
separates the process of remov-
ing a corrupt official through
impeachment from the process
of punishing him tnder crim-
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