A clear and comprehensive overview of presidential impeachment from a leading expert in the field
As a result of Donald Trump’s presidency, impeachment was once again thrust into the spotlight of American political discussion. However, its history goes back to the very founding of the nation, when American colonists, remembering their grievances against their former king, entrenched the process in their new Constitution. The Law of Presidential Impeachment breaks down both the law and politics of this process, providing a comprehensive, nonpartisan, and up-to-date explanation of the Constitution’s various mechanisms for holding presidents accountable for their misdeeds. Based on a lifetime of scholarly research, as well as unique experience as a witness and consultant in the impeachment trials of Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, Michael J. Gerhardt’s new book takes the reader back to the basics of presidential impeachments. Rather than provide reasons for or against impeaching particular presidents, he explains the law and procedures that govern impeachment, examining a number of significant, yet under-explored, issues and themes. Gerhardt offers new perspectives on the subject, arguing that it cannot be properly understood in a vacuum, but must instead be viewed in the context of its coordination with such other mechanisms as criminal prosecutions, censure, elections, congressional oversight, and the Fourteenth and Twenty-Fifth Amendments. The Law of Presidential Impeachment will be an invaluable, accessible guide for future generations, giving them a succinct yet remarkably nuanced understanding of this core aspect of our executive branch and overarching governmental system.
Michael J. Gerhardt is Burton Craige Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of North Carolina Law School and author of six books, including The Forgotten Presidents: Their Untold Constitutional Legacy, which The Financial Times selected as one of the best non-fiction books of 2013.