Talk:Impeachment in the United States

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"Procedure" Section's claim as to when impeachment has occurred mistates/ignores the actual citation from RS[edit]

Under Bulletpoint two: "Second, the House of Representatives must pass, by a simple majority of those present and voting, articles of impeachment, which constitute the formal allegation or allegations. Upon passage, the defendant has been "impeached."

There is no citation for this assertion. If one goes to the citation that was cited for the entire "Procedure" section, you will find that the Congressional Research Service spells out four procedural steps the House must follow for impeachment to occur:

  • Initiation
  • Investigation
  • House Action Subsequent to Receipt of Committee Report
  • Notification by the House and Senate Response

None of these sections state or suggest that merely voting for articles of impeachment (the third step) legally constitute "impeachment", as the 2nd bulletpoint claims without evidence. In fact, in the fourth step "Notification by the House and Senate Response" undercuts the 2nd bulletpoint's unsupported claim with the words: "Subsequently, the appointed managers will appear before the bar of the Senate to impeach the individual involved and exhibit the articles against him or her".

i.e: The plain reading of the text by the Congressional Research Service implies that the individual is not yet impeached until the House managers appear before the bar of the Senate and present the articles of impeachment to them for trial. (Which fits in with the whole processes' emphasis on the due process that is afforded to the individual.) (talk) 02:39, 9 January 2020 (UTC)

Merger proposal[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section. A summary of the conclusions reached follows.
The result of this discussion was: Merge. Minecrafter0271 (talk) 02:27, 19 January 2020 (UTC)

I propose to merge the article Articles of impeachment into the article Impeachment in the United States. I think the content in the Articles of impeachment article could be easily explained in the context of Impeachment in the United States, and that the Articles of impeachment article is small enough to not cause problems when it comes to size to Impeachment in the United States. Minecrafter0271 (talk) 01:33, 13 January 2020 (UTC)

I think a merge is a good idea. A brief section explaining articles of impeachment (from Articles of impeachment) fits in this article, whereas the stand-alone article isn't much more than a stub. Interestingly, this article mentions "articles of impeachment" numerous times but never wikilinks to Articles of impeachment. Schazjmd (talk) 01:50, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
Agree. The "articles of" article (no pun intended) accomplishes nothing that couldn't be accomplished by incorporating it into the general article. -- MelanieN (talk) 02:13, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
I agree as well. I was actually considering putting the Articles of Impeachment article up for deletion, before I realized it would be better off merged in this article. Minecrafter0271 (talk) 02:42, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
Merge per nom. -- Sirfurboy (talk) 08:28, 13 January 2020 (UTC)

So, have we reached a consensus? Minecrafter0271 (talk) 15:19, 13 January 2020 (UTC)

The recommendation is to wait about a week or as long as discussion continues. Many editors do not edit every day, so it is only fair to give a reasonable length of time to test whether there are opposing views. -- Sirfurboy (talk) 15:51, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
All right then. The discussion will continue. Minecrafter0271 (talk) 15:54, 13 January 2020 (UTC)
Also, the merge proposal should be closed by someone who is not involved in the discussion, and can make an independent assessment of any consensus. BlueMoonset (talk) 06:48, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
If there is very clear consensus, discussion has ceased and at least a week has elapsed, then any user can close a merge proposal. A neutral editor is only required if consensus is not clear. see WP:MERGECLOSE. "During discussion, a rough consensus may emerge to proceed with the merger. Any user may close the discussion and move forward with the merger if enough time (normally one week or more) has elapsed and there has been no discussion or if there is unanimous consent to merge. Admins are not needed." -- Sirfurboy (talk) 08:09, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
All right. Thanks for letting us know. This is my first merge. Minecrafter0271 (talk) 15:11, 14 January 2020 (UTC)
  • Merge - Unless this article was to talk about how Articles of Impeachment are drawn up and written or something? But than, Id see that as being sufficient to be placed in the Impeachment in the United States page. Essentially, this article is redundant, not just very small. And agreed, wait till there has been a week minimum that has elapsed for a chance others to have a say. Happy editing! :D SageSolomon (talk) 17:37, 18 January 2020 (UTC)

Okay. I think that discussion has been open for a week, discussion has ceased and there are no opposing views. I think that we have reached a consensus to merge. Do we all agree? Minecrafter0271 (talk) 01:26, 19 January 2020 (UTC)

I think you're good to proceed with the merge. Schazjmd (talk) 01:30, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
All right. This discussion will be closed and I will proceed with the merge. Please note that the new section might not be up to standard. I'll try with the copy and pasting, but I just wanted to let you know. Minecrafter0271 (talk) 02:22, 19 January 2020 (UTC)
The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Merged Material[edit]

Now that User:Minecrafter0271 has completed the merge from Articles of Impeachment, I had a first stab at re-arranging the material to make it more seamless with the article. I think we should keep the section heading "Articles of Impeachment" as this is where a redirect will take readers, and it is a search term they may look for directly. I moved some existing text down under that heading, where it fits better.

I removed the pre-amble from the other page as it duplicates what is already here. The rest of the material, I moved up in the article close to the lead. I was not sure about whether it should sit in the lead or where I have it as initial explanation. Also, if there is duplication, it can now be weeded out. The merge process preserves all the revision history, so if other editors feel it is just duplicating what is already said, it can go. -- Sirfurboy (talk) 11:49, 19 January 2020 (UTC)

I didn't know where to put it. Maybe it deserves a section of its own. Minecrafter0271 (talk) 17:27, 19 January 2020 (UTC)

are impeachment managers under any type of oath?[edit]

Or can they just say anything? Jimb15122 (talk) 06:00, 26 January 2020 (UTC)

Yes, obviously. Did you miss the oath? 2A00:1370:812C:1791:B8EB:FA2D:F2A4:186 (talk) 15:37, 18 April 2020 (UTC)
Hello! This talk page isn't a discussion about the topic, but rather discussion on how to improve the article. I don't see how this question relates to that. If you could explain, then that would be great. --Minecrafter0271 (talk) 06:31, 26 January 2020 (UTC)

A Commons file used on this page or its Wikidata item has been nominated for speedy deletion[edit]

The following Wikimedia Commons file used on this page or its Wikidata item has been nominated for speedy deletion:

You can see the reason for deletion at the file description page linked above. —Community Tech bot (talk) 17:09, 26 April 2020 (UTC)

Vote to add information about the articles of impeachment drawn up on Ohio Governor Mike DeWine.[edit]

Here is the wikipedia article for the Impeachment Articles against Mike DeWine. Not sure if this is viable to add to this article. Vote? Elijahandskip (talk) 00:50, 18 September 2020 (UTC)

Those articles were a political stunt that weren't even voted on, let alone voted down. This article seems to only mention successful impeachments or people who resigned in the face of likely impeachment(Greitens). I don't think this even warrants a mention here. I'm not even certain it merits an article, but it at least has news coverage. 331dot (talk) 00:56, 18 September 2020 (UTC)

Impeachment is a political process, it is misrepresentative to limit the discussion to only completed impeachments. Police officers carry guns and the most profound effect they have is as a deterrent without ever being used. And when they do draw the weapon, it most often does not need to be fired to do its job correctly. If a legislature draws up and votes on articles of impeachment, that is not nothing. It is a statement - a censure of a sort. The legislature has drawn its weapon out of its holster to bring a politician into line.

Add the content. I disagree with painting a narrative that impeachment is only valuable when the vote passes and a trial convicts. As a tool it has a much broader use than this. It could be argued that the trial itself may not even belong in this article as "impeachment" in the legal context is strictly the operation in the House of Representatives.

  1. There are few people removed from office via impeachment.
  2. There are more people who are impeached yet not convicted
  3. There are more people still who have had articles of impeachment drawn but failed the vote in the House.

The process adds strength to the goal of remediating the office at each step, and decisions are made at each step. Impeachment hearings are required to be publicly held with open doors and all discussion open to the public. Unlike trial, there is no such thing as a confidential impeachment. This is not an accident, the whole thing exists for the public. In the end the tool is designed to send a message to the people about a problem in their government, and it may or may not end with a vacancy. Killing is not the only reason police have guns, and vacating a position is not the only reason the legislature has impeachment.


I added the Over-quotation tag today. This article has some issues with clarity. The main ideas are kind drowned out by a lot of noise, and one of the reasons for this is an excessive use of quotations. If there's consensus, I would certainly support paraphrasing or trimming many of these quotations. –Novem Linguae (talk) 22:49, 11 January 2021 (UTC)

Unless you mean the Constitution quotes at the beginning of the article, I don't see a problem with quotations. There are only 2 block quotes and one in-line sentence from England. Rmhermen (talk) 03:45, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
Rmhermen, I think the constitution text should stay, that looks fine. Please take another look, and consider adding the Over-quotation tag back. There is tons of text in this article that is in quotations. For example, all the longer passages highlighted by this tool. –Novem Linguae (talk) 04:37, 12 January 2021 (UTC)
I thought about this more. There's one section in particular that's over-quoted. I'll just tag that for now. Although I still think a strong argument could be made for {{over quotation}} and possibly a {{confusing}} for the entire article. –Novem Linguae (talk) 13:43, 14 January 2021 (UTC)

James Buchanan / Andrew Johnson - suggestion to add to other sections with more explanation[edit]

Both highlighted. Need more mentioning ln the article itself. Maybe added to and more explanation under "Other impeachment attempts" section, and mentioned alongside Nixon in text section of "List of formal impeachments" (before the table). As it stands, just having them in the table is somewhat confusing. --HistoricalAccountings (talk) 14:58, 13 January 2021 (UTC)

That does make sense given the relative importance of these proceedings, though I'm not convinced that Buchanan should be included in the table at all. Doing so seems to place the Covode Committee on the same level as the impeachment proceedings against other presidents. Though I'm not an expert, it seems that the committee was formed to investigate corruption with the potential of leading to impeachment proceedings in the future, rather than serving as the start of a formal impeachment process. The description of the table says it lists "officials for whom impeachment proceedings were instituted," but is this really true in Buchanan's case? Puhala,ny (talk) 21:58, 13 January 2021 (UTC)
User:GranChi posted a link a couple of sections down to a much better article that has a lot of this information in it laid out in a much better way - Impeachments of presidents of the United States. HistoricalAccountings (talk) 02:09, 14 January 2021 (UTC)

Impeachment proceedings table[edit]

Following up on a reply I made in an earlier post, I feel that the table in this article suffers from inconsistency. The table is described as including "officials for whom impeachment proceedings were instituted and referred to a committee of the House of Representatives." My previous comment regarded whether or not this applies to James Buchanan, who is in the table, but I'm not sure should be. Additionally, by this definition, there are other presidents who should be included but aren't, such as Lyndon B. Johnson (source: and George W. Bush. Obviously, the point of the table isn't to list every official for whom impeachment proceedings died in committee, which is why I feel that the criteria for inclusion should be altered. Puhala,ny (talk) 22:14, 13 January 2021 (UTC)

I renamed the section to "List of formal impeachments" yesterday, without having seen your comment. There are many ways we could handle this, including
  • Option 1 - delete people that weren't formally impeached
  • Option 2 - expand the table to include everybody
  • Option 3 - create a new section for people that were investigated but not impeached
  • Option 4 - leave as is
I'm leaning toward Option 1. Thoughts? –Novem Linguae (talk) 00:11, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
- I vote Option 3 or Option 1 but only if we also create a new article/section/subpage for people that were investigated but not impeached. HistoricalAccountings (talk) 00:29, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
User:GranChi posted a link in the section below to a much better article that has a lot of this information in it laid out in a much better way - Impeachments of presidents of the United States. HistoricalAccountings (talk) 02:09, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. I did option 3 for now. –Novem Linguae (talk) 09:24, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
I vote Option 1. Given that the other article goes into more detail and is already linked, a cursory mention of Buchanan, Nixon, etc. is all that I feel is needed in this article. Puhala,ny (talk) 15:33, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
I linked it earlier, the other article has better info imo. HistoricalAccountings (talk) 16:13, 14 January 2021 (UTC)
Vote Option 2 to avoid oversimplifying a complicated political process. President Nixon was not impeached yet it is almost unanimously held that impeachment is what caused him to leave office. Both political parties told him they would vote unanimously to impeach, and so he resigned, and the tool worked. If a police officer draws a gun and the suspect surrenders, the intimidation factor of the gun absolutely belongs in an article about police use of force, we can measure the positive effect an unfired police gun has on the community.

-- (talk) 16:18, 26 February 2021 (UTC)

"United States presidential impeachment" redirect[edit]

Hi folks, I noticed that the phrase "United States presidential impeachment" (which was coming up as a Google search result for me) redirects to this page, specifically the "Federal impeachment" section. But WP does have an separate article for Impeachments of presidents of the United States. It seems to me that the redirect should go to that article instead. I just wanted to check with others before I do that - should I go ahead and change it? GranChi (talk) 01:51, 14 January 2021 (UTC)

That second article is WAY better overall and includes the information we had discussed in the last two sections above (more concisely and it's much more straightforward and less confusing). I think this article and the current impeachment ones should redirect to it. It's actually exactly what I was looking for, but the article on the current event led me here instead of there. Thank you for posting it. HistoricalAccountings (talk) 02:04, 14 January 2021 (UTC)

Senate's Obligation?[edit]

Is the Senate actually obliged to try an individual impeached by the House of Representatives? Looking at the table, it seems like they always have. Reading the Constitution, it seems like it's completely at the Senate's discretion. Anyone know for sure? (talk) 07:51, 15 January 2021 (UTC)
Under the current rules, the Senate is indeed required to do so. See footnote 26: Rules of Procedure (...) (talk) 09:20, 19 January 2021 (UTC)

The Senate is required to do so according to the rules which they themselves have made, however to be perfectly clear, impeachment is a purely political process which the Constitution gives complete authority to the political bodies: the sole power of impeachment to the House, and the sole power of trial to the Senate. So the question of, "is it required" needs to be asked correctly; "are there any consequences if they do not try an impeachment?" The constitutional answer to that question is clearly no, there are no constitutional consequences if the Senate chooses not to try an impeachment. This is because political seats are not held accountable to the law, they are held accountable to the people. If the Senate chooses not to try an impeached official, the next election will surely punish them accordingly. For some reason the fundamental principle of the sovereignty of the people is escaping this article and impeachment is being treated like a legal process governed by rigid rules. The Constitution does not enshrine rules which would encroach upon the right of the people to choose their own leaders as they may, which is the foundational defining principle of a Republic.
It would be nice if we could step back from legalistic language like "obligation" in functions which are purely political in their operation. The impeachment was clearly designed to be run in whatever manner the Congress sees appropriate, and the electorate holds them accountable if they run it badly. This is what the words "sole power" mean. No court is allowed to judge their handling of matters. -- (talk) 14:53, 26 February 2021 (UTC)

Then the question was asked correctly, and the simple answer is NO, the Senate is under no legal obligation to actually hold a trial for an individual impeached by the House. This article doesn't clarify that directly, and a lot of misinformation had been flying around in the press that the Senate MUST try the impeached in some fashion. Wikipedia should concern itself with facts, not PoliSci ramblings. Your response was needlessly long-winded and missed the point of the question. (talk) 01:07, 28 February 2021 (UTC)

"Who can be impeached" section may be inaccurate[edit]

The first paragraph currently reads: "The Constitution gives Congress the authority to impeach and remove "The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States" upon a determination that such officers have engaged in treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. The Constitution does not articulate who qualifies as a "civil officer of the United States"." It does not include a citation to an authority on this, and the first sentence is arguably incorrect.

Specifically, Congress' powers to impeach are included in Article 1, sections 2 and 3 of the Constitution. The partial quotation in the first paragraph of the article is actually from Article 2, section 4, which reads in full: "The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." In other words, this section states that removal from office is a Constitutional requirement upon impeachment and conviction of the President, Veep, or other civil Officers, but does not say anything about impeachment solely being confined to that group.

Additionally, impeachment in the US comes from common law in the UK, where (as noted in impeachment can apply to anyone for any crime. Without any explicit US case precedent, statute, or Constitutional provision to the contrary, it is likely that a court (most likely SCOTUS) would interpret impeachment in the same way.

This isn't a trivial distinction and is relevant due to the recent discussion over whether the President can pardon anyone for any crime, without exception... The Constitution limits pardons "in cases of Impeachment" (Article 2, section 2), which means that Congress' power to impeach would serve as a check on that pardon power (provided the majority of the House and two-thirds of the Senate agree).

At an absolute minimum, the paragraph should be changed to say: "The Constitution does not explicitly limit who may be impeached, and says only that 'The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.' The Constitution also does not articulate who qualifies as a 'civil officer of the United States'." Danrose909 (talk) 23:26, 20 January 2021 (UTC)

This statement appears to be inaccurate also: "The constitutional text is silent on whether an officer can be tried after the officer resigns or his/her term ends." Actually it says "Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and [and!] disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office..." It doesn’t say removal from office “OR” disqualification to hold office. “AND” seems to imply that the judgment was intended for persons still in office. 2600:1702:20E0:E1B0:6C0C:B356:93C9:9642 (talk) 21:31, 23 January 2021 (UTC)
The Constitution is vague about what "Officer of the United States" means, but has generally been interpreted to include all members of the Executive and Judicial branches appointed to their posts and subject to Senate confirmation. While it is fairly clear it does not extend to normal federal employees, it's unclear to what extent it extends to non-senate confirmable positions. The use of the "civil" qualifier implies impeachment is not to be used for military officers.
As a practical matter though, the House can impeach anybody it wants, and the Senate can choose to disqualify them from office, provided the two-thirds threshold is reached. The Supreme Court would have nothing to say about it, as it ruled in Nixon v. United States that impeachment and impeachment trials are political questions left solely to their discretion, given the Constitution's phrasing of "sole power". I believe the Senate has discretion about whether to hold impeachment trials (it has the power to try an impeachment, but is not Constitutionally obligated to hold one, though is under current Senate rules) and can also dismiss impeachment cases by majority vote, as it has done in several instances. The House even tried to impeach Senator William Blount who is probably not an "Officer of the United States" as a member of Congress, and the Senate rejected the impeachment and did not hold a trial (but expelled him, also with a two-thirds vote).
The current debate is in regard to what extent it implies to former Officers, which is a gray area. Here I agree saying the Constitution is silent is misleading. In the current case, I think it's important that Trump was impeached while still in office, and the Senate holds its power to "try all impeachments". There is also the precedent of William Belknap who was impeached just after his resignation, and tried in the Senate in the following months. I agree the Framers likely envisioned impeachment of those still in office, but there are cogent arguments that support the idea that an impeachment trial after an official is no longer in office is Constitutionally appropriate. One argument is that with the phrasing "shall not extend further..." the Constitution sets an upper bar to punishment, but not a lower bar, and the disqualification Judgement can still be rendered to former officers. (See some of the sources at Second impeachment trial of Donald Trump.) In the Clinton impeachment trial, some senators wanted to separate their vote to convict from the punishment, believing he was Guilty but should not be removed from office, and some argue separate votes are what the Constitution envisions.
So, I would support elaboration on these issues based on reliable sources, as it is irrelevant for the article what any of us believe. I agree the statement that the Constitution is silent about impeachment trials for former officers should be changed, but do not support the statement that the Constitution does not expressly limit who may be impeached, as it pretty clearly defines who is subject to impeachment, even though it may not politically limit who may be impeached. If reliable sources (e.g. opinions by legal scholars in appropriate venues) have addressed the issue, they may be discussed. Mdewman6 (talk) 20:22, 26 January 2021 (UTC)
We need to try to remember the Constitution is a legal document and it is dangerous to haphazardly inject our own plain-language interpretations of terms of art.[1] into Wikipedia articles, the language was designed to be interpreted by courts using Statutory interpretation. Anything in it that looks confusing is because we are 250 years away from it, not because they used vague language. They used terms of art like "High crimes and misdemeanors," which everyone understood the meaning of perfectly, yet today we assume it implies some violation of a law because we see the word "crime" in it. It does not mean a law was broken. Likewise, the word "Officer"[2] is used extremely precisely in the Constitution: Someone charged with performing by a higher power (the President or the Constitution).
Officer (with a capital 'O') was a very specific word. It means sovereignty (someone has power over you with or without your permission). "Under the United States," "Under the Crown," "Under the Commonwealth of Massachusetts" are also terms of art in law that had a very specific meaning when a court read it 250 years ago. Our articles would be wise to prefer court interpretations of words: stay within the art of the document, stay within the time period of the document, and prefer interpretation made by judges who specialize in that art of statutory interpretation. Officer of the United States is a very precisely defined term of art, let's try to be careful not to equivocate our own interpretations into long-standing definitions.
Saying the Constitution is silent is disingenuous; adjectives do matter. They form these specific terms of art.[3] E.g., higher enlisted members in the military, for example, are "non-commissioned officers" (NCO's) in common jargon, but they are not officers; those first adjectives mean a lot. An officer under United States law is always someone who is appointed, they will always have a commission from the president, or the Constitution. An Office is always the station of an appointed person. An elected person is a public trust, because literally, they only have their power because we trust them (we voted for them), and we take that power away when we don't trust them (we vote for someone better). This is clear in the Article VI No Religious Test Clause. It prohibits applying a "religious test" to any "office" under the United States, or any "trust" under the United States; if they did not include the word "trust," then we would be allowed to write laws that create an entirely Muslim, Hindu, or atheist Senate; or we could legally make all Representatives take an oath "by the power of Zeus" if we wanted. But Representatives do not hold office, so the word "trust" had to be in there. Congress only has power because we elected them, and we can take it away. Officers have power because the President gave it to them, and we can't take it away. So, we have impeachment. Impeachment is the failsafe given to us against the President's men, as well as himself and the Vice President (who are not civil officers). If we look in a dictionary for the words "civil" and "officer" and ignore the fact that this is a legal document in our edits, we are just as guilty of original content as the person who edits "ground hog" by defining it as a pig who lives in the ground.

--Frobozz1 (talk) 19:43, 10 February 2021 (UTC)


  1. ^ "term of art". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
  2. ^ "Officer". The Law Dictionary. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  3. ^ "term of art". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (5th ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Concerns about recent edits[edit]

Editors who are more active on this page than I am might like to take a careful look at the recent edits by the almost single-purpose 'new' editor Frobozz1. That editor's changes to the Impeachment article are under discussion over there, and some of the concerns appear very relevant to edits made here as well. MichaelMaggs (talk) 14:05, 7 February 2021 (UTC)

The goal is to improve articles with well-sourced references, and to edit with improvement in mind. There are more tools available than rollback and delete. Please consider, if you feel a citation is low quality, there is a tag for that. If a statement may be an opinion, there is a tag for that. If a statement does not agree with your personal beliefs, there is no tag for that. User warnings and bullying are not a suitable alternative.
Use the tools Wikipedia has provided, along with this talk feature, to increase rather than decrease the quality of articles.
Your assistance would be appreciated. Thank you.
Frobozz1 (talk) 16:03, 7 February 2021 (UTC)

Help with awkward grammar in Referendum of Guam[edit]

I am at a loss to properly and concisely state the removal process in Guam by impeachment then referendum. The legislature passes a 2/3 vote exactly identical to an impeachment though they do not use that word, and the removal is then affected by the electorate by referendum. Any help making this concise is appreciated.

I wrote: "but provides for the removal of any Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or member of the Legislature by a majority vote from referendum 2/3 of the last participating electorate."

The actual text of 48 U.S.C. § 1422a(b) is as follows:

§1422a. Removal of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or member of legislature; referendum election

(a) The people of Guam shall have the right of initiative and referendum, to be exercised under conditions and procedures specified in the laws of Guam.

(b) Any Governor, Lieutenant Governor, or member of the legislature of Guam may be removed from office by a referendum election in which at least two-thirds of the number of persons voting for such official in the last preceding general election at which such official was elected vote in favor of recall and in which those so voting constitute a majority of all those participating in such referendum election. The referendum election shall be initiated by the legislature of Guam following (a) a two-thirds vote of the members of the legislature in favor of a referendum, or (b) petition for such a referendum to the legislature by registered voters equal in number to at least 50 per centum of the whole number of votes cast at the last general election at which such official was elected preceding the filing of the petition.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by Frobozz1 (talkcontribs) 18:05, 8 February 2021 (UTC)

-- (talk) 14:52, 10 February 2021 (UTC)

I do think the language is awkward. Are there any suggestions here? -- (talk) 14:33, 26 February 2021 (UTC)

William Blount impeachment dates[edit]

Many sources support the July 7, 1797 date of impeachment, but then report that 5 articles of impeachment were approved in January, 1798. So was he not officially impeached until January 1798? Was there an "article of impeachment" that was approved in July, with additional articles approved the following January, or were there no articles associated with the original impeachment vote in July? Given this was the first impeachment, I think what happened is that formal articles of impeachment weren't originally approved in July, there was just a resolution that he be impeached, and the impeachment wasn't yet sent to the Senate, whereas in modern times the vote of the full house to approve an article or articles of impeachment would constitute the impeachment, and prior votes would be to proceed to an impeachment investigation or inquiry. In any case, I think this needs to be clarified with more citations added. Mdewman6 (talk) 22:09, 10 February 2021 (UTC)

Eliminating pardon powers of the President via disqualification[edit]

It was interesting to learn from the Belknap hearings why the disqualification clause was necessary, I feel it belongs in the article. A President creates officers via the Appointments Clause, and the Legislature can impeach them. Obviously, the President can ignore Congress and re-install an officer, who the Congress will have to impeach again, etc., etc. They obviously didn't want the President's pardon power to nullify the legislature's impeachment power, the Constitution specifically says as much.

The quote from Senator Matthew Carpenter was very enlightening. I suggest we include it into the "disqualification" section of the article. This snippet was recently deleted and should be returned.

Because all officers of the United states are appointed by the President, and are either directly or indirectly confirmed with advice and consent of the Senate, impeachment needed some mechanism to prevent an especially problematic officer from being appointed again by the President immediately after the difficult work of impeachment. Wisconsin senator Matthew H. Carpenter explained the purpose of the disqualification clause while he was defending the late Secretary of War William W. Belknap against impeachment,

-- (talk) 15:08, 26 February 2021 (UTC)


  1. ^ Proceedings of the House of Representatives Relating to The Impeachment of Wm. W. Belknap, Late Secretary of War (1876), p. 42
No. "Officer of the United States" (for appointments clause) and "civil officer" (for impeachment) are not necessarily the same. In statutes, we presume that the same word used by Congress in the same enactment has the same meaning. Not so in the Constitution. For example, "property" for purposes of the Fifth Amendment Takings clause is different than "property" for Due Process. In the case of "officer," you can't infer one from the other. BostonBowTie (talk) 02:50, 21 March 2021 (UTC)

Correcting an error in "Removal and disqualification" introduced March 3, 2021[edit]

In this edit [1] of March 3, 2021, this text was added:

According to the U.S. House of Representatives Precedents of the U.S. House of Representatives, an impeachment would have no effect if the President could simply pardon or reinstate his officers after the Senate removed them. Thus the Constitution disallows the President from pardoning impeachment convictions, and further permanently disqualifies any convicted person from "holding or enjoying" any future office under the United States according to the textual language. This latter clause prevents the President's Article II appointment power from being used as a de-facto pardon. This is a more harsh judgement than other constitutions. The framers at the Pennsylvania constitution convention felt that the Senate, upon conviction, should have the discretion to remove an officer without disqualification; and accordingly they changed the provision which had previously been copied directly from the Constitution of the United States, modified it such that it says judgement shall extend to removal, or to removal and disqualification. The effect of that was to allow of a judgment of removal alone, or removal and disqualification without binding the judgements. Regardless of the rigid language used, the Senate has sole power to try impeachments and in practice they have only ever bound three judicial officers to disqualification after impeachment. The impeachment results are recorded and sent to the Secretary of State.\

Of course we all know that this is objectively false—conviction/removal and disqualification are two different things. They require two separate votes. Conviction requires a 2/3 vote, disqualification only requires a majority.

The erroneous text cites Hinds' Precedents, Volume 3 - Chapter 63 - Nature of Impeachment: Accused may be tried after resignation, § 2007". Retrieved March 3, 2021. But the cite is inaccurate. This portion of the Hinds article is a transcript of arguments of counsel in the 1876 trial of Secretary William Belknap. But a lawyer’s argument--an argument that was voted against by a majority of the Senate--doesn’t make it so!

The cited text is just a lawyer’s argument, not the conclusion of the cited source. I will assemble a text, and fully footnote it. BostonBowTie (talk) 10:33, 20 March 2021 (UTC)

BostonBowTie, sounds good to me. Speaking candidly, this editor did a series of edits that did damage to this article, by inserting non-mainstream legal arguments cited to sources. Because it's cited to sources, that kind of thing is difficult to fix around here, and sometimes takes a subject matter expert, so it is good to see those edits getting repaired. If it's easier than rewriting from scratch, reverting individual paragraphs to old text is also an option. Impeachment and Second impeachment of Donald Trump may also need our attention. –Novem Linguae (talk) 15:56, 20 March 2021 (UTC)
Please click here to see screenshots of the edits of the editor I am concerned with. I would encourage us to take a look and spot check them. I am worried that they may be similar to what BostonBowTie fixed above. –Novem Linguae (talk) 16:32, 20 March 2021 (UTC)
@Novem Linguae and BostonBowTie: The concerns here seem legitimate enough that I preferred to employ the WP:TNT treatment (here and at Officer of the United States), even if it is probably excessive. We can do a spot check without the edits being presented as fact to our readers. Sorry if it's a bit too much. RandomCanadian (talk / contribs) 00:46, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
Novem Linguae Thank you for trying. I wrote you a longer thank you, but some joker decided to delete it. RandomCanadian This is the last straw of crazy. I've asked to have my account vanished. The only thing I have to offer is subject matter knowledge and expertise. When they're deprecated, it's time to leave. It's just not worth trying any more. Over and out. BostonBowTie (talk) 02:41, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
@BostonBowTie: I was only trying to help by removing the previous contributions of Frobozz1, since they seemed to be the one that added all the problematic stuff... RandomCanadian (talk / contribs) 02:59, 21 March 2021 (UTC)
RandomCanadian, I think BostonBowTie might be referring to something that happened earlier. Might be unrelated to your edit. I think his vanish request was submitted before your edit. BostonBowTie, I'm sorry to see you go my friend. I think the editors here expected you to be a little more flexible and willing to respond to requests to follow certain guidelines. I didn't see much of an attempt to meet them half way. Everybody doubled down, and now things ended up tense. –Novem Linguae (talk) 03:28, 21 March 2021 (UTC)