July 26, 2021

Why the 25th Amendment continues to be raised to remove Trump from power

WASHINGTON – In the more than 50 years since the Constitution was amended to create a way to remove a president unable to do his job, the process has never been triggered.But throughout Donald Trump’s presidency, the 25th Amendment has come up again and again as a possible means of removing Trump to put Vice President Mike Pence in charge.With days left in his tenure, the amendment was mentioned again after Trump supporters violently stormed the Capitol on Wednesday to protest the results of the presidential election that Joe Biden won.The head of the National Association of Manufactures said Trump incited the violence in an attempt to retain power and Pence should consider triggering the amendment to preserve democracy.”This is sedition and should be treated as such,” said Jay Timmons, the group’s president and CEO.He was joined by a growing chorus of calls that included the head of the left-leaning advocacy group Public Citizen, the head of the NAACP and Vermont Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican.Donald Trump listens as Vice president Mike Pence answers questions during the daily briefing of the coronavirus task force in the Rose Garden of the White House on April 27, 2020 in Washington, DC.”President Trump should resign or be removed from office by his Cabinet, or by the Congress,” Scott said in a series of tweets.Hundreds of political scientists have signed a letter saying Trump should be immediately removed either through impeachment or the 25th Amendment.Here’s what you need to know:What is the 25th Amendment?The amendment, ratified in 1967, created a legal mechanism for designating a head of state when the president is disabled or dead. It also formalized the historical practice for the vice president to permanently take over if the president dies or resigns, and gives the president and Congress shared power to replace a vice president.Why was it written?John F. Kennedy’s assassination brought renewed interest to presidential succession questions. Lyndon B. Johnson’s ascension to the presidency meant that – for the 16th time – the country had no vice president. And there was no tested way of dealing with a severe presidential illness. Johnson previously had suffered a heart attack and the next two people in line to be president were the 71-year-old speaker of the House and the 86-year-old president pro tempore of the Senate.

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