Controlling Administrations you don't like

Scott Gerber s-gerber at
Sat Nov 5 14:50:46 PST 2005

Good comparative question, Sandy.  As you know, I published a piece in a
Law and Courts symposium years ago to which you also contributed in which I
concluded that the standard was met with respect to President Clinton.  If
it eventually comes out that President Bush knowingly deceived the nation
in bringing us to war with Iraq, the standard would be met for him as well
(in my opinion).

Please note that I'm not trying to trivialize what is happening in Iraq:
lives lost, etc.  But leading the nation to war can't be an impeachable
offense in and of itself.  After all, the Constitution speaks directly to
the power of the president and Congress to make war.


Scott wrote:

As a matter of constitutional law, the President can be impeached if he has
committed an "offense against the commonwealth," which is the Framers'
understanding of a high crime and misdemeanor.  I agree with Eugene that
the standard has yet to be met.

1.  I think this is the right standard.

2.  Scott (and anyone else):  Do you think the standard was met with
Clinton?  (I think that a reasonable person could certainly think so.  So
then the question is what precisely distinguishes Clinton's mendacity from
the mendacity of the Bush Administration with regard to the Iraq War?)


Scott Gerber
Law College
Ohio Northern University
Ada, OH 45810

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