In a continued effort to oust President Donald Trump from office, a growing group of Democratic co-signers has put forth a bill that seeks to use the 25th Amendment as a means to remove Trump.
Led by freshman Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland, the bill was first introduced in April with 20 signatures. However, after seeing Trump’s latest Twitter posts, more lawmakers are jumping on the 25th Amendment bandwagon.
“Given Donald Trump’s continued erratic and baffling behavior, is it any wonder why we need to pursue this legislation?” asked co-signer Rep. Darren Soto, D-Florida. “The mental and physical health of the leader of the United States and the free world is a matter of great public concern.”
If the bill were to pass, it would create an 11-member bipartisan commission known as the Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity, which would medically evaluate the President’s mental and physical condition.
Section 4 of the 25th Amendment allows the vice president to remove the president — in addition to the consent of the majority of the Cabinet or “such other body as Congress” — if they come to the conclusion that he cannot “discharge the powers and duties of the office.”
The commission would collectively decide if Trump — or any sitting president — “is temporarily or permanently impaired by physical illness or disability, mental illness, mental deficiency, or alcohol or drug use to the extent that the person lacks sufficient understanding or capacity to execute the powers and duties of the office of President.”
Raskin, a professor of constitutional law, emphasized that the commission would not be created just to oust Trump. “We’ve got to make sure that we have a president who is able faithfully to discharge the duties of office,” Raskin told reporters on Friday. “This is not just for one president — it’s for all of the presidents. And I think we can come together in a bipartisan way.”
The 25th Amendment has been invoked in the past, for instance, when President Ronald Reagan had to be sedated for a procedure to have a precancerous lesion removed from his colon in 1985, then-Vice President George H.W. Bush took over as acting president for about eight hours.
Dick Cheney also took over as acting president twice during the administration of President George W. Bush when he had to be sedated for medical procedures in 2002 and again in 2007.
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