Article II, Section 4: A Brief History of Impeachment

The sparse history has given Congress relatively few opportunities to flesh out the bare bones of the constitutional text. The final section of Article II, which generally describes the executive branch, specifies that the “President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States” shall be removed from office if convicted in an impeachment[…]

The Founders’ Furious Impeachment Debate – and Benjamin Franklin’s Modest Proposal

Bitter political partisanship marked eleven previous presidential impeachment inquiries and the 1787 debate in Philadelphia. By Harlow Giles Unger The current clash in Congress over whether to impeach the President has extended to more than two centuries the bitter political partisanship that marked eleven previous presidential impeachment inquiries and the 1787 debate in Philadelphia over how to impeach the[…]

Almost 12: The Bill of Rights – James Madison’s Two Failed Amendments

James Madison proposed 12 amendments to the Constitution, but only 10 were approved. When the Constitutional Convention sent the proposed Constitution to the states for ratification, Anti-Federalists voiced strong objections to it, especially criticizing the strength it invested in the national government and its lack of explicit protections for the rights of individuals. Politicians in[…]

The Three-Fifths Compromise and the Origins of the Electoral College

The 1787 debate over how slaves would be counted when determining a state’s total population for legislative representation and taxes. Introduction The Three-Fifths Compromise was a compromise reached among state delegates during the 1787 United States Constitutional Convention. Whether, and if so, how, slaves would be counted when determining a state’s total population for legislative representation and taxing purposes was important,[…]