Would Trump nominees support the 25th Amendment?

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Some Republicans are seeing the light about Donald Trump in the White House. While he may have led a Republican tsunami in 2016, his actions as president have been so bizarre and injurious to the American people that the unspoken question about him is now widely spoken. Is he mentally and emotionally unfit to be President of the United States?

This relates to the confirmation hearings that are taking place for Trump nominees to fill his remaining Cabinet positions. Those nominees who are confirmed could well be in a position to stand in judgment as to whether Trump should be temporarily or permanently removed from office under the powers of the 25th Amendment.

Section 4 of the 25th Amendment states:

Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

From what we have seen in the first ten days of the Trump Administration, a very relevant question for senators to ask of all nominees for Cabinet positions is, “Should, in your opinion, President Trump be unable to discharge the duties of his office, would you be willing to support his removal under the 25th Amendment?” The 25th does not state the criteria under which a president would not be able to discharge his or her duties, but if someone is clearly mentally deranged and unstable, one could reasonably argue that the president should be removed.

Under present circumstances, it is imperative that senators who are being asked to provide their advice and consent on presidential nominations to the cabinet should indeed ask the question.

This leads to an obvious Catch 22, or Catch 25. If the nominee says “yes,” and their answer seems to be sincere, then that would make the nominee more qualified to serve in this particular cabinet. But if the nominee says “yes,” then it is quite likely that Trump would withdraw that candidate’s nomination.

From the point of view of the Cabinet nominee, there is no correct answer to the question. But from the perspective of the well-being of the American people and all citizens of the world, there is a correct answer, which is “yes.”

This does not commit the Cabinet nominee to vote to remove President Trump. It only means that if circumstances would warrant such a removal, then the nominee would be willing to take the bold step of supporting such action.

If it seems like we’re in the Twilight Zone, it is because we are. Bold measures must be considered, and there are still important individuals to select who must be willing to step forward and be bold if needed.

Arthur Lieber Arthur Lieber (465 Posts)

Since 1969, Arthur Lieber has been teaching and working in non-profit educational organizations. His focus has been on promoting critical, creative, and enjoyable learning for students in informal settings. In the 2010 mid-term elections, he was the Democratic nominee for US Congress from Missouri’s 2nd Congressional District.