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25th Amendment attacks on Trump are “HOOEY” say Howard Dean and Jonathan Turley

25th Amendment attacks on Trump are “HOOEY” say Howard Dean and Jonathan Turley

“The Constitution’s designed not to” allow impulsive removals of presidents

On today’s Morning Joe, after accusing President Trump of “impairment,” Howard Dean said that “people keep talking about” the 25th Amendment as a means to remove the president from office. But Dean immediately poured cold water on the notion, saying “I personally think that’s probably hooey.”

Law professor Jonathan Turley agreed with Dean: “Yes, indeed, that falls under the constitutional doctrine of hooey.” Turley went on to describe the complicated procedures under the 25th Amendment, which would ultimately require a two-thirds majority in both houses of congress. Concluded Turley: “the 25th Amendment is not a really good option.”

Turley, while no conservative, has a history of breaking sad news to liberals, as when he concluded that there was no case for obstruction or treason against President Trump.

HOWARD DEAN: It seems to me that the issue here is the president’s impairment. He seems incapable of governing. He’s erratic . . . So, I agree with you, we can’t lower the standard for impeachment. What do you do? What about the 25th Amendment? [Turley laughs.] People keep talking about that. I personally think that’s probably hooey, but I’d love to hear your views on that.

JONATHAN TURLEY: [laughs again] Yes, indeed, that falls under the constitutional doctrine of hooey . . . The 25th Amendment is not a really good option. And I think part of the problem here is that people want this lifeline in the Constitution. They want, how can we sort of rid ourselves of this meddlesome president? The Constitution’s designed not to really allow that. They don’t want impulse by removals.

. . .

DEAN: Is that the hooey principle of the Constitution? Jonathan Turley made my morning with that constitutional principle.

WILLIE GEIST: Underlining your hooey principle.

Dean was thrilled by Turley’s support: “Jonathan Turley made my morning with that constitutional principle,” as Willie Geist added “underlining your hooey principle.”

Note: as he expressed his delight at Turley’s support, Dean made his trademark tongue-out gesture. Combined with the famous “Dean scream,” it was a reminder of why Dean had his limitations as a presidential candidate. There’s simply something not serious about the guy.


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Indeed, removing a president by impeachment requires nothing but a simple majority in the house and 2/3 of the senate. That’s it. The 25th amendment requires the vice president, a majority of the cabinet, and 2/3 of both houses. If the numbers aren’t there for the former they’re certainly not there for the latter. The 25th is designed for cases where the president doesn’t object to his removal, but isn’t capable of resigning, e.g. because he’s in a coma or gone completely gaga.

So true, but civics is not taught much anymore. Just as treason is thrown about when it is a constitutional defined crime that requires an actual enemy and under our constitution that is only possible with an actual declaration of war. We haven’t done that since WWII. Not even the Rosenbergs were tired for treason.

    DaveGinOly in reply to amr. | August 25, 2017 at 3:56 pm

    I wouldn’t say a charge of treason requires a declared war (in order to define an “enemy”). I think there are situations in which treason could be charged under less well-defined circumstances, such as assistance to N. Korea, or an identified terrorist group. We haven’t had a declared war since WW II. But it’s not hard to imagine that Jane Fonda could have been tried for treason for her “aid and comfort” to N. Vietnam, or for a treason charge against someone who assisted Saddam Hussein during one of the Gulf Wars (both times of active combat, without the benefit of a declaration of war – and the former without even the benefit of action under a war powers act).

      tom swift in reply to DaveGinOly. | August 25, 2017 at 10:26 pm

      I wouldn’t say a charge of treason requires a declared war

      It doesn’t. In perhaps our most famous case, ex-Vice President Aaron Burr’s indictment for treason didn’t involve any wars. He was accused of—among other tings—negotiating with a British minister, and Burr’s alleged co-conspirator, General Wilkinson, was in the secret pay of Spain, but the US was not at war with either at the time; relations weren’t even particularly hostile.

    Milhouse in reply to amr. | August 25, 2017 at 4:16 pm

    1. Treason does not require a declaration of war. It doesn’t even require a state of war. All it requires is an enemy. (Or a rebellion, which needn’t consist of more than one person.)

    2. A state of war doesn’t require a declaration. The very first war the USA fought — the quasi-war against France — was never declared, by either side, and yet the courts recognized that it existed.

    3. We have declared war several times since WW2, most recently on Iraq. You seem to be one of those silly people who think a declaration of war must contain some magic words such as “we declare war”, or it’s somehow not valid. That’s not how law works. Law is not magic or ritual, and there is no specific form that a declaration must take. It is defined by its substance.

I do enjoy your updates from your visits to the far left, Mark.
I can’t read nor watch their reports.
And I’m glad to hear that Dean and Turley both concede the 25th amendment is a dead end.

But i did chuckle a bit after reading this:
“Combined with the famous “Dean scream,” it was a reminder of why Dean had his limitations as a presidential candidate. THERE’S SIMPLY SOMETHING NOT SERIOUS ABOUT THE GUY” (emphasis mine)

Virtually all of the left, and some on the right, do say the same thing about Trump. So i do think the tongue thing is small potatoes. I also think Dean learned not to scream publicly.

    Mark Finkelstein in reply to mochajava76. | August 25, 2017 at 2:51 pm

    Thanks, MJ: glad you enjoy the reports on my excursions into the fever swamps of the MSM: we watch so you don’t have to! 😉

If the green screen behind howard dean was removed, we’d see he’s calling from a mental institution – and wearing no pants.

As a general rule Dean and the rest of the crew don’t care much for Jonathon Turley’s legal opinions but boy you see the pride when he praises them. They were puffed up like peacocks! (That means they know they are lying when they dismiss Turley’s legal opinions!)

So arogant and fool of themselves especially Dean, what an idiot!

Perhaps I’ve led a sheltered life, but I was unaware of Dean’s tongue thing. ‘Course it’s nothing much compared to that ghastly ventriloquist dummy’s grimace Hillary would paste on when she was trying to look human for the cameras. That was genuinely disturbing.