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‘25th Amendment intended to deal with precisely this sort of danger from executive power,’ professor says

There are growing calls among lawmakers and even some business leaders for Vice President Mike Pence to seriously consider invoking the 25th Amendment of the Constitution to remove President Trump from office following yesterday’s violence at the U.S. Capitol. The 25th Amendment formalizes that the vice president takes over the duties of the presidency in the event of a president’s death, inability to perform his duties or resignation from office. It also lays out a process by which a sitting president may be removed from office.

Professors from the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, as well as from Northwestern’s history department, are available for comment. 

Michael Allen is an associate professor of history. His research interests focus on U.S. political and diplomatic history. He is the author of “Until the Last Man Comes Home: POWs, MIAs, and the Unending Vietnam War.” His current work-in-progress, “New Politics: The Imperial Presidency, The Pragmatic Left, and the Problem of Democratic Power, 1933-1981,” treats evolving left-liberal relations to presidential power in the postwar era. He can be reached by contacting Stephanie Kulke at stephanie.kulke@northwestern.edu.

Quote from Professor Allen
“It is past time for national leaders who wish to protect our nation and preserve its democracy to impeach and convict Donald Trump and/or seek to remove him from office via the 25th Amendment, both of which were intended to deal with precisely this sort of danger from executive power, which the nation’s founders considered the most grave threat to a constitutional democracy, one nearly as dangerous as the king they had just waged revolution against. He has shown over the last 24 hours and over the last two months, that he only becomes more dangerous as his days as president dwindle and he cannot safely be allowed to remain in office.”

Ronald Allen is the John Henry Wigmore Professor of Law and a constitutional and criminal law expert. He can be reached at rjallen@law.northwestern.edu.

Daniel Rodriguez is the Harold Washington Professor of Law and previously served as a dean of the Law School. Among his focus areas are administrative law, local government law and federal and state constitutional law. He can be reached at daniel.rodriguez@law.northwestern.edu.