Q&A of the Day – Can an impeached and removed president run for office again?
Each day I’ll feature a listener question that’s been submitted by one of these methods.
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Today’s entry: Good morning Brian, I’ve asked several lawyers if Trump is removed from office before the 2020 election but his name is still on ballot, can he be put back on office by the election? Got many different ideas.
Bottom Line: It’s a good question because it’s never occurred. In fact, as a reminder, a president has never been removed from office through the impeachment process. Ironically, we have a different version of a similar situation playing out right now in South Florida. Former Broward Sheriff Scott Israel’s situation is near identical to the presidential hypothetical. Scott Israel was suspended for perceived dereliction of duty and after a Senate trial had the removal from office upheld. As you’re probably aware, he’s able and is running for office once again. There’s a big difference between being Broward’s Sheriff and President of the United States but the result is similar.
I don’t mean to impugn the attorneys you spoke to which expressed doubt, but they must not be studied in constitutional law. The Constitution is clear on the issue of impeachment and removal from office.
Article I, Section 3, Clause 7:
Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States.
That means it’s all up to the Senate. The Senate has three choices.
- Not to remove the president
- Remove the president without any further considerations
- Remove the president and ban from holding public office
While we don’t have a presidential example to point to, we do have another South Florida example to help illustrate what’s possible. None other than Representative Alcee Hastings is an example of someone impeached/removed from office, while a judge, who wasn’t banned from holding public office. As you’re likely aware, he soon then after ran for Congress and has won every election in his House district since 1992.
Objectively observing the senate’s likely judgement should President Trump be impeached; the most likely outcome would be for President Trump remaining president. The second most likely outcome would be for him to be removed but not barred from public office. The least likely outcome would be removal and public office ban.