Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Both Maladministration And Attempting To Subvert The Constitution Are Impeachable

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Similarly, the House Judiciary Committee, assessing impeachment in the aftermath of Watergate, noted that to Blackstone, “high misdemeanors” was a constitutional term of art that encompassed “maladministration”—again, an obviously political rather than judicial expression. George Mason had attempted at Philadelphia to make maladministration explicitly impeachable; Madison objected on grounds of vagueness; yet, the Judiciary Committee reports, Mason complained in turn that limiting the device to bribery and treason “would ‘not reach many great and dangerous offences’ including ‘[a]ttempts to subvert the Constitution.” “High crimes and misdemeanors” was the resulting compromise, and it was understood to incorporate such attempts.
Read: Defining Impeachment Up

Related: It Didn't Start With Watergate

Related: Down from Watergate