A partisan impeachment vote is exactly what the framers feared

The House vote to establish procedures for a possible impeachment of President Trump, along party lines with two Democrats opposing and no Republicans favoring, was exactly was Alexander Hamilton feared in discussing the impeachment provisions laid out in the Constitution.

Hamilton warned of the “greatest danger” that the decision to move forward with impeachment will “be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties than the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt.” He worried that the tools of impeachment would be wielded by the “most cunning or most numerous factions” and lack the “requisite neutrality toward those whose conduct would be the subject of scrutiny…”

It is far more likely that, no matter how extensive the investigation is and regardless of what it uncovers, nearly all House Democrats will vote for impeachment and nearly all House Republicans will vote against it. Such a partisan vote would deny constitutional legitimacy to impeachment. It was because of this fear of partisanship in the House that the framers left the ultimate decision to remove an official to the Senate. The framers intended the Senate, which was not popularly elected at the time the Constitution was written, to be less partisan and act more like judges.

Article URL : https://thehill.com/opinion/judiciary/468483-a-partisan-impeachment-vote-is-exactly-what-the-framers-feared

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