Today’s CONVO focuses on Impeachment.
After throwing off the bonds of British tyranny, the Americans established a new country upon the principle of liberty. The genius of the U.S. Constitution was its ability to create a “Goldilocks government” strong enough to unite a nation, while constrained enough to avoid tyranny- just right. The Framers, pessimistic of human nature, created a system of free and fair elections, guaranteed Constitutional liberties, and checks and balances to limit a tyranical government. Among the many safeguards against the rule of a tyrant, one of the final checks of absolutism can be found in Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution - the ability of the U.S. Congress to impeach a President. The U.S. Congress has begun an impeachment inquiry that could result in the termination of a President. Today’s CONVO is about how impeachment works and whether you think the U.S. Congress should impeach Donald J. Trump? Join our CONVO to learn, discuss and act on this critical issue. Here’s how CONVO works.
The Big Question
How does impeachment works, and should the U.S. Congress impeach Donald J. Trump?
Related Questions to Consider
What is impeachment and how does it work?
What is the history of impeachment in the U.S.?
How democratic is impeachment?
Should other factors besides elections be used to decide on a president?
Why did the Framers bake impeachment into the U.S. Constitution?
Why did the Framers make impeachment so hard to achieve?
Do you think Trump will be impeached?
Do you think Trump should be impeached?
Add your own question in the field below:
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Should Donald J. Trump be impeached?
2-Research and Share
Use your brain to learn all about today’s critical issue with these facts, data, maps, charts, visuals, videos, and more.
First some background.
Impeachment is found in Article II, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution - the ability of the U.S. Congress to impeach a U.S. President.
Offenses that could prompt impeachment are treason, bribery or "other high crimes and misdemeanors."
The inclusion of "other high crimes and misdemeanors" gives the legislative branch flexibility to investigate an array of allegations.
One article of impeachment is drafted for each alleged offense.
In the House, if a simple majority votes in favor of impeachment, the chief justice of the Supreme Court presides over a trial in the Senate. A two-thirds majority is required to convict and remove a president from office.
Congress has conducted two presidential impeachment trials: President Andrew Johnson in 1868, for firing a cabinet secretary without the consent of Congress, and President Bill Clinton in 1998 for perjury and obstruction of justice.
Both Johnson and Clinton were acquitted, so they stayed in office.
President Richard M. Nixon faced possible impeachment on the grounds of obstruction of justice, abuse of power and contempt of Congress in relation to the Watergate scandal. He resigned in 1974, before a vote was conducted in the House of Representatives.
In addition to the presidential impeachments, Congress has carried out 17 other trials for federal officials including judges, a cabinet member and a senator.
The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.
In Federalist No. 51, Madison wrote that the people are the best check on the government, “A dependence on the people is, no doubt, the primary control on the government;” But that since the people could be wrong, “experience has taught mankind the necessity of auxiliary precautions.” The government must be set up to stop tyranny. He wrote that, “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition.”
Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.
Why I Changed My Mind About Impeachment - By David Leonhardt on September 24, 2019 in The New York Times
The Impeachment Congress - by The. Editorial Board on September 24, 2019 in The Wall Street Journal
Impeaching Trump On Russia Was Unpopular. Will Ukraine Be Different? - By Nate Silver on Sep. 24, 2019 on FiveThirtyEight
Now share your thoughts on our Convo Forum
Check out the Convo Forum Template to get an idea of how this works.
Then open the Convo Forum Impeachment, make a copy for each of your classes, then have your students fill in their class forum.
3- Listen and Discuss
Use Your Ears and Join us as we Listen and Discuss today’s critical issue.
Students discuss the topic in a setting that maximizes listening.
Use Your Words
Students write a post-discussion Editorial about the topic to persuade the reader of their position. Students must use and name at least one source from the forum in their editorial.
Students act on what they have learned about the topic. Students can work alone or in teams to turn their learning into action. Here is a list of Critical Actions students can take.