AIF Blog

Impeachment: A Citizen's Guide

Oct 24, 2017
CATEGORY: Society, U.S.A., World

Cass Sunstein speaks to attendees at the Aspen Ideas Festival in June.


If you Google "impeachment" today, the links and news stories that appear detail efforts and comments to impeach President Trump. California billionaire Tom Steyer is urging impeachment with a $10 million campaign. Local elected officials in San Francisco are supporting the idea. On Twitter, there's even a handle "Impeach Donald Trump." But just how realistic is impeachment?

Harvard Law professor Cass Sunstein says impeachment is one way for the public to preserve the Constitution and the democratic system. Though, he adds, impeachment should be a final weapon of self defense. The history of impeachment stretches back before the American Revolution. Democratically-elected legislators first used it on their British bosses in the colonies. Later, Andrew Johnson became the first impeached president. Sunstein says the mechanism of impeachment is part of a very small series of innovations in the American experiment that grew out of the American Revolution. In this episode, he offers a nonpartisan, historical guide — with some reverence and even awe — for our constitutional order, and for the power it gives to We the People.

Discover more about what's discussed in this episode by exploring the links below.

“Aspen Ideas to Go” is a weekly show featuring fascinating speakers who have presented at the Aspen Ideas Festival and other public programs offered by the Aspen Institute. For a curated listening experience, subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts or find an archive of episodes here.



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