Over the course of this past eight years — at least — there have been numerous failures at multiple levels of government that have not gone unnoticed by the American people. They (we) are dissatisfied to say the least. What now appears before us is a national emergency — the inauguration of Donald Trump to the Office of The President of the United States. This, in my view, cannot stand.
I have scoured my copy of our National Archives [(1999), Eric Bruun and Jay Crosby, editors] to better understand the legal methods by which a standing president may be removed from office. I won’t presume to lecture on the responsibilities of the Congress in these matters concerning impeachment by the House and conviction by the Senate as just one set of tools for removal as described in Article II, Section 4 and Article I, Section 3, Clause 6 of the United States Constitution.
I understand yet another mechanism is provided by Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, under which the vice president and a majority of the Cabinet may transfer the presidential powers from the president to the vice president with transmission of a written declaration to the speaker of the House and the president pro tempore of the Senate that the president is unable to discharge the duties of office. Further action by the Congress is then required. This provision is designed to address a debilitating illness of the sitting president.
Presidential resignation is a third mechanism of which I am aware.
Given that the last two options seem highly unlikely, I must ask our members of Congress these three questions:
Where is the statesmanship?
Where is country before party?
Where have ethics and honor gone?
In my view, the president-elect is clearly incapable, pursuant to the Constitution of the United States, of honorably, and knowledgeably, and respectfully serving the people of the United States “... with liberty and justice for all ....” Due respect to the Constitution and the requirements of the duties of the office seem totally lacking in this individual.
I think that members of the Electoral College clearly failed in their duties as envisioned by the Founding Fathers in the dark history of the elector concept. Electors failed to put country before party by voting for a man who is clearly a demagogue.
As a nation we are in dire trouble. The Oval Office is about to be sullied. I implore the Congress pursue its responsibilities with respect to the aforementioned articles and to do so with with due diligence.
Roy F. Heberger Jr. resides in Boise. He served as a career U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist and as assistant field supervisor of the Snake River Basin Office. He is now retired.