I wrote the following letter Aug. 16, 2017 to my congressman, Rep. John Yarmuth, Democrat of Kentucky’s 3rd District:
Dear Rep. Yarmuth,
After careful consideration of the effects it may have on the stability of the nation, I write today to ask you to initiate the use of the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to remove President Donald Trump from power.
The amendment allows the Vice-President and a majority of the Cabinet to recommend the removal of the president in cases where the president is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office,” and allows the House and Senate to confirm the recommendation over the president’s objection by two-thirds vote.
Though it may appear that partisan loyalty by the Vice-President and cabinet members would impede the process, under Section 4 of the 25th Amendment, Congress has considerable input.
In lieu of waiting for a cabinet majority to make the recommendation, Congress may by law provide an independent body, described as a “disability review body” which, with the Vice-President’s concurring, could declare the president unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and send its own written declaration to the Senate president pro tempore and the House speaker.
Twenty-fifth Amendment author U.S. Senator Birch Bayh of Indiana, concurring with former President Dwight Eisenhower, said the question of whether a president should be removed is “really a political question.” Bayh continued that the decision to invoke the 25th Amendment should rest on the “professional judgment of the political circumstances existing at the time.”
Today, President Trump’s performance in office has demonstrated ineptitude and instability which have endangered the security of the nation and the lives of millions of innocent Americans and residents of other nations. I strongly believe that circumstances show, based on Senator Bayh’s criteria, that President Trump is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. These circumstances include the president’s:
*Inability to abide by the 14th Amendment’s requirement of equal protection of the law, as shown by his use of derogatory sweeping generalizations of minorities.
*Failure to devote effort to his job in the crucial first months in office, constantly vacationing at his own resort while his agenda flounders in Congress.
*Hazardous and ill-considered nuclear saber rattling done on his personal whim, instead of relying on plural input by military strategists.
*Lack of basic linguistic skills, which undermines the communicating to the public needed to ensure consent of the governed, and use of gaslighting trickery and evasive adhominem responses to criticism.
*Refusal to sit for the crucial American tradition of independent media scrutiny, instead calling reporters enemies of the people, a verbal assault which undermines the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
In the May issue of The Atlantic magazine, National Constitution Center president and George Washington University law professor Jeffrey Rosen, while acknowledging that use of the 25th Amendment’s never before employed involuntary removal mechanism on a president not incapacitated by illness “could trigger a political crisis,” added: “…(T)he constitutional test of the president’s being ‘unable to discharge the powers and duties’ of the office was intended to be vague and open-ended.”
Rosen added: “Because the Twenty-fifth Amendment was intended to leave the determination of presidential disability to politicians, rather than to doctors, nothing in the text or history of the Amendment would preclude the vice president, Cabinet, and Congress from determining the president is ‘unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office’ if they deemed it in their political interest to do so.”
The intractable and worsening dangers posed by President Trump’s clear inability to discharge the powers and duties of his office now outweigh any negative effects of the use of the 25th Amendment. Though sufficient votes in the House and Senate certainly would not exist now to remove the president, appointing a disability review body would communicate to the administration that President Trump’s fitness for the office is an issue that will very possibly result in his facing removal if he continues using his current tactics.
I urge you to propose a discussion on the prompt creation of a disability review body for the purpose of weighing the evidence on using the 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to remove President Donald Trump from power.