Current & Future Uses of the Impeachment Power

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Congress’s impeachment power has been used dozens of times since the republic’s founding, mostly for relatively low- and mid-level executive and judicial officers involving clear instances of bribery or other felonies. Its attempted use to remove Supreme Court justices, presidents, and now cabinet secretaries is more controversial, and since the 1990s, in arguably partisan or overtly political ways. The impeachment inquiry into President Biden and the House vote to impeach Homeland Security Department Secretary Mayorkas (which recently failed a snap Senate vote) may be seen as tit-for-tat for the two impeachment trials of President Trump. Is that a false equivalence? Regardless of who threw the first partisan stone, are recent uses of the Impeachment power a good development or arguable abuses? What does it portend for the future? Our distinguished panel of scholars will discuss the power itself, recent impeachment proceedings, and the potential implications for the future.


  • Prof. Michael J. Gerhardt, Burton Craige Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence, UNC School of Law

  • Prof. Keith E. Whittington, William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Politics, Princeton University

  • (Moderator) Prof. Ilya Somin, Professor of Law, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University


As always, the Federalist Society takes no position on particular legal or public policy issues; all expressions of opinion are those of the speaker.