Article I, Section 3, Clause 6: Trial of Impeachment

The essential powers and procedures for Senate impeachment trials are set forth in this clause. The Framers vested the Senate with the “sole Power to try Impeachments” for several reasons. First, they believed Senators would be better educated, more virtuous, and more high-minded than Members of the House of Representatives and thus uniquely able to decide responsibly the most difficult of political questions. Second, the Framers vested the Senate rather than the judiciary with the authority to try impeachments because they favored, as Alexander Hamilton explained in The Federalist No. 65, a “numerous court for the trial of impeachments.” He believed such a body would be well suited to handle the procedural demands of an impeachment trial, in which it, unlike judges, should “never be tied down by such strict rules, either in the delineation of the offense by the prosecutor, or in the construction of it by judges, as in the common cases serve to limit the discretion of courts in favor of personal security.” Hamilton explained further that “[t]he awful discretion which a court of impeachments must necessarily have to doom to honor or infamy the most confidential and the most distinguished characters of the community forbids the commitment of the trust to a small number of persons.”
— Read on

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s