Is Pelosi right to propose using the 25th amendment to remove a president from office?


Fact Box

  • The 25th amendment was passed by Congress on July 6, 1965 and ratified February 10, 1967. If the president resigns, is incapacitated, or dies, the vice president is next in line to step in as standing president. 
  • Nancy Pelosi mentioned the Democrats will host an event on Friday to discuss President Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis in light of the 25th amendment. She “declined to comment if it is time to invoke the amendment.”
  • On Friday, October 2, President Trump and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for coronavirus. Trump will remain in office, but will be home for two weeks, and will cancel campaign events.
  • “Trump's supporters say that he has shown leadership since his release from hospital. But his opponents say his behaviour has become increasingly erratic.”

Tyler (Yes)

When Nancy Pelosi referenced the 25th Amendment yesterday, she introduced a piece of legislation that could easily be applied to either candidate in the next four years. Any candidate elected in November will eventually be the oldest president in our country's history. President Trump is currently facing criticism for the way he has handled his coronavirus diagnosis. At first, he was experiencing shortness of breath and received supplementary oxygen soon after that. He is also known for having an outrageously unhealthy diet.

Biden will be 82 by the end of his possible four-year term and is receiving treatment for high cholesterol and heart problems. It is not practical to trust Trump's account of his coronavirus bout. He was seen on video clearly struggling to take a breath just one day after claiming Americans should 'not be afraid' of the virus.' His pride will not allow him to declare how he truly feels, which can lead to the American people being completely misinformed about the dangers presented from this virus.

Besides strictly health reasons, the 25th Amendment can also force a president to resign after deemed unable to fulfill their duties. If a president's ego does not allow them to admit that they are no longer capable of performing their job, they should be removed from office. This can apply to either future president that is not responsible enough to handle the tasks in front of them.

Bill (No)

Nancy Pelosi is wrong to propose using the 25th Amendment to remove President Trump from office. The 25th Amendment is reserved for extreme cases where a transfer of power is required, such as the death, resignation, or a declaration that the president, through illness or other circumstances, cannot perform his duties. The latter situation is such an extreme remedy that it requires a 2/3 vote of the House and the Senate before Executive power transfers to the Vice President. 

President Trump's recent three-day stay at Walter Reed to treat COVID-related symptoms of 'high fever,' and a blood oxygen level below 94% certainly does not warrant invoking the 25thAmendment. The president was released on Monday evening after his symptoms were brought under control and his health indicators back within normal ranges. In addition to being unnecessary, the suggestion by Nancy Pelosi to set in motion the 25th Amendment process is not her call to make. The Amendment specifies only the Vice President and the Cabinet have the authority to propose that executive power be transferred.

Perhaps the most important reason that Pelosi's talk of invoking the 25th Amendment is inappropriate is that it's clearly a partisan, political stunt. Coming less than four weeks before the election, any suggestion of removing President Trump for medical reasons (in light of his rapid recovery from his bout with COVID-19) is designed to undermine the public's confidence in voting for a second term for the president. President Trump declared he 'feels great' and thinks Pelosi is 'crazy' for suggesting that he be removed from power.

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