Victoria Nourse


Will the Trump impeachments inspire a flurry of future presidential impeachments? Will the second Trump impeachment, which occurred after the President left office, spur impeachments of lesser, former government officials? These and other questions emerged during the 2022 Missouri Law Review Symposium and on the Senate floor during the Trump impeachment trials. I have argued that we can make an educated prognosis about these possibilities based on constitutional structure. I called this argument the “political safeguards” of impeachment in my recent book, The Impeachments of Donald Trump: An Introduction to Constitutional Argument. What I called political safeguards, invoking the great legal scholar Professor Herbert Wechsler, are easily described as constitutional safeguards. They are political in the sense that they are part of our democracy, and not political in the sense that they are lawless or partisan. In this short Article, I expand on this claim, arguing that these “political” safeguards emerge from what Professor Charles Black called basic constitutional structures and relationships.

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