Seth Tillman (National University of Ireland, Maynooth) has posted Interpreting Precise Constitutional Text: The Argument for a “New” Interpretation of the Incompatibility Clause, the Removal and Disqualification Clause, and the Religious Test Clause — A Response to Professor Josh Chafetz’s “Impeachment and Assassination”, on SSRN. The abstract follows.
This article is a response to Professor Josh Chafetz’s Impeachment & Assassination, Minnesota Law Review, Vol. 95, p. 347, 2010. According to Professor Josh Chafetz, “impeachment maintains the link between removal and death, but attenuates it…. Impeachment is … a political death – a President who is impeached and convicted is deprived of his continued existence as a political officeholder. And, like death, impeachment and conviction may be permanent.” In this response, it is my purpose to show that Chafetz’s proposed metaphor does not work and, indeed, that inferences drawn from this metaphor lead Chafetz far afield from the Constitution’s original public meaning.
This paper is largely a response to Professor Chafetz’s Minnesota Law Review publication. But it also responds to several recent publications by Professors Steven G. Calabresi (in PENNumbra) and Saikrishna B. Prakash (in the Duke Journal of Constitutional Law and Public Policy), and to a student note by Mr. David J. Shaw (in the Georgetown Law Journal).