High Crimes

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If the Roberts’ Court is right about the Constitution, it’s hard to imagine what the authors of the Constitution had in mind when they proposed that a President could be guilty of “high crimes and misdemeanors.” Yes, that is in a non-criminal context wherein criminal penalties aren’t possible. But they clearly meant this to be inclusive of official acts. Indeed, it almost certainly is primarily about official acts. Yes, you can kind of thread a needle to maybe work your way out of this contradiction. But you don’t need much of an acquaintance with the period in which the Constitution was written to know that the people of the time would have found this decision shocking. The mere words of the impeachment clause itself tell you that.

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