A Citizen's Guide
Cass R. Sunstein
“With insight, wisdom, affection, and concern, Sunstein has written the story of impeachment every citizen needs to know. This is a remarkable, essential book.” —Doris Kearns Goodwin
No one is above the law, not even the president. Impeachment is the most potent tool the founders gave us to ensure it, and yet few of us even know how it works.
As Benjamin Franklin famously put it, Americans have a republic, if we can keep it. Preserving the Constitution and the democratic system it supports is the public's responsibility. One route the Constitution provides for discharging that duty--a route rarely traveled--is impeachment. Expanding beyond violations of the law, impeachment was meant to defend against any action that would undermine the foundations of our republic.
Harvard Law professor Cass R. Sunstein provides a succinct citizen's guide to this essential tool of self-government. Taking us deeper than mere partisan politics, he illuminates the constitutional design behind impeachment and emphasizes the people's role in holding presidents accountable. In spite of the loud national debate over whether or not the House is right to impeach Trump, impeachment itself remains widely misunderstood. Sunstein identifies and corrects a number of common misconceptions, and describes how impeachment helps is an essential piece of our constitutional order, and a crucial part of the framers' decision to install an empowered executive in a nation deeply fearful of kings.
With an eye toward the past and the future, Impeachment: A Citizen's Guide considers a host of actual and imaginable arguments for a president's removal, explaining why some cases are easy and others hard, why some arguments for impeachment have been judicious and others not. And with an afterword and appendix on the current impeachment, it puts the national debate in its proper historical context. In direct and approachable terms, it is a guide through the treacherous waters of the impeachment process so that Americans of all political convictions may use their ultimate civic authority wisely.