A growing number of Congressional Democrats are sponsoring a bill that would create a congressional “oversight” commission that could declare President Donald Trump incapacitated and remove him from office under the 25th Amendment.
Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), the bill’s chief sponsor, sent out an email to his colleagues in the immediate aftermath of President Trump’s Twitter dispute with MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski, urging them to support the measure, arguing that it is of “enduring importance to the security of our nation.”
“In case of emergency, break glass,” Raskin said during an interview with Yahoo News. “If you look at the record of things that have happened since January, it is truly a bizarre litany of events and outbursts.”
The 25th Amendment was adopted in 1967 following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Under Section 4 of the Amendment, the Vice President and a majority of the President’s cabinet members could lawfully determine that the President is “unable to discharge the powers and duties” of the office. After providing a document stating their claim to Congress, the President would be removed from office.
If a president challenged the finding and demanded to be reinstated, a two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress would be required to block it. In addition to the President’s cabinet, Section 4 of the 25th Amendment also grants Congress, working in concordance with the Vice President, the right to declare a President unfit for office–language that Raskin, a former Constitutional law professor, is hoping capitalize on.
Raskin’s bill would create an “Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity,” a nonpartisan panel appointed by congressional leaders composed of four physicians, four psychiatrists and three others—such as former presidents, vice presidents or other former senior government officials.
If directed by Congress, the commission would conduct an examination of President Trump “to determine whether the president is incapacitated, either mentally or physically.”
After Trump’s latest round of controversial tweets, four more Democrats signed on to Raskin’s bill, according to his office, bringing the total number of sponsors to 25.
Among the sponsors are Reps. John Conyers (D-MI), the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), the former chair of the Democratic National Committee.
“The question is, where are we going to be six months, 12 months, 18 months from now? The presidency is considered extremely stressful for people with the strongest mental health,” Raskin said. “We need to be prepared for all eventualities.”