Sarat is a professor of jurisprudence and political science at Amherst College.
While there have been demands for the impeachment of many presidents, just three previous ones – Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton – have faced formal impeachment inquiries, and the Senate convicted none of them. None of those three sought reelection.
Trump, however, is already doing so.
As a scholar of American legal and political history, I have studied the precedents for dealing with this strange conundrum. A little-known wrinkle in the Constitution might allow Trump to be reelected president in 2020 even if he is removed from office through the impeachment process.
Cunningham is the director of the National Institute for Teaching Ethics & Professionalism at Georgia State University.
As Congress moves toward a possible formal impeachment of President Donald Trump, they should consider words spoken at the Constitutional Convention, when the Founders explained that impeachment was intended to have many important purposes, not just removing a president from office.
A critical debate took place on July 20, 1787, which resulted in adding the impeachment clause to the U.S. Constitution. Benjamin Franklin, the oldest and probably wisest delegate at the Convention, said that when the president falls under suspicion, a "regular and peaceable inquiry" is needed.
There's fresh evidence that anxiety about the many ways American democracy is malfunctioning remains very high in the national consciousness.
More than a third of Americans now view the government itself as the top problem in the United States, the Gallup survey out Monday finds. Those results offer all candidates now running for office a clear rationale for elevating plans to "fix the system" closer to the top of their policy agendas.
So far, however, proposals for reforming democracy have received minimal attention in the 2020 campaign — neither in the presidential race that's been underway all year nor in the hundreds of congressional and state legislative contests just starting to gel.
Etelson is a member of Better Angels, a citizens group fighting political polarization, and the author of "Beyond Contempt: How Liberals Can Communicate Across the Great Divide."
In my one-year retrospective last month on the Supreme Court confirmation hearings, I observed that partisan bias played a huge role in whether one believed nominee Brett Kavanaugh or Christine Blasey Ford. Extreme partisan disparity is evident once again in public opinion polls concerning impeachment.
Eighty-seven percent of Democrats and 23 percent of Republicans approve of Congress launching an impeachment inquiry, according to a September 26-27 YouGov poll commissioned by CBS News. Likewise, when asked whether Trump's handling of Ukraine is "typical — a thing most presidents do" or "unusual — something few have done," 71 percent of Republicans but just 15 percent of Democrats say it is typical.