House Democrats on Friday unveiled legislation creating a panel to gauge a president’s capacity to perform the job — and potentially remove the commander in chief from office in cases of decided debility.
The commission would be permanent, applying to current and future administrations, but it’s a clear shot at President Trump, whose treatments for the coronavirus have raised questions about their effects on his mental acuity.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), a sharp critics of the president, has fueled those questions in the the days since Trump returned to the White House after three nights in the hospital, floating the idea that Trump’s drug regimen — which includes a steroid linked to mood swings — might be affecting his decision-making.
“The President is, shall we say, in an altered state right now,” the speaker told Bloomberg News on Thursday.
The Democrats’ legislation invokes the 25th Amendment, which empowers Congress to create “a body” which, working with the vice president, can remove a president deemed “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
Sponsored by Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a former professor of constitutional law, the bill would create a 17-member panel charged with judging the president’s fitness — and empowered to remove that figure when deficiencies are determined. In such a case, the vice president would take over.
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