O'CONNOR CH. 7 ON THE PRESIDENCY
(March 7 and 12 handouts will help)
Amendment – p 199
Book definition – Adopted in 1951, prevents a president from serving more than two terms, or more than 10 years if he came to
office via the death or impeachment of his predecessor.
4, 7, and 11 year terms with no eligibility for reelection were suggested by various delegates to the Constitutional
For a long time two terms was the “unwritten” rule because that was how long George Washington served.
However, in the 1930s and 40s Franklin D. Roosevelt ran successfully in four elections during the Great Depression
Despite Roosevelt’s popularity, negative reaction to his long tenure in office led to the passage and ratification of the
The United States Congress passed the amendment on March 21, 1947. It was ratified by the requisite number of states
on February 27, 1951.
Impeachment – p 199
Book definition – The power delegated to the House of Representatives in the Constitution to charge the president, vice
president, or other “civil officers,” including federal judges, with “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
This is the first step in the constitutional process of removing such government officials from office.
- is the crime that covers some of the more serious acts of disloyalty to one's sovereign or nation.
- is an act usually implying money or gift given that alters the behavior of the recipient in ways not consistent
with the duties of that person or in breach of law. Bribery constitutes a crime as the offering, giving, receiving, or
soliciting of any item of value to influence the actions of an official or other person in discharge of a public or legal
It may be any money, good, right in action, property, preferment, privilege, emolument, object of value,
advantage, or merely a promise or undertaking to induce or influence the action, vote, or influence of a person in
an official or public capacity.
High Crimes and Misdemeanors
Refers only to high public officials
– is one which seeks the overthrow of the country, which gives aid or comfort to its enemies, or which
injures the country to the profit of an individual or group. In democracies and similar societies it also includes
crimes which attempt to alter the outcome of elections.
– refers to the number of positive misprisions, neglects and contempts. The most important
example being that of maladministration in high office.
Impeachment originated in the U.S. from Benjamin Franklin – claimed that the lack of power to remove public
officials led a stronger chance of assassination of officials
Impeachment was thus included in Article II of the Constitution.
House has power to impeach president with a simple majority vote