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UMKC professor explains 25th Amendment as calls grow for Trump’s removal

Posted at 5:06 PM, Jan 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-07 18:08:25-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A day after a chaotic scene at the U.S. Capitol, calls are growing for enacting the 25th Amendment to remove President Donald Trump.

Some lawmakers including U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, D-Kan. joined that effort on Thursday.

"We have a president right now who has not only condoned that but also encouraged it and he has demonstrated that he is not fit to hold public office let alone the Oval Office," Davids said.

Davids is part of a growing group of lawmakers including leaders of the democratic party in both the House and Senate.

Rep. Adam Kinzinger R-Illinois, posted a Twitter video, "It's time to invoke the 25th Amendment and end this nightmare."

The 25th Amendment is not impeachment but another way to remove a president.

The fourth section of the 25th Amendment has never been used before in American history.

"The 25th Amendment is a potentially faster mechanism of removal than impeachment, impeachment is different mechanism but that works through congress and have to have a trial in order to get impeachment through both houses," Greg Vonnahme, UMKC political science professor, said.

The amendment requires the vice president and the majority of the cabinet to send a note to Congress.

The note has to declare the president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.

It would then make the vice president the acting president. Congress would then need a super majority vote to fully remove the president.

"It could happen very very quickly," Vonnahme said.

According to Vonnahme, The 25th Amendment has been enacted before in other sections.

"When Gerald Ford became president he used a section to appoint a Vice President, President Reagan and President George W. Bush both at several times utilized the 25th amendment to appoint their vice president when they were having medical procedures and they would temporarily be incapacitated," Vonnahme said.

Vonnahme says he believes this is more political posturing than reality at this point.

"My read on this is that this is setting the stage, like what happens a lot in politics is kind of like a brush back pitch in baseball they're trying to send a message without actually doing damage," he said.

To read more about the 25th Amendment click here.