What is the Chief Justice’s Role in Impeachment?
February 19, 2020
Article I, section 3 of the U.S. Constitution stipulates that the chief justice shall preside over the Senate trial of an impeached president of the United States. Only three chief justices have presided over presidential impeachment trials: Salmon P. Chase (1868 trial of Andrew Johnson), William Rehnquist (1999 trial of Bill Clinton), and John Roberts (2020 trial of Donald Trump). Johnson, Clinton, and now Trump were all acquitted. But the process leaves lingering questions: What is the Chief Justice’s role in impeachment? What does it mean to serve as the trial’s presiding officer? Hear from the experts and ask a few questions of your own.
Welcome and introduction by W. Taylor Reveley III, President Emeritus of the College of William & Mary, featuring Michael Gerhardt, University of North Carolina Law Professor and author of Impeachment: What Everyone Should Know, who recently testified in President Trump’s impeachment trial, and Henry L. Chambers, the University of Richmond Austin E. Owen Research Scholar & Professor of Law.
Presented by the John Marshall Federal Courts Program, a partnership of William & Mary Law School, the Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture, and the John Marshall Foundation. Sponsored by the Virginia Museum of History & Culture.
To listen to the audio file of the Impeachment panel discussion on February 19, 2020, click on the button below.