The Originalist Case against a Trump Impeachment Trial

House impeachment managers deliver the article of impeachment against former President Donald Trump to the Senate in Washington, D.C., January 25, 2021. (Melina Mara/Pool via Reuters)
The American republic desperately needs a respite from the extreme political factionalism of the recent past.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE N ow that it has received the articles of impeachment and designated Patrick Leahy as the presiding judge, the Senate will have to officially decide whether it has the jurisdiction to try Donald Trump. A court — even a court of impeachment — first must ask if it has the constitutional authority to hear a case. Only after it has found jurisdiction can a court turn to the merits of the claim. When Congress’s power over ex-officials is so doubtful, the Senate’s most prudent course would be to dismiss the case — regardless of whether it believes Trump committed “incitement of

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