The Corner

Law & the Courts

Shouldn’t a ‘Senior Justice Writer’ Know This Stuff?

This morning, Shaun King, the “senior justice writer” for the New York Daily News, asked on Twitter, “In laymen’s terms, what would it take for the USA to pass a constitutional amendment for a President Recall like CA has for governor?”

It’s a strange world when asking a basic question to all of one’s Twitter followers is easier than typing a few words in Google or Wikipedia. The answer, for those wondering, are the same as for any other Constitutional amendment:

An amendment may be proposed either by the Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the State legislatures. None of the 27 amendments to the Constitution have been proposed by constitutional convention… A proposed amendment becomes part of the Constitution as soon as it is ratified by three-fourths of the States (38 of 50 States).

Article Five of the U.S. Constitution is not locked away in a vault somewhere. You don’t have to break in and hang from the ceiling to get a glimpse at it. A few hours after posing the question on Twitter, King wrote a column for the Daily News basically wishing that the United States had a mechanism for a recall election the way California does.

Of course, it doesn’t. The process for amending the Constitution would require many, many GOP-controlled state legislatures and the GOP-controlled houses of Congress to sign on, all in an effort to remove Trump from office.

In other words, King wishes there was an easy way to undo the 2016 presidential election, but there is not. If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. Shouldn’t a “senior justice writer” know about how to amend the Constitution already? And what exactly is the point of a column that wishes something existed but has no chance of actually happening?


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