« Let’s Not Overthink the National Popular Vote Compact Which is Clever but Cannot Work
Andrew Hyman
| Main | Cass Sunstein: Experiments of Living Constitutionalism
Michael Ramsey »


Seth Barrett Tillman has some Biden-Related Questions
Michael Ramsey

At the New Reform Club, Seth Barrett Tillman: Some Biden-related questions no one seems to be asking?  Here are some of the ones relating to the Constitution:

For the purposes of the Impeachment Clause (Article II, Section 4), and the allegations surrounding Biden’s VP duties, is President Biden a current office-holder or a former office-holder? 

And if President Biden is not a current office-holder for the the purpose of the Impeachment Clause ... Given that President Biden’s woes stem from a position which he formerly held, and that there was a break in his government service between his being VP and P, one asks: “Are former officers impeachable?”

Is there any statute of limitations defense for impeachable offenses? Should the statute of limitations during impeachment proceedings mimic the statutory statutory statute of limitations where the alleged impeachable offense is a federal criminal offense? (Tillman: my tentative answer is “yes.” See also Josh Blackman & Seth Barrett Tillman, ‘Can President Trump be Impeached and Removed on the Grounds of Incitement?,’ Reason—Volokh Conspiracy (Jan. 8, 2021, 3:57 AM), <https://tinyurl.com/y5vz3d6o>.)

Is there any implied statute of limitations arising from the Constitution itself? 

My answers are (a) he is a current office holder and so subject to impeachment including for offenses in a former office [the impeachment clause says the President can be impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, not just for high crimes and misdemeanors in his current office], and (b) there's no constitutional version of a statute of limitations [there's nothing about a limitations period in any of the impeachment-related clauses, and that's good enough for me: whether a remote past event is grounds for impeachment/removal is up to the House/Senate].

Note that these answers would also apply to President Trump if he were re-elected President and then re-impeached (if that's a word) for the January 6 events.