DENVER (CBS4) – As lawmakers move ahead with introducing articles of impeachment, calls to invoke the 25th Amendment remain. Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, also a former law professor, says we are in uncharted territory.
“It has never happened in U.S. history before. It has happened in fiction before — TV shows have mapped that scenario out. It’s not something we have ever seen before. It’s now on the table for good reason,” the Democrat said.
Weiser says the 25th Amendment was put in place in the case of when an active president’s ability to perform necessary duties might come in to question.
“It provides a procedure where the cabinet and the vice president can by a vote determine that a president is unfit to serve,” he said.
With only weeks left in the presidents term, many question why now and would it have an impact? According to University of Colorado Boulder Law Professor Paul Campos, the answer is yes.
“The great advantage of Section 4 of the 25th Amendment is that it allows for immediate transfer of power to the vice president,” Campos said.
The short timeframe, he says, may make the 25th Amendment more appealing. If challenged by the president, Congress would have the final say and would need to make a decision within 21 days.
“Because there are only 13 days left in Trump’s term, the House of Representatives could just say we are not dealing with this and the clock would run out, and Pence would remain acting president for the rest of Trump’s term,” Campos said.
Weiser says the ability to make changes quickly will likely be a driving factor going forward.
“The most important goal that we are looking is how do we ensure no harm until the end of the term and a peaceful transition of power,” he said.