CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE AND STUDIES FOREIGN STUDIES In its broadest sense, impeachment is the process by which public officials may be removed from office on the basis of their conduct. Strictly speaking, it is the decision by a legislature to accuse an official of one or more offenses that warrant removal according to constitutional standards. A vote to impeach then triggers a trial based on those charges. The most famous impeachment proceedings have involved presidents, but every state has its own procedures. Most follow the federal model in general, but vary widely in their specifics.
At the federal level, impeachment starts in the House of Representatives, where members may initiate resolutions to impeach a sitting president. The House Judiciary Committee decides if a resolution merits a formal impeachment inquiry. A simple majority vote in the full House can launch a formal inquiry. The House Judiciary Committee conducts an investigation to determine if allegations against a president warrant charges, or articles of impeachment. If a simple majority of the full House votes to charge a president with at least one article of impeachment, that indictment will move to the Senate for trial.
At that point, the president has been “impeached” by the House. House members act as or appoint congressional prosecutors. The chief justice of the Supreme Court presides over the trial in the Senate chamber. A two-thirds vote is required to convict and remove from office. The U. S. Constitution states that, “The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanours. ” (Article II, Section ). The House of Representatives has impeached two Presidents: Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton.
Johnson was charged in 1868 with eight articles of impeachment, but was acquitted by a single vote in the Senate trial (depicted in the above engraving). Bill Clinton was charged with four articles of impeachment by the House in 1998, but was acquitted by the Senate early the next year. Richard Nixon resigned in 1974 before a final vote in the full House could send him to trial on three articles of impeachment. Each state constitution outlines a unique impeachment procedure, including variations on the list of impeachable offenses, protocol for an impeachment trial and the body responsible for an initial investigation.
According to the Associated Press, seven governors in U. S. history have been removed from office following impeachment proceedings. The National Conference of State Legislatures said that a longer list would include states that have investigated governors for alleged offenses, voted to impeach a governor ahead of a trial, or held trials that resulted in acquittal. The only governor to be removed from office in the last 80 years was Gov.
Evan Mecham of Arizona, who was convicted in 1988 of obstructing justice and misusing $80,000 in state money that he was charged with funnelling to his car dealership to keep it afloat. In January 2008, the Illinois House of Representatives voted 114-1 to impeach Gov. Rod Blagojevich for abuse of power in connection with the federal investigation that had led to his arrest the month before. Mr. Blagojevich was charged with trying to sell the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama and with seeking to extort campaign contributions in return for official actions, including providing reimbursement to a hospital.
Following the process that has been generally adopted by state legislatures in recent decades, the Illinois House created a special investigative committee, which made a recommendation in favor of impeachment to the entire body. In all states except Alaska, Nebraska and Oregon, the House votes on articles of impeachment ahead of a trial. In Alaska, the process is reversed, according to The Book of States. That state’s Senate must impeach a governor by voting on impeachment articles in order to initiate a trial in the House. Nebraska is the only state with a unicameral legislature.
Without a state House, the Nebraska Senate votes to impeach before passing articles on to the state Supreme Court for a trial. Oregon is the only state without constitutional provisions for impeachment of a governor or other executive and judicial officers, according to the NCSL. Those officials may be removed from office, but not by the state’s legislature. State courts in Oregon may try public officials for criminal offenses, but the procedure depends upon the jurisdiction of a crime. LOCAL STUDIES Section 1, Article XI of the 1987 Constitution declares that “Public office is a public trust.
Public officers and employees must at all times be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency, act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives. “ These words echo loud and clear today as our country’s leaders find themselves at the brink of conducting this constitutional process. Impeachment has been defined as a national inquest into the conduct of public men. It is a necessary safeguard to ensure that public officers have the moral fitness and integrity to fulfil their mandate.
The provisions on impeachment are enshrined in Article XI of the 1987 Constitution. Under the Constitution only the following public officers may be impeached: The President, Vice-President, the Members of the Supreme Court, the Members of the Constitutional Commissions, and the Ombudsman. This list of officers is exclusive. All other public officers and employees may be removed from office as provided by law, but not by impeachment. The grounds for impeachment are: culpable violation of the Constitution, treason, bribery, graft and corruption, other high crimes, or betrayal of public trust.
These grounds are exclusive and offenses not falling within these parameters shall not be sufficient for impeachment purposes. The process begins at the House of Representatives, which has the exclusive power to initiate all cases of impeachment. A verified complaint must be filed by either a Member of the House of Representatives or by any citizen upon a resolution of endorsement by any Member thereof. Once the verified complaint has been filed it shall be included in the Order of Business within ten session days, and referred to the proper Committee within three session days thereafter.
The Committee, after hearing, and by a majority vote of all its Members, shall submit its report to the House within sixty session days from such referral, together with the corresponding resolution. The resolution shall be calendared for consideration by the House within ten session days from receipt thereof. In the committee hearings, a vote of at least one-third of all the Members of the House shall be necessary either to affirm a favourable resolution with the Articles of Impeachment of the Committee, or override its contrary resolution.
The vote of each Member shall be recorded. If however, the verified complaint or resolution of impeachment is filed by at least one-third of all the Members of the House, the same shall constitute the Articles of Impeachment, and trial by the Senate shall forthwith proceed. The Senate has the sole power of sole power to try and decide all cases of impeachment. When sitting for that purpose, the Senators shall be on oath or affirmation. When the President of the Philippines is on trial, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court shall preside, but shall not vote.
No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of all the Members of the Senate. The person impeached shall be removed from office and shall be disqualified to hold any office under the Republic of the Philippines, but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to prosecution, trial, and punishment according to law. It is clear that the liability does not end at the Senate, the person impeached shall also be held for appropriate action as a result of his illegal and improper acts.