Rick Scott Wants A Constitutional Amendment To Make Impeachment Harder To Happen
Fresh off the vote to acquit President Donald Trump of both articles of impeachment laid out against him, Florida Sen. Rick Scott has announced his intention to make it more difficult to impeach presidents in the future.
Scott wants to introduce a constitutional amendment that would require a higher threshold for removing a president from office at the start of the impeachment process: within the House of Representatives, where presently only a simple majority is needed, The Tampa Bay Times reported.
“House majorities have no reason to prove — or even attempt to prove — their case if their goal is to simply use impeachment as a political attack against the president,” Scott wrote in an op-ed column for USA Today.
Scott’s plan would require 60 percent of lawmakers within the House to vote in the affirmative to impeach a sitting president.
Roughly 53 percent of House members voted to impeach Trump in December. In 1998, 59 percent of House members voted to impeach former President Bill Clinton.
Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) that would raise the threshold for the House to impeach an elected official to 60%.
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) February 6, 2020
“It should be harder — much harder — for either political party to take the process our Founders created as a last resort against a tyrannical leader and use it instead as a tool for the tyranny of a political majority,” Scott added in his remarks.
The likelihood that Scott’s amendment could be implemented is very low, as a change to the Constitution requires two-thirds of both houses of Congress to agree to the terms of the proposal. The Senate is presently held by Republicans, but 47 of the 100 seats are held by Democrats or independents who caucus with them — meaning Scott’s amendment likely won’t even get out of his own legislative chamber.
The proposal would face even steeper opposition in the House of Representatives, which is currently controlled by Democrats.