Your View: Reader offers a history lesson on presidential power

Published on Monday, 19 June 2017 21:10
Written by

To the Editor:

The poet Carl Sandberg once said “freedom is taken for granted until one day you wake up and you don’t have it any more.”

The president doesn’t have to have anyone’s approval to fire someone in an appointive position. He only needs the approval of the Senate when appointing someone. If Hillary Clinton had become president she probably would have fired James Comey before Donald Trump did for a different reason. The only people the president can’t fire are elected people and judges with lifetime appointments.

In 1868, The House of Representatives impeached President Andrew Johnson because they didn’t like how he was handling the reconstruction. The Senate missed convicting him by one vote. Sen.Edmund Ross of Kansas led a group of senators who thought it is wrong to kick a president out of office because officials in Congress don’t agree with his politics.

There was a law passed during the James Buchanan administration. It said “a president can’t fire an official who was appointed by another president without approval from both houses of Congress. That law was ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1922.

Throughout my working life, I officiated three sports at the high school level. I know that spirit and intent of a rule is just as important as the written rule. The purpose of impeachment proceedings is to show the people that in this great country no one is above the law. Also everybody including the president has a right to a day in court. In the 25th Amendment passed in 1967 there is provision for the vice president to serve as acting president if he should mentally or physically be unable to continue as president with a majority vote of his cabinet. There were two times that we could have used that provision. When James Garfield in 1881 was assassinated, he lived with a bullet in him for 82 days and continued to be president. President Woodrow Wilson finished his second team with a stroke (1919-1920). The press called Edith Boiling Wilson the petticoat president. Donald Trump, like it or not, is the president of The U. S. A. at least until Jan. 20, 2021.

Edward Vaughan


Posted in The Bristol Press, Letters on Monday, 19 June 2017 21:10. Updated: Monday, 19 June 2017 21:12.