Article I, section 3 of the U.S. Constitution stipulates that the chief justice shall preside over the Senate trial of an impeached president of the United States. Only three chief justices have presided over presidential impeachment trials: Salmon P.& Chase (1868 trial of Andrew Johnson), William Rehnquist (1999 trial of Bill Clinton), and John Roberts (2020 trial of Donald Trump). Both Johnson and Clinton were acquitted and completed their term of office, while Trump’s trial is currently pending. Whether the country knows the outcome February 19 or remains in the throes of witnesses and testimony, this discussion will offer a historical and legal view of impeachment and of the one who is called on to be its authority: the United States Chief Justice.
Welcome and introduction by W. Taylor Reveley III, President Emeritus of the College of William & Mary, featuring Michael Gerhardt, University of North Carolina Law Professor and author of Impeachment: What Everyone Should Know, who recently testified in President Trump's impeachment trial, and Henry L. Chambers, the University of Richmond Austin E. Owen Research Scholar & Professor of Law.
Presented by the John Marshall Federal Courts Program, a partnership of William & Mary Law School, the Omohundro Institute of Early American History & Culture, and the John Marshall Foundation. Sponsored by the Virginia Museum of History & Culture.