- 25th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution allows Congress to set up a medical commission that could determine if a president is fit for office
- The president’s cabinet is also allowed to serve that purpose, but Congress has never established its own group to participate
- Either panel would require the vice president to agree before Congress could vote to remove the president
- A Maryland Democratic congressman is trying to set up a commission to target President Trump, tweeting: ‘Trump’s mental incapacity is no laughing matter’
- Plan has only attracted Democratic cosponsors so far
- Senate that passed 25th Amendment agreed ‘inability’ meant a ‘mental debility’ rendering a president ‘unable or unwilling to make any rational decision’
A Democratic congressman has proposed convening a special committee of psychiatrists and other doctors whose job would be to determine if President Donald Trump is fit to serve in the Oval Office.
Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin, who also teaches constitutional law at American University, has predictably failed to attract any Republicans to his banner.
But the U.S. Constitution’s 25th Amendment does allow for a majority of the president’s cabinet, or ‘such other body as Congress may by law provide,’ to decide if an Oval Office occupant is unable to carry out his duties – and then to put it to a full congressional vote.
Vice President Mike Pence would also have to agree, which could slow down the process – or speed it up if he wanted the levers of power for himself.
The 25th Amendment has been around since shortly after the John F. Kennedy assassination, but Congress has never formed its own committee in case it’s needed to judge a president’s mental health.