Robert Reich served as Secretary of Labor under William Jefferson Clinton. He has also been a professor at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. So, you would think that he’s taken a high school Civics course and/or actually read the Constitution. But you’d clearly be dead wrong.
Robert Reich thinks, that because Impeachment is not likely to occur, and even if it did, Trump’s conviction and removal from office is yet more unlikely, he can personally simply invent a whole new process and procedure to set aside 60-odd million votes and the results of a US presidential election.
Impeachment isnâ€™t enough.
Impeachment would remedy Trumpâ€™s â€œhigh crimes and misdemeanors.â€ But impeachment would not remedy Trumpâ€™s unconstitutional presidency because it would leave in place his vice president, White House staff and Cabinet, as well as all the executive orders he issued and all the legislation he signed, and the official record of his presidency.
The only response to an unconstitutional presidency is to annul it. Annulment would repeal all of an unconstitutional presidentâ€™s appointments and executive actions, and would eliminate the official record of the presidency.
Annulment would recognize that all such appointments, actions, and records were made without constitutional authority.
The Constitution does not specifically provide for annulment of an unconstitutional presidency. But read as a whole, the Constitution leads to the logical conclusion that annulment is the appropriate remedy for one.
After all, the Supreme Court declares legislation that doesnâ€™t comport with the Constitution null and void, as if it had never been passed.
It would logically follow that the Court could declare all legislation and executive actions of a presidency unauthorized by the Constitution to be null and void, as if Trump had never been elected.
The Constitution also gives Congress and the states the power to amend the Constitution, thereby annulling or altering whatever provisions came before. Here, too, it would logically follow that Congress and the states could, through amendment, annul a presidency they determine to be unconstitutional.
As Iâ€™ve said, my betting is Trump remains president at least through 2020 â€“ absent compelling and indisputable evidence he rigged the 2016 election.
But if such evidence comes forth, impeachment isnâ€™t an adequate remedy because Trumpâ€™s presidency would be constitutionally illegitimate.
It should be annulled.
What Robert Reich has in mind for Trump is the fate of that sinful King of Runazar in Lord Dunsany’s tale, whom the Gods decided must not only cease to be, but must cease ever to have been.
This one is so crazy that I guess even the New York Times turned it down.