In "The Case Against Lameduck Impeachment," Yale Law Professor Bruce Ackerman argues that the bill of Impeachment against President Clinton, passed in December 1998, expired on January 3, 1999, when a new House of Representatives began its term in office. It is unconstitutional for the Senate to begin a trial unless a majority of the newly elected House once again charges the President with "high crimes and misdemeanors."The newly elected House of 1999 contains 40 new members and five more Democrats, suggesting that a new House vote could produce a different outcome on one or both of the landmark articles of impeachment. Given this fact, the Chief Justice has a constitutional responsibility to dismiss the lameduck bill of impeachment and call a halt to the Senate trial unless and until the newly elected House votes a new bill of impeachment.
BRUCE ACKERMAN is one of America's leading political philosophers and constitutional lawyers.