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High Crimes and Misdemeanors
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Book description

For the third time in forty-five years, America is talking about impeaching a president, but the impeachment provisions of the American constitution are widely misunderstood. In High Crimes and Misdemeanors, constitutional scholar Frank O. Bowman, III offers unprecedented clarity to the question of impeachment, tracing its roots to medieval England through its adoption in the Constitution and 250 years of American experience. By examining the human and political history of those who have faced impeachment, Bowman demonstrates that the Framers intended impeachment to be a flexible tool, adaptable to the needs of any age. Written in a lively, engaging style, the book combines a deep historical and constitutional analysis of the impeachment clauses, a coherent theory of when impeachment should be used to protect constitutional order against presidential misconduct, and a comprehensive presentation of the case for and against impeachment of President Trump. It is an indispensable work for the present moment.


‘In High Crimes and Misdemeanors, Frank O. Bowman, III has written a scholarly and even encyclopedic explanation of the history of impeachment, and offers his pull-no-punches take on how those principles should apply to the present day. Whether you agree or disagree, you'll learn a lot - and you won't think of impeachment the same way again.'

Orin Kerr - University of Southern California

‘An impartial and measured look at impeachment for a turbulent age.'

Gerard N. Magliocca - Indiana University

‘In this extraordinary tour de force, Frank O. Bowman, III gives us a comprehensive history of impeachment from its origins in British constitutional practice to the present day. Bowman's judgments are sure, and his superb, erudite, witty style carries one through the thickets of the law. This book entertains as well as educates, and will be an essential guide for the next presidential impeachment (whenever that might be).'

Eric Posner - University of Chicago

‘Frank O, Bowman, III's new book on impeachment should be required reading for every member of Congress. Marshalling history, policy, and law, Bowman paints a comprehensive picture of impeachment and reminds us that the power to remove malfeasant, corrupt or incompetent leaders is the ultimate safeguard of liberty.'

Paul Rosenzweig - R Street Institute and former Senior Counsel on the Whitewater investigation of President Clinton

‘Frank O. Bowman, III is a long-time scholar of the history of impeachment in both the United States and Britain. This is his Magnus Opus, and includes much trenchant analysis of whether President Trump should be impeached. While the book is thus timely, it is really a volume for the ages: a comprehensive, exhaustive, careful, and powerfully written examination of the institution of impeachment.'

Kate Stith - Yale University, Connecticut

'… a scrupulous and thorough history of impeachment as a political tool, beginning with the British parliamentary tradition that preceded the American revolution and our constitution.'

Algernon D'Ammassa Source: USA Today

'Meticulously reviewing and distinguishing the impeachment and conviction of judges and other officials from that of presidents, Bowman includes a valuable appendix delineating the charges against officials in US history.'

J. R. Vile Source: Choice

'[A] superb study of the impeachment process - its history, purposes and politics.'

Lawrence R. Douglas Source: Times Literary Supplement

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  • 1 - How to Interpret the Constitution’s Impeachment Clauses
    pp 7-21


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