Can the president and vice president of the United States be recalled? The process is currently underway to remove the governor of California, which caused me to wonder if the president and vice president can be recalled. Surely, you would know the answer to this perplexing question! -- A.J.
There's no such thing as buyer's remorse when it comes to electing a president or a member of Congress. Or, to put it more accurately, you can regret voting for the person you voted for, but there's just not much you can about it at the federal level.
Outside of impeachment, which we have been getting a crash course in over the last four years, and the 25th Amendment, there is no mechanism for voters to carry out a recall of the president. You are more or less stuck with him.
Sickness, resignation and assassination offer the only instances in the 245-year history of the U.S. in which a president has failed to complete his term.
You don't have to be a scholar to know this. The Constitution's silence on recall can be inferred from the fact that President Donald Trump never faced a recall effort. If the weapon had been available, is there any doubt it would have been used? Trump was impeached twice. Prior to that, only two presidents, Bill Clinton and Andrew Johnson, had been in impeached in the entire U.S. history. (Richard Nixon resigned under the threat of impeachment.)
The same isn't true at the local level. Nineteen states and the District of Columbia, including Minnesota, allow for the recall of elected officials serving in state positions. California Gov. Gavin Newsom is currently facing a recall petition. Organizers recently collected 1.5 million signatures, the minimum number needed to qualify for a recall election.
Although infrequently used, recall efforts led to the ouster of governors in North Dakota in 1921 and California in 2003. Recall madness bloomed in Wisconsin a decade ago, against both Democrats and Republicans, over the right of public employees to bargain collectively. Then-Gov. Scott Walker faced a recall election in 2012 -- and won. Six Republicans and three Democrats in the 33-member state Senate also faced a recall vote a year earlier than Walker's, but only two senators were defeated.
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