Impeachment As Punishment
12 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2018
Date Written: 2018
In their recent book "To End a Presidency" Prof. Laurence Tribe and Joshua Matz canvas the arguments for and against impeaching a president who has committed high Crimes and Misdemeanors. This review essay examines that same question ("why impeach?") through the broader lens of criminal jurisprudence, which perennially confronts the related and familiar question: "why punish?" After assessing Tribe and Matz's arguments for and against impeachment along the familiar Benthamite and Kantian axes, the essay ultimately recasts the dilemma of impeachment as a dilemma for reconstructivist accounts of punishment itself: Does punishing a wrongdoer--including potentially the President of the United States--help society heal in the wake of serious criminal acts, or does the prospect of punishment only tear us further apart?
Keywords: Punishment, Impeachment, Criminal Law, Deterrence, Incapacitation, Retributivism, Reconstructivism, Criminal Jurisprudence, Penology, Criminology
JEL Classification: K14, Y30
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation