Experience a Less Tense Discussion of How and Why the U.S. Constitution Provides for Impeachment

The morning after four constitutional law professors testified on the constitutional context for the impeachment of President Donald Trump before the House Judiciary Committee, the print version of The New York Times ran with the headline “Tension as Scholars Debate If Case Was Made to Impeach.”  The eight and half hours of testimony is summarized more accurately as episodic debate among scholars separated by long efforts at positioning and redirection by the members of the members of the committee, as Democrats continued to try to buttress their impeachment case and Republicans tried to impugn the impeachment process generally and the law schools, the legal profession, and academics more specifically.  (Despite the facts that, as James Hohmann observed in The Washington Post’s Daily 202, “15 of the 17 Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee hold law degrees. Overall, 161 House members and 53 senators earned juris doctorates, according to the Congressional Research Service.”)  

In a much shorter and less politically staged discussion of the impeachment provisions in the U.S. Constitution, Professors Jeffrey Tulis and Gary Jacohbson sat down with Professor Dan Brinks, chair of the UT Austin Government Department, for a conversation recorded November 8 in the Liberal Arts Development Studio at UT.  After the video, readers can find links to results for the October UT/Texas Tribune on Texas attitudes toward impeachment, captured just as the process was being announced. They’ll serve as a baseline when we check back into attitudes toward the impeachment of the president in 2020.




Some impeachment findings from the October 2019 University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll.

Follow the links in the captions to find comprehensive cross tabs for each result, with links in the upper right hand corner of each graphics for downloadable graphics files in multiple formats.  You'll find methodological information in the summary document provided in the Texas Poltiics Project polling archive (which also includes a link to the data file for the poll).

"Based on what you know, do you think that Congress is justified in conducting impeachment investigations into actions Donald Trump has taken while president?"

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Don't know/No opinion6%

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Don't know/No opinion4%11%5%

"Based on what you know, do you think that Donald Trump has taken actions while president that justify his removal from office before the end of his term?"

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Don't know/No opinion4%9%4%

"Do you approve or disapprove of the way President Trump is responding to the impeachment investigations?"

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Approve strongly25%
Approve somewhat14%
Neither approve nor disapprove10%
Disapprove somewhat7%
Disapprove strongly38%
Don't know6%


"Do you approve or disapprove of the way Democrats in Congress have handled the impeachment investigations?"

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Approve strongly20%
Approve somewhat20%
Neither approve nor disapprove9%
Disapprove somewhat7%
Disapprove strongly39%
Don't know6%

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Approve strongly39%4%5%
Approve somewhat38%15%4%
Neither approve nor disapprove10%31%3%
Disapprove somewhat5%13%6%
Disapprove strongly2%35%75%
Don't know5%3%6%

"Do you approve or disapprove of the way Republicans in Congress have handled the impeachment investigations?"

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Approve strongly9%
Approve somewhat16%
Neither approve nor disapprove17%
Disapprove somewhat20%
Disapprove strongly29%
Don't know9%

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Approve strongly7%7%11%
Approve somewhat6%15%27%
Neither approve nor disapprove11%36%17%
Disapprove somewhat20%19%21%
Disapprove strongly50%20%13%
Don't know6%4%11%