“The Cadillac” – Impeachment

Morty Seinfeld is mostly right when he says “no-one’s ever been impeached before. I couldn’t live here. We’d have to move to Boca.” Yes, it is true that no U.S. president has ever been removed from office before by impeachment. However 2 presidents have been impeached by the House of Representatives, but not actually removed from office by Senate trial. Nixon, expecting to be impeached, resigned, though he flew home to La Casa Pacifica in California, rather than opting to travel with the Seinfelds to Boca.

Morty’s impeachment unfolds a little differently though from how impeachment plays out under U.S. law. While we don’t know a lot about what the constitution of what The Pines of Mar Gables Phase 2 calls for, we do know a few key aspects of the impeachment process. First, it is run by the condo board. Second, only a simple majority is needed by the board for both impeachment and removal from office. Third, there is no trial, merely an investigation run by the board.

- I move for a full investigation. - I second.

Morty has every right to be annoyed by the impeachment process of The Pines of Mar Gables, as the procedure is very limited and affords him no right to mount a defense in front of the governing body. This contrasts quite starkly with the lengthy procedure necessary for impeaching a sitting president. That procedure is split into two phases, with each house of Congress running one of the phases. Phase 1 is what is actually called “impeachment,” where a simple majority of the House of Representatives votes on an impeachment resolution, which contains articles and charges against the president. If that resolution passes, “managers” are then selected by the House to present the case before the Senate at trial.  The trial before the Senate is Phase 2. The Senate hears the case and then votes to convict or acquit the president. Conviction requires a 2/3 supermajority of the voters. Additionally, the president has the opportunity to present his own defense, and cross examine any of the government’s witnesses. Phase 3 takes place at Del Boca Vista some time later.

I vote to impeach.

So at The Pines of Mar Gables the entire impeachment process is folded into one meeting, with merely a majority of votes needed to both impeach and remove the president from office, rather than the 2/3 needed for removal that the American system demands. Furthermore, The Pines of Mar Gables doesn’t really afford Morty any procedure for defending himself. Sure, he can sway Mrs. Choate with some coffee or tea or show the board members that Jerry is the true owner of the Cadillac, but there is no actual procedure that allows for him to present his case officially before the board.

Constitutionally, neither Morty nor a U.S. president has the right to appeal an impeachment conviction.  The Supreme Court in 1993 held that impeachment is a political question, meaning it is outside of the courts hands. Therefore, once the vote is in, that’s it, the court, even the Supreme Court, has no power to review and or overrule the legislature’s decision. This does not mean that senators can take their votes lightly, or even treat their votes as political plays, as they are required to take oaths or affirmations to uphold things properly. But, if Saul Branduis wants to vote against Morty because Morty never thanked him for his aisle seat at Freddy Roman’s show, or Mrs. Choate votes against Morty because Jerry stole her marble rye, the court isn’t going to silence that old bag.

Leave a Reply