No Impeachment, No 25th? There is Another Way

Daniel Arrhakis / Flickr trump eagle news...
Daniel Arrhakis / Flickr

Where we (barely) stand: the sitting president of the UnitedStates is, as judged by the majority of the country, members of hisown administration and congressional leaders of his own party,demonstrably and dangerously unfit for office, so much so as toconstitute a threat to the security of the United States. Oh,Ratty, Ratty, whatever shall we do?

There’s Article II, Section 4, the Impeachment Clause. Soundspretty straightforward. Oh, wait. A two-thirds majority of theSenate? Never mind…

How ‘bout that famous 25th Amendment, huh? That shows promise.Sadly, as Eric Hansel pointed out earlier today (…), chances of getting 7 outof 10 Cabinet secretaries on board are slim to snowball inhell.

So, if there’s no chance of impeachment or removal of 45 via 25,I guess we’re pretty much screwed, eh?

As Yoda said, “There is another.”

As the president, however he or she obtained the title, is aresident of the District of Columbia, laws of that jurisdictiongenerally apply to said person. Including laws covering what isknown in statute as “Mandatory Treatment,” what other jurisdictionsmay call “Involuntary Committment.”

The standard in the District for granting Mandatory Treatment isthe common and rather broad “likely to cause harm to self orothers” standard (D.C. CODE ANN. § 21-545(b)(2)). Yesterday, whilein the care of his outpatient guardians (Hi, Gen. Kelly!), ourpatient, in an irrational outburst, condemned hundreds ofthousands, if not millions, of US citizens to die ugly, painfuldeaths, while making the patently delusional claim that he was“improving” the country’s health care system. Earlier in the week,he threatened to kill thousands of residents of the U.S. territoryPuerto Rico by withdrawing emergency aid from the island. Manyother examples can be cited. Feel free to add suggestions for thesubject’s quasi-guardian Gen. Kelly in the comments.

D.C., unlike many jurisdictions, provides for long-termmandatory treatment, up to a year (D.C. CODE ANN. § 21-545(b)(2)).For the purposes of keeping our subject from harming himself orothers, this provision is a godsend, as, toward the end of thatperiod, midterm elections may allow us to provide a moreconventional and permanent solution to the problem.

There’s only one real hurdle to quarantining this threat topublic safety: getting the person who can hit the “go” button onboard.

Unlike many other jurisdictions, a lay person not related to thesubject may not petition the court for a ruling of mandatorytreatment. Only a “spouse, parent or legal guardian” may make sucha petition (D.C. CODE ANN. § 21-541(a)). As both Fred and Mary arelong gone and Generals Kelly and McMaster are not technicallyHimself’s legal guardians, only the First Lady, America’smost famous stupormodel, can pull the switch.

So, how ‘bout it, Melania? Think he’s bats? Ever any indicationthat he can be a danger to himself or others? Be honest now…

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