A Century of Lawmaking Home Page | Search All Law Titles

Research Guide on Impeachment

Historic Background on the Impeachment of President Andrew Johnson

Bibliography of Internet Resources on Impeachment
indexes and guides, government documents, and commentary

Comprehensive Guide to Impeachment Resources
bibliography of both print and electronic resources


Historic Background on the Impeachment and Trial of President Andrew Johnson

The Significance of President Johnson's Impeachment and Trial

Johnson's impeachment trial is considered to be important because it checked the attempt among certain Members of Congress to establish congressional control of federal policy and relegate the President's role in governance to that of a chief minister's. The acquittal of Johnson also prevented later Congresses from using the threat of impeachment as a means of settling policy differences with the executive. Finally, the acquittal meant that in future impeachment trials the defendant would have to have committed an actual crime in order to be convicted.

The Impeachment

President Andrew Johnson became the first President of the United States to be impeached by the House of Representatives. He was impeached in 1868 for dismissing Secretary of War Edwin Stanton without the approval of the Senate as required in the Tenure of Office Act and for attacking congressional policies on the Reconstruction in the South. Congressional opposition to Johnson's policies on the Reconstruction of the southern states had been building, however, since early in his term, and in 1867 the Committee on Judiciary of the House of Representatives had conducted an investigation as a preliminary to impeaching Johnson. The attempt to impeach Johnson as a result of this investigation was unsuccessful. However, because the War Department was responsible for administering most of the policies on the Reconstruction that the Congress, overriding Johnson's vetoes, had enacted into law, the removal of Secretary Stanton was viewed as an attack on these policies and was an additional motive for seeking Johnson's ouster. The House of Representatives impeached Johnson on February 24, 1868, by a straight party line vote of 126 to 47. On February 27, the House of Representatives adopted eleven articles of impeachment that were then submitted to the Senate.

The Senate Trial

Johnson's trial began with procedural motions on March 5, 1868, with the Chief Justice of the United States, Salmon P. Chase, presiding. The managers for the House of Representatives included John A. Bingham of Ohio, who served as chairman, Benjamin F. Butler of Massachusetts, and Thaddeus Stevens of Pennsylvania. Johnson's defense team included former Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Curtis; William Evarts, a prominent Republican lawyer; and Henry Stanbery, a former Attorney General in Johnson's cabinet. Opening arguments and testimony in the trial began on March 30 and continued through April 20. On April 22 the summary phase of the trial began and was concluded on May 7. Issues in dispute during the trial included whether the Tenure of Office Act applied to Stanton, whether the Act, if it did apply, was constitutional, and whether Johnson committed an impeachable offense in attacking Congress for its policies on Reconstruction. The first vote, on article eleven which charged Johnson with bringing disrespect to Congress and its policies on Reconstruction, was held on May 16. The vote on the article was one vote short (35 to 19) of the two thirds majority needed for conviction. The trial was then recessed for ten days. On May 26 the Senate also failed by the same margin (35 to 19) to convict Johnson on articles two and three. At this point the Senate voted to adjourn the trial sine die without considering the remaining articles.


Bibliography of Internet Resources on Impeachment

Indexes and Guides | Government Documents | Commentary

1. INDEXES AND GUIDES

CNN. CNN/AllPolitics
http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/index.html

Cornell Legal Information Institute. LII Backgrounder on Impeachment
http://www.law.cornell.edu/background/impeach/impeach.htm

Cornell Legal Information Institute. LII Backgrounder on Impeachment -- Censure
http://www.law.cornell.edu/background/impeach/censure.htm

C-SPAN. Investigation of the President
http://www.c-span.org/guide/executive/investigation/

Harper's Weekly. Finding Precedent: The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson.
http://www.impeach-andrewjohnson.com/

JURIST, The Law Professors' Network. Censure: A JURIST Mini-Guide
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/censure1.htm

JURIST, The Law Professors' Network. Guide to Impeachment and Censure Materials Online
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/impeach.htm

JURIST, The Law Professors' Network. Senate Impeachment Trials: A JURIST Mini-Guide.
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/senate.htm

Kingsley, Thomas C. and Joseph Luke. The Federal Impeachment Process: A Bibliographic Guide to English and American Precedence, Historical and Procedural Development, and Scholarly Commentary. Rev. ed. Cornell Law Library, July 1998
HTML File: http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/lawlibrary/subjects/fedimp/fedimptc.html
PDF File: http://www.lawschool.cornell.edu/lawlibrary/subjects/fedimp/fedimp.pdf

MSNBC. MSNBC News - The Clinton Crisis Front Page
http://www.msnbc.com/news/CLINTONUNDERFIRE_Front.asp

Mirvis, Ronald I. Association of the Bar of the City of New York - Presidential Impeachment: A Selective Bibliography of Material Available in the Library
http://www.abcny.org/presbibl.htm

New York Times. Issue in Depth: Clinton Impeachment Trial
http://www.nytimes.com/library/politics/clintonlewinsky-index.html

New York Times. Issue in Depth: Clinton Impeachment Trial Documents
http://www.nytimes.com/library/politics/clintonlewinsky-documents.html

Online Newshour. The Impeachment Hearings
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/impeachment/

University of Auburn. Ralph Brown Draughon Library. Microforms and Documents Division. Impeachment Documents Relation to a U.S. President
http://www.lib.auburn.edu/madd/docs/impeach.html

University of Michigan Library. Government Documents in the News/Impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton
http://www.lib.umich.edu/libhome/Documents.center/impeach.html

University of Michigan Library. What's New - Government Resources on the Web
http://www.lib.umich.edu/libhome/Documents.center/whatsnew.html

2. GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS

Clinton, Bill. Answer of President William Jefferson Clinton To the Articles of Impeachment, Jan. 11, 1999
http://www.cnn.com/ALLPOLITICS/stories/1999/01/11/clinton.response/

Congressional Record. Vol. 144. Washington: GPO, 1998
http://thomas.loc.gov/r105/r105.html

Congressional Record. Vol. 145. Washington: GPO, 1998
http://thomas.loc.gov/r106/r106.html

Butler, Anne M. and Wendy Wolff. United States Senate Election, Expulsion, and Censure Cases, 1793-1990. Washington: GPO, 1995. Also available as CIS (95) 920-10 and SERIAL SET 13724. Excerpt (Tables 6-11) available at:
http://www.congresslink.org/sources/censure.html

Clinton v. Jones, 520 U.S. 681 (1998)
http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/91-740.ZS.html

Congressional Research Service. Censure of the President by Congress. Updated Sept. 29, 1998. 98-843A
PDF File: http://www.house.gov/judiciary/98-843a.pdf

Congressional Research Service. Compendium of Precedents Involving Evidentiary Rulings and Applciations of Evidentiary Principles from Selected Impeachment Trials. July 3, 1989. 89-413A
PDF File: http://www.house.gov/judiciary/89-413.pdf

Congressional Research Service. Continuation of an Impeachment Proceeding or an Impeachment Investigation from One Congress to the Next Congress. Oct. 7, 1998
PDF File: http://www.house.gov/judiciary/crsmemo.pdf

Congressional Research Service. Impeachment: An Overview of Constitutional Provisions, Procedure, and Practice. Updated Feb. 27, 1998. 98-186A
http://www.house.gov/judiciary/98186.htm

Congressional Research Service. Impeachment Grounds: A Collection of Selected Materials. Updated Oct. 29, 1998. 98-882A
PDF File: http://www.house.gov/judiciary/crsreport.pdf

Congressional Research Service. Independent Counsel Provisions: An Overview of the Operations of the Law. Updated Mar. 20, 1998. 98-283A
PDF File: http://www.house.gov/judiciary/98-283.pdf

Congressional Research Service. The Intersection Between the Former Presidents Act and the Impeachment Process. June 5, 1998. 98-524A
http://www.house.gov/judiciary/98-524.htm

Congressional Research Service. Investigative Oversight: An Introduction to the Law, Practice and Procedure of Congressional Inquiry. Apr. 7, 1995. 95-464A
http://www.house.gov/judiciary/95-464.htm

Elliot, Jonathan. The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, as Recommended by the General Convention at Philadelphia in 1787. 5 vols. Philadelphia, PA: J.B. Lippincott, 1896; reprint 1937. Also available as:
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwed.html

Independent Counsel Statute. 28 U.S.C. Sections 591-599 (1996)
HTML File: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/28/ch40.html
Search of US Code: http://uscode.house.gov/usc.htm#search

Farrand, Max. The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. 4 vols. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1911, reprint, 1934. Also available as:
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lwfr.html

The Federalist: American State Papers. Franklin Center, PA: Franklin Library, 1984. Also available as:
http://lcweb2.loc.gov/const/fed/fedpapers.html

Nixon v. U.S., 506 U.S. 224, 113 S.Ct. 732, 122 L.Ed.2d 1 (1993)
http://supct.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/91.-740.ZS.html

Trial Memorandum of President William Jefferson Clinton. David E. Kendall, Nicole K. Seligman, Charles F.C. Ruff, Gregory B. Craig et al. Jan. 13, 1999
HTML File: http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/New/html/senatebrief.html
PDF File: http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/New/html/senatebrief.pdf

U.S. House of Representatives. Fact Record Index. Added Jan. 13, 1999
http://www.house.gov/judiciary/factindex.htm

U.S. House of Representatives. Factual Record submitted to the Senate of the United States by the Managers on the Part of the U.S. House of Representatives
PDF File: http://www.house.gov/judiciary/factual.pdf

U.S. House of Representatives. Replication of the House of Representatives to the Answer of President William Jefferson Clinton to the Articles of Impeachment. Jan. 12, 1999
PDF File: http://www.house.gov/judiciary/replication.pdf

U.S. House of Representatives. Reply of the United States House of Representatives to the Trial Memorandum of President William Jefferson Clinton. Jan. 14, 1999
http://www.house.gov/judiciary/reply.htm

U.S. House of Representatives. Trial Memorandum of the United States House of Representatives. Jan. 12, 1999
http://www.house.gov/judiciary/trialmemo.htm

U.S. House of Representatives. Committee on the Judiciary. Appendices to the Referral to the United States House of Representatives Pursuant to Title 28, United States Code, Section 595(c), Submitted by the Office of the Independent Counsel, September 9, 1998. H. DOC. 105-311. "September 15, 1998." Washington: GPO, 1998
http://icreport.access.gpo.gov/hdoc311.html

U.S. House of Representatives. Committee on the Judiciary. Constitutional Grounds For Presidential Impeachment. 93d Cong., 2d Sess. H. Comm. Pr.. "February 1974." Washington: GPO, 1974.-6
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/clinton/stories/watergatedoc.htm

U.S. House of Representatives. Committee on the Judiciary. Constitutional Grounds For Presidential Impeachment: Modern Precedents. 105th Cong., 2d Sess. H. Comm. Pr., Serial No. 9. "November 1998." Washington: GPO, 1998
PDF File: http://www.house.gov/judiciary/serialno9.pdf

U.S. House of Representatives. Committee on the Judiciary. History of the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives. Washington: GPO, 1982. "February 1982." H. Comm. Pr.; Serial No 15
PDF File: http://www.lib.auburn.edu/madd/docs/pdf/history.pdf

U.S. House of Representatives. Committee on the Judiciary. Impeachment: Selected Materials, Comm. Ser. 10, 105th Cong., 2d Sess. "November 1998". Washington: GPO, 1998. Also available as Y 4.J 89/1:IM 7/16. Excerpt (pages 1-17) available as:
PDF File: http://www.house.gov/judiciary/serialno10.pdf

U.S. House of Representatives. Committee on the Judiciary. Impeachment Inquiry
http://www.house.gov/judiciary/icreport.htm

U.S. House of Representatives. Committee on the Judiciary. Impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States, as Prepared by the Committee on the Judiciary. 105th Cong., 2d Sess. "December 16, 1998." Washington: GPO, 1998. H. RPT. 105-830
http://www.house.gov/judiciary/report5/index.htm

U.S. House of Representatives. Committee on the Judiciary. Investigatory Powers of the Committee on the Judiciary with Respect to its Impeachment Inquiry: Report Together with Additional and Dissenting Views (To Accompany H. Res. 581). 105th Cong., 2d Sess. "October 7, 1998." Washington: GPO, 1998. H. RPT. 105-795 (1998)
PDF File: http://www.house.gov/judiciary/105_795.pdf

U.S. House of Representatives. Committee on the Judiciary. Preliminary Memorandum of the President of the United States Concerning Referral of the Office of the Independent Counsel and Initial Response of the President of the United States to Referral of the Office of the Independent Counsel. 105th Cong., 2d Sess. Washington: GPO, 1998. H. DOC. 105-317
http://icreport.access.gpo.gov/hdoc317.html

U.S. House of Representatives. Committee on the Judiciary. Referral to the United States House of Representatives, Pursuant to Title 28, United States Code, 595(c) Submitted by the Office of the Independent Counsel September 9, 1998. 105th Cong., 2d Sess. Washington: GPO, 1998. H. DOC. 105-310
http://icreport.access.gpo.gov/index.html

U.S. House of Representatives. Committee on the Judiciary. Supplemental Materials to the Referral to the United States House of Representatives, Pursuant to Title 28, United States Code, Section 595(c) Submitted by the Office of Independent Counsel. 105th Cong., 2d Sess. Washington: GPO, 1998. H. DOC. 105-316
http://icreport.access.gpo.gov/hdoc316.html

U.S. House of Representatives. Committee on the Judiciary. Work of the Impeachment Inquiry Staff as of February 5, 1974. 93d Cong., 2d Sess. H. Comm. Pr. "February 1974." Washington: GPO, 1974
PDF File: http://www.lib.auburn.edu/madd/docs/pdf/staff2574.pdf

U.S. House of Representatives. Committee on the Judiciary. Work of the Impeachment Inquiry Staff as of March 1, 1974. 93d Cong., 2d Sess. H. Comm. Pr. "March 6, 1974." Washington: GPO, 1974
PDF File: http://www.lib.auburn.edu/madd/docs/pdf/staff3174.pdf

U.S. Senate. Procedure and Guidelines For Impeachment Trials in the United States Senate. Rev. ed. S. DOC. 99-33. 99th Cong., 1st Sess. "August 15, 1986." Washington: GPO, 1986. Also available through GPO Access:
http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/senate/index.html#senate_publications

U.S. Senate. S. Res.16-- To provide for issuance of a summons and for related procedures concerning the articles of impeachment against William Jefferson Clinton, President of the United States. Jan. 8, 1999. See also: Library of Congress, THOMAS and GPO Access.
PDF File: http://www.house.gov/judiciary/sres16.pdf

U.S. Senate. Senate Manual Containing Standing Rules, Orders, Laws, and Resolutions Affecting the Business of the United States Senate. S. DOC. 104-1. Washington: GPO, 1995
http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/cong007.html

3. COMMENTARY

Amar, Akhil Reed. "Trial and Tribulation -- Warning: Constitutional Danger Ahead," NEW REPUBLIC 17 (Jan. 18, 1999)
http://www.thenewrepublic.com/magazines/tnr/archive/0199/011899/amar011899.html

American Lawyer Media's Law News Network, Impeachment Coverage
http://www.lawnewsnetwork.com/impeachment/

Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Committee on Federal Legislation. Alternatives to Impeachment: What May Congress Do? (Dec. 10, 1998)
http://www.abcny.org/impch98.htm

Association of the Bar of the City of New York. Committee on Federal Legislation. Committee Report: The Law of Presidential Impeachment, 29 REC. ASS'N. B. CITY OF N.Y. 154 (1974)
http://www.abcny.org/presimpt.htm

Dwight, Theo. W. Trial by Impeachment, 6 AM. L. REG. (N.S.) 257 (1867). (Also cited as 15 AM. L. REG. (O.S.) 257)
http://www.bright.net/~sveltri/dwight.htm

Fallon, Richard H., Jr. "Three Questions Deserve Consideration," BOSTON GLOBE (Sept. 12, 1998).
http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe/globehtml/255/Three_questions_deserve_considerati.shtml

Gerber, Scott. "If It Reaches the Senate, the Chief Justice is Ready," CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR (Oct. 8, 1998).
http://www.csmonitor.com/durable/1998/10/08/fp11s1-csm.shtml

Gerhardt, Michael J. "Direct Access: Impeachment Scholar Michael Gerhardt," WASHINGTON POST (Sept. 16, 1998).
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/talk/zforum/gerhardt091698.htm

Isenbergh, Joseph. Impeachment and Presidential Immunity From Judicial Process. University of Chicago Law School Occasional Paper No. 39
http://www.law.uchicago.edu/Publications/Occasional/39.PDF

JURIST, The Law Professors' Network. Law Professors' Letter to Congress Opposing Impeachment (Nov. 6, 1998)
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/petit1.htm

JURIST, The Law Professors' Network. Law Professors Solicit Signatures for Anti-resignation Letter.
http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/resig.htm

Law Library of Congress. National Digital Law Library Program. A Century of Lawmaking: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lawhome.html

Parry, John T. "The Misrule of Law," PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE (Oct. 11, 1998) http://www.post-gazette.com/forum/19981011edpar8.asp

Rehnquist, William H. C-SPAN Booknotes Interview - Chief Justice William Rehnquist on the Impeachments of Justice Samuel Chase and President Andrew Johnson. (Jul. 7, 1992)
http://www.booknotes.org/transcripts/10188.htm


A Century of Lawmaking Home Page | Search All Law Titles