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Town Hall Seattle: Civics Series

Town Hall’s Civics series highlights everything from local policies to world politics. These events offer perspectives on a range of topics as diverse as Seattle itself—a bustling forum for activism, discovery, and thought-provoking discussion.

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Apr 5, 2024

Have you ever wondered how impeachment really works?

As a witness and consultant in the impeachment trials of Bill Clinton and Donald Trump, legal scholar Michael J. Gerhardt has collected a lifetime of scholarly research and firsthand experience. But despite his proximity to such high-profile cases, Gerhardt doesn’t advocate for or against the impeachment of specific presidents. Instead, he illuminates the legal and procedural aspects that govern the process, providing a comprehensive overview of impeachment from its origins to present-day practice. His new book, The Law Of Presidential Impeachment, is a nonpartisan exploration that aims to break down the process and offer readers a deeper understanding of how the Constitution holds presidents accountable.

In The Law Of Presidential Impeachment, Gerhardt guides us through the historical roots of presidential impeachment, tracing it back to the nation’s founding when American colonists, still reflecting on past grievances with their former king, embedded the process in the Constitution. Impeachment recently returned to the forefront of American political discourse during Donald Trump’s presidency, but Gerhardt’s expertise goes beyond contemporary events to provide a timeless perspective on the constitutional mechanism.

If you’ve ever wanted the chance to peek into the process of presidential impeachments, join us as Gerhardt helps to deepen understanding of our executive branch and the overarching governmental system that shapes our democracy.

Michael J. Gerhardt is the Burton Craige Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Scholar in Residence at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, and the foremost scholar on impeachment in the United States. He is one of only two legal scholars to testify in three different presidential impeachment hearings and served as Special Counsel to the Presiding Officer in Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial. He is the only legal scholar to address the entire House of Representatives on the law of presidential impeachment was the Order of the Coif Distinguished Visitor in 2020-22 (an honor given only to one legal scholar each year in recognition of their scholarship) and received University of North Carolina’s highest award given to a faculty member in recognition of their public service in 2023.


Buy the Companion Book

The Law of Presidential Impeachment: A Guide for the Engaged Citizen

Third Place Books