Impeachment! An Encore Presentation

Ralph Nurnberger
History / Politics

Course Description

The drafters of the Constitution were extremely conflicted when they created the office of “President.” They wanted a strong executive, not serving at the whim of Congress. On the other hand, they were also concerned that a President might seek to expand the powers of the office to be similar to those of a king. Thus, the President was limited to four-year terms to always remain answerable to the people. They also added the ultimate sanction of “impeachment,” which provided the House and Senate the ability to remove a president for subverting the Constitution. This encore presentation will discuss the attempted impeachment of President John Tyler in 1842; the impeachment in 1868 by the House of Andrew Johnson, who was then not removed by the Senate; the resignation of Richard Nixon before a vote in the full House could be taken; and the impeachment of Bill Clinton by the House, which then failed in the Senate. 

About the Instructor

  • Ralph Nurnberger, PhD, is a widely acclaimed speaker who brings humor, current political insights and historical background to his presentations. He taught History and International Relations at Georgetown University for 38 years. He received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the Graduate School of Liberal Studies in 2003. Nurnberger has given talks on a wide range of historical and political topics for the Lifelong Learning Program at Florida Atlantic University’s Boca and Jupiter campuses, where his talks frequently sell out. Nurnberger served on the professional staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; as a Legislative Liaison for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee(AIPAC); as Executive Director of Builders for Peace (which had been established to assist the Arab-Israeli Peace Process); and as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). He is a Senior Partner in Nurnberger & Associates, Inc. He received his BA from Queens College, his MA from Columbia University and his PhD from Georgetown University.