Ratified after President John F. Kennedy's assassination, the 25th Amendment allows the vice president and Congress to remove an "unfit" president from office — but one of the men who wrote it thinks that it's not the best way to deal with President Donald Trump.
In an interview with Vox, amendment co-writer Jay Berman, who was a young chief of staff for Sen. Birch Bayh (D-IN) when the congressman passed the amendment, discussed the 25th Amendment's mechanisms for removing presidents from office.
When asked what the amendment actually says "about the conditions under which a president can be removed from office," Berman suggested that it's fairly open to the interpretation of the vice president.
"Well, that’s the big question, isn’t it?" he said. "It’s much more about process than it is about setting into the Constitution a trigger mechanism. The president has to be unfit to fulfill his obligations."
When asked if he thinks the amendment should be used to remove Trump from office, however, Berman answered with an unequivocal "no."
"At this moment, I don’t think he meets the test of a president who’s incapable of fulfilling his responsibilities," he said. "I think he was elected to do these dumb things. He hasn’t become dumber or meaner since he was elected — this is who he’s always been. This was who he was when he ran, and may well have been the reason people elected him."
He does, however "see more than enough grounds for impeachment."
"It’s very alarming, what we’re witnessing right now," Berman said. "But the bar for the 25th Amendment is set extraordinarily high. I agree that the president appears unhinged, but he’s always appeared unhinged, and he was still elected in a legitimate political act. If, for example, he decided he wanted to go to war with North Korea against the advice of literally everyone else, then we would be in different territory in terms of the 25th Amendment. But right now I just don’t see it."