I have been told that Democrats are looking for a way out of the impeachment of President Trump. They want to act out in the House against the president but they know that, based on the evidence as it exists, they have a lot to lose by overplaying their hand because of the public’s disinterest and disgust at impeachment and the holding of a trial for removal of the president so close to an election and in the midst of a Democrat primary.

If the Democrats do not want to go the impeachment route, what’s the next best way they can show their disdain of the president, claim victory and move on? Censure by the House is the only exit strategy that affords Democrats that option.

Censure is a formal, and public, group condemnation of an individual whose actions run counter to acceptable standards for individual behavior as defined by the party doing the rebuking. In the United States, governmental censure is done when a body’s members wish to publicly and formally reprimand the president, a member of Congress, a judge or a cabinet member.


The U.S. Constitution specifically grants impeachment and conviction powers, respectively, to the House of Representatives and Senate; however, it does not mention censure. Congress adopted a resolution allowing censure, which is “stronger than a simple rebuke, but not as strong as expulsion.” In general, each house of Congress is responsible for invoking censure against its own members; censure against other government officials is not common.


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