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Law Professors Solicit Signatures for Anti-resignation Letter

Bernard J. Hibbitts
Special to JURIST

Pittsburgh, December 19 - In the expectation that there will be a major push for the President's resignation in the wake of today's impeachment vote in the House of Representatives, two leading constitutional scholars are soliciting signatures for a open letter to the President arguing that the he should not resign. Anticipating events, Professor Susan Low Bloch of Georgetown University Law Center and Professor Cass Sunstein of University of Chicago Law School began circulating their letter among academics across the country late this week. The authors of the letter argue that "a presidential resignation could do serious and lasting damage to the nation and to the system of separation of powers."

Law professors and history professors wishing to sign-on to the letter should contact Professor Bloch by e-mail at BLOCH@wpgate.law3.georgetown.edu.

Full text of letter

December 19, 1998

The undersigned teachers of history and constitutional law believe that President Clinton should not resign in response to the recent, extraordinarily partisan impeachment vote in the House of Representatives. A presidential resignation could do serious and lasting damage to the nation and to the system of separation of powers. The impeachment tool was meant to be invoked when there is a bipartisan consensus that the President has grossly abused the public trust. A resignation in the current circumstances could fundamentally transform the impeachment device into a political tool for use by the President's political opponents, whoever they may be. From the standpoint of history and constitutional law, a resignation would be a grave mistake for the country, a threat to domestic and international stability, and a dangerous step for the future.

Susan Low Bloch, Georgetown University Law School
Cass Sunstein, University of Chicago Law School

Note: Institutional affiliations for purposes of identification only.

Bernard J. Hibbitts is the Director of JURIST: The Law Professors' Network. He is also Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Communications & Information Technology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

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