For only the second time in American history, the president has been impeached by the House of Representatives and is facing trial by the United States Senate. At such a critical point in our history as a nation, the question is "What comes next?" Most Americans have only a vague notion of the history surrounding the first presidential impeachment trial. So, where do we go for answers?
Here in Grand Inquests, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist provides dramatic accounts of two historic impeachment trials in the American past. With a keen sense of history and narrative ability, he recounts the 1805 trial of Justice Samuel Chase of the United States Supreme Court and the 1868 trial of President Andrew Johnson, which set the precedent by which our current president will be judged. The outcomes of these cases have remained extraordinarily important to the American system of government because they strengthened the constitutionally directed separation of powers. And though both men were acquitted, Chief Justice Rehnquist shows how a conviction in either case would also have deeply affected our present interpretation of the Constitution and, more likely, changed the course of history.
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About the Author
William H. Rehnquist is the sixteenth Chief Justice of the United States and the author of The Supreme Court and All the Laws but One.