3 representatives want to officially censure Trump after Charlottesville

It would be a formal and historic rebuke of President Trump's remarks.

— -- In response to Donald Trump’s controversial remarks about the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, three Democrats want to censure the president.

The draft resolution from the small group of Democrats cites specific actions the representatives believe merit censure:

  • “Whereas President Donald Trump’s immediate public comments rebuked ‘many sides’ for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and failed to specifically condemn the ‘Unite the Right’ rally or cite the white supremacist, neo-Nazi gathering as responsible for actions of domestic terrorism.”
  • "Whereas President Donald Trump has surrounded himself with, and cultivated the influence of, senior advisors and spokespeople who have long histories of promoting white nationalist, alt-Right, racist and anti-Semitic principles and policies within the country."
  • What is censure?

    A censure in the context of the United States government is an official statement of disapproval or condemnation toward a public official, including cabinet members, judges, members of Congress and the president. While a censure does not remove an individual from office, it can send a powerful message rebuking his or her past actions or statements. Members of the House of Representatives who are censured are forced to give up any committee chairmanships.

    How does it work?

    The Constitution does not specifically mention censures, though article 1, Section 5, Clause 2 of the Constitution states that “each house may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member.”

    When have censures been used?

    In 1834, the Senate censured President Andrew Jackson when he refused to submit notes from his Cabinet meeting regarding his veto against a congressional motion to re-charter the First Bank of the United States. Henry Clay, a member of the rival Whig political party, then led the decision to censure Jackson. After 10 weeks of debate, Senate members voted 26-20 to pass the censure against Jackson for using "authority and power not conferred by the Constitution."

    Since 1978, nine senators have been censured, with the most recent case in 1990.