The Verify team spoke v a trio of constitution experts around the possibility of the impeachment poll being mystery or anonymous.

You are watching: Does the senate have to vote on impeachment


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"On the last question whether the impeachment is sustained," the rules read. "The yeas and also nays candlestick be taken on each article of impeachment separately; and also if the impeachment chandelier not, upon any of the articles presented, be continual by the votes that two-thirds of the members present, a judgment of acquittal shall be entered..."


The Senate would thus need to readjust the rules to make this a mystery or anonymous vote. Robert Peck said that this would hypothetically be possible.


"There"s nothing in the constitution that requires it to be on the record," that said. "It has always been top top the record so there"s precedent... However they make their very own rules so as a result, they could conceivably ask because that a an enig ballot."


The procedure of changing rules would generally require a poll of two-thirds indigenous Senators. However, in current years, members of both parties have embraced something well-known as the "nuclear option," a practice that allows provisions to pass v a simple majority.


"Senate could in theory vote in secret," created Frank Bowman, a professor of legislation at the university of Missouri in a statement. "(It) would require dominion change."


The various other obstacle is article I, section 5 of the Constitution, which enables Senators to speak to for the yeas and nays to be made public. That reads as follows:


"Each home shall keep a newspaper of that Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such components as may in their Judgment need secrecy; and the Yeas and also Nays the the Members of either house on any kind of question shall, in ~ the Desire that one-fifth that those Present, be gotten in on the Journal."


This ar of the Constitution method that if just one-fifth that the full senators wish because that a public reading of the vote total, it should be done. That way 81 senators would should be on plank with keeping the vote secret or anonymous.


"We"re law this not just for conviction together a trial occurs," that said. "But also we"re affect the court of public opinion. We"re affecting the court that history. And so understanding where world stand on these worries is really important to that."


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