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Tell Congress: Experts must decide if presidents are fit for the job

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Petition to Congress:

"Establish the Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity to ensure medical experts can examine whether any president is fit for the job by supporting H.R.1987."

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    Tell Congress: Experts must decide if presidents are fit for the job

    A recent news report claims that people close to Donald Trump believe the man with access to our nuclear codes is “losing a step,” “unraveling,” even “unstable,” and senior officials have discussed what to do if he orders a nuclear strike.1

    Republican Sen. Bob Corker was telling the truth when he called the White House “an adult day care” with senior staff trying to contain Trump every single day. Corker also insisted that most of his Senate Republican colleagues agree with him.2

    It is time to start talking about the 25th Amendment, which establishes a procedure for removing a president from office if he or she is incapacitated by injury or mental illness. But the current process would require Trump’s own cabinet to suddenly show a deep sense of patriotism. Rep. Jamie Raskin, a constitutional scholar, has a commonsense solution: Creating a panel of medical experts, former high-ranking officials and psychologists that is empowered to conduct an examination to see whether the president is physically or mentally capable of doing the job.3

    It’s time to demand that members of Congress put fitness for office and defending our democracy ahead of partisan loyalty by getting behind Rep. Raskin’s bill.

    Tell Congress: Experts must decide if presidents are physically and mentally fit for the job.

    Millions of Americans live with mental illnesses every day, successfully working and taking care of themselves and families. We here at CREDO will always stand against discrimination and any attempt to stigmatize mental illness or demonize those who live with it.

    What is at stake with Trump is more about fitness to occupy the Oval Office. Close advisers and prominent Republicans alike have told reports about trying to “contain” a man who seems “increasingly unfocused and consumed by dark moods.”4 The former head of the intelligence community questioned Trump’s “fitness” and whether he should have the nuclear codes.5 Even former White House adviser Steve Bannon thinks there is a 30 percent chance that Trump’s own cabinet has to replace him.6

    No one but a doctor can judge Trump’s psychological state. There are good reasons he should not be in office – including his twisted ideology, inability to tell the truth, disrespect for national security, history of sexual assault, failure to digest basic information and tendency to tweet unhinged screeds while ignoring crucial government business. Independent observers, not partisan loyalists, should determine whether Trump or any future president is incompetent to occupy the Oval Office.

    The 25th Amendment was intended for scenarios where a president has suffered a stroke or survived an assassination attempt but is unfit for office. But the current president’s cabinet would have to invoke that amendment, and it is unclear whether the Trump boosters in office would speak out even if they thought Trump was putting lives at risk. The integrity of our democracy demands an independent solution.

    Tell Congress: Experts must decide if presidents are physically and mentally fit for the job.

    Rep. Zoe Lofgren has introduced a resolution urging Trump to consult a medical professional. Rep. Jackie Speier has called for invoking the 25th amendment, and Rep. Ted Lieu has introduced his own legislation. As Trump’s volatile behavior continues, more from both parties will join these ranks.

    Rep. Raskin’s bill clears up a legal grey area and establishes a fair system for all presidents of all parties. We need medical and psychological experts, not partisan loyalists, in charge of evaluating a president’s fitness. And the commission Rep. Raskin wants to create would also include former cabinet-level officials who understand the stakes of the job and do not take any decision lightly. The president could veto a recommendation and it would have to be overturned by a two-thirds majority in Congress.7 In other words, Rep. Raskin’s bill does not make it easy to remove a president who is unfit – it just provides a transparent and fair process where actual experts have a say.

    Tell Congress: Experts must decide if presidents are physically and mentally fit for the job.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Gabriel Sherman, "’I hate everyone in the White House!’: Trump seethes as advisers fear the president is ‘unraveling,’" Vanity Fair, Oct. 11, 2017.
    2. Greg Sargent, “Bob Corker just confirmed it: Republicans know Trump is unfit,” The Washington Post, Oct. 9, 2017.
    3. Rep. Jamie Raskin, “Raskin Introduces Bill to Establish Independent Commission on Presidential Capacity,” May 12, 2017.
    4. Sherman, “’I hate everyone in the White House!’: Trump seethes as advisers fear the president is ‘unraveling.’
    5. Rachel Chason, “James Clapper questions Trump’s fitness, worries about his access to nuclear codes,” The Washington Post, Aug. 23, 2017.
    6. Sherman, “’I hate everyone in the White House!’: Trump seethes as advisers fear the president is ‘unraveling.’
    7. Rep. Raskin, “Raskin Introduces Bill to Establish Independent Commission on Presidential Capacity.”