The Senate is expected to decide today whether to call witnesses and examine more documents in the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump. House managers urged senators to call former national security adviser John Bolton and others, while Trump’s defense team and most Republicans pushed for a speedy acquittal, which appeared likely.

Given the stakes, it’s worth asking: What would the Founders do?

Constitutional scholar Clark Cunningham from Georgia State University has studied what Benjamin Franklin, George Mason and other Founding Fathers said about impeachment while drafting the Constitution. Limiting the inquiry, he argues, would ignore the Founders’ intent that impeachment be a regular check on abuses of presidential power.

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Benjamin Franklin was a leading voice in the debates framing the Constitution. Howard Chandler Christy/Architect of the Capitol

Limiting Senate inquiry ignores Founders’ intent for impeachment

Clark D. Cunningham, Georgia State University

Calling witnesses and reviewing documents fit the Founders' goals for impeachment to curb the president's unilateral power.

Health + Medicine

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Science + Technology

  • How do woodpeckers avoid brain injury?

    Joanna McKittrick, University of California San Diego; Jae-Young Jung, University of California, San Francisco

    Pecking holes in a solid wood tree trunk would give you a headache, if not serious brain damage. What special assets allow a woodpecker to do it?

  • Humans are hardwired to dismiss facts that don’t fit their worldview

    Adrian Bardon, Wake Forest University

    Whether in situations relating to scientific consensus, economic history or current political events, denialism has its roots in what psychologists call 'motivated reasoning.'

Ethics + Religion

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Today’s quote

"Educators can cultivate critical thinking. This is not just the deep thinking that most of us expect in all classes. It is thinking that interrogates power structures, identifies injustice and asserts principles of democracy."


As Democratic primaries near, educators can teach hope to a polarized citizenry


Sarah Stitzlein

University of Cincinnati

Sarah Stitzlein

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