Famed legal expert and Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz denounced suggestions by President Donald Trump's critics that the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution should be used to remove the President for supposed mental incapacity. A lifelong Democrat, Dershowitz said that the calls for removing Trump are "very dangerous." Dershowitz supported Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential bid.
"There’s only one thing worse than trying to criminalize political differences and that’s trying to psychiatrize them," Dershowitz said on Sunday's broadcast of "Fox & Friends" on Fox News Channel. "These psychiatrists who are trying to diagnose without having even met the man. That’s what they did in Russia."
For his part, psychiatrist Dr. Brandy X. Lee told the "Washington Examiner" that a bipartisan group of senators approached her to discuss her published analysis of Trump's mental health. Her analysis, however, have been found to violate the so-called "Goldwater Rule," which is an ethical standard set by the American Psychiatric Association regarding psychiatric evaluations by professionals of anyone they have not actually met.
Dershowitz called out Trump's critics, saying: "How dare liberals... try to undo democracy by accusing a president of being mentally ill without any basis?" He went on to say that the 25th Amendment does not apply in this case. The retired law professor said that Ronald Reagan was presumed to have been suffering the effects of Alzheimer's disease at the end of his second term in office, and thus a case for resorting to the 25th Amendment could have been made for him. But that would mean that Vice President George Bush would have had to invoke the amendment. The 25th Amendment was passed in 1967 and sets forth presidential succession. Therefore, in Trump's case, Dershowitz said, Vice President Mike Pence would have to invoke the amendment and then require two-thirds vote of both houses of Congress to remove the president.