Yes, the Constitution Allows Indictment of the President

In a recent opinion piece, I argued that the text and structure of the Constitution, a serious commitment to the rule of law and plain good sense combine to preclude a rigid policy of “delaying any indictment of a president for crimes committed in winning the presidency.” When a scholar I admire as much as Philip Bobbitt strongly disagrees and argues otherwise in these publication, I need to rethink my position and respond—either confessing error or explaining why I continue to hold to the views I originally expressed. Not to extend the suspense, I haven’t changed my mind. My op-ed argued against the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) memos opining that the Constitution prevents the indictment of a sitting president. Nearly everyone concedes that any such policy would have to permit exceptions. The familiar hypothetical of a president who shoots and kills someone in plain view clinches the point. Surely, there must be an exception for that kind of case:…

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