At least 25 Democrats in the House of Representatives support a bill that would give them a path to remove US President Donald Trump from office if he is proved mentally unfit.
The legislation, introduced by Rep. Jamie Raskin, would create an Oversight Commission on Presidential Capacity, an 11-member panel made up of mostly physicians and psychiatrists, to judge the president’s mental fitness for office.
The effort appears to be based on the 25th Amendment of the US Constitution which lays out the rules for succession in case of presidential disability.
The amendment was adopted in 1967 after the assassination of then-President John F. Kennedy to establish procedure in the case a president is incapacitated. One clause in that amendment allows for the president to be removed if the vice president and either a majority of the president's cabinet or a majority of Congress sign off on it.
Raskin, a Democrat from Maryland, is urging more colleagues to get behind his measure to potentially oust President Trump over his bizarre "outbursts" and controversial tweets attacking the media and TV hosts.
“If you look at the record of things that have happened since January, it is truly a bizarre litany of events and outbursts,” Raskin, a former professor of constitutional law, told Yahoo News.
In recent days, Trump has angered both Republicans and Democrats by launching personal attacks on the hosts of MSNBC's “Morning Joe” in a series of vicious tweets, after they criticized the administration's dysfunction in their show.
“I assume every human being is allowed one or two errant and seemingly deranged tweets. The question is whether you have a sustained pattern of behavior that indicates something is seriously wrong,” Raskin said of Trump’s insults against Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough.
Trump could appeal the oversight commission’s decision, and in that case a whopping two-thirds of both the House and the Senate would be required to agree with the assessment.
For decades, psychologists and psychiatrists have kept silent about their diagnostic opinions of public figures in accordance with ethical rules set out by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).
However, psychologists have begun questioning Trump’s state of mind because of the type of temperament and behavior he has displayed during his public appearances.
In April, a group of prominent American psychiatrists warned that Trump had traits of "dangerous mental illness" and declared him unfit to lead the country.
“We have an ethical responsibility to warn the public about Donald Trump's dangerous mental illness,” Dr. John Gartner said at Yale’s School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.