FACT CHECK: Did Barack Obama Say, ‘Legally, An Impeached President Can’t Appoint Judges’?

Jasmine Lee | Contributor

A post shared on Facebook claims former President Barack Obama stated, “Legally, an impeached president can’t appoint judges.”

Verdict: False

There is no record of Obama making such a statement. The quote originated on a satire website.

Fact Check:

Trump nominated in September Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a choice that has upset some due to the proximity of Election Day, according to ABC7Multiple Facebook posts have alleged this month that Obama said that it was illegal for Trump to do so because he has been impeached. Trump was acquitted of two impeachment charges by the U.S. Senate in February, The New York Times reported.

One post, for example, quoted the former president as citing “Article eleven, section five” of the U.S. Constitution: “You’ll see very clearly where it denies any person elected to the Presidency and then consequently legally impeached by the Congress, all power of appointment that may ‘take responsibility for decisions in a manner that reflect the shame and disgrace of a leader who was shamed with the criminal reflection of his station.'”

But Check Your Fact found no evidence of Obama ever making such statements. Had he said the quotes attributed to him, media outlets would have likely reported on it, yet no credible reports appear to exist. Nor were any similar remarks found on Obama’s verified Twitter account.

Additionally, there is no clause in the U.S. Constitution prohibiting impeached and subsequently acquitted presidents from appointing judges. The Constitution only has seven articles, not 11 as some posts allege. (RELATED: Does This Photo Show Barack Obama With Federal Judge Emmet Sullivan?)

The quotes appear to have originated from an article published by Obama Watcher, a satirical news website. Obama Watcher clearly disclaims the satirical nature of its content, describing itself as part of a “network of parody, satire, and tomfoolery.” The Facebook posts, however, fail to give such a warning, portraying the information as factual.

Jasmine Lee



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