I was interested to learn more about the procedures for impeachment and while going through the Senate rules, I found it odd that it stated that any articles of impeachment that are sent to the Senate have to be answered by 1pm the next day and that all other business of the Senate stops (including SCOTUS confirmations). In theory, couldn't the Democrats from the House just sent over articles of impeachment every day, thereby clogging the works? I realize that it would only take a rules change to fix this oversight, or am I missing something else. There is no Constitutional requirement for the House to only send over articles it has good faith in, so it could have been impeachment for any and every person in office.

https://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/resources/pdf/3_1986SenatesImpeachmentRules.pdf seems to state that once the articles are presented to the Senate they have no choice but to start a trial.

Upon such articles being presented to the Senate, the Senate shall, at 1 o’clock afternoon of the day (Sunday excepted) following such presentation, or sooner if ordered by the Senate, proceed to the consideration of such articles and shall continue in session from day to day (Sundays excepted) after the trial shall commence (unless otherwise ordered by the Senate) until final judgment shall be rendered, and so much longer as may, in its judgment, be needful.

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    There is no requirement for the Senate to take obviously trolling impeachments seriously with a hearing. They can vote them down just as fast as the House can send them. Oct 27, 2020 at 21:58
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    Strange as it may seem, at some point the parties are going to have grow up and work together again. If every little nook and cranny is used to disrupt things by one party, it can also be done by the other so the advantage would be fleeting and the only result would a steadily less governable country. Oct 27, 2020 at 22:02
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    There is no requirement for the Senate to take serious impeachments seriously.
    – Jontia
    Oct 27, 2020 at 22:21
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    I wouldn’t say it’s a duplicate, but the answers to this question answer this one as well, namely that the Senate could just ignore impeachment if they wanted to: politics.stackexchange.com/q/45989/19301
    – divibisan
    Oct 27, 2020 at 22:34
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    If the House had done so, the optics of this would have been very bad. In Not just very bad but beyond awful bad. Such a maneuver would have been transparently political. It would have risked Biden's apparent lead in the Presidential election and the apparent odds of flipping the Senate. It might have been such a very bad maneuver that it could have risked the Democratic majority in the House, which is the one sure thing in the upcoming election (assuming the House does nothing as bad as this). Oct 27, 2020 at 23:24

2 Answers 2


The Senate can choose to disregard the rules and if a majority supports that decision there is nothing that can be done to override it. The U.S. Senate did so at one other point, at least (the quorum required for a committee vote), in this particular nomination.


No, [House} Democrats1 could not have stalled the confirmation by using impeachment.

The exception, "unless otherwise ordered by the Senate", means the Senate could, "after the trial shall commence" delay any impeachment trial(s) until after confirmation.

1 The House impeaches, the Senate tries the impeachment.

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