On the first day of the 2nd impeachment trial of former President Trump, the Senate considered the issue of whether the Constitution permits the impeachment, conviction, and disqualification of former federal government officers, including former presidents.
That day, by a majority bipartisan vote, the Senate affirmed the constitutionality of an impeachment trial of a former president. The decision that the impeachment trial of a former federal official is constitutional cannot be questioned by any other branch of government, ie, the Supreme Court. It stands until the Senate decides otherwise: the impeachment trial of former President Trump is constitutional. As such, it becomes part of the constitutional bedrock upon which every Senator stands and imbues each Senator with constitutional authority to make a decision in the Impeachment trial.
No Senator can deny that constitutionality and no Senator can make an impeachment trial vote “based on” the issue of constitutionality. The issue of constitutionality no longer exists. There is no denying, rebutting, or refuting the constitutionality of the impeachment trial.
Mitch McConnell justified his vote to acquit former President Trump on the grounds that “…former President Trump is constitutionally not eligible for conviction.” and that “[w]e have no power to convict and disqualify a former officeholder who is now a private citizen.”
McConnell’s justification for his vote is wrong as he states it and is irrelevant on its face. McConnell, as all the Senators do, has the constitutional authority to make a decision—a decision that he cannot excuse by denying the very constitutional authority he has to make that decision. It is like him actually saying out loud, “I am not talking right now because there is no basis upon which I have the ability to talk.”