But what about the Senate? The Senate may argue that the appointment of the managers, and the transmission of the articles are mere formalities without constitutional significance. (A professor on the constitutional law list-serve drew an analogy between these ministerial tasks and the formal delivery of Willam Marbury’s commission.) Indeed, there is no constitutional requirement that the Senate allow House managers to present the articles. The Senate could handle the proceedings however it chooses. But can the Senate reach a different conclusion than the House about whether the impeachment is final? Article I, Section 3 provides “[t]he Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments.” The Senate gets to decide how to try an impeachment. But a precursor to that trial is the establishment of an “impeachment,” which the House gets to define. I have doubts about whether such a Senate rule would be constitutional.

Now, consider another Senate rule: if the House of Representatives approves an article of impeachment, but fails to transmit that article within thirty days, the Senate shall treat the article as dismissed for lack of prosecution, and the impeached official shall be deemed acquitted.