While there is substantial debate regarding Senate hopeful Roy Moore’s chances of winning after accusations of sexual misconduct surfaced last week, some current senators are already calling for action should he secure the seat, including a vote to expel him from the Senate should he win, an action that hasn’t happened since 1862.
As reported by CNN, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner, who runs the campaign arm of the GOP, has asserted that the Senate should vote on expelling Moore if he wins the Alabama Senate seat after the special election.
“If [Moore] refuses to withdraw and wins, the Senate should vote to expel him, because he does not meet the ethical and moral requirements of the United States Senate,” said Gardner in a statement.
The Senate has the option to expel Moore from his seat as soon as he officially wins it, but does not have the authority to block a senator prior to being seated. It would require a two-thirds majority of all senators present during the vote for Moore to be expelled.
If Moore secures a victory, and such action is subsequently taken, he would become only the 16th senator to be expelled from the chamber, based on Senate historical records. Of the previous 16, 14 were expelled for supporting the Confederacy during the Civil War.
Republican Sen. William Blount of Tennessee was ousted in 1797 after he was identified as the ringleader of a plan to attack Florida and Louisiana, which were then under Spanish control.
Democratic Sen. Jesse Bright was expelled in 1862 for being a Confederate sympathizer.
There have been 15 other senators who were considered for expulsion, but all either resigned, completed their terms before action was taken, or survived when the two-thirds majority vote requirement was not met.
Though more than 20 Republicans, including Sen. John McCain of Arizona and Mitt Romney, have stated Moore should step aside based on the accusations of sexual misconduct, particularly the allegations made by Leigh Corfman, who was 14 at the time of the reported incident, Moore has refused to do so and continues to assert that the allegations made against him are completely false.