Explainer: What is a censure?

Published: Feb. 16, 2021 at 7:17 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - North Carolina Senator Richard Burr was censured Monday night after voting former President Donald Trump guilty in Trump’s second impeachment trial.

WITN asked ECU political science professors what it means to be censured and what repercussions follow.

“It’s a statement of disapproval that has little to no effect,” said ECU Political Science Professor Dr. Brad Lockerbie.

“This is, carries no rule of law as far as punishment or anything else,” said ECU Political Science Professor Johnathan Morris.

Burr isn’t alone. Other Republican senators that crossed party lines are being reprimanded by their party too. The Louisiana Republican Party censured Senator Bill Cassidy on Saturday.

“So, he beat Senator Burr to the punch in terms of getting censured by his own state party,” Lockerbie said.

Pennsylvania GOP is also planning to meet and discuss Senator Pat Toomey’s guilty vote.

Both Burr and Toomey say they’re not running for reelection, meaning moving forward, party support isn’t necessary.

“Given that he’s not running for reelection, he can basically, if he wants, thumb his nose at them,” Lockerbie explained.

This censure is coming as Burr nears an end to almost three decades in Congress.

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