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Alexander Hamilton on impeachment
Facebook ^ | March 7, 2014 | Tara Ross

Posted on 03/07/2014 6:27:14 PM PST by gitmo

On this day in 1788, Federalist Paper No. 65 is published. Publius discusses the Senate’s role in impeachment/conviction of executive officers. Why do I suspect just a few of you are interested in this paper?!

Publius notes the inherent difficulties in prosecuting the “misconduct of public men” or the “abuse or violation of some public trust.” Finding a “well-constituted court for the trial of impeachments” is difficult, to say the least! The “passions of the whole community” are stirred. People take sides, and these sides may align with pre-existing political parties. “[I]n such cases,” Publius concludes, “there will always be the greatest danger that the decision will be regulated more by the comparative strength of parties, than by the real demonstrations of innocence or guilt.”

Given these difficulties, the Senate was thought the “most fit depositary of this important trust.” The Constitution, of course, provides that the House can accuse a public official; however, the Senate is the body that must convict.

One recurring drumbeat in the past few papers has been the importance placed upon the election process for Senators. Publius turns to that feature of the Senate again here. The Senators, he says, are the “representatives of the nation themselves.” They are “sufficiently independent” and could “feel CONFIDENCE ENOUGH IN ITS OWN SITUATION, to preserve, unawed and uninfluenced, the necessary impartiality between an INDIVIDUAL accused, and the REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PEOPLE, HIS ACCUSERS?”

Unfortunately, passage of the 17th Amendment has undermined this aspect of Publius’s argument. The Senators no longer represent the States; they are direct representatives of the people (just as the House is). The Founders thought that it was important to have a balance within our Congress. We seem to have forgotten the very real benefits to be had when Senators and Congressmen are elected in different, but complimentary ways.

Could the Supreme Court have performed this task? Publius thinks not. For one thing, it is not numerous enough. “The awful discretion which a court of impeachments must necessarily have,” he explains, “to doom to honor or to infamy the most confidential and the most distinguished characters of the community, forbids the commitment of the trust to a small number of persons.”

Next, it is worth considering that some impeachments will be followed by a criminal trial. Should the court that impeached him then also decide if he is guilty of a crime? Any biases and errors in the first trial could carry over into the second trial.

On a logistical note, the author of this paper is Alexander Hamilton. He will continue for the next several papers.


TOPICS: History; Politics
KEYWORDS: alexanderhamilton; federalistpapers; impeachment; impeachnow
Seems appropriate for modern days
1 posted on 03/07/2014 6:27:14 PM PST by gitmo
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To: Publius; Billthedrill; Jacquerie

ping


2 posted on 03/07/2014 6:37:56 PM PST by Loud Mime (Character matters for those who understand the concept)
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To: gitmo
Unfortunately, passage of the 17th Amendment has undermined this aspect of Publius’s argument. The Senators no longer represent the States; they are direct representatives of the people (just as the House is).

The biggest problem with the 17th amendment is the fact that senators are elected by popular vote. If they were elected on an electoral type of system by house districts won I think things would look very different.
3 posted on 03/07/2014 6:53:07 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: 14themunny; 21stCenturion; 300magnum; A Strict Constructionist; abigail2; AdvisorB; Aggie Mama; ...

Interesting reflections on impeachment and the 17th Amendment.


4 posted on 03/07/2014 7:18:36 PM PST by Publius ("Who is John Galt?" by Billthedrill and Publius now available at Amazon.)
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To: Publius; cripplecreek
The passage of the 17th Amendment had a profound effect, far beyond the intent of its advocates, IMHO. I pose the question, would Baker v. Carr have been decided the same way if the Senate had not become popularly elected?



"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

5 posted on 03/07/2014 7:25:30 PM PST by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines RVN 1969 - St. Mlichael the Archangel defend us in Battle!)
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To: cripplecreek
Senators are meant to represent their state legislatures.

That's who they should be elected by.

6 posted on 03/07/2014 7:25:56 PM PST by E. Pluribus Unum (If Barack Hussein Obama entertains a thought that he does not verbalize, is it still a lie?)
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To: gitmo

So were his comments about having an enemy opposing you instead of in your camp for which we were responsible...but people were not too interested in hearing that and demanded we elect ‘lesser evils’.


7 posted on 03/07/2014 7:29:43 PM PST by Norm Lenhart
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To: E. Pluribus Unum

Good luck getting the people to accept that again. From what I can see, most state legislatures would happily inflict 100 McCains on us if they could.


8 posted on 03/07/2014 7:33:28 PM PST by cripplecreek (REMEMBER THE RIVER RAISIN!)
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To: ConorMacNessa
“You may think I am talking about electing a Republican. I am not,” Mr. Paul said. “I am talking about electing lovers of liberty. It isn’t good enough to pick the lesser of two evils. We must elect men and women of principle, and conviction and action that will lead us back to greatness.”

Rand Paul today at CPAC. All the guys and gals with any guts and ideas are in or with the Tea Party, as am I.

Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Rick Perry, Allan West, Sarah Palin - an embarrassment of riches on the Right.



"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

9 posted on 03/07/2014 7:35:12 PM PST by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines RVN 1969 - St. Mlichael the Archangel defend us in Battle!)
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To: ConorMacNessa

” It isn’t good enough to pick the lesser of two evils. We must elect men and women of principle, and conviction and action that will lead us back to greatness.”

Oh absolutely. I totally agree. Now Rand, lets talk about your ‘principles’ concerning illegals and amnesty.


10 posted on 03/07/2014 7:37:45 PM PST by Norm Lenhart
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To: cripplecreek
The biggest problem with the 17th amendment is the fact that senators are elected by popular vote. If they were elected on an electoral type of system by house districts won I think things would look very different.

The 17th Amendment resulted in the US senators becoming whores. Most receive the majority of their campaign donations from outside their home state. The last time I looked into this was in the 1990s senator Voinovich was number one in in out-of-state campaign donations and John McCain was number 2. I would like to see the stats now. No doubt McCain is still near the top of the list. The last 40 years have proven that your average dumb ass voter is easily swayed by massive campaign bombardment of lies and bullshit. Partly explains why Arizona keeps re-electing the rabid SOB.

11 posted on 03/07/2014 7:41:27 PM PST by suijuris
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To: suijuris

Long time Zonie here. McCain keeps getting elected because of Illegals and being Californicated. Those are the top two reasons.


12 posted on 03/07/2014 7:45:01 PM PST by Norm Lenhart
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To: Norm Lenhart
I endorse the part of his message that I posted. I insist on a candidate who will secure the border and preserve the sovereignty of this great Nation and will not support a candidate who will not do so.



"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

13 posted on 03/07/2014 7:46:35 PM PST by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines RVN 1969 - St. Mlichael the Archangel defend us in Battle!)
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To: ConorMacNessa

I wasn’t directing any assumptions at you personally and should have made that clear.

As for Rand, he says exactly what a lot of us have been for some time now and getting royally reamed for. But he cannot be trusted. He supports amnesty and Mitch. nothing more need to be said regarding his ‘principles’. They are self evident.


14 posted on 03/07/2014 7:52:44 PM PST by Norm Lenhart
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To: Norm Lenhart
Nothing taken personally here, FRiend. I'm not on anyone's bandwagon at this point. I'm partial to Allan West, who has stood for us in battle and has, IMO, the right ideas.

I'm not ready to embrace Rubio - amnesty, despite his eloquent speech the other day.



"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

15 posted on 03/07/2014 8:06:05 PM PST by ConorMacNessa (HM/2 USN, 3/5 Marines RVN 1969 - St. Mlichael the Archangel defend us in Battle!)
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To: Loud Mime

Thanks.

The process as designed is certainly flawed, but there is no better.


16 posted on 03/08/2014 1:23:31 AM PST by Jacquerie (A senate of the states will not seat judges hostile to the tenth amendment. Article V.)
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To: Jacquerie

Actually, the process isn’t flawed; it’s the management who refuses to follow the process that damages the entire system.


17 posted on 03/08/2014 3:10:29 AM PST by Loud Mime (Character matters for those who understand the concept)
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To: Publius
Good morning. I hope you are doing well.

Thanks for the ping.

I've stated numerous times on FR that the two worst amendments to the Constitution were the 16th and 17th amendments.

5.56mm

18 posted on 03/08/2014 4:57:31 AM PST by M Kehoe
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To: gitmo

the republican majority in the house is too cowardly to impeach a _resident of color.

a BJ (or lying about one) seems was a bigger crime than the plethora of high crimes this Kenyan/Indonesian POSOTUS has committed.

We need to take this country back or take back the parts that value the constitution and leave the rest to their performance of Sodom and Gomorrah.


19 posted on 03/08/2014 6:01:07 AM PST by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: Vaquero

I believe that you have correctly and succinctly stated the facts of the matter.


20 posted on 03/08/2014 6:55:01 AM PST by Bigun ("The most fearsome words in the English language are I'm from the government and I'm here to help!")
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To: Vaquero

Modern members of Congress do even begin to understand the powers granted them under the Constitution much less possess the courage to actually exercise them!


21 posted on 03/08/2014 6:57:39 AM PST by Bigun ("The most fearsome words in the English language are I'm from the government and I'm here to help!")
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To: Bigun
Modern members of Congress do even begin to understand the powers granted them under the Constitution much less possess the courage to actually exercise them!

Totally agreed — the acceptance of the [legitimacy of the] War on Drugs as Kosher is proof of that.
(The War on Drugs being justified via the Wickard assertion that the regulation of interstate commerce relies upon the regulation of intrastate commerce, and Raich where the court declared that the congress could also regulate non-commerce.)

22 posted on 03/12/2014 4:58:56 PM PDT by OneWingedShark (Q: Why am I here? A: To do Justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with my God.)
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