Civil Discourse Now

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Senators who are witnesses cannot serve as jurors

Without conducting a poll, I’d say a majority of Hoosiers either would have supported trump’s coup, had it been successful, or would have complacently accepted a “strong man.” In short, they either would have encouraged or tolerated the takeover of this country by a dictator.

The Framers of the Constitution warned against “a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and activated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.” Madison, Federalist 10.

Civil war was fought when a minority of States, acting in disregard of at the very least a near majority of the people living within the borders of those States, sought to withdraw from the Union. The rights of individuals were at stake.

The South seceded to preserve slavery. Four of those states - Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas also issued statements why they seceded. Each stated a clear, primary reason: to preserve the institution of slavery.

GEORGIA: ... For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery.... Because by their declared principles and policy they have outlawed $3,000,000,000 of our property in the common territories of the Union

MISSISSIPPI: ... it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course. Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery-- the greatest material interest of the world. ... none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun.

SOUTH CAROLINA: increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. ...”

TEXAS: Texas abandoned her separate national existence She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery-- the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits ...

Today GOP Senators fear for their safety - or the safety of their seats. Several commentators say that, were the vote on impeachment by secret ballot, trump would be convicted in a second. Those Senators fear mobs the incitement of which gave rise to trump’s impeachment.

As a general rule, neither a material witness to, nor a victim of, an alleged crime can serve on the jury before which the accused of that crime is tried. At least two current members of the Senate were not in the Chamber on January 6.

Either Senators should be allowed to case secret ballots or each, who was present on January 6, should be disqualified from serving in the capacity of a “juror.” In the meantime, we have to convince the people who would have been complacent in the coup to change their minds.

People who would support a dictatorship cannot be convinced. Those same people cannot claim to respect The Constitution.

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Comment by pogden297 on January 26, 2021 at 12:54pm

"The South seceded to preserve slavery. Four of those states - Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Texas also issued statements why they seceded. Each stated a clear, primary reason: to preserve the institution of slavery." 

See, you did a switch there.  First you say, it was reason X.  Then in the next breath quote statements from states and say that the reason for secession was "primarily X."   Nonetheless, the quoted statements don't even prove it was "primarily" a reason for those states.

The causes of the Civil War are a lot more complex than just saying it was about slavery.  There is proof right there in Lincoln's 1961 inauguration speech when he said he did not oppose Corwin Amendment, which had already passed Congress.  The Corwin Amendment would amend the the Constitution to prohibit any future Amendment of the Constitution which would have outlawed slavery in the states that already had the institution.  The fact is, at the outset of the Civil War, Lincoln was perfectly willing to accede to the South's demands about slavery in order to keep the union intact.  It was a couple years into the Civil War before that war, for Lincoln, became "primarily" about slavery.

Two ironies are of note.  The Corwin Amendment, if ratified, would have been the 13th Amendment.  Of course, the 13th Amendment, which was ratified after the Civil War, banned slavery.  The second irony is that were it not for the Civil War, the Corwin Amendment make slavery a permanent fixture in the U.S. Constitution might well have been ratified.  Kentucky ratified the amendment before war broke out. Rhode Island, Maryland, Ohio and Illinois ratified it after the war started.  Illinois, Lincoln's home state, was the last to ratify the amendment on June 2, 1863.  Had not the Civil War been raging at the time, one could see the Amendment having gotten enough support in the South and North (among states wanting to avoid war) to be ratified.

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