Federalist papers on impeachment. The Federalist Papers: On Impeachment

The Avalon Project : Federalist No 69

federalist papers on impeachment

It will not be easy to imagine any third mode materially different, which could rationally be proposed. Not only is Trump himself on trial, but he is also testing our constitutional system to the breaking point. The subjects of its jurisdiction are those offenses which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust. Hamilton also dismisses the idea of having a separate institution or collection of officials to serve as a court of impeachment. Knowing that impeachment would be divisive, arousing violent party agitation, Hamilton never wanted it used lightly or capriciously, but neither did he want it relegated to mere window-dressing.

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Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist, and the Power of Impeachment

federalist papers on impeachment

Several of the State constitutions have followed the example. In today's Republican Party, going against Trump can mean signing your political death sentence. Miss Ream reportedly was sympathetic to the cause of the defiant president. The awful discretion which a court of impeachments must necessarily have, 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. If mankind were to resolve to agree in no institution of government, until every part of it had been adjusted to the most exact standard of perfection, society would soon become a general scene of anarchy, and the world a desert.

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What Alexander Hamilton, Founders Said About Impeachment : NPR

federalist papers on impeachment

The one would have a like concurrent authority in appointing to offices; the other is the sole author of all appointments. Would it be proper that the persons who had disposed of his fame, and his most valuable rights as a citizen in one trial, should, in another trial, for the same offense, be also the disposers of his life and his fortune? That the strong bias of one decision would be apt to overrule the influence of any new lights which might be brought to vary the complexion of another decision? The delicacy and magnitude of a trust which so deeply concerns the political reputation and existence of every man engaged in the administration of public affairs, speak for themselves. But an objection which will not be thought by any unworthy of attention, is this: a court formed upon such a plan, would either be attended with a heavy expense, or might in practice be subject to a variety of casualties and inconveniences. We have already seen the near-paranoid concern that Congress would take advantage of the Elections Clause to favor urban interests by restricting voting sites to major cities. Would he have recused himself in any subsequent case involving potential criminal liability of the impeached Clinton? He thought the country should be governed by wise and illustrious figures who would counter the fickle views of the electorate with reasoned judgments.

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Federalist 65 by Alexander Hamilton

federalist papers on impeachment

In the limited sense of the matter that only considers what kinds of acts impeachment was designed to be utilized against, it is a fact that Obama is impeach-worthy. The primary importance of this essay today is to underscore that the issues of greatest interest to those uncertain about the new Constitution in 1788 were often very different from anything we think about today. For more, read the and the Anti-Federalist Papers which contain interesting background information. Alexander Hamilton, meet Lindsey Graham… The Federalist Society, and their constitutional constructionalist brothers, take the historical things they like, chisel them into stone and search for a storage facility akin to the Lost Arc of the Covenant. The President is also to be authorized to receive ambassadors and other public ministers. The impeachment process was part of the carefully crafted system of checks and balances, separation of powers, and limited government with the consent of the governed, and other enlightened principles inherent to a constitutional republic. Notably, Gouverneur Morris of Pennsylvania objected that such a change would defeat the intent of creating an independent judiciary.

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Alexander Hamilton pushed for impeachment powers. Donald Trump is what he had in mind.

federalist papers on impeachment

It is this: The punishment which may be the consequence of conviction upon impeachment, is not to terminate the chastisement of the offender. But though one or the other of the substitutes which have been examined, or some other that might be devised, should be thought preferable to the plan in this respect, reported by the convention, it will not follow that the Constitution ought for this reason to be rejected. The hazard in both these respects, could only be avoided, if at all, by rendering that tribunal more numerous than would consist with a reasonable attention to economy. Treason is defined by the Constitution itself, and bribery is defined by statute. It must be admitted, that, in this instance, the power of the federal Executive would exceed that of any State Executive. Meaning, punishment can be up to removal from office. His explanation: Where else than in the Senate could have been found a tribunal sufficiently dignified, or sufficiently independent? Hamilton acknowledges that having a political body serve as a court creates the possibility of politically motivated trials of public officials.

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The Federalist Papers: No. 65 (Alexander Hamilton on the dangers of partisan impeachment)

federalist papers on impeachment

Hamilton wrote Essay 65 to explain why the Senate should be empowered to convict. There will be no jury to stand between the judges who are to pronounce the sentence of the law, and the party who is to receive or suffer it. Those who can best discern the intrinsic difficulty of the thing, will be least hasty in condemning that opinion, and will be most inclined to allow due weight to the arguments which may be supposed to have produced it. Both parties recognized that he had to go. And it may, perhaps, with no less reason be contended, that the powers relating to impeachments are, as before intimated, an essential check in the hands of that body upon the encroachments of the executive.

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Alexander Hamilton pushed for impeachment powers. Donald Trump is what he had in mind.

federalist papers on impeachment

This, it has been said, would constitute the senators their own judges, in every case of a corrupt or perfidious execution of that trust. Though facts may not always correspond with this presumption, yet if it be, in the main, just, it must destroy the supposition that the Senate, who will merely sanction the choice of the Executive, should feel a bias, towards the objects of that choice, strong enough to blind them to the evidences of guilt so extraordinary, as to have induced the representatives of the nation to become its accusers. So far as might concern the misbehavior of the Executive in perverting the instructions or contravening the views of the Senate, we need not be apprehensive of the want of a disposition in that body to punish the abuse of their confidence or to vindicate their own authority. Thus it could hardly happen, that the majority of the Senate would feel any other complacency towards the object of an appointment than such as the appearances of merit might inspire, and the proofs of the want of it destroy. The one would be amenable to personal punishment and disgrace; the person of the other is sacred and inviolable.

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Impeachment Clauses: Alexander Hamilton, Federalist, no. 65, 439

federalist papers on impeachment

The proportion, in point of numbers, of the chancellor and judges to the senators, is so inconsiderable, that the judiciary authority of New York, in the last resort, may, with truth, be said to reside in its Senate. But this arises naturally from the sovereign power which relates to treaties. They might even entertain a preference to some other person, at the very moment they were assenting to the one proposed, because there might be no positive ground of opposition to him; and they could not be sure, if they withheld their assent, that the subsequent nomination would fall upon their own favorite, or upon any other person in their estimation more meritorious than the one rejected. The model from which the idea of this institution has been borrowed, pointed out that course to the convention. Would it be proper that the persons who had disposed of his fame, and his most valuable rights as a citizen in one trial, should, in another trial, for the same offense, be also the disposers of his life and his fortune? On 27 July, the House Judiciary recommended impeachment. The convention, it appears, thought the Senate the most fit depositary of this important trust.

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