July 28, 2010 – Federalist No. 66 – Cathy Gillespie

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

In Federalist No. 66, Hamilton continues his defense of the Senate’s role as court of trial in the impeachment process.  The anti-federalists believed this role concentrated too much power in the hands of the Senate.  As we work our way through the Federalist Papers, it is fascinating to have the benefit of hindsight to explore how the structure built by the framers has played out.

In my personal journey through our 90 in 90, History Holds the Key to the Future, I have learned just how much I did not know!!

I have discovered the Senate.Gov website is a marvelous resource and repository of history. I consulted it for a list of Senate impeachment trials, and found this link:

http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/Senate_Impeachment_Role.htm#4

The above link contains an illuminating narrative of the Senate’s role in impeachment trials, and the major controversies that have arisen over the years, including the definition of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”

In 1960 U.S. Rep Gerald Ford famously stated, “An impeachable offense is whatever a majority of the House of Representatives considers it to be at a given moment in history.”

The link also contains the below listing of Senate Impeachment Trials.  Since 1789, the Senate has conducted 19 impeachment proceedings, with an even split of 7 acquittals and 7 convictions.  Three cases were dismissed.

Complete List of Senate Impeachment Trials
To date, the Senate has conducted formal impeachment proceedings 19 times, resulting in 7 acquittals, 7 convictions, and 3 dismissals.

William Blount, Senator

Date of Final Senate Action: January 11, 1799

Result:  expelled, charges dismissed

_______________________________

John Pickering, Judge

Date of Final Senate Action: March 12, 1804

Result: guilty, removed from office

_______________________________

Samuel Chase, Justice

Date of Final Senate Action:  March 1, 1805

Result:  not guilty

_______________________________

James H. Peck, Judge

Date of Final Senate Action:  January 31, 1831

Result:  not guilty

_______________________________

West H. Humphreys, Judge

Date of Final Senate Action:  June 26, 1862

Result:  guilty

_______________________________

Andrew Johnson, President

Date of Final Senate Action:  May 16/26, 1868

Result:  not guilty

_______________________________

Mark H. Delahay, Judge

Date of Final Senate Action:  no action

Result:  resigned

_______________________________

William Belknap, Secretary of War

Date of Final Senate Action:  August 1, 1876

Result:  not guilty

_______________________________

Charles Swayne, Judge

Date of Final Senate Action:  February 27, 1905

Result:  not guilty

_______________________________

Robert Archbald, Judge

Date of Final Senate Action:  January 13, 1913

Result:  guilty, removed

_______________________________

George W. English, Judge

Date of Final Senate Action:  December 13, 1926

Result: resigned, charges dismissed

_______________________________

Harold Louderback, Judge

Date of Final Senate Action:  May 24, 1933

Result:  not guilty

_______________________________

Halsted Ritter, Judge

Date of Final Senate Action:  April 17, 1936

Result:  guilty, removed from office

_______________________________

Harry E. Claiborne, Judge

Date of Final Senate Action: October 9, 1986

Result:  guilty, removed from office

_______________________________

Alcee Hastings, Judge

Date of Final Senate Action:  October 20, 1989

Result:  guilty, removed from office

_______________________________

Walter Nixon, Judge

Date of Final Senate Action:  November 3, 1989

Result:  guilty, removed from office

_______________________________

William J. Clinton, President

Date of Final Senate Action:  February 12, 1999

Result:  not guilty

_______________________________

Samuel B. Kent, Judge

Date of Final Senate Action: July 22, 2009

Result: resigned, case dismissed

_______________________________

G. Thomas Porteous, Jr., Judge

Date of Final Senate Action: case pending

I hope you all are learning as much as I am about the history of our country, the founding principles upon which our country is based and how these principles were applied by the framers in creating the structure of our Republic, through the United States Constitution!!

Thank you for joining us!!

Good night and God Bless,

Cathy Gillespie

 

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