Point/Counterpoint: IMPEACHMENT

George Mason, 1787 v. Lindsay Graham, 1999


MASON: No point is of more importance than that the right of impeachment should be continued. Shall any man be above Justice? Above all shall that man be above it, who can commit the most extensive injustice? When great crimes were committed he was for punishing the principal as well as the Coadjutors. There had been much debate & difficulty as to the mode of chusing the Executive. He approved of that which had been adopted at first, namely of referring the appointment to the Natl. Legislature. One objection agst. Electors was the danger of their being corrupted by the Candidates; & this furnished a peculiar reason in favor of impeachments whilst in office. Shall the man who has practised corruption & by that means procured his appointment in the first instance, be suffered to escape punishment, by repeating his guilt?

LG 1999GRAHAM: You don’t have to be convicted of a crime to lose your job in this Constitutional Republic. [You could be impeached if Congress decides] your conduct as a public official is clearly out of bounds. Impeachment is not about punishment. Impeachment is about cleansing the office. Impeachment is about restoring honor and integrity to the office. You couldn’t live with yourself knowing that you were going to leave a perjuring judge on the bench. Ladies and gentlemen, as hard as it may be for the same reasons, cleanse this office.

Categories: Issues, National

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