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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Blago May Not Be Entitled to Due Process, But He and We are Entitled to See that He Gets a Fair Trial

I know that Rod Blagojevich is technically not entitled to "due process," when the Illinois Senate tries his impeachment case starting tomorrow, so those of you who are quick to inform everyone of this legality when people discuss the Blago case, please consider me so informed.

But I also believe that Blago is nonetheless entitled to a fair trial by the Illinois Senate. And, surely, ability to call as witnesses those who are mentioned in the impeachment document, and whose names have been bandied about in the press as people Blago pressured for money, or other discussed the US Senate appointment with, need to be called to testify if the Illinois State Senate is to conduct a fair trial.

Otherwise, as I have been saying ever since these charges were first publicly presented by Federal Prosecutor Fitzgerald, we are giving a Federal prosecutor much too much control over our democracy. As person elected governor by the people of any state deserves better than to be thrown out of office on the basis of charges that have not stood up to any cross-examination - that is, the people of the state, and the people of the United States, deserve more.

If you doubt this, think what would have happened in the Joseph McCarthy or Richard Nixon era, had Federal prosecutors been able to in effect unseat governors, by getting state senates to remove them from office, on the basis of un-cross-examined charges.


Anonymous said...

1. How is a "fair trial" to be conducted outside a court of law or jury of one's peers? The Illinois senate has no jurisdiction or legal authority to hold court of law. Unless a little thing known as "separation of powers" has been thrown out the window along with honor and accountability.

2. The United States Of America was explicitly formed as a REPUBLIC. It was never intended to be a democracy. As you say you are giving a Federal prosecutor much too much control over your democracy, you truly mean YOU and YOUR democracy. That's what democracy is: majority control of the individual.

3. Given as just a handful of politicians respect the republic or the Constitution which is it's foundation, I have little sympathy for these cheats who fall into traps of their own making.

hj said...

I've always liked the quote, "Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner."

Paul Levinson said...

anon: a Republic is a type of democracy - whether you type it in all caps or not.

You also misunderstand my point about Blago receiving a fair trial: The Illinois Senate is trying his impeachment case. Obviously, it's not a court of law. My point is that the Senate should conduct the hearings in a way that give Blago a fair trial.

hj: that's democracy without a constitution, and protection of minority rights. We're a little better off than two wolves and a sheep.

hj said...

I guess it's just semantics, really.