I made the photo from the deck of the Queen Mary II as she pulled of New York Harbor on a voyage to England in 2004.
One of the most solemn duties of a Senator is to sit as an impartial juror in a trial after a President has been impeached by the House of Representatives The Senate as a body has recognized the extraordinary importance of fairness and impartiality of such a trial and has required that each Senator take the following oath, which is in addition to his oath of office as a Senator.
“I solemnly swear (or affirm, as the case may be) that in all things appertaining to the trial of the impeachment of the President, now pending, I will do impartial justice according to the Constitution and laws: So help me God.’’
The oath is clear: it gives a Senator no constitutional or moral justification to avoid doing his solemn and impartial duty in the trial of a President. It makes no difference whether a Senator believes the charges are justified or even whether they are trivial. Each Senator is bound by oath to consider all the evidence presented at the trial. He is then bound to render an impartial verdict that is in full accord with his oath – or else be guilty of breeching that oath and his or her solemn Constitutional duty.
Now, to the impending impeachment trial in the Senate of the current President. Some Senators have already boasted that they will make every effort to make a farce of the trial and to insure it will not be impartial. One Senator had this to say, “I’m not an impartial juror.” Note that his statement is an outright admission that he plans to violate his solemn oath of office and the Constitution. The Senator went on to say, “This is a political process. There is not anything judicial about it. Impeachment is a political decision.” Note that you won’t find anything in the constitution or the Senator’s oath of office to support his brazen promise not to do his duty.
Unfortunately the Senator mentioned above is not alone when he promises to turn the impending Constitutionally-mandated impeachment trial into a mockery of justice and the Constitution. Some Senators in both political parties have shown a willingness to treat the impending impeachment trial as a political process and refuse to do their Constitutional duties. How can we expect to remain a democratic republic if we continue to elect government officials who are willing to betray their sacred trusts solely for political reasons – and boast about it.?