Saturday, December 02, 2023

Additional Evidence on Section Three and the Presidency

Gerard N. Magliocca

To belabor the point . . .

In 1867, General John Rawlins gave a speech on the Fourteenth Amendment in Ulysses S. Grant's adopted hometown of Galena, Illinois. Rawlins was Grant's top aide during the Civil War and later served as Secretary of War. Here is how Rawlins described Section Three:

Those rendered ineligible to hold office are not disfranchised, but all the rights appertaining to citizens are theirs to enjoy, save that of holding office. Every other citizen in the United States who has the requisite qualifications, no matter how conspicuous he was in the rebellion, no natter how hard he fought against the Governnent, is eligible to any office civil or military, State or Federal, even to the Presidency.

Every "other" citizen was eligible to the Presidency. But not those rendered ineligible to hold office. This speech was widely reprinted, though the original story was in The Chicago Tribune of June 26, 1867.

Other examples, beyond the six that I discussed in my posts earlier this week, include:

1. Gallipolis Journal (Feb. 21, 1867) (stating that Reconstruction without Section Three "would render Jefferson Davis eligible to the Presidency of the United States").

2. The Milwaukee Sentinel (July 3, 1867) (stating that even Jefferson Davis "may be rendered eligible to the presidency by a two-thirds vote of Congress").

3. The New York Daily Herald (Mar. 29, 1871) (advocating amnesty that "will make even Jeff Davis eligible again to the Presidency).

4.  Urbana Citizen and Gazette (Apr. 25, 1872) (stating that amnesty would make Jefferson Davis "eligible to a seat in the Senate, or to the Presidential chair itself").

5. The Tiffin Tribune (July 18, 1872) (quoting John Bingham's speech declaring that Jefferson Davis and other Confederate leaders "should never hereafter be permitted to be President"). I discussed this one in a prior post.

6. The Rutland Daily Globe (Dec. 11, 1873) (stating that a general amnesty was justified "even if Jeff Davis is made eligible to the presidency").

There are more articles along these lines. But my next post will probably tackle another issue.



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