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Getting it sorted out

“I hold that an attempt to control the Senate on the part of the Executive is subversive of the principles of our Constitution. The Executive department is independent of the Senate, and the Senate is independent of the President. In maters of legislation the President has a veto on the action of the Senate, and in appointments and treaties the Senate has a veto on the President. He has no more right to tell me how I shall vote on his appointments than I have to tell him whether he shall veto or approve a bill that the Senate has passed. Whenever you recognize the right of the Executive to say to a Senator, ‘Do this, or I will take off the heads of your friends,’ you convert this Government from a republic into a despotism. Whenever you recognize the right of a President to say to a member of Congress, ‘Vote as I tell you, or I will bring a power to bear against you at home which will crush you,’ you destroy the independence of the representative, and convert him into a tool of Executive power.” – Stephen A. Douglas, Political Debates Between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen A. Douglas

Published inAbraham LincolnAmerican Civil WarLit & CritPolitics & Law

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