Wednesday, January 27, 2021

An open letter to my senators

Dear Senators Stabenow and Peters:

Jurors determine guilt or innocence under the law, not whether the law is constitutional. The courts make constitutional decisions. Nevertheless, forty-five of your Republican senate colleagues have taken the court’s powers and made them their own when they voted that it is unconstitutional to hold an impeachment trial for a president who is no longer in office.

It is important for our democracy that every senator vote on whether they believe the evidence presented in the upcoming impeachment trial suffices to convict former president Trump of the article of impeachment voted by the House of Representatives and delivered to the Senate. We must not allow any senator to sidestep a vote on whether Trump committed impeachable actions by instead declaring him not guilty by reason of the trial being unconstitutional.

Therefore, the Senate must delay the trial until the Supreme Court settles this issue. The Senate must send a formal request to the Supreme Court to prepare an opinion regarding the constitutionality of trying a former president on article(s) of impeachment approved by the House while the president was still in office.

If the Supreme Court deems the constitution does not allow this, the Senate should abandon the trial. The Senate and the House can then determine if censure or other sanctions are appropriate based on former president Trump’s behavior leading up to the January 6, 2021 riot at the Capital. If the Supreme Court deems the constitution does not prohibit such a trial, all senators will have to vote on the article of impeachment based on their view of the evidence presented.

I do not know the legal mechanism for having the Supreme Court take up this issue, but I believe it is critical to the future of our democracy that they do.

I encourage you and your colleagues to take the necessary actions.

James M. Jackson.
Amasa, MI


  1. Excellent. Sharing with my reps.

  2. The "Constitution for the United States" (read the actual opening text at: is the law that the government must obey.

    In the United States, jurors decide "guilt" and not "innocence." It is the duty of a jury to rule according to the merits of the law as well as the facts of the case, otherwise the jury would just be a rubber stamp for unjust laws and malicious prosecutions.

    The Supreme Court, as part of the government, must obey the Constitution. Yet, its opinions and rulings change and reverse course from time to time, according to the currently prevailing political winds.

    Supreme Court decisions regarding "constitutionality" and "unconstitutionality" are merely guidance for the lower courts to follow; they are not absolute, final, or written in stone, and they are certainly not dictates that the people should just blindly follow. The government must obey the Constitution; it is up to the people to see that it does so.

    The Constitution is written in language that normal, educated people--who are not lawyers--can understand. It is up to us, the people, to decide whether or not a law or a government proceeding is constitutional.

    This extends to our elected representatives, who are sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution. It is their sworn duty to act according to their own understanding of the Constitution.

    The greatest strength of the American system of government lies in the power that individual people have to restrict the otherwise unlimited power of an out of control, tyrannical government. That is the power to say that the accused is "not guilty" of having committed a crime because the action that he committed should not be a crime in the first place.

    I would hope that every American would have the courage to exonerate as "not guilty" anyone who has been unjustly accused, just as I would have voted Rosa Parks "not guilty" of having committed a crime, even though she did break the law by sitting in the front of that infamous bus.