- Apr 12, 2021
And Lincoln never even attempted try Davis.You know that's not how this works.
Furthermore, I'm not even sure you can argue he defied constitutional duty by not trying Davis for treason. The Constitution defines treason but it doesn't say "you must try someone for treason under every circumstance." It's a tool you can use or not use at your discretion. Article III Section III is more about defining treason than anything else.
Madison wrote in Federalist 43: "As treason may be committed against the United States, the authority of the United States ought to be enabled to punish it. But as new-fangled and artificial treasons have been the great engines by which violent factions, the natural offspring of free government, have usually wreaked their alternate malignity on each other, the convention have, with great judgment, opposed a barrier to this peculiar danger, by inserting a constitutional definition of the crime, fixing the proof necessary for conviction of it, and restraining the Congress, even in punishing it, from extending the consequences of guilt beyond the person of its author."
In other words, treason is a serious crime so we have clearly outlined what does and does not count as treason and how it can and cannot be defined and punished. It defines and restrains to prevent treason charges from being abused.
There's no imperative there (unless I'm grossly misreading it).