Some Senators are threatening to refuse to seat Alabamian Roy Moore if he is elected in spite of the media onslaught regarding unproven allegations of sexual misconduct 38 years ago. Not to get the cart too far ahead of the horse, but before those Senators commit to that position, they might want to read Powell v. McCormack, 395 U.S. 486 (1969).
In the Powell case, the Supreme Court held 8-0 (with Justice Fortas recusing himself) that the House of Representatives had no legal power to refuse to seat a person duly elected and constitutionally eligible.
Chief Justice Warren’s majority opinion was that Article I, §5(1) of the Constitution should be (and was) properly interpreted to mean that, in judging the qualifications of its members, Congress is limited to the qualifications prescribed in the Constitution. SCOTUS held that because Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. was duly elected by the voters and was not ineligible to serve under any provision of the Constitution, the House was without power to exclude him from its membership.
In a purely political power play under Article I, §5(2), the Senate could vote with a 2/3 majority to expel Moore if he is elected and seated.
If expulsion by the Senate GOPe and Democrats were to happen in the absence of proof that Moore is guilty as claimed by the media, McCain, Romney and many of the rest of the GOPe, Alabama would erupt in outrage. The Stars and Bars would be unfurled in displays not seen since the Civil War. As voter protests escalated, civilian facilities in Alabama may come under attack. Alabama might even dust off its 1860 Articles of Secession.
“Couldn’t happen” many will say. If Roy Moore is elected, then railroaded out of office by the GOPe, just watch! The states’ rights sentiments that culminated in the Civil War remain very much alive and well in the Deep South.
The forced removal of the Confederate battle flag from public spaces a couple of years ago was rejected by many Southern traditionalists, and their rejection had nothing to do with slavery. The ongoing assault on Southern history by the destruction and removal of Confederate memorials has rekindled those embers of resentment. Will an outright conflagration result if Roy Moore is deposed by the Establishment GOP?