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Impeachment of Justice Chase by Steve Payne

Author says: what if the disgraced Vice President Aaron Burr was actually an unrecognised hero that had safeguarded liberty at a dangerous time for the Republic? Please note that the opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of the author(s).

In 1805: on March 1st, in the first impeachment of a Justice of the Supreme Court, the Jeffersonian Republicans-controlled Senate voted to convict Samuel Chase of charges of political bias that had resulted in the treatment of defendants and their counsel in a blatantly unfair manner.

The outcome represented a decisive setback for the Federalist Party because Chase was a well-known firebrand states-righter and revolutionary. At a stroke, Thomas Jefferson had seized control of the judiciary from the Federalists and also prevented Chase from running for President in 1808.

"Ought the seditious and official attack [by Chase] on the principles of our Constitution . . .to go unpunished?" ~ JeffersonPerhaps more significantly, conviction of an original signatory of the declaration of independence symbolised the final defeat of the sense of brotherhood amongst the remaining founding fathers. Infighting had been begun inside Washington's cabinet, developed during the elections of 1796 and 1800 and climaxed dramatically when Vice President Aaron Burr and former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton had shot each other dead in a duel at Weehawken.

The beneficiary was unquestionably Jefferson, who could now enter his second term without equal, or indeed the inconvenience of an independent judiciary.

Author says please note that content was substantially repurposed from the source article on Wikipedia. To view guest historian's comments on this post please visit the Today in Alternate History web site.

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Steve Payne Editor of Today in Alternate History, a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today. Follow us on Facebook, Myspace and Twitter.

Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility. Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as president abound in this interesting fictional blog.


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