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Adam Clayton Powell and John Wilkes: An Analogue from England for the Men in the Marble Palace

48 Pages Posted: 27 Feb 2013 Last revised: 22 Feb 2015

Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC

Victoria University of Wellington - Faculty of Law

Date Written: 1971

Abstract

This paper considers the case of Powell v McCormack, regarding the unconstitutional exclusion of Adam Clayton Powell from the United States House of Representatives for misconduct. It considers arguments that can be made for supporting the action taken by the House, while acknowledging that there are powerful arguments militating against the wisdom of that action. Powell’s constituents had elected him and obviously his exclusion left them without representation. The paper discusses the similarities between the situation of John Wilkes and the English constitutional experience. The Wilkes case was raised in argument during Powell, and the paper considers the United States Supreme Court’s treatment of the English evidence.

Keywords: constitution, US Constitution, House of Representatives, Adam Clayton Powell, John Wilkes

JEL Classification: K19

Suggested Citation

Palmer QC, Sir Geoffrey, Adam Clayton Powell and John Wilkes: An Analogue from England for the Men in the Marble Palace (1971). 56 Iowa Law Review 725, 1971; Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper Series Palmer Paper No. 1. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2225533

Sir Geoffrey Palmer QC (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington - Faculty of Law ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington, 6140
New Zealand

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