Article 1, Section 5, Clauses 1--4
Junius, no. 1829 July 1769Cannon 97
You cannot but know, Sir, that what was Mr. Wilkes's case yesterday may be your's or mine tomorrow, and that consequently the common right of every subject of the realm is invaded by it. Professing therefore to treat of the constitution of the house of commons, and of the laws and customs relative to that constitution, you certainly were guilty of a most unpardonable omission in taking no notice of a right and privilege of the house, more extraordinary and more arbitrary than all the others they possess put together. If the expulsion of a member, not under any legal disability, of itself creates in him an incapacity to be elected, I see a ready way marked out, by which the majority may at any time remove the honestest and ablest men who happen to be in opposition to them. To say that they will not make this extravagant use of their power, would be a language unfit for a man so learned in the laws as you are. By your doctrine, Sir, they have the power, and laws you know are intended to guard against what men may do, not to trust to what they will do.
The Letters of Junius. Edited by John Cannon. Oxford: At the Clarendon Press, 1978.
© 1987 by The University of Chicago