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Former Justice Souter: ‘Pervasive civic ignorance’ in U.S. could bring dictatorship

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Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter thinks the decline of civic education is putting the United States in danger.

During a question and answer session last week at University of New Hampshire School of Law, Souter described “pervasive civic ignorance” as one of the biggest problems in the United States. He warned that Americans’ ignorance about their own government could lead to a dictatorship.

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“I don’t worry about our losing a republican government in the United States because I’m afraid of a foreign invasion, he said. “I don’t worry about it because of a coup by the military, as has happened in some other places. What I worry about is that when problems are not addressed people will not know who is responsible, and when the problems get bad enough — as they might do for example with another serious terrorist attack, as they might do with another financial meltdown — some one person will come forward and say ‘Give me total power and I will solve this problem.'”

“That is how the Roman republic fell,” Souter continued. “Augustus became emperor not because he arrested the Roman senate. He became emperor because he promised that he would solve problems that were not being solved.”

“If we know who is responsible, I have enough faith in the American people to demand performance from those responsible. If we don’t know, we will stay away from the polls, we will not demand it and the day will come when somebody will come forward and we and the government will in effect say, ‘Take the ball and run with it, do what you have to do.’ That is the way democracy dies.”

Watch video, uploaded to YouTube by PBS Newshour, below:

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GOP lawmaker smacked down after suggesting impeachment is only for capital crimes

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On Thursday's edition of MSNBC's "All In," Rep. Tom Reed (R-NY) tried to argue that impeachment is only intended for when presidents commit capital crimes — and was immediately corrected by anchor Chris Hayes.

"I saw an earlier interview you gave to Chuck Todd where you didn’t think this was, so far, from what you’ve heard of, the level of impeachable behavior," said Hayes. "I’m curious what you view the standard as the Constitution sets out for you as being high crimes and treason and misdemeanor."

"Crimes that are subject to the penalty of death is essentially what the Constitution is to me indicating with impeachment," said Reed. "And this whole claim of bribery, the American people aren’t stupid, Chris. This is not going to sustain the review of the American people, and they’re the ultimate ones who are going to judge this because I don’t see this becoming an impeachable subject to the removal of the president."

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WATCH LIVE: Trump holds campaign rally to shore up GOP support in Louisiana

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One day after the first televised impeachment hearing, President Donald Trump traveled to Louisiana for a campaign rally.

The rally is being held at the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City, which has a 14,000 seat capacity.

On Saturday, November 16th, voters will travel to the pools to choose between Governor John Bel Edwards (D-LA) and Trump's pick, Republican businessman Eddie Rispone.

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Former GOP lawmaker criticizes his party’s impeachment stance: They ‘seem to be okay with not knowing all the facts’

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On Thursday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," former FBI official and Nevada Republican state Sen. Greg Brower broke down one of his key frustrations with how his party is handling the impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.

"I'm a Republican who has never agreed with everything in the Republican Party platform. Most of it I did, and that's why I was a Republican elected official, and felt comfortable as one, but things have changed," said Brower. "I guess what I'm most surprised at is the number of Republicans, both in Congress and just out there in the country, who seem to be okay with not knowing all the facts, who seem to be okay with the president directing witnesses who clearly have information relevant to this inquiry, directing them to not cooperate and testify."

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