|The Ku-Klux bill, which has passed the House of Representatives by a strictly party vote, is very little changed from that upon which we commented last week, and for the reasons which we then gave we consider it a profound mistake. The President is authorized at his discretion to decide when the State authority is unable, or refuses, to keep the peace, and when the situation may be deemed a rebellion. Has Congress really measured the scope of such a bill? It is a power which every one knows, indeed, that General Grant will not abuse, but which might be used to subvert all liberty. It would have been very easy to qualify it; to require, for instance, the certificate of a District Judge of the United States that unlawful combinations obstructed the courts; but the bill provides no restraint whatever upon the executive discretion. There is no excuse for not having made the language of the Fourteenth Amendment so plain as to render misconception impossible.|
And now more than ever is amnesty imperative. Mr. De Long, a colored representative from South Carolina, cogently declared in the House that while intelligent and influential men are disfranchised they have no interest in maintaining order, and they can not reasonably be expected to support vigorously a system which politically outlaws them. He demanded general amnesty. We observe also that at a recent meeting of Ohio Republicans interested in the Cincinnati declaration both General Cox and Mr. Clark, a prominent colored Republican, urged, amidst great applause, the necessity and good policy of amnesty. And if the Ku-Klux bill is passed by the Senate the President can do no more signal and sagacious service to the country and to his party than to sign a message strongly recommending general amnesty at the same time that he signs the bill.