PT Arrest of Palpatine...Legal?

Discussion in 'Prequel Trilogy' started by darthbarracuda, Sep 22, 2013.

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  1. darthbarracuda Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2012
    star 2
    So Anakin tells Mace that Palps is a super powerful Sith Lord, who's not going to give up his political power easily. Mace pops a blood vessel and gathers three other Jedi with him to confront Palps.

    Wait a second, hold on.

    Palps still has these "emergency powers" which pretty much make him a dictator. Either way, did Mace have any power, or for that matter any right, to barge in with 3 other accomplices, lightsabers drawn for the kill? Isn't that treason since they are going by the evidence of a Jedi who has obvious emotional issues and could be lying? What ever happened to a search warrant so they could at least barge into his chambers? Where did Mace get this power to say to Palps that "under the Galactic Senate, you are under arrest."?!?!?!

    And why the heck was so imperative that they get to his chambers ASAP? Why not wait for a few hours at least, plan the attack with backups and alternate routes and reinforcements, maybe even see if it's technically LEGAL to arrest him in the first place, and then go in and take him down. Why did the arrest have to happen as soon as Anakin told Mace?
    Last edited by darthbarracuda, Sep 22, 2013
  2. Darthbane2007 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2007
    star 4
    I always wondered that myself. Why did Mace have to immediately go and confront the chancellor just based on the word of a jedi that he himself did not fully trust?
  3. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4
    I don't see how this question can really be answered, since the movies really don't address the Galaxy Far Far Away's legal systems in any great detail. The Jedi do seem to have police powers of a sort, as seen by their actions in AOTC chasing down the shape shifter. The crowd at the bar didn't seem to think their actions unusual.
  4. Dark Lord Of The Empire Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 28, 2013
    star 4
    It's a really good question. In addition to what has already been said, Palpatine also has the protection of the Republic's Freedom of Religion laws (which he states as an excuse in the ROTS novel when Mace and the others confront him). Even if they came out and told the public he was a Sith, he would simply say, "so what? I can believe in and practice whatever I want."
    Really, the Jedi were in a no-win situation. Palpatine had the backing of the people. In their eyes, all the power he was taking was for the greater good and to help win the war. He was an excellent public speaker, and able to win people to his side with his passion and "love of democracy."
    As far as Mace's actions are concerned, it was a split second decision. Time was not on the side of the Jedi. After he sent Anakin to tell Palpatine that Obi-Wan had engaged General Grievous, he says, "I sense a plot to destroy the Jedi. The Dark Side of the Force surrounds the Chancellor." Once this was confirmed, he had to move quickly in order to prevent the Jedi Order from being destroyed. By the time Anakin makes his report to Mace, they are already getting ready to confront Palpatine to make sure he returns his emergency powers. Mace probably figured the four of them could handle things quickly and quietly, and then decide afterwards how they would inform the public. He was a bit arrogant, as was much of the Jedi Order. The legality of this issue though, is another story, and Palpatine himself says, "it's treason then!" Mace probably thought he could use the Jedi's status as guardians of the galaxy and keepers of the peace as the legal basis for his actions.
  5. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    Mace was going to the Senate to see that Palpatine kept his word and turned over control back to the Senate. He was delivering the news in person, that Obi-wan had managed to kill Grievous. Palpatine had said earlier that he would only give up his power once Grievous was neutralized. When Anakin told him that Palpatine was the missing Sith Lord, Mace went to arrest him because he was the instigator of the war and would never give up control. It would have been a questionable arrest, but Mace would have presented his evidence at trial. Had Palpatine been beaten and Anakin not betray the Jedi, they might have been able to make their case and Palpatine would have been stripped of his power.
    Andy Wylde likes this.
  6. Revanfan1 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    This right here. There was evidence that Sidious was controlling the Clone Wars from both sides the entire time; that made him a traitor, not Mace.
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  7. ILNP Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 12, 2011
    star 1
    1) Captain Tom Coughlin is right. There's nothing detailing the Star Wars legal system. You can't just assume they're system is like ours. 2) Mace says. "In the name of the Galactic Senate." He's not saying that they authorized his actions. He's saying that he's acting in the name of the ideals that the Senate represents. 3) The treason thing is harder. Is it technically treason. Yes. But just because it's treason doesn't mean that the Jedi are evil and/or that their actions are wrong. Take for example the attempt to assassinate Hitler. While their actions were against the law and therefore would brand them traitors, most people would consider their actions justified and good.

    A better question would be, why would the Jedi wait one minute longer than was absolutely necessary before taking Palpatine out? You're working under the knowledge that the Jedi attempt will fail. Unfortunately, they don't know that. Palpatine was the key to the whole conflict. If the Jedi take out Palpatine, the war is for all intents and purposes over. If Palpatine was left in power he could do the same things you want the Jedi to do by allowing him to remain in power. He could bring up reinforcements. He could escape.
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  8. darthbarracuda Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 2012
    star 2

    Yes but what right did Mace have in the first place to arrest Palpatine?!
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  9. Tim Battershell Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 3, 2012
    star 5
  10. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9

    If you're asking for a legal precedent, it would probably fall under the fact that the Sith are criminals and tyrants. Thus they would need to be removed from office. The Jedi still had legal rights to make arrests, particularly with regards to war criminals. Palpatine confessed to Anakin that he was a Sith Lord and that's good enough for an arrest.

    Palpatine says, "It's treason then" because this is his justification for killing the Jedi. He's recording the conversation for posterity. He was detailing his evidence in the Senate when Bail arrived.
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  11. Revanfan1 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jun 3, 2013
    star 5
    Or, if the fact that he was a Sith wasn't enough, that he intentionally started the Clone Wars with the intention of destabilizing the galaxy. Here in the real world, that'd be called "terrorism".
  12. Sinrebirth SWC and EUC Forum Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 15, 2004
    star 7
    Proof. What proof? It was illegal as sin. Right, that's a very different debate.
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  13. darth-sinister Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2001
    star 9
    1. Palpatine told Anakin that he was a Sith. That's a confession.

    2. The Jedi would be able to raid Palpatine's office and find the transmitter that would connect directly to the Confederacy leadership. The robes which he wore as Sidious, which would then be used to identify him in a lineup. The two Lightsabers that he had.

    Note that Palpatine issues the declaration of the Jedi being outlawed and hunted down, after the Temple had been raided and Order 66 was carried out across the galaxy. He only offers proof after the fact. Apparently, you can do that in the GFFA.
    Last edited by darth-sinister, Sep 22, 2013
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  14. I Are The Internets Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 2012
    star 7
    Mace took too many crazy pills that day.
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  15. Beezer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2013
    star 4
    This is a good point I always wondered about too. The authority the Jedi have is not really spelled out clearly in the movies (and I don't care what the EU says). It is clear the Supreme Chancellor has the authority to delegate certain responsibilities to the Jedi. We see Valorum do this in E1, and Palpatine essentially does the same in E2 and E3. But, obviously, Palpatine does not delegate them with the authority to arrest him, so yeah Mace Windu kind of overstepped his bounds there.

    What the movies never tell us is how the general population views Sith Lords (and I don't care what the EU says).
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  16. Beezer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 5, 2013
    star 4
    When you say "in the name of..." you are saying they are authorizing your actions. Now, the movies never really go into any details regarding what authority the Jedi have had delegated to them, but IMHO Mace Windu was really just bluffing.
    Treason is one of those things where one man's traitor is another man's hero. Do we look at George Washington, Ben Franklin and John Adams as traitors? The British sure did back in the 1700's.
    Last edited by Beezer, Sep 22, 2013
  17. Placeholder Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 30, 2013
    star 4
    Palpatine was going to make it treason, whether it really was or not. In fact, that's exactly what he did when he told the Senate how the Jedi attempted to assassinate him and overthrow the government in a coup.
  18. Darthbane2007 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2007
    star 4
    I really don't think Palpatine would be that stupid to leave his robes and lightsabers and robes so readily accessible that the jedi can find it..
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  19. Darth Chiznuk PT Trivia Master / Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 2012
    star 5
    It may well have been illegal but once Mace learns that Palpatine is the Sith Lord I don't think he really cared. He probably would have been arrested if he assassinated the Supreme Chancellor but I think he was willing to sacrifice himself if it meant destroying the Sith.
    Let The Wookie Win and V-2 like this.
  20. Alessandro Sanfilippo Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2013
    star 1
    It was Treason. Obi Wan and Yoda told him not go.
  21. DarkLordoftheFins Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 2, 2007
    star 4
    Considering we know nothing about the legal system the Republic is based on (except it has not house of representatives but only a Senate as it seems) we don´t know how immunity works with them. Usually there are two models. Immunity has to be undone by the senate to arrest a member OR immunity has to be lifted to charge someone, then you do not need to lift it to arrest them.

    Then again Jedi might have some sort of special rights, standing above usual law agencies, OR they might think so themselves. Actually do the novelisations give any clue how it works? I never read them, I must confess.
  22. Iron_lord Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 2, 2012
    star 6
    According to the Darth Bane novels, the Sith were a "banned organization".
  23. SithStarSlayer Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 23, 2003
    star 6
    It wasn't legal x 1: Palpatine had the legal-high ground.
    Mace Windu: "He has control of the senate and all the courts."
    The Jedi had been out of that loop for a while and they were well aware of it.

    ***
    It wasn't Legal x 2: Like it or not, the Jedi discussed a coup d'état.

    Mace Windu: I sense a plot to destroy the Jedi. The Dark Side of the Force surrounds the Chancellor.
    Ki-Adi-Mundi: If he does not give up his emergency powers after the destruction of Grievous, then he must be forcibly removed from office.
    Mace Windu: It will be tricky. The Jedi Council will have to take control of the Senate to ensure a peaceful transition to a new goverment and a new leadership for the Republic.
    Yoda: Hmm. To a dark place this line of thought will carry us. Great care we must take.

    ***

    It was a moral victory when the Jedi confronted the Chancellor, but at the same time... a political/legal failure of epic proportions. Didn't matter what they did, Palpatine had them cornered and outgunned.
    Last edited by SithStarSlayer, Sep 23, 2013
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  24. Lord Chazza Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 4, 2013
    star 4
    I don't understand the point of this thread. The answers to these questions are surely pretty clear if you think about it logically:

    1) Was it legal? Of course not. Removing the head of state and seizing control of the government is a coup and is as such always illegal. Of course Palpatine took his emergency powers on the strict understanding that he would lay them down and step aside as head of state "once this crisis has abated." His term was already up and he was only still in office because of the will of the senate and had he refused to leave office once the war had officially ended then he would have been in breach of the law and he could be lawfully rrested. But the war hadn't ended yet. The Seperatists had not surrendered and no formal declaration had been issued. The Jedi tried to remove the Chancellor prematurely and as such their actions were illegal.

    (Interestingly this situation in Star Wars is strikingly similar to the one that faced Russia in 1993. President Yeltsin refused to lay down his emergency powers which caused friction with the Russian parliament. He tried to dissolve that body (though he did not have the powers to do so constitutionally) and parliament declared his decision null and void and impeached him. Yeltsin got the army on his side and bombed parliament into submission.

    2) Was it just? Of course it was just. The Chancellor had manipulated the galaxy into a war which was tearing the Republic apart and caused the deaths of millions. Leaving the Order of the Sith Lords issue aside Palpatine's actions were criminal and the Jedi would be more than justified to remove him from office - BUT - they could only do so "legally" once the war had ended and Palpatine had refused to leave office. There is sometimes a difference between what is legal and what is right.
  25. The Supreme Chancellor Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 4, 2012
    star 4
    ^ That.
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