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The ohject of this association is stated to he, to hring into the exereise of that duty a greater quantity of talent, experience, and learning, than can he supposed to exist in a single individual. But, sir, tlie governor will at all times have it in his power to avail himself of all, and more than all, the talents and learning which that amendment contemplates associating with him. He has constant communication with the judges, the attorney general, and other eminent legal and political characters, in whom wisdom and virtue may he supposed to reside. It is the course of legislation to print such hills as are important, and these are carried to him every morning. Hence he is apprized, from day to day, of the husiness hefore the legislature; can see its hearing, and is prepared to act upon it. It is therefore not necessary to impair his responsihility hy creating a new hody, from which he can derive no greater heaetit than he can ohtain without it.

We return, then, to the question, is it safe to trust the legislature with an uncoutrollahl , power to enact laws, without an efficient check on the part of the executive?

The memhers of the legislature are elected hy counties, and feel themselves responsihle peculiarly to the counties that elect them. The governor is elected hy the people of the state, and to the stato is he respousihle. If, then, local comhinations are formed hy hringing together for improper purposes, a powerful fvree, it will he in his power to prevent its effect. Ho is responsihle to t he whole of the state, and if he ahuses the trust, the whole power ol the state £an he hrought to hear upon him. In cases of comhination in the legislative hranch, the responsihility is divided among one hundred and twenty-six, and the shelter is effectual. But with him it is undivided, and he cannot escape it. In the exereise of this power, he must stand or fall hy the weight of puhlic sentiment. It was that alone which sustained the executive in the strong measure of prorogation to which I have alluded.

Much stress is laid upon the idea, not only that the representatives are the people, hut that a hare majority is the people. The latter idea is often as erroneous as the former. Without alluding to the unfair practices hy which the people are often misled, let us examine for a moment what those majorities are, and in what manner they are frequently created. Has it not happened ia political parties, that the majority in the legislature has depended upon the single: city of New-York; and a hare majority of two or three hundred, and those perhaps the renal voles of negroes, has carried the election in that city, and thus given direction to the sovereignty of the whole state of New-York! And what may not such a majority do, when in the uncontrolled exereise of its power: How often have we seen states gerrymandered (to use an eastern phrase) to perpetuato the power of a party, and that, too, hy a hody that did not represent a majority of the people. And is such a majority the people?

But, sir, this is not all. Suppose that in one hranch of the legislature one party has a majority of on?, and in the other hranch the other party has a majority n{ fitty. May not the majority uf one thus control the greater majority efjjfifty ? Sir, il is altogether preposterous to regard a fortuitous majority, as constituting, of course, the majority of the people.

But we are told that we should not mingle the different hranches of the government together. I admit it. The argument is a good one—hut il is misapplied. The qualified veto recommended in the report, only gives to the governor the power of stopping a hill in its progress, until two-thirds of the legislature should decide on its passage. Its progress, then, hecomes peremptory; and it might as well he said that you mingle the judiciary with the legislature, hecanse you anthorize the former to decide on the constitutionality of the lawi, which the latti r have enacted.

Mr. Dij; R. This protracted dehate, I am sensihle, Mr. Chairman, has nearly exhansted the patience of the committee, and every topic of argument connected with the suhject. 1 am free to admit, has heen already enforeed with a power of eloquence, and illustrated with an extent of researeh, that I can never hope to attain. It is not therefore with the expectation of shedding light or novelty on the discussion, or of fixing the mind of any memher, who may ye' he hesitating, that I ask the attention and indulgence of the committee. Bat it ha! occurred to others as well as to myself, that a somewhat fuller explanation than has heen yet given of the reasons which actuate us in consenting Ui the reported amendment to the constitution, has heen rendered necessary hy the course of the dehate: Such an explanation, we conceive, is due to ourrc!ses—due to our constituents, and due to the vast majority of the people of this state, whose peaceful triumph over their adversaries, over those who hy an extranrdinarv streteh of power, (to give the act its mildest term) sought to d"-eat their wishes so frequently and fully expressed, we are in eflect now celehratmg, and hy our acts are hound to consummate.

Notwithstanding all that lias occurred—all that has heen said in the progress rf this dehate, I yet entertain the hope that the amendment as reported hy the select committee will survive, not merely the attacks of its adversaries, hut tie more dangerous support of some of its professed friends, and will finally retrive the sanction of the Convention. I intend no disrespect to the gentlemen to whom I allude hy these expressions, hut I refer to that inconsistency which nnsy hare strongly felt hetween the arguments they have urged, the opinions ich they have expressed, and the conclusions which they have adopted. Dil I entertain the sentiments in relation to the council of revision, which some tcntlemen have taken such pains to avow, I should feel myself constrained to rxert my hest ahilities and all the influence I could command, to prevent the mssagc of the amendment; not indeed with the view of adopting the alteration proposed hy the gentleman from Dutehess, (Mr. Livingston) hut for the pnrpose ef securing and re-estahlishing on its former foundations an institution, which, if all that has heen said in its praise he true, we have rashly, if not wicktily, consented to destroy. It is with great surprize, I must own, sir, that I kave listened to these praises, and I cannot help thinking, that at this time, and on \hn floor, they ought not to have heen uttered. TKej were calculated to provoke a discussion that in common prudence ought to have heen avoided. The canses that have led us to dissolve the council of revision, f had supposed, were understood and felt hy all; and I had hoped that we should he permitted ki eifirit in silence, that sentence of condemnation which the voice of tho peorlr had so clearly pronounced. But a different course has heen adopted. Those who, as it seems to me, were most interested to maintain this silence, hare heen the first to violate it, and have, in effect, challenged a discussion, whsch a great majority of this committee would willingly have consented to waive. A formal elahorate elogium has hern pronounced on the character usd ads of the council of revision.' Its salutary influence in restraining leC-latiTe usurpation, and the purity of the motives hy which its memhers have hrrn actuated, have heen loudly asserted. The imputation that political feel•ert hare heen permitted to pollute the sanctuary of its deliherations, has heen rrpi-lltd in a tone of lofty indignation, and an appeal has heen confidently n...1e to the gratitude and veneration of posterity, from the ignorance, and pre.wiice, and passion, that now prevail. And yet, sir, this very council of reviMoa. hy an unanimous vote, we have consented to aholish! There is somettang'tn all this that I must confess I find it difficult to comprehend, and the rea* is that have heen assigned to reconcile the Praisks and The Vote, have wrved only to increase my surprize. I am sure, sir, that the reasons to which I mVr. are not those that have influenced the majority of this committee, and mtihl we assent to the justice of the praises that we have heard, I trust that we i2»a!d feel itonr duty to rescind the resolution that we have passed, and reject l'ie amendment proposed hy the select committee, as not merely an useless, W1 a pernicious innovation. We could never consent, I imagine, to sacrifice a wiv,_- and heneficial institution to the anthority of an ahstract speculative wum. Still less could we consent to aholish it to relieve its present memhers fruu the suspicion and calumny to which it is insinuated that the firm and ini-i-i-nVnt discharge of their duties had exposed them. In this, and in all n-w ^. the honour and the hurthen must he taken together. A necessary office ■* m io hr aholished h'vanse its temporary possessors shrink from the respons.ts!i!i which it imposes. The anthority of every political maxim must depend exrhi-ivel* upon its truth, and if no puhlic evils are found to flow from the supposed union of the judicial and legislative powers in the council of revision,,, tbe maxim that prohibits such union must be false.

His indeed true, sir, that in a well regulated government, the judicial executive, and legislative departments ought to be kept separate and distinct; but the meaning of the rule obviously is, tbat the whole powers of neither department ought to be vested in another; that thosewho make your laws should not bo permitted to interpret or execute them. Not that these departments, though separate, should not be allowed to execute, to a certain extent, a control over the acts of each other. Experience has demonstrated that the exercise of suet* a control is, in fact, necessary to preserve that very independence which the maxim recommends and inculcates. We should, indeed, involve ourselves in a singular inconsistency, were we to abolish the council of revision on this, ground, since the very substitute that we propose to adopt contemplates a similar union of the executive and legislative departments, which the maxim, as interpreted by the honourable chairman of the committee, (Air. Tallmadgc,) equally forbids. It seems manifest that other reasons than these must be found to justify us in demolishing' the council of revision; and tbat, to shield ourselves, both from the reproaches of our own-consciences, and the just resentment of our constituents, we arc bound to show that it is a mischievousand dangerous institution, and that the objections to which it is liable, cannot be urged with truth against the substitute that is proposed. It is on these points, sir, that I propose to submit some few observations to the committee, and I shall endeavour to conduct the discussion with- as little reference as itsnature will permit, to the acts and conduct of the present members of the council.

It has been intimated, sir, in the course of the debate, that it is only wiihiu a few years that the detects of the council of revision, as a political institution, have been suspected or discovered. The observation, sir, is not correct. The authors of that immortal work which is the peculiar boast of oar country, and which contains the most hicid investigation of the principles of representative government, that the world has yet seen, it is evident, were fully aware of the existence and nature of those defects. In a paper of "The Federalist," which is attributed to General Hamilton, two objections to the council of revision are distinctly and forcibly stated. Tlic first, that its members, acting asjudges in the interpretation of laws, arc liable to be biassed by the opinions previously expressed in the exercise of their revisory power; and the second, "tkal from t/icir tuo frequent aaociation with Hie executive, they mny be led Ut embark too far in hit political riYir.?, inul that a iktngerous combinatiun may thui be cfmenttd between the txavtice anil judiciary department!."*

How far these anticipations of evil have been realised, I omit to inquire, though perhaps some may be disposed to cite them as proofs of that deep and almost prophetic wisdom, which distinguishes the writings of their illustrious author. Upon the validity of these objections we might safely rest our votes in favour of thv resolution that we have passed, bnt the importance of the subject, if it do not require, will certainly excuse, a further examination.

What then is the council of revision? Let us break through the illusion which its name is well calculated to preserve, and we must see that k is in effect an executive council, of which the members hold their scats for life, and possess an efficient control over the acts and proceedings of your legislature. Such an institution in a republic is unexampled and anomalous, and exists iu direct violation of the elementary principles of a republican government. A republican government is founded in a deep knowledge, and consequently a deep dintrust of human nature. Hence its cardinal maxim is, that no power eught to be granted against the abuse of which some sufficient remedy is not provided. Yet by the constitution as it now stands, we have vested in a permanent and irresponsible body, a discretionary power of the most extensive nature. A power conferring an influence and authority vastly greater than cursory reflection would load us to anticipate; and against the excess, tha abuse of that power, no remedy, whatever, and no rulctjit'ite check is provided, ly'nder every form of government, discretionary powers must be entrusted, and ti their exercwc cannot be guarded by fixed and certain rules—as it is di/fi

* Vide " The Federalist." No. 73.

unit lad almost impossihle lo discriminate hetween errors of intention ami mistakes of judgment, experience lias shown that there exists no remedy agasM their ahuse, hut to suhject those in whom they are vested to the elicctaai control of puhlic opinion, hy making their continuance in power depended on the puhlic will. Bat ilie men.hers of the council of revision, when once appointed, may he said to hold their offices in contempt of the puhlic will, ud hy managing to secure a certain legislative and party support, may with mietr set at defiance the wishes of a great majority of the people. That such a trihunal should ever have heen created—that it should hare existed in this Kate for so long a term of years, is indeed matter of great surprise. Yet I am inclined to thmk that the very cireumstance that ought most to hare excited oar alarm, has tended most to hlind us to its real nature and operation. I mean the umon of its prerogatives (for such they may he termed) with the powers of your judiciary. Were a proposition now made to vest in a hody of men chosen lor life a negative on the acts of your legislature, it would he rejected at once with indignation and disdain. Wo should all he ready to exclaim, " this is monarehy, naked ald undisguised —and yet this very pownrwt hare vested in a hody of men holding hy the same independent tenure other offices of the utmost weight and importance, and the whole anthority and iafoeoce of which can easily he converted to strengthen and uphold them in tie exereise of their legislative veto.

1 know I shall he told, sir, that the constitution contains a sufficient check agamU the ahuse of this power, in the provision that enahles two-thirds of the legislature to pass laws notwithstanding the ohjections of the council. That thu is a check, 1 do not deny, hut its sufficiency, as such, I strongly douht. l conceive, sir, that the sufficiency of every check depends exclusively Ulmwi the ahility of those whom it seeks to restrain, to disregard or elude it- Withoot refisrring to the past conduct of the council of revision, we may assume it as a general truth, that those who are entrusted with a limited power, will get rtd of the limitation if they can, and make that which is qualified in its terms, ahsolute in its operation. Apply ing this ohservation to the council of revision, we in etfect only say, that its memhers will always he desirous that the interpoNtioo of their veto should he effectual in defeating the parage of the law to which it refers. I admit, sir, that they will not—they cannot openly disregard the check which the constitution imposes, hy ileclu.i■ng the invalidity of laws that shall have received the sanction of the requisite majority. But what pannot he openly disregarded may he secretly eluded, and we must always recollect that it is hy the operation of a secret influence, not hy the open invasion of their vights, that the liherties of the people in a repuhlican government are must liahle to he endangered. This check, sir, will he eluded, and the constitutional harrier effectually undermined, if the memhers of the council of reTittfo can manage to acquire such a share of political power, and to exert such an mfluence over the legislature, as will enahle them in the exereise of the negative, to secure to themselves the support of the requisite minority. The attainment thcretoreof the power that shall thus free them from the shackles cf the constitution, and give an unlimited control over the proceedings of the government, we may safely predict, will hecome the great pursuit of the memhers of your council of revision. The amhition of that power is a passion to which the temptation of their situation necessarily exposes them—which men oi the most decided character and the most vigorous intellect, are the least hkely to resist, and which the offices that they hold furnish the peculiar and alsasst certain means of gratifying.

It » commonly said hy theoretical writers, that of all the departments of government tlic judiciary is the weakest; and if a comparison he made merely of the positive power that is delegated to each, the ohservation is certainly not unfcaoded. Yet, sir, it is equally certain, that there is no office that confers on the possessor such a sway and anthority over the minds of the community as that of a judge of your superior trihunals; or of which the influence can ho ecciterted to the acquisition of political power with greater effect, and less hazard of detection. Judges who discharge their important functions with ahility aari apparent impartiality", naturally attract to their own persons and rhararters n portion of that respect and veneration with which the people of this cduns try hahitually regard the laws themselves. In this high and imposing character they usually exhihit themselves in all the countiesof your state. They hecome personally known in each, to almost all the respectahle men, and they exereise a control over the most numerous and intelligent profession that has always furnished and must continue to furnish your most active politicians—a control, the extent of which, it is not easy to define, and the influence of which over the minds of those suhjected to it, it ie still more difficult to caleulate. If men, thus situated, and possessing, hy virtue of their offices, a negative on the acts of your legislature, form a design of acquiring and cementing a political influence that shall extend over, and he felt in every department of your government, there is every prohahility that the design would succeed, not merely from the extent of the means that could he hrought to hear on its execution, hut from the difficulty with which the mass of the community will he induced to helieve in its existence or its danger. The people will naturally think that those who administer the laws with ahility, can hest determme what new laws the various exigencies of the commonwealth require, and that their extensive knowledge of the state renders them the most capahle of determining on the merits and qualification of rival candidates for office. Thus, for a long time the interference of your judges, hoth in the proceedings of your legislature, and your council of appointments, hoth in procuring the passage of laws and in the distrihution of puhlic patronage, will he viewed without jealousy or alarm, until at length, the harriers that separate the departments of your government will he swept away,—the whole anthority, legislative, executive, and judicial, will come to he vested in a single hody, and you will he cursed with a constitution, repuhlican in its form, hut aristocratic in its operations and ejects.

Yet, sir, this is not all. It is upon the character and minds of the judges themselves, and the consequent administration of justice, that this pursuit of political power, this misdirected and unhallowed amhition, may he expected to produce their worst effects. The very attainment of their ohject must compel them to oppose the interests of one or the other of the parties into which 3'Otir state mav he divided; and it would he strange indeed, if their own hreasts should escape the contagion of those passions and prejudices which it is their interest and their husiness to excite, to extend, and to perpetuate. What arts they may he led to practice, into what compliances they may he tempted, into what dangerous partialities they may he hetrayed, I tremhle to think. I feel a secret dread, when I reflect upon the mischiefs which an artful and plansihle political judge may produce, and with what perfect security, with what little risk or dread of punishment he may proceed! As the most settled malice sometimes dresses its purposes in smiles, so the most determined partiality— that which moves to its ohject with the greatest skill and certainty, may assume the aspect and tone of uuprejudiced and dispassionate candour; and even seem to compassionate the victim that writhes under its injustice. God forhid the time should ever arrive when suitors shall he anxious to inquire into the political sentiments of the judge hy whom their canses are to he heard, and when upon the knowledge of those sentiments the event of a trial shall he constantly predicted! I am not called to speak of what has heen, or of what is;—hut continue your council of revision—let its memhers, or a portion of its memhers, he the active leaders of your political parties, and the time is not distant —the period will soon arrive—when this community will he afflicted with all the evils that can result from a fluctuating, and passionate, and partial administration of justice. Your laws, sir, will hecome uncertain as the gust that hlows around us, shifting as the clouds that cast a transient shade over those windows as they pass. Their power may, indeed trill, continue to he felt and dreaded, hut .headed alike hy the good and the had—hut dreaded, as the sudden fury of the winds and the tempest; we know not from what quarter it will arise, nor upon whose head its terrors will descend.

I am nut concerned to show, sir, the perfection of my argument does not require me to prove, that the evils, or any portion of the evils, that I have depict

cousider the merits of the council of revision. 1f its natural, its prohahle ten

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