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seen that the sentence was unjust, if indeed such a sentence has ever passed. It has heen said that this hill did not pass hastily or unadvisedly. How is the fact? The legislature were couvened on an extranrdinary occasion, to appoint electors of president and vice-president; and it has heen unusual to take up at that session, any hills hut those of pressing necessity. Contrary as I helieve to all expectation, the hill in question was passed through hoth houses; and ia the senate, as I understand, it was received on one day, and passed the next. This hill recommended an election of delegates to heholden in the midst of winter, at a time unusual and inconvenient; hut ahove all, it contained no provision for suhmitting the question to the people, whether they willed a Convention or not. Tho council helieved that the legislature, acting under the constitution, chosen to legislate in pursuance of the constitution, had no anthority to directs Convention for the general purposes of amending and prohing that sacred charter of our rights, materially and fundamentally, without a previous reference fo the people, of the question whether it was their wish that it should he thus amended and prohed. I deny the right of the legislature to direct a Convention. In doing so, they had uo higher anthority than any other respectahle hody of men, self-moved, and acting without any delegation of power whatever. Was the rejection of the hill, on these grounds, a high-handed and tyrannical act on the part of the council? Or was it a plain, fundamental, and repuhlican principle, in maintenance of the rights of the people? Wc all acknowledge, that all power and all government of right helongs to, and emanates from, the people, (low, then, was it consistent with that acknowledgment for the legislature to coeree a Convention, without first knowing whether the people willed it? We have heen told that there was no douht on that snhject; the puhlic will had heen expressed through their representatives, and in town and county meetings. But li this so? Can there he any sure expression of the puhlic mind, in a community so extensive ns ours, hut through the medinm of the hallot hoxes s Look at the danger of the precedent—a party gets into power; they find a constitutional provision iniheir way, an impediment to the exereise of their power; they resort to a Convention to amend the constitution, without a previous and legitimate expression of the puhlic sense; the community is agitated; it is split into factions, and your government is shaken and impaired.

It has heen said that the act was recommendatory, and not compulsory on the people. This will appear, on the slightest reflection, to he a mistake. If ninety-nine out of a hundred of the people were opposed to the measure, the ninety-nine hud no means of expressing their dissent. The votes of ten electors in a county in favnnr of any candidates, would have constituted a valid election. The council insisted that, as a preliminary to holding a Convention, the :.ouse of the electors should he taken, and an act was passed in accordance with these principles. And here let me ask, what evils have resulted from the delay which has taken place? The Convention, instead of meeting in June, met in August; hut it now meets upon an undisputed right; the people have legitimately expressed their opinion in favour of n Convention. This delay of two months in the meeting of the Convention, is the only grievance to he complaineJ of; hut in my opinion, a great and salutary principle has heen preserved.

It is true that a Convention was held in 1 liO 1, without a previous appeal to the people. That Convention was expressly limited to two suhjects, and they were such as admitted of no delay. Conflicting opinions existed as to the construction of an article in the constitution; to settle that, and to reduce the representation, which was encreasing in a rapid and enormous ratio, were the only ohjects of consideration.—Under the rejected hill, the whole constitution was liuhle to he re-inoddled; that precedent, therefore, was not one which could control, or which ought to have heen followed.

If the sentence of condemnation has gone forth against the council, hecanse they ohjected to the hill for the reasons I have thus hriefly stated, all I ••can ■ay is, that the condemnation has heen undeserved; and since it was thought iTOiior to correct a very gross mistake, the council have heen represented as opposed to a Convention called in any way, and at any time. This was a gratuitous declaration, unwarranted in point of fact: the great ohjection was as ia manner of calling it

Mr. S. said he had the honour to state to the committer, on a former occasion, thai he considered the exereise of the revisory power hy the judiciary, as liahle to ohjection on theoretical grounds. It was in a degree a commitment of the judges on constitutional questions hy a premature opinion, formed wittiest hearing the arguments of counsel, and this, he thought, a serious ohjection; and it was not to he disguised, that it exposed Hie judiciary to cateh the contagion of party feeling and conflict. It had always heen a painful and irksome thrrv to him, and he wished to he disencumhered of it. He had no right, however, to yield it up from personal considerations; nor did he act on that ground, hut under the conviction that the judiciary should have no concern directly or indirectly, in the passing of laws. He had long felt, and helieved this to he incorrect in principle. One gentleman had insinuated that he wanted not the support of those todisjoin the judges from the council, on the grounds which had heen assumed; hut their votes would stand as fair, and tell as well, as those of others who voted on different grounds.

It had heen said that it was not necessary to give to the revisory power, the tight of ohjecting to hills on the ground of unconstitutionality, hecanse the judges had the power to declare such laws of no effect. It is true they have such power; hut the constitution, as it now stands, confers in express terms, the power of ohjecting to unconstitutional hills; andean it he helieved that three learned men and zealous patriots, who assisted in framing that instrument, did not know that judges had the right to set aside a law in ccctravention of the constitution? Surely not. But they knew, also, that there must he an interval hetween the law, and its annulment hy the judiciary—that mischief night in the mean time arise, and that possihly an unconstitutional law might he acquiesced in, rather than incur the expense of procuring its cancelment.

And here Mr. S. said, arises the distinction hetween governments having constitutions in the American sense of the term, and those which have none; which an act of the legislature cannot transcend.

Great Britain has no constitution, in our sense of the word. The power of parliament is omnipotent; it can do every thing, according to the ideas of a learned writer, hut make a man of a woman. They had repealed fundamental institutions hy mere act of parliament; they had converted a triennial into a septennial parliament, and they have passed various acts which were considered as forming a part of their constitution. It is our happiness, and the security of our rights, that we have written constitutions, which the legislative power cannot invade or transcend; and if they attempt it, the judiciary interposes to protect the citizen.

Mr. Spencer said, that it ought not to he lost sight of, that we are assemhled to amend the constitution, not to make a new ouc; that it would he our duty to reform it only where inconveniences and evils had heen prnotically felt and jasthr complained of; or in those cases, where the light of experience and the mareh of improvement and knowledge, clearly shew, that changes ought to he made, we could not act too cantiously; and we should ahove all rememher, that innovation is not always improvement.

The question was taken on the amendment proposed hy Mr. Livingston, and the same was negatived, 95 to 26, as follows:

NOES—Messrs. Bacon, Baker, Barlow, Beckwith, Cirdscye, Breese, Bvings, Brinkerhoff, Buel, Carpenter, Child, D. Clark, Clyde, Cramer, Day, Duhois. Duer, Dyckman, Eastwood, Edwards, Fairlie, Fenton, Ferris, Fish, Frost, Hees, Hogehoom, Hunt, Hunter, Huntington, Hurd, Jansen, Jay, Jones. Kent, King, Knowles, Lansing, Lawrence, Lefferts, M'Call, Moore, Munro, XeKon, Panlding, Piteher, Plait, Porter. President, Pumpelly, Radeuff, Reeve, Rhinelander, Rockwell, Rogers, Rose, Ross, Russell, Sage, Sanders, N. Sanford. Schenck, Seaman, Sceley, Sharpe. I. Smith, R. Smith, Spencer, Stag-jr, Starkweather, Steele. I. Southerland, Sylvester, Tallmadgo, Ten Eyck. TownIs?, Trtpp, Tattle, VanBuren, Van Home, Van Ness, J. R. V an Rensselaer. S. Van Rensselaer, Van Veehten, Verhryck, Ward, E. Wehster, Wendover, Wheat on, E. Williams, N. Williams, Woods, Woodward, Yates, Young—9j AYES—Messrs. Brooks, Burroughs, Carver, Case, R. Clarke, Collin". fJo-lir", How, Humphrey, A. Livingston, P. R. Liriogston, Millikin. Park Pike, Price, Richards, Root, Rosebrugh, R. Sanford, D. Sutherland, Swift, Taylor, Townsend, Vau Fleet, Wheeler, Wooster—20.

Mr. ToMi-Kipis then called for the consideration of the amendment >•','•> he had yesterday submitted, but with an essential modification which he wished to make. He spoke wine minutes against confiding the revisory power to the governor, and in favoifrof an efficient body of able counsellors to perform this duly. He was not for Overthrowing institutions founded by the wisdom of our ancestors; he was opposed to the council as at present organized •, but wished to preserve something like it; and would trust to the people to bear him out in it. He maintained that it was absurd to vest this power in the governor; and at the same time, by shortening his terra of office, as it has bcca proposed, place him in a situation in which he will not venture to exercise it.— If they would extend his term of office for five years, and render him ineligible afterwards, he should not think it so objectionable. He wished a substitute for the present council of revision, to be composed of the governor, attorney

general, and members, to be able counsellors, with the same term of office

with the judges of the supreme court. He would have them permanent.— This project might not be popular; but he did not come here to legislate for a day—he was legislating for posterity. The Convention of 1801, was assembled to sanction a violent construction of the constitution. Then, the maxim was, to strip the governor of a* much power as possible. Now, gentlemen are for giving him more power. In the Convention of 1801, he was opposed to retrenching tLe power of the executive. To him it was a proud triumph, that at the nge of twenty-six, he stood alone against the then dominant party ; and he believed that there were members who would now be proud if it could be said that they had taken the same ground.

i\li». R.adci.iff spoke in opposition to the proposition of Air. Tompkins.— (Mr. T. said he would submit the amendment in blank. He wished merely to try the sense of the committee, whether they would have any such body for a revisory council.) Mr. J{. continued for some time. It wag erecting a newbody, unknown to our present constitution. He considered the project inexpedient and impracticable.

Mr. Van Bvrf.n. As this proposition is noiv for the first lime snbmitted, the committee had better rise and report; that is, if any gentleman wishes to upeak. He did not, however, make a motion; and

The question was taken on the amendment offered by Mr. Tompkins, and it was negatived without a division.

Mr. Tomi'kins then proposed to amend the report of the committee, so as to confine the veto of the governor to constitutional objections.

Col. Young opposed. It is true that a great part of the public property has been disposed of; but we have yet some left; and it is highly proper that measures should he taken to keep what we have. Suppose a legislature should lie found wicked enough, and corrupt enough, to sell the salt springs, to a rompany of speculators, or tu lay their hands upon the school fund, ought not the governor to have power to arrest the progress of such a corrupt legisIntnrc?

Mr. Tompkins had hoped there would be no debate upon this amendment, but as it :i|» eared to be loading to a discussion, he would withdraw it.

Mb. Tompkixs then proposed a verbal amendment to the report of the committee to make it more explicit, in regard to the person administering the gofrnmcnt of t/nt state. In case of the death of the governor, the lieutenant-go\ernor weuld administer ihc government; hut he would not be the governor. Should the president die, the vice-president would administer the government; but he would not be styled the president.

cxnne little conversation took place upon this subject; and the motion was withdrawn by the mover.

Mh. Donor, then moved an amendment, the object of wliich was to require two-thirds of the members of both houses, to pass bills that may have been returned by the governor, only in cases when the objections were of a constitutional nature. In cases of bills being returned ou grounds of inexpediency, m :,s bcinpr detrimental to the public good, the amendment would rr'i»ire only a bare ir:';i>r.'"y to n»!s them, notwithstanding.

Mr. Whxeleji. Mr. Chairman—With emotions of painful diffidence, proceeding from a profound veneration for the talents and patriotism with which I am surrounded; 1 rise to solicit from this honourahle committee, permission, hrtefly to explain the reasons which will govern my vote on the question hefore you.

Sir, I have listened with attention, to the arguments of gentlemen who advocate the report of your select committee; and although, these arguments have heen enforeed hy the fascinating powers of eloquence, yet, when disrohed of this magic dress, the suhject presents itself to us, in the form of this umple proposition. Which wilt hest protect the puhlic interest, a negative power in the executive, over two-thirds of your legislature, or a control which Jail not extend heyond the majority elect of hoth houses?

This government is founded upon the principles of a representative democracy—the sovereign power is solemnly recognized to he in the people, and to emanate from them: In delegating their trust, the people have disposed of this power to puhlic agents, in such portions, and for such uses, as they, in their wisdom, have deemed hest caleulated to promote the puhlic happiness.

The framers of the constitution of 1777, horrowed freely from that government, whose chains they had recently hroken,\ and in organizing the legislature, they placed in the hands of the judiciary, a strong check upon the deliherations of that hody. This check originated with the British policy of gou-rmnent, and was yielded to the throne for the purpose of defending the sceptre from what, in court phraseology, is termed an encroaching spirit in the people; or in other words, to shield the monareh from the inroads which liherty Las occasionally attempted upon the rights and prerogatives of the crown.

Sir, I have followed the gentlemen over the extended field, which they have explored in the present dehate, and lament that it should have heen thought necessary to enforee their arguments, hy impeaching the purity of your puhlic functionaries. Imputations dark and vague have heen, with a lavish hand, showered upon the legislative and judicial departments of your government. Kven the sages and patriots of your revolution, have not escaped this contumely. The illustrious dead, who pillowed their heads for seven long winters upon the mountain snow; and hared their hreasts during seven sanguinary campaigns, in the glorious struggle for American independence and freedom, have heen upon this floor accused of proffigacy and waste, and of having: corruptly dissipated the funds of your state.

It is, sir, to me a suhject of regret, that at a moment when a little ray of -uaihinc has hroken through the clouds, which have long darkened your polical horizon, to heam its genial warmth upon your citizens; it should have v-en thought discreet to scatter the seeds of distrust and suspicion, hy repre*-olidg your legislature as corrupt and proffigate.

This Convention, sir, represents amoralandathinkingcommunity—wecome here, not as accusors, not to destroy, hut to protect—not to attenuate, hut to itreagthen— not to innovate, hut to reform. Therefore, it is neither salutary nor proper, to weaken the puhlic confidence in a government, under whose auspices, hy the hlessings of Providence, your state, from the feehleness of infancy, has grown to the strength and stature of manhood. We have heard .',■arAi of legislative encroachment; hut not a word of executive comhination. 'in gentlemen refer us to a single incident, where the representatives of a foe people have conspired against the liherties of their constituents? History records no such event; hut her pages are filled with a long and hlack catalogue ,-!- ,-*ccutive usurpations.

Ue are now persuaded to distrust the honesty and discretion of the legislative power, and to improve upon the modern science of checks and halances—We in- urged to place the puhlic welfare in the safe keeping of the executive, who -, m he made the constitutional organ of the puhlic will, and the supreme judge of the pthlic good.

Slir, the amendment of the honourahle gentleman from Montgomery, comi? 'o the romrotttee in the spirit of conciliation; for hy conceding two-thirds to all '.■i^kcooj arising out of the constitution, it meets gentlemen who are in favour of a strong veto more than half way, and if adopted, il would give to the executive an efficient control, which might at all times he fearlessly exereised under the same guarantee, of popular support and protection.

After all, sir, you may resort to your checks and your halances, and may rely tipon the equipoise which you estahlish, to perpetuate your system; yet he assured, that the columns which support the temple of your freedom, derive their heanty and strength from the virtue and intelligence of the people. Corrupt that virtue, and ohscure that intelligence, your checks are lost; and the fair fahric reared hy the wisdom and sustained hy the honesty of your sturdy ancestors, will crumhle into ruins.

Should that evil day come upon you, to use the language of the honourahle gentleman from Orange, you may then flee to the wilderness and resume the savage state, for the only alternative left you will he the melancholy privilege of kissing the thirsty sword of military despotism, or of seeking the mountain wilds as your city of refuge. I again repeat, sir, on that day which your citizens shall yield the reins to vice, and shall permit folly to usurp the scat of intelligence, liherty will he heard to shriek in the agonies of despair, and will he seen to drop a tear of hitter lamentation over the ashes of your repuhlic.

Mk. Bacon said, that the ,mly question now hefore the committee was^ ■whether instead of adopting the proposition reported hy the select committee, which makes two-thirds of each hranch of the legislature necessary in all cases to the passage of a hill which has heen returned with ohjections hy the governor, (whetlicr those ohjections relate to its constitutionality or its expediency) we should accept of the project moved hy the gentleman from Montgomery,

jections are of a constitutional nature, hut a hare majority when those ohjections relate only to its expediency.

As he had not heen amhitious of taking a part in the interesting dehate which had occurred on the general question which had heen hefore them, hecanse his aid had not heen needed, merely for the sake of discoursing on matters and things in general, ho should not now have risen had he not feared that there was something a little catehing to some gentlemen on a first view of what the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Wheeler) had called a conciliatory proposition, and one which he seemed to think ought to unite all sides of the Convention in its adoption. He hoped w c should not he so indiscreet as to sanction it, hecanse it came under that guise. So far from conciliating his good will in it* favour, he should of the two prefer to reverse the proposition, and require a mnjorityof two-thirds where the ohjections related solely to the expediency of a hill, and a hare majority only when they were on constitutional grounds, awl for this ohvious reason ;—constitutional difficulties it was always within the competence of the judiciary power to correct; and should a law clearly unconstitutional, at any time make its way through all hranches of the legislature, there was still a redeeming power left hy an appeal to the judiciary, through whose decision the law might he annulled, the great principles of the constitution preserved, and the sacredness of private rights effectually maintained. The worst that could happen, even were there no revisionary power to check the passage of an unconstitutional law, would he hut temporary; and every error would ultimately he corrected, so soon as time and opportunity to test the ohject innahle principlo was triven hy judicial interposition. Not so, however, when the question was one of expediency. There, the judiciary power could afford no relief, hecanse with the exereise of discretionary powers m the other hranches of the government, they could in no shape interpose in their judicial capacity. The act once passed, however prejudicial to private interests or puhlic good, must have its full operation; and in many cases even its repeal could he of no avail to repair the mischiefs it might have occasioned, hecanse from its nature it might he irrevocahle. To say that hasty, ill-advised, and destructive acts were not to he presupposed of the representatives of the people, clothed v.nth their power, identified with their interests, and thus, as some gentlrrnen maintain, hein^: in truth the people themselves, was arguing arrainst all experience and themusl notorious facts. Who enn shut his eves against the occurrences which have taken place in varinus legislative assemhlies in this country, which, even

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