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aye-7; Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, North Carolina, no-4.
Article 2, Sect. 2. "He shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offences against the United States," &c.
Mr. RANDOLPH moved to except "cases of treason." The prerogative of pardon in these cases was too great a trust. The President The President may himself be guilty. The traitors may be his own instru
Col. MASON Supported the motion.
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS had rather there should be no pardon for treason, than let the power devolve on the Legislature.
Mr. WILSON. Pardon is necessary for cases of treason, and is best placed in the hands of the Executive. If he be himself a party to the guilt, he can be impeached and prosecuted.
Mr. KING thought it would be inconsistent with the constitutional separation of the Executive and Legislative powers, to let the prerogative be exercised by the latter. A legislative body is utterly unfit for the purpose. They are governed too much by the passions of the moment. In Massachusetts, one assembly would have hung all the insurgents in that State: the next was equally disposed to pardon them all. He suggested the expedient of requiring the concurrence of the Senate in acts of pardon.
Mr. MADISON admitted the force of objections to the Legislature, but the pardon of treasons was so peculiarly improper for the President, that he should acquiesce in the transfer of it to the former, rather than leave it altogether in the hands of the latter.
He would prefer to either, an association of the Senate, as a council of advice, with the President.
Mr. RANDOLPH could not admit the Senate into a share of the power. The great danger to liberty lay in a combination between the President and that body.
Col. MASON. The Senate has already too much power. There can be no danger of too much lenity in legislative pardons, as the Senate must concur; and the President moreover can require two-thirds of both Houses.
On the motion of Mr. RANDOLPH,
Virginia, Georgia, aye-2; New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, no-8; Connecticut, divided.
Article 2, Section 2, (the second paragraph). To the end of this Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS moved to annex, "but the Congress may by law vest the appointment of such inferior officers as they think proper in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments."
Mr. SHERMAN seconded the motion.
Mr. MADISON. It does not go far enough, if it be necessary at all. Superior officers below heads of departments ought in some cases to have the appointment of the lesser offices.
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS. There is no necessity. Blank commissions can be sent.
On the motion,-New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, aye-5; Massachusetts, Delaware, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, no-5; Maryland, divided.
The motion being lost, by an equal division of votes, it was urged that it be put a second time, some such provision being too necessary to be omitted; and on a second question, it was agreed to, nem. con.
Article 2, Sect. 1. The words, "and not per capita," were struck out, as superfluous; and the words, "by the Representatives," also, as improper, the choice of President being in another mode, as well as eventually by the House of Representatives.
Article 2, Sect. 2. After the words, "officers of the United States whose appointments are not otherwise provided for," were added the words, "and which shall be established by law."
Article 3, Sect. 2, (the third paragraph.) Mr. PINCKNEY and Mr. GERRY moved to annex to the end, ❝ and a trial by jury shall be preserved as usual in civil cases."
Mr. GORHAM. The constitution of juries is different in different States, and the trial itself is usual in different cases, in different States.
Mr. KING urged the same objections.
General PINCKNEY also. He thought such a clause in the Constitution would be pregnant with embar
The motion was disagreed to, nem. con.
Article 4, Sect. 2, (the third paragraph,) the term "legally" was struck out; and the words, "under the laws thereof," inserted after the word "State," in compliance with the wish of some who thought the term legal equivocal, and favoring the idea that slavery was legal in a moral view.
Article 4, Sect. 3. "New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union: but no new State
shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned, as well as of the Congress."
Mr. GERRY moved to insert, after, "or parts of States," the words, "or a State and part of a State;" which was disagreed to by a large majority; it appearing to be supposed that the case was comprehended in the words of the clause as reported by the Committee.
Article 4, Sect. 4. After the word "Executive," were inserted the words, "when the Legislature cannot be convened."
Article 5. "The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both Houses shall deem necessary, or on the application of two-thirds of the Legislatures of the several States, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part thereof, when the same shall have been ratified by three-fourths at least of the Legislatures of the several States, or by Conventions in threefourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress: provided, that no amendment which may be made prior to the year 1808 shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth Section of Article 1."
Mr. SHERMAN expressed his fears that three-fourths of the States might be brought to do things fatal to particular States; as abolishing them altogether, or depriving them of their equality in the Senate. He thought it reasonable that the proviso in favor of the States importing slaves should be extended, so
as to provide that no State should be affected in its internal police, or deprived of its equality in the Senate.
Colonel MASON thought the plan of amending the Constitution exceptionable and dangerous. As the proposing of amendments is in both the modes to depend, in the first immediately, and in the second ultimately, on Congress, no amendments of the proper kind, would ever be obtained by the people, if the Government should become oppressive, as he verily believed would be the case.
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS and Mr. GERRY moved to amend the Article, so as to require a Convention on application of two-thirds of the States.
Mr. MADISON did not see why Congress would not be as much bound to propose amendments applied for by two-thirds of the States, as to call a Convention on the like application. He saw no objection, however, against providing for a Convention for the purpose of amendments, except only that difficulties might arise as to the form, the quorum, &c. which in constitutional regulations ought to be as much as possible avoided.
The motion of GOUVERNEUR MORRIS and Mr. GERRY was agreed to, nem. con.
Mr. SHERMAN moved to strike out of Article 5, after "legislatures," the words, "of three-fourths," and so after the word "Conventions," leaving future Conventions to act in this matter like the present Convention, according to circumstances.
On this motion,
Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, aye-3; Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North