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TUESDAY, JUNE 5TH.
Governor LIVINGSTON, of New Jersey, took his seat.
In Committee of the Whole.—The words “one or more” were struck out before "inferior. tribunals," as an amendment to the last clause of the ninth Resolution. The clause, “that the national Judiciary be chosen by the National Legislature," being under consideration,
Mr. Wilson opposed the appointment of Judges by the National Legislature. Experience showed the impropriety of such appointments by numerous bodies. Intrigue, partiality, and concealment were the necessary consequences. A principal reason for unity in the Executive was, that officers might be appointed by a single, responsible person.
Mr. RUTLEDGE was by no means disposed to grant so great a power to any single person. The people will think we are leaning too much towards monar-, chy. He was against establishing any national tribunal, except a single supreme one. The State tribunals are most proper to decide in all cases in the first instance.
Doctor FRANKLIN observed, that two modes of choosing the Judges had been mentioned, to wit, by the Legislature, and by the Executive. He wished such other modes to be suggested as might occur to other gentlemen; it being a point of great moment. He would mention one which he had understood was practised in Scotland. He then, in a brief and entertaining manner, related a Scotch mode, in which the nomination proceeded from the lawyers, who
always selected the ablest of the profession, in order to get rid of him, and share his practice among themselves. It was here, he said, the interest of the electors to make the best choice, which should always be made the case if possible.
Mr. Madison disliked the election of the Judges by the Legislature, or any numerous body. Besides the danger of intrigue and partiality, many of the members were not judges of the requisite qualifications. The legislative talents, which were very different from those of a Judge, commonly recommended men to the favor of legislative assemblies. It was known, too, that the accidental circumstances of presence and absence, of being a member or not a member, had a very undue influence on the appointment. On the other hand, he was not satisfied with referring the appointment to the Executive. He rather inclined to give it to the Senatorial branch, as numerous enough to be confided in; as not so numerous as to be governed by the motives of the other branch; and as being sufficiently stable and independent to follow their deliberate judgments. He hinted this only, and moved that the appointment by the Legislature might be struck out, and a blank left, to be hereafter filled on maturer reflection. Mr. WILSON seconds it. On the question for striking out,-Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, aye—9; Connecticut, South Carolina, no
Mr. Wilson gave notice that he should at a future day move for a reconsideration of that clause which respects inferior tribunals.”
Mr. Pinckney gave notice, that when the clause respecting the appointment of the Judiciary should again come before the Committee, he should move to restore the “ appointment by the National Legislature."
The following clauses of the ninth Resolution were agreed to, viz., “to hold their offices during good behaviour, and to receive punctually, at stated times, a fixed compensation for their services, in which no increase nor diminution shall be made so as to affect the persons actually in office at the time of such increase or diminution.”
The remaining clause of the ninth Resolution was postponed.
The tenth Resolution was agreed to, viz., " that provision ought to be made for the admission of States, lawfully arising within the limits of the United States, whether from a voluntary junction of government and territory, or otherwise, with the consent of a number of voices in the national legislature less than the whole."
The eleventh Resolution for guaranteeing to States republican government and territory, fc., being read,
Mr. PATTERSON wished the point of representation could be decided before this clause should be collsidered, and moved to postpone it; which was not opposed, and agreed to,-Connecticut and South Carolina only voting against it.
The twelfth Resolution, for continuing Congress till a given day, and for fulfilling their engagements, produced no debate.
On the question, Massachusetts, New York,
New Jersey,* Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye-8; Connecticut, Delaware, no—2.
The thirteenth Resolution, to the effect that provision ought to be made for hereafter amending the system now to be established, without requiring the assent of the National Legislature, being taken up,
Mr. PINCKNEY doubted the propriety or necessity of it.
Mr. GERRY favored it. The novelty and difficulty of the experiment requires periodical revision. The prospect of such a revision would also give intermediate stability to the government. Nothing had yet happened in the States where this provision existed to prove its impropriety.— The proposition was postponed for further consideration; the votes being,—Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, aye--7; Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, no—3.
The fourteenth Resolution, requiring oath from the State officers to support the National Government, --was postponed, after a short, uninteresting conversation; the votes -Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, Georgia, aye -6; New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, North Carolina, no—4; Massachusetts, divided.
The fifteenth Resolution, for recommending conventions under appointment of the people to ratify the nei Constitution, &c., being taken up,
* New Jersey omitted in the printed Journal.
Mr. SHERMAN thought such a popular ratification unnecessary; the Articles of Confederation providing for changes and alterations, with the assent of Congress, and ratification of State Legislatures.
Mr. Madison thought this provision essential. The Articles of Confederation themselves were defective in this respect, resting, in many of the States, on the legislative sanction only. Hence, in conflicts between acts of the States and of Congress, especially where the former are of posterior date, and the decision is to be made by State tribunals, an uncertainty must necessarily prevail; or rather perhaps a certain decision in favor of the State authority. He suggested also, that, as far as the Articles of Union were to be considered as a treaty only, of a particular sort, among the governments of independent states, the doctrine might be set up that a breach of any one Article, by any of the parties, absolved the other parties from the whole obligation. For these reasons, as well as others, he thought it indispensable that the new Constitution should be ratified in the most unexceptionable form, and by the supreme authority of the people themselves.
Mr. GERRY observed, that in the Eastern States the Confederation had been sanctioned by the people themselves. He seemed afraid of referring the new system to them. The people in that quarter have at this time the wildest ideas of government in the world. They were for abolishing the Senate in Massachusetts, and giving all the other powers of government to the other branch of the Legislature.
Mr. King supposed, that the last Article of the