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It was now unanimously agreed, that the vote which had struck out the words “to be ineligible a second time," should be reconsidered to-morrow.
WEDNESDAY JULY 18TH.
In Convention,—On motion of Mr. L. MARTIN to fix to-morrow for reconsidering the vote concerning the ineligibility of the Executive a second time, it passed in the affirmative, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, aye—8; New Jersey, Georgia, absent.
The residue of the ninth Resolution, concerning the Executive, was postponed till to-morrow.
The tenth Resolution, “that the Executive shall have a right to negative legislative acts not afterwards passed by two-thirds of each branch," was passed, nem. con.
The eleventh Resolution," that a National Judiciary shall be established to consist of one supreme tribunal,” agreed to nem. con.
On the clause, “The judges of which to be appointed by the second branch of the National Legislature," —
Mr. GORHAM would prefer an appointment by the second branch to an appointment by the whole Legislature; but he thought even that branch too numerous, and too little personally responsible, to ensure a good choice. He suggested that the Judges be appointed by the Executive with the advice and consent of the second branch, in the mode prescribed by the Constitution of Massachusetts. This mode had been long practised in that country, and was found to answer perfectly well.
Mr. Wilson would still prefer an appointment by the Executive; but if that could not be attained, would prefer, in the next place, the mode suggested by Mr. Gorham. He thought it his duty, however, to move in the first instance, “ that the Judges be appointed by the Executive.”
Mr. GOUVERNEUR MORRIS seconded the motion.
Mr. L. MARTIN was strenuous for an appointment by the second branch. Being taken from all the the States, it would be best informed of characters, and most capable of making a fit choice.
Mr. SHERMAN concurred in the observations of Mr. Martin, adding that the Judges ought to be diffused, which would be more likely to be attended to by the second branch, than by the Executive.
Mr. Mason. The mode of appointing the Judges may depend in some degree on the mode of trying impeachments of the Executive. If the Judges were to form a tribunal for that purpose, they surely ought not to be appointed by the Executive. There were insuperable objections besides against referring the appointment to the Executive. He mentioned, as one, that as the seat of government must be in some one State; and as the Executive would remain in office for a considerable time, for four, five, or six years at least, he would insensibly form local and personal attachments within the particular State that would deprive equal merit elsewhere of an equal chance of promotion. Mr. GORHAM.
As the Executive will be responsible, in point of character at least, for a judicious and faithful discharge of his trust, he will be careful to look through all the States for proper characters. . The Senators will be as likely to form their attachments at the seat of government where they reside, as the Executive. If they cannot get the man of the particular State to which they may respectively belong, they will be indifferent to the rest. Public bodies feel no personal responsibility, and give full play to intrigue and cabal. Rhode Island is a full illustration of the insensibility to character produced by a participation of numbers in dishonourable measures, and of the length to which a public body may carry wickedness and cabal.
Mr. GOUVERNEUR Morris supposed it would be improper for an impeachment of the Executive to be tried before the Judges. The latter would in such case be drawn into intrigues with the Legislature, and an impartial trial would be frustrated. As they would be much about the seat of government, they might even be previously consulted, and arrangements might be made for a prosecution of the Executive. He thought, therefore, that no argument could be drawn from the probability of such a plan of impeachments against the motion before the House.
Mr. Madison suggested, that the Judges might be appointed by the Executive, with the concurrence of one-third at least of the second branch. This would unite the advantage of responsibility in the
Executive, with the security afforded in the second branch against any incautious or corrupt nomination by the Executive.
Mr. SHERMAN was clearly for an election by the Senate. It would be composed of men nearly equal to the Executive, and would of course have on the whole more wisdom. They would bring into their deliberations a more diffusive knowledge of characters. It would be less easy for candidates to intrigue with them, than with the Executive Magistrate. For these reasons he thought there would be a better security for a proper choice in the Senate, than in the Executive,
Mr. RANDOLPH. It is true that when the appointment of the Judges was vested in the second branch an equality of votes had not been given to it. Yet he had rather leave the appointment there than give it to the Executive. He thought the advantage of personal responsibility might be gained in the Senate, by requiring the respective votes of the members to be entered on the Journal. He thought, too, that the hope of receiving appointments would be more diffusive, if they depended on the Senate, the members of which would be diffusively known, than if they depended on a single man, who could not be personally known to a very great extent; and consequently, that opposition to the system would be so far weakened.
Mr. Bedford thought, there were solid reasons against leaving the appointment to the Executive. He must trust more to information than the Senate. It would put it in his power to gain over the larger States by gratifying them with a preference of their citizens. The responsibility of the Executive, so much talked of, was chimerical. He could not be punished for mistakes.
Mr. GORHAM remarked, that the Senate could have no better information than the Executive. They must like him trust to information from the members belonging to the particular State where the candidate resided. The Executive would certainly be more answerable for a good appointment, as the whole blame of a bad one would fall on him alone. He did not mean that he would be answerable under any other penalty than that of public censure, which with honourable minds was a sufficient one.
On the question for referring the appointment of the Judges to the Executive, instead of the second branch,—Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, aye—2; Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Caro lina, South Carolina, no—6; Georgia, absent.
Mr. GORHAM moved, “that the Judges be nominated and appointed by the Executive, by and with the advice and consent of the second branch; and every such nomination shall be made at least days prior to such appointment.” This mode, he said, had been ratified by the experience of a hundred and forty years in Massachusetts. If the appointment should be left to either branch of the Legislature, it will be a mere piece of jobbing.
Mr. GOUVERNEUR Morris seconded and supported the motion.
Mr. SHERMAN thought it less objectionable than an absolute appointment by the Executive; but disliked it, as too much fettering the Senate.
On the question on Mr. GORHAM's motion,-Mas