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will render their power so enormous as to enable them to destroy our rights and privileges. This, sir, ought to be strictly guarded against.
Mr. IREDELL. Mr. Chairman, the honorable gentleman must be mistaken. He suggests that an aristocracy will arise out of this government. Is there any thing like an aristocracy in this government? This insinuation is uncandidly calculated to alarm and catch prejudices. In this government there is not the least symptom of an aristocracy, which is, where the government is in a select body of men entirely independent of the people; as, for instance, an hereditary nobility, or a senate for life, filling up vacancies by their own authority. Will any member of this government hold his station by any such tenure? Will not all authority flow, in every instance, directly or indirectly from the people? It is contended, by that gentleman, that the addition of the power of making treaties to their other powers, will make the Senate dangerous; that they would be even dangerous to the representatives of the people. The gentleman has not proved this in theory. Whence will he adduce an example to prove it? What passes in England directly disproves his assertion.
In that country, the representatives of the people are chosen under undue influence; frequently by direct bribery and corruption. They are elected for seven years, and many of the members hold offices under the crown — some during pleasure, others for life. They are also not a genuine representation of the people, but, from a change of circumstances, a mere shadow of it. Yet, under these disadvantages, they having the sole power of originating money bills, it has been found that the power of the king and lords is much less considerable than theirs. The high prerogatives of the king, and the great power and wealth of the lords, have been more than once mentioned in the course of the debates. If, under such circumstances, such representatives, - mere shadows of representatives,- by having the power of the purse, and the sacred name of the people, to rely upon, are an overmatch for the king and lords, who have such great hereditary qualifications, we may safely conclude that our own representatives, who will be a genuine representation of the people, and having equally the right of originating money bills, will, at least, be a match for the Senate, possessing qualifications so inferior to those of the House of Lords in England.
It seems to be forgotten that the Senate is placed there for a very valuable purpose — as a guard against any attempt of consolidation. The members of the Convention were as much averse to consolidation as any gentleman on this floor; but without this institution, (I mean the Senate, where the suffrages of the states are equal,) the danger would be greater. There ought to be some power given to the Senate to counteract the influence of the people by their biennial representation in the other house, in order to preserve completely the sovereignty of the states. If the people, through the medium of their representatives, possessed a share in making treaties and appointing officers, would there not be a greater balance of power in the House of Representatives than such a government ought to possess? It is true that it would be very improper if the Senate had authority to prevent the House of Representatives from protecting the people. It would be equally so if the House of Representatives were able to prevent the Senate from protecting the sovereignty of the states. It is probable that either house would have sufficient authority to prevent much mischief. As to the suggestion of a tendency to aristocracy, it is totally groundless. i disdain every principle of aristocracy. There is not a shadow of an aristocratical principle in this government. The President is only chosen for four years — liable to be impeached — and dependent on the people at large for his reëlection. Can this mode of appointment be said to have an aristocratical principle in it? The Senate is chosen by the legislatures. Let us consider the example of other states, with respect to the construction of their Senate. In this point, most of them differ; though they almost all concur in this, that the term of election for senators is longer than that for representatives. The reason of this is, to introduce stability into the laws, and to prevent that mutability which would result from annual elections of both branches. In New York, they are chosen for three years ; in Virginia, they are chosen for four years; and in Maryland, they are chosen for five years. In this Constitution, although they are chosen for six years, one third go out every second year, (a method pursued in some of the state constitutions,) which at the same time secures stability to the laws, and a due dependence on the state legislatures. Will any man say that there are any aristocratical principles in a body who
have no power independent of the people, and whereof one third of the members are chosen, every second year, by a wise and select body of electors ? I hope, therefore, that it will not be considered that there are any aristocratical principles in this government, and that it will be given up as a point not to be contended for. The gentleman contends that a council ought to be instituted in this case. One objection ought to be compared with another. It has been objected against the Constitution that it will be productive of great expense. Had there been a council, it would have been objected that it was calculated for creating new offices, and increasing the means of undue influence. Though he approves of a council, others would not. As to offices, the Senate has no other influence but a restraint on improper appointments. The President proposes such a man for such an office. The Senate has to consider upon it. If they think him improper, the President must nominate another, whose appointment ultimately again depends upon the Senate. Suppose a man nominated by the President; with what face would any senator object to him without a good reason ? There must be some decorum in every public body. He would not say, “I do not choose this man, because a friend of mine wants the office.” Were he to object to the nomination of the President, without assigning any reason, his conduct would be reprobated, and still might not answer his purpose. Were an office to be vacant, for which a hundred men on the continent were equally well qualified, there would be a hundred chances to one whether his friend would be nominated to it. This, in effect, is but a restriction on the President. The power of the Senate would be more likely to be abused were it vested in a council of thirteen, of which there would be one from each state. One man could be more easily influenced than two. We have therefore a double security. I am firmly of opinion that, if you take all the powers of the President and Senate together, the vast influence of the representatives of the people will preponderate against them in every case where the public good is really concerned.
Mr. BLOODWORTH. Mr. Chairman, I confess I am sorry to take up any time. I beg leave to make a few observations; for it would be an Herculean task, and disagreeable to this committee, to mention every thing. It has indeed been objected, and urged, that the responsibility of the Senate was not sufficient to secure the states. When we consider the length of the term for which they are elected, and the extent of their powers, we must be persuaded that there is no real security. A gentleman has said that the Assembly of North Carolina are rogues. It is, then, probable that they may be corrupted. In this case, we have not a sufficient check on those gentlemen who are gone six years. A parallel is drawn between them and the members of our Assembly; but if you reflect a moinent, you will find that the comparison is not good. There is a responsibility in the members of the Assembly: at the end of a year they are liable to be turned out. This is not the case with the senators. I beg gentlemen to consider the extreme difference between the two cases. Much is said about treaties. I do not dread this so much as what will arise from the jarring interests of the Eastern, Southern, and the Middle States. They are different in soil, climate, customs, produce, and every thing. Regulations will be made evidently to the disadvantage of some part of the community, and most probably to ours. I will not take up more of the time of the committee.
3d clause of the 2d section of the 2d article read.
Mr. MACLAINE. It has been objected to this part, that the power of appointing officers was something like a monarchical power. Congress are not to be sitting at all times; they will only sit from time to time, as the public business may render it necessary.
Therefore the executive ought to make temporary appointments, as well as receive ambassadors and other public ministers. This power can be vested nowhere but in the executive, because he is perpetually acting for the public; for, though the Senate is to advise him in the appointment of officers, &c., yet, during the recess, the President must do this business, or else it will be neglected; and such neglect may occasion public inconveniences. But there is an objection made to another part, that has not yet been read. His power of adjourning both houses, when they disagree, has been by some people construed to extend to any length of time. If gentlemen look at another part of the Constitution, they will find that there is a positive injunction, that the Congress must meet at least once in every year; so that he cannot, were he so inclined,
prevent their meeting within a year. One of the best pro-
Mr. SPENCER. Mr. Chairman, I have objections to this article. I object to the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal court in all cases of law and equity arising under the Constitution and the laws of the United States, and to the appellate jurisdiction of controversies between the citizens of different states, and a few other instances. To these I object, because I believe they will be oppressive in their operation. I would wish that the federal court should not interfere, or have any thing to do with controversies to the decision of which the state judiciaries might be fully competent, nor with such controversies as must carry the people a great way from home. With respect to the jurisdiction of cases arising under the Constitution, when we reflect on the very extensive objects of the plan of government, the manner in which they may arise, and the multiplicity of laws that may be made with respect to them, the objection against it will appear to be well founded. If we consider nothing but the articles of taxation, duties, and excises, and the laws that might be made with respect to these, the cases will be almost infinite. If we consider that it is in contemplation that a stamp duty shall take place throughout the continent; that all contracts shall be on stamp paper; that no contracts shall be of validity but what would be thus stamped, — these cases will be so many that the consequences would be dreadful. It would be necessary to appoint judges to the federal Supreme Court, and other inferior departments, and such a number of inferior courts in every district and county, with a correspondent number of officers, that it would cost an immense expense without any apparent necessity, which must operate to the distress of the inhabitants. There will be, without any manner of doubt, clashings and animosities