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WEDNESDAY MORNING FEBRUARY 2, 1870.
The Convention met pursuant to adjournment, Mr. President BROWN in the Chair.
Prayer by the Rev. Dr. BAIRD.
Mr. BLACKBURN presented the following amendment to the Constitution :
WHEREAS, There cannot be made any law as a part of the fundamental law of this State outside of the Constitution of the United States; Therefore, be it resolved, That this Convention will studiously observe the same and avoid the making, or passage, of any law infringing on said Constitution of the United States, and that the following be made a part of the Constitution of Tennessee :
Section 1. That this State shall not make, nor enforce, any law, which shall abridge the privileges, or immunities, of any of its citizens, nor shall any law be made which shall deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law. Nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction, the equal protection of the laws.
Sec. 2. That when the right to vote at any election for the choice of electors for President and Vice President of the United States, Representatives in Congress, the Executive and Judicial officers of the State, or the members of the Legislature thereof, is denied to any
of the male inhabitants of this State, being twenty-one years of age and citizens of the United States, or in any way abridged, the basis of representation shall be reduced in the proportion which the number of such male citizens shall bear to the whole number of male citizens, twenty-one years of age in this State.
Sec. 3. No person shall be eligible as a Senator or Representative in Congress or elector of President and Vice President, or hold any office, civil or military under this State, who, having previously taken an oath as a member of Congress or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of the State Legislature, or as an Executive or Judicial officer of the State, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. Unless such person shall first have his disabilities removed as required in the 3d Section, of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
Sec. 4. The validity of the National debt, authorised by law, including debts incurred for the payment of pensions and bounties in suppressing insurrection or rebellion shall not be questioned. But, this State shall not assume, or pay, any debt, or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the Government of the United States, or any claim for the emancipation of any slave, but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.
Sec. 5. That the right to vote and hold office by any citizen of this State shall not be denied or abridged by any law of this State on account of race or color, or previous condition of servitude.
Sec. 6. That the Legislature shall have power to enforce all the above laws and parts thereof, by appropriate legislation.
Which were read and referred to the Committee on Miscellaneous Provisions.
Mr. BROWN, of Henry, etc., presented a memorial from citizens of Henry, Carroll and Weakley counties, praying the creation of a new County out of portions of said counties, which, without being read was referred to the Committee on New Counties and County Lines,
Mr. STEPHENS presented a memorial from citizens of Marion County, praying to be attached to the County of Grundy, which, without being read, was referred to the Committee on New Counties and County Lines.
Mr. KEY presented a memorial from citizens of Roane, Monroe and Blount counties, praying for the establishment of a new county out of portions of said counties, which, without being read, was referred to the Committee on New Counties and County Lines.
REPORT OF COMMITTEE ON ELECTIONS,
Mr. NICHOLSON from the Committee on Elections made the following report:
The Committee on Elections and Right of Suffrage have had under consideration the resulutions of Mr. Heiskell and Mr. Gardner, as to the time when the amended Constitution shall be submitted to the people for their ratification or rejection, and have directed me to recommend the adoption of Mr. Gardner's resolution as follows:
Resolved, That the Legislature now in session is hereby request
ed, with as little delay as possible, to pass a law changing the time of holding the election for county cfficers, from the first to the fourth Saturday in March next, to afford time to this Convention to finish its labors, and submit the result to the people for ratification or rejection, at said election of County officers.
The Committee have also considered the resolution of Mr. Wright, as to the expediency of declaring all civil officers (except those held by the Governor and Legislature) vacant upon the ratification of the amended Constitution, and have instructed me to recommend that the offices held by Justices of the Peace be declared vacant upon the ratification of the amended Constitution.
The Committee instruct me to ask to be discharged from the other portions of the resolution. All of which is respectfully submitted,
A. Ó. P. NICHOLSON,
On motion of Mr. GARNER the rules were suspended and the report of the Committee taken up, when Mr. Garner offered the resolution of Mr. Turner, to submit the Constitution to a vote of the people on the first Saturday in March next, in lieu of the resolution recommended by the Committee.
Mr. DEAVENPORT demanded the yeas and nays, which were ordered and the substitute offered by Mr. Garner was rejected: Yeas....
56 Those voting in the affirmative are :
Messrs. Allen, Blizard, Burkett, Byrne, Dibbrell, Doherty, Garner, Hill of Warren, House of Montgomery, etc., Kirkpatrick, Porter of Henry, Shelton, Thompson of Maury, and Turner-14.
Those voting in the negative are :
Messrs. Arledge, Bate, Baxter, Blackburn, Branson, Brandon, Britton, Brooks, Brown of Davidson, Brown of Henry, etc., Burton, Campbell, Carter, Coffin, Cummings, Cypert, Deaderick, Deavenport, Dromgoole, Fentress, Fielder, Finley, Fulkerson, Gardner, Gaut, Gibbs, Gibson, Gordon, Henderson, Hill of Gibson, House of Williamson, Ivie, Jones of Lincoln, Jones of Giles, Kennedy, Key, Kyle, Mabry, McDougal, McNabb, Martin, Morris, Meeks, Netherland, Nicholson, Parker, Porter of Haywood, Sample, Seay, Shepard, Staley, Stephens, Taylor, Thompson of Davidson, Walters, Warner, Williamson and Wright--56.
The resolution recommended by the Committee adopted.
Mr. Gibson demanded the yeas and nays, which were ordered, and resulted as follows : Yeas...
24 Those voting in the affirmative are :
Messrs. Arledge, Bate, Baxter, Brandon, Brooks, Brown of Davidson, Brown of Henry, etc., Burkett, Burton, Campbell, Chowning, Coffin, Cummings, Cypert, Deavenport, Dibbrell, Doherty, Dromgoole, Fielder, Gardner, Garner, Gaut, Gordon, Henderson, Hill of Gibson, House of Williamson, Ivie, Jones of Lincoln, Jones of Giles, Kennedy, Key, Kyle, Mabry, McDougal, McSabb, Martin, Meeks, Morris, Netherland, Nicholson, Sample, Seay, Taylor, Thompson of Davidson, Thompson of Maury, Turner, Walters, Williamson, and Wright—48.
Those voting in the negative are :
Messrs. Allen, Blizard, Branson, Britton, Byrne, Carter, Deaderick, Fentress, Finley, Fulkerson, Gibbs, Gibson, Heiskell, Hill of Warren, House of Montgomery, etc., Kirkpatrick, Parker, Porter of Haywood, Porter of Henry, Shepard, Shelton, Staley, Stephens, and Warner-24.
On motion of Mr. NICHOLSON, the remainder of the report of the Committee was laid on the table.
REPORT ON JUDICIARY FURTHER CONSIDERED,
The Convention proceeded to the consideration of the unfinished business of yesterday—the Report of the Committee on the Judiciary.
Mr. BRITTON submitted the following preamble and resolution :
WHEREAS, It is the expressed judgment of this Convention to remove the present incumbents in the judiciary department at some time to be agreed upon in this Constitution; and
WHEREAS, It is also the judgment of the Convention to retain in the Constitution the right of the people to elect the Judiciary ; and
WHEREAS, Such expressed judgment is more in accordance with the present Constitution than either the majority or minority reports, or any substitute; therefore,
Resolved, That the Convention will pass over informally the majority and minority reports, and take up Articles V and VI as they stand in our present Constitution, and read them section by
section and amend them so as to conform to the heretofore expressed judgment of the Convention.
Which lies over under the rule.
THE MAJORITY REPORT,
Mr. BROWN, of Davidson, submitted the following resolution :
Resolved, That the Convention proceed to consider the majority report of the Judiciary Committee section by section, and when the same is perfected it shall be in order to offer any amendment in lieu of the whole.
Which was adopted by the Convention.
Section 1 of Article II, as reported by the majority of the Committee, was adopted by the Convention.
Mr. GAUT proposed to amend Section 2 by striking out the words in italics and inserting “ the senior Judge of the Supreme Court, or if he be on trial, the senior of the two remaining Judges shall preside over them."
Mr. GAUT subsequently withdrew his amendment.
Section 2, as recommended by the majority of the Committee, was then adopted by the Convention.
Section 3 was adopted without amendment.
Section 4 was amended by inserting after the word State in second line, the words“ Comptroller, Treasurer,” and as thus amended, was adopted by the Convention.
Section 5 was adopted without amendment.
Section 1, Article VI, was taken up, when Mr. Hill, of Gibson, offered the following in lieu of the report of the majority.
Section 1. The Judicial power of this State shall be vested in one Court of Errors and Appeals, and in three Supreme Courts, and in such Circuit, Chancery, and other inferior Courts as the Legislature shall, from time to time, ordain and establish, and the Judges thereof, and in Justices of the Peace. The Legislature may also vest such jurisdiction in Corporation Courts as may be deemed necessary. Courts to be holden by Justices of the Peace may also be established.