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Revenue Collection Bill.
[Jax. 31, 1833.
The tariff bill, on its title and face, professes to be for a President, so as to give a majority of a desired political revenue. But the duties imposed produce revenue ex- cast. These judges hold their offices for life, removceeding the wants of the Government for its economical able by impeachment by the House of Representatives, expenditures. The high imposts are enacted for protec- and conviction by the concurrence of two-thirds of the tion of manufactures. But this motive and intent is conceal. Senators. Their responsibility is too remote, and the ed and not avowed in the bill, howsoever strongly urged number too few for a high prerogative court, with power on the floors of Congress to induce the high tariff, and to adjust the political powers of the Federal and State howsoever this intent may inflate extravagant and waste- Governments
, and try the Federal Government when imful expenditures, for the purpose of fostering and continu- peached of usurpation and encroachment upon the reing the high pressure of taxation upon consumers. served powers belonging to the States. If the central
Now, the judicial tribunals cannot go out of the act to Government be accused of encroachment and usurpation, look for the motives of the members of Congress; they its triers, the Supreme Court judges, are, in their turn, liacannot examine into the secret springs of action in the ble to be impeached and tried by the central Government. Legislature. So it is decided in the case of Fletcher vs. The Congress who commit the usurpation are the only perPeck, in the Supreme Court of the United States. As sons who can impeach and try their judges. The offending the power to tax imports and collect revenue is expressly Congress are to be tried by their judges; and the offending delegated, the question of the undelegated but usurped judges are to be impeached and tried by the offending Conpower of protection of one class of citizens, by giving gress. There is but little wise and practical security in this money to them, taken from the pockets of other classes against the encroachments of the central Government. of citizens who consume domestic manufactures, can No plaintiff would feel very safe if the defendant bad the never arise upon a bill professing to be for revenue. But sole power to appoint the jury, with the power superwill the gentlemen who are so ardent for protection of added to accuse that jury of misconduct, and try the ac. manufactures be pleased to divide these subjects into two cusation. It seems to me that if those wise and practical acts: the first, for revenue; the second, declaring that statesmen and patriots who framed the new federal conover and above the amount of duties necessary for reve- stitution had designed the Supreme Court to be the sole nue, so much additional duty shall be imposed for pro- prerogative court of high and ultimate commission to try tection? Bill number one, for revenue, no citizen will the central Government for usurpation of powers not dequestion. But bill number two, for protection avowedly, legated, and the final and sole safeguard for the reserved will be questioned; the judicial tribunals can, at the in- powers of the States, they would have devised some more stance of any individual, who pays the duty for revenue, certain and direct responsibility of the judges to the but refuses to pay the duty for protection, come at the States, than by referring their impeachment to Congress, question of delegated or undelegated power. Aye, more, who must be parties, aiders, and abettors in the usurpation. sir; the people will see how much they are taxed for the The States would not have adopted the constitution if they wants of the treasury; and what for the system of pro- had been informed that such was to be its interpretation. tection to manufactures. I challenge the supporters of In deliberating upon the extent of the powers intended the protective system lo such a trial.
to be conferred by the constitution upon the several deGovernment, at best, is but an evil. But it is a neces-partments, and the powers reserved by the States, we sary evil. It is founded in an imperious necessity arising ought to keep steadily in viewout of the very nature of man, his imperfection, his appe ist. The perpetuity of the Union; tency to pursue his passion and selfish desires, to the de 2d. The powers necessary to a fair and energetic ad. struction of the rights and interests of his fellow-men. ministration of the Government, as ordained and estabIf men were as perfect as angels, then nó Government lished; would be necessary. But such is the nature and imper. 3d. The safety of a minority of the States against a fections of man, that the exercise of the powers of Gov- combination of a majority; ernment tends to increase, not to allay, his lust for do 4th. The security against usurpation and degeneracy minion.
into practical tyranny. Few men are willing to lessen their own powers. There These are the great interests of every true American, are illustrious examples to the contrary. They stand to which every patriot ought to look with a watchful, conspicuous and illustrious, because they are exceptions steadfast eye. to the general rule. “Power is continually stealing from Every construction of the constitution which tends, in the many to the few." No wise and practical statesman, practical operation, to weaken the exercise of the powers who is a lover of rational liberty, none but a political plainly conferred, to lessen the security against the comdreamer of the perfectability of man, or one who, ex-bination of a majority of the States against the minority, pecting to bask in the sunshine of power, loves it more or to weaken the guards against usurpation and practical than liberty, would ever construct a Government upon tyranny, tends necessarily, in the end, to weaken and disany other plan than that of providing and securing checks solve the bonds of union, and ought, therefore, to be reand balances against the encroachments and abuses of jected. power. The federal constitution was framed and adopted Union, common defence, and protection, justice to all, by wise, patriotic, and practical statesmen, lovers of li- rational liberty to all, now and at all times hereafter, were berty, inspired with a holy zeal in a revolution to resist the great ends intended by the constitution. All conthe encroachments of power from the central Govern-structions which tend to subvert these great ends; which ment upon the rights and liberties of the colonies. They tend to invite or encourage usurpation in the Federal did not, they could not intend to create a central Govern- Government, or to the usurpation by one department of ment with unlimited powers, nor a Government without powers belonging to another depariment; which tend to sufficient practical checks against the usurpations which invite and encourage a combination of a majority of the might be attempted upon the reserved rights of the States. States to pursue their interests at the
expense of a minoThe Supreme Court of the United States is not such rity of the States, ought to be rejected as repugnant to sufficient check and safeguard against the encroachments the leading objects of the constitution. These leading of the central Government upon the State Governments. inducements were, justice to the whole, the welfare The number of judges of the Supreme Court is not de- of all. fined by the constitution. That number is but seven at Oppression, injustice, invasion of private property by present. Four are a majority of the court. But'the num- the insidious arts of legislation, insecurity against the opber may be increased at the pleasure of the Congress and pressive hand of power, combinations by a majority of
Jax. 31, 1833.)
Revenue Collection Bill.
confederated States against the minority, have produced may be made universal. But the notions of political jusrevolutions and destruction of Governments, and will re- tice, and balances of political power, are mutable and produce them, unless the human race shall be degene variant, differing, like the complexions, habits, education, rated into brutal ignorance; non-resistance and passive and feelings of politicians. obedience be inculcated as of divine institution; and every If the Supreme Court is to be the sole and exclusive spark of rational liberty shall be extinguished.
judge in the last resort, not only of judicial questions The genius of our institutions, the intelligence of the properly submitted to it by the forms of the constitution, people of the States, the spirit of free inquiry guaran- but also of all questions touching the confines of political tied by the Federal and State Governments, the love of powers delegated and not delegated by the compact, liberty which pervades the great body of the peo- then not only the legislative and executive departments ple, all conspire to insure us that the iron age of igno- of the Government hold their powers at the will of this rance, tyranny, and passive obedience is never to infect court, but the concurrence of this court, with the other this land with its baleful gloom, unless preceded by those departments of the Federal Government, “in usurped awful convulsions of party strife and civil war, which de- powers, might subvert forever, and beyond the possible solate social order, and bury science, morals, and religion reach of any rightful remedy, the very constitution which in the ruins.
all were instituted to preserve." If one of the parties is Are there no dangers to liberty to be apprehended to be the sole and exclusive judge of the extent of the from referring all the political powers of the Federal powers to him delegated, and of the concessions made by Government, and all the reserved powers of the States, the other parties, then such party would have an unlito the guardianship of a few judges appointed for life, mited and supreme authority over the other parties. It not removable, except by impeachment for crimes and is not sufficient to discriminate in theory the several classes misdemeanors; not impeachable or removable for error of power, and distribute them between the legislative, of opinion? So far removed from responsibility, (" for im- executive, and judicial departments; neither will it suffice peachment is not now even a scarecrow,") if transformed to mark with precision the boundaries between the powinto a political court instead of a judicial tribunal, is there ers delegated to the Federal Government and those reno cause to apprehend that a majority of the judges may tained by the States, and trust to these parchment barriers administer their theory of what the Government should for defence against the insatiable appetite and restless be, instead of the theory as actually adopted by the States? gnawings of power. Experience teaches that the efficacy Are no judicial opinions tinctured and discolored with the of such paper barriers are too feeble to withstand the party feelings and opinions of the day? Is there no cause scorching desires of power, and that some more adequate to apprehend that the judges will follow up the maxim defence is indispensable to secure the more feeble against taught in the law schools, and issued from the bench, the more powerful members of the Government. " est boni judicis ampliari jurisdictionem,” not only to The judicial department does not present the requisite the enlargement of their own powers, but to the enlarge- security in matters of such transcendent and vital importment of the powers and increase of the jurisdiction of the ance. The judges of the Supreme Court are too few in Federal Government, as the means convenient and pro- number. The permanent tenure by which their appointper to the end, the amplification of their own jurisdiction? ments are held, as well as their salaries and the mode of their
If the judges of the Supreme Court are to have the appointment, destroys all sense of dependence on the final and exclusive authority to settle political questions, States, and lifts them above the common burdens of the touching encroachments upon the reserved powers of the people; and, from the very nature of their callings, they States, and all other political questions arising under the see human nature in the worst light. constitution, then, superadded to those qualifications These are but too apt to infuse into their minds highwhich have heretofore been thought essential for a judge, toned notions of a forcible consolidated Government, as the primary consideration in selecting him ought to be, necessary to save the people from their worst enemy-in what political school has he been brought up? What themselves." Judges, in a long course of official duties, are his political opinions on certain great contested poli- are familiarized to the sight of frauds, chicaneries, misdetical questions? To what political party does he belong? meanors, and crimes; accustomed to exercise the force I respect a court of justice, but I abhor a party court. of the laws upon knavish wealth, naked poverty, and Let us not, by construction, transform a court of justice squalid vice; they are but too apt to confound the into a political council of state. Let us not transform distinction between the judicial powers necessary to admithe emblem of justice into the emblem of power. Let us nister the laws, and political powers necessary to prenot defile the sanctuary of justice with the passions of po- scribe the laws; between the powers necessary to be litical parties contending for political powers.
granted to secure and protect against a violation of the If the Supreme Court is once acknowledged to be the laws by the vicious, and the powers necessary to be reultimate tribunal for settling the boundaries of political served to the good for protection and security against a power between the Federal Government and the State violation and abuse of the political powers of the GovernGovernments, so as to bind the parties to the compact, ment. then it will inevitably follow that the court will be the In England, from the time that Alfred hung the forty subject of political party strife. Reform in the court, by judges for illegal and corrupt practices, to the trial and infusing a new spirit by other or additional judges, will conviction of Algernon Sidney for high treason, in writbecome the subject of political party strife as much as ing that celebrated treatise on Government, (which, since reform in the executive administration. The majority of his execution, has been published,) against the divine Congress and the Executive might at any time add to right of kings, and the doctrines of non-resistance and the bench of the Supreme Court a sufficient number of passive obedience, and from that time to this, the history judges to carry an important question of political power of judicial power, as exercised, teaches this solemn truth The British ministry advised the King to create a suffi- --judges are but men, fallible men. cient number of new peers to carry the reform bill. The The history of judicial power in our own country and power of a majority of Congress, with the aid of the Pre- in our days, is not less impressive. sident, to create new judges, for a special occasion, is as But I forbear. effectual as the power of the King to create new peers. I respect an independent, upright judge. There is a
The principles of civil justice to be administered by the generous confidence yielded by the moral sense of the judicial tribunals are fixed, immutable, and eternal; they community to such an officer. He is looked upon as the are so nearly assimilated in all civilized nations, that they guardian of civil rights, the protector of life, liberty, and
Revenue Collection Bill.
[Jan. 31, 1833.
property. But the judge who exhibits himself as the combination, in short, would result from an apprehension zealot of a political party, freezes the generous confi- of the federal, as was produced by the dread of a foreign dence of the people, and turns it into fear and trembling. yoke; and unless the projected innovations should be vol.
It is well remarked in the 51st No. of the Letters of untarily renounced, the same appeal to a trial of force Publius, in relation to the judicial department, that "the would be made in the one case as would be made in the permanent tenure by which the appointments are held in other. But what degree of madness could ever drive the that department must soon destroy all sense of depend- Federal Government to such an extremity? ence on the authority conferring them."
Again, page 299: "The only refuge left for those who I defend the framers of the constitution from any inten- prophesy the downfall of the State Governinents is the tion of conferring on the Supreme Court such transcend- visionary supposition that the Federal Government may ent powers. I will not slander the characters of the previously accumulate a military force for the objects of dead, nor of the survivors, by supposing that these zeal- ambition. That the people and the States should, for a ous patriots and enthusiastic defenders of the rights of sufficient period of time, elect an uninterrupted succesthe colonies against the central power of Great Britain, sion of men, ready to betray both; that the Governments could have been traitors to their principles. It is impos- and people of the States should silently and patiently sible, to my belief, that the statesmen who were members behold the gathering storm, and continue to supply the of the respective State conventions could have intended materials, until it should be prepared to burst on their to adopt a Government so destitute of all reasonable de- own heads, must appear to every one more like the infence against the encroachments of power and the un- coherent dreams of a delirious jealousy, or the misjudged compromising purposes of self-interest, as this would be, exaggerations of a counterfeit zeal, than like the sober if the Supreme Court were the sole expositor of the con- apprehensions of genuine patriotism. Extravagant as stitution in the last resort, and in "all cases arising under the supposition is, let it, however, be made. Let a regular the constitution and laws of the United States.”
army, fully equal io the resources of the country, be formIf the General Government is to be the exclusive judge ed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the Federal of the extent of the powers delegated to it, the discre- Government; still it would not be going too far to say, tion of those who administer the Government, and not that the State Governments, with the people on their the constitution, would be the measure of their powers. side, would be able to repel the danger." And if one department of that Government, the judiciary, Again, in the same No.: “ Notwithstanding the militais to be the sole and final expositor, then its discretion, ry establishments, in the several kingdoms of Europe, and not the constitution, would be the measure of their which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, powers. Such a construction invites those who exercise the Governments are afraid to trust the people with arms. power to arrogate more than they have a right to, by de. And it is not certain that, with this aid alone, they would claring they are the sole, final, and exclusive judges of not be able to shake off their yokes. But were the peothe measure of their own powers.
ple to possess the additional advantages of local GovernFar different was the language of those wlio made the inents chosen by themselves, who could collect the naconstitution; of those who recommended it for adoption, tional will and direct the national force, and of officers and of those who were deliberating on its adoption. It appointed out of the militia by these Governments, and was declared, so recommended, and so adopted, to be a attached both to them and to the militia, it may be affirmGovernment of limited powers, few and defined; that the ed, with the greatest assurance, that the throne of every powers of the State Governments were numerous and in- tyranny in Europe would be speedily orerturned, in spite definite, and that the State Governments were “con- of the legions which surround it.” stituent and essential parts of the Federal Government;" Again, in No. 48: “ It will not be denied that power " that the State Governments would be the sentinels and the is of an encroaching nature, and that it ought to be effectauthoritative bulwarks against encroachments of the Fed- ually restrained from passing the limits assigned to it, eral Government.”—Federalist, No. 45, p. 292. After discriminating, therefore, in theory, the several
In the 45th No. of the Letters of Publius, p. 290, it is classes of power, as they may in their nature be legislative, declared that “ the State Governments may be regarded executive, or judiciary, the next and most difficult task is as constituent and essential parts of the Federal Govern- to provide some practical security for each against the invament.” “ Each of the principal branches of the Federal (sion of the others.” “Will it be sufficient to mark with preGovernment will owe its existence, more or less, to the cision the boundaries of these departments in the constitufavor of the State Governments, and must consequently tion of the Government, and to trust to these parchment feel a dependence which is more likely to beget a dispo- bargains against the encroaching spirit of power?”. “Exsition too obsequious than too overbearing towards perience assures us that the efficacy of the provision has them.”
been greatly overrated, and that some more adequate de. Again, in the same number: “ The powers delegated fence is indispensably necessary for the more feeble by the proposed constitution to the Federal Government against the more powerful members of the Government." are few and defined. Those which are to remain in The residue of this No., and Nos. 49 and 50, are de. the State Governments are numerous and indefinite. The voted to prove, by very many examples, “that a mere former will be exercised principally on external objects, demarcation on parchment of the constitutional limits of as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with the several departments, is not a sufficient safeguard which last, the power of taxation will, for the most part, against those encroachments which lead to a tyrannical be connected.' The powers reserved to the several concentration of all the powers of Government in the States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordina- same bands." ry course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and prop- In No. 49, it is said: “We have found, in the last erties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, paper, that inere declarations in the written constitution and prosperity of the State.”
are not sufficient to restrain the several departments withAgain, in No. 46: “But ambitious encroachments of in their legal limits." the Federal Government on the authority of the State Again, in No. 51: “ To what expedient, then, shall we Governments would not excite the opposition of a single finally resort, for maintaining the necessary partition of State, or a few States only. They would be signals of power among the several departments as laid down in the general alarm. Every Government would espouse the constitution}" The only answer that can be given is, that
A correspondence would be opened. if all these exterior provisions are found to be inadequate, Plans of resistance would be concerted.” " The same the defeci must be supplied, by so contriving the interior Jan. 31, 1833.)
Revenue Collection Bill.
structure of the Government, as that its several constitu- another occasion, been shown that the Federal Legislaent parts may, by their mutual relations, be the means of ture will not only be restrained by its dependence on the keeping each other in their proper places.”
people, as other legislative bodies are, but that it will be, The first safeguard suggested is, that each department moreover, watched and controlled by the several collateshould have a will of its own, and the members of each ral Legislatures, which other legislative bodies are not.” should have as little agency as possible in appointing the The letters of Publius, thus explaining the principles others. In the execution of this principle rigorously, of the constitution, and the checks and balances, were * all appointments for the supreme executive, legisla- published to the people of the United States, and had tive, and judiciary magistracies should be drawn from the very great influence in recommending the proposed consame fountain of authority, the people, through channels stitution. In the State conventions assembled to considhaving no communication with each other.” Difficulties er the proposed constitution, the same explanations were are then suggested, which render some deviations from repeated again and again, as well by distinguished memthe rigorous execution of that principle proper. In the bers of the federal convention which framed and proposconstitution of the judiciary department, in particular, it ed the new constitution, as by the other advocates for its might be inexpedient to insist rigorously on the principle, adoption. The apprehensions that the new constitution (election by the people;) first, because peculiar qualifica- was or could be made a Government of unlimited powtions being essential in the members, the primary consid- ers that the rights and powers of the State Governments eration ought to be to select that mode of choice which could be absorbed by construction--that all powers, forbest secures these qualifications; secondly, because the cign and domestic, could be melted in the crucible of permanent tenure by which the appointments are held in federal power, and consolidated in one mass, to be used that department must soon destroy all sense of depend- at pleasure by the Federal Government, as its adminisence on the authority conferring them.
trators might think fit and convenient for the general wel. Another great security against a gradual concentration fare, were pronounced idle and visionary: Those who of the several powers in the same department “ consists entertained such fears were called political dreamers, arin giving to those who administer each department the guing against the plain sense and meaning of the instrunecessary constitutional means and personal motives to ment. It was over and over again explained as a Governresist encroachments from the others.” “In framing a ment of defined powers, with safe and sufficient checks Government, which is to be administered by men over and balances to guard against the exercise of powers not men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable delegated by the States: as a Government deriving its the Government to control the governed; and, in the next powers by special delegation, leaving to the State Govplace, oblige it to control itself. A dependence on the ernments all their rights, powers, and privileges not dele. people is, no doubt, the primary control on the Govern- gated nor prohibited. In that sense, it was adopted by ment; but experience has taught mankind the necessity the States. But to render assurance doubly sure, they of auxiliary precaution.”
proposed and adopted the tenth amendment, declaring-After reasoning upon the subject of these auxiliary “ The powers not delegated to the United States by precautions generally, the celebrated author of this num. the constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are ber of Publius exhibits some as peculiarly applicable to reserved to the States, respectively, or to the people.” the Federal Government, p. 326: “There are, says he, Mark! to the States “respectively,” not collectively. “ moreover, two considerations particularly applicable to When the new federal constitution was framed and prothe federal system in a very interesting point of view. posed for adoption, the encroaching nature of power had
“ First. In a single republic, all the power surrender- been severely felt and not forgotten. The necessity to ed by the people is submitted to the administration of a fortify against its usurpations was well understood, and single Government; and the usurpations are guarded the principles of republican government were adored. against by a division of the Government into separate and with a frank and generous spirit. In those early seasons' distinct departments. In the compound republic of Amer- of virtue and devotion to liberty, the letters of Publius ica, the power surrendered by the people is first divided appeared, abounding with sound political maxims and elebetween distinct Governments, and then the portion allot- mentary principles of republican government, drawn from ted to each divided among distinct and separate depart. the deepest fountains of knowledge--the history of past ments. Hence, a double security arises to the rights of times, observations on the present, and the reflections of the people. The different Governments will control each the wise, the good, the philanthropic, and the patriotic. other, at the same time that each will be controlled by These principles are clearly stated and forcibly illustratitself.
ed in the letters of Publius, that the State Governments are “ Secondly. It is of great importance in a republic constituent and essential parts of the Federal Government; not only to guard society against the oppression of its ru- that the powers of the proposed Federal Government are lers, but to guard one part of society against the injustice few and defined; that those which remain to the State of the other part. Different interests necessarily exist Governments are numerous and indefinite; that the in different classes of citizens. If a majority be united change proposed by the new constitution consists much by common interest, the rights of the minority will be in- less in the addition of new powers to the Union, than in secure. There are but two methods of providing against the invigoration of the old, except only as to the regulathis evil; the one by creating a will in the community in- tion of commerce; that power is of an encroaching nadependent of the majority; the other, by comprehending ture; that it ought to be effectually restrained from passin the society so many separate descriptions of citizens asing the limits assigned to it; that one security is, by writwill render an unjust combination of a majority of the ten constitutions; a second by distribution of powers into whole very improbable, if not impracticable.” legislative, executive, and judicial; a third, that these
The 520 No. concludes by adverting again to this secu- powers be intrusted to different hands; that mere demar. rity arising from the control of the State Governments.cations of powers and written declarations in a constitu"The conclusion resulting from these examples will be a tion are not sufficient to restrain the legislative, executive, little strengthened by these three circumstances. The and judicial departments within their assigned limits, nor first is, that the Federal Legislature will possess a part to prevent their eneroachments, the one upon the other, only of that supreme legislative authority which is vested nor to prevent the tyrannical concentration of all the powcompletely in the British Parliament; and which, with a ers of Government in the same hands; that, to oblige the few exceptions, was exercised by the Colonial Assemblies Government to control itself, and keep within its assigned and the Irish Legislature. In the second place, it has, on limits, some additional auxiliaries over and above paper
Revenue Collection Bill.
[Jan. 31, 1833.
barriers, and dependence on the people, are necessary; liberty, and property will vanish; the voice of the people that these additional auxiliaries consist in providing that will be stified, until the evils shall accumulate beyond eneach department may have a will of its own, and that each durance; and then there would be no relief but in conbe invested with the constitutional means and personal vulsion, no remedy but in revolution. Such must be the motives to resist encroachments of the other depart- inevitable result of consolidating State and federal pow. ments.
ers into one Government, extended over such a wideThe Federal Government is then represented as con- spread surface, so various in climate, productions, purtaining all the securities of a single republic, by the divi- suits, habits, and interests. One central Government, sions of the several classes of executive, judicial, and with general and defined powers of legislation, cannot legislative powers among the several distinct depart- diffuse the blessings of good order, security, responsibiliments; but, also, that by the division of powers between ty, and rational liberty, throughout such a vast territory. the State Governments and the Federal Government, each The State Governments are necessary parties and towers department will watch the others; each Government will of defence. have a tendency to control itself, and the different Gov But we are providing by this bill to compel a State into ernments will control each other; that this Federal Goy- submission; to exhibit the spectacle of a Government at ernment will be doubly watched and controlled by the war with itself. This power of compelling a State was people and by the State Governments.
proposed in the convention, and rejected. On the 15th The letters of Publius do most explicitly explain that June, 1787, Mr. Paterson, of New Jersey, submitted to the State Governments were safeguards against the en- the convention various resolutions. The eighth was, that croachments of the Federal Government, not only as be the acts of the United States, and treaties, &c. "to be the ing constituent parts, but by reason of having a will of supreme law," &c. their own; capable of watching, capable of directing their " And if any State, or any body of men in any State, force, and having the control of the militia.
shall oppose or prevent the carrying into execution such In the debates in the New York convention on the acts or treaties, the Federal Executive shall be authorized adoption of the federal constitution, Mr. Hamilton urged to call forth the powers of the confederated States, or so the same security against federal encroachment. He said: much thereof as may be necessary to enforce and compel * The people have an obvious and powerful protection in an obedience to such acts, or an observance of such treatheir state Governments. Should any thing dangerous be ties.” attempted, these bodies of perpetual observation will be On the 19th of June, this proposition (with the others capable of forming and conducting plans of regular op- submitted by Mr. Paterson,) was voted upon in Commitposition. Can we believe the people's love of liberty tee of the Whole, and negatived; seven States voting will not, under the incitement of their legislative bodies, against it, and only three for it. be roused into resistance, and the madness of tyranny be Here Mr. B. yielded the floor to extinguished at a blow?"
Mr. POINDEXTER, who moved that the Senate now The resolutions of Kentucky and Virginia, of 1798, adjourn. Yeas 11, nays 19. and of Virginia at the session of the Legislature of 1799, So the Senate refused to adjourn. concur in ascribing to the State Governments the rightful Mr. BUCKNER then moved to postpone the further power to interpose to arrest dangerous usurpations by the consideration of the bill, and to make it the special order Federal Government.
of the day for to-morrov. Here it is convenient to remark that the report and re Mr. WEBSTER rose to a point of order. The gentlesolutions of the Legislature of Virginia, of January, 1810, man from Kentucky had given way, in the usual manner, do not in the least conflict with the resolutions of Virgi- to a motion to adjourn. Such was the practice in the nia of 1798 and 1799, and Kentucky of 1798. Those of Senate. But if a gentleman yielded the floor for any 1810 relate to a proposition from Pennsylvania to provide, other motion, he yielded the right to resume it. by amendments to the constitution, for cases of conflicting Mr. POINDEXTER said, it must be apparent to the decisions between the State courts and the federal courts. Senate that the question now before the Senate was one of Those of 1798 and 1799 relate to deliberate and palpable the greatest importance. He had never before seen a usurpations by the Federal Government of the dangerous disposition manifested by this body to refuse to a member powers, other than those delegated.
an opportunity for rest and research in order to enable The inaugural address of Mr. Jefferson recommends himself to close his argument in a manner which would “the support of the State Governments in all their rights be satisfactory to himself and to the country. If the as the most competent administrators of our domestic Senator from Massachusetts were disposed to speak to concerns, and the bulwarks against anti-republican ten- the Senate for a week, he would always vote for adjourndencies.” The letters of Publius, before the State con- ment when it was requested. ventions convened; the explanation in the conventions, by The CHAIR decided that if a Senator yielded the floor the advocates of the proposed constitution; the resolu- for any other motion than a motion to adjourn, he lost the tions of Virginia and Kentucky of 1798 and 1799; and right to the floor. the inaugural address of Mr. Jefferson, all concur in as Mr. POINDEXTER then renewed the motion to adserting the rights of the State Governments to arrest and journ, and asked for the yeas and nays, which were orprevent the dangerous usurpations of the Federal Govern dered. The question was then taken, and decided as ment.
follows: Without these conservative principles, “ these bodies YEAS.—Messrs. Benton, Bibb, Buckner, Calhoun, of perpetual observation," the Federal Government would Clay, King, Mangum, Miller, Moore, Poindexter, Rives, soon become the sole arbiter of its powers, with a faculty Robinson, Tyler, White.--14. within itself to increase its powers and multiply its au NAYS.--Messrs. Chambers, Clayton, Dallas, Dickerthorities without limit; to riot in irresponsibility, and son, Dudley, Foot, Frelinghuysen, Hendricks, Hill, dazzle by its splendor; to attract to itself all the powers Holmes, Kane, Knight, Robbins, Seymour, Silsbee, Tipof the State Governments, and, in its omnipotency, to ton, Tomlinson, Webster, Wilkins, Wright.–20. grind the States into dust. Such a Government, over So the Senate refused to adjourn. whelmed by the multiplicity of its concerns, could not Mr. BIBB then continued a few minutes longer, when enter into the details of legislation. Large discretionary he again gave way; and, powers would be conferred on the Executive; in place of On motion of Mr. MANGUM, law, executive discretion must govern; security for life, The Senate adjourned.