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had no doubt that a large majority of the committee would be in favor of electing the Justices of the Peace, because the people had been long and anxiously desiring such change.
Mr. Earle, of Philadelphia, said it was only repeating an old story to say this was one of the amendments which the people had called for. He looked at the abstractments of the question. It appeared to him that if the people were capable of electing a Governor whom they never saw, they were competent to elect Justices of the Peace whom they had often seen, and with whose character and talents they were well acquainted.To say that the people are incompetent, would be to establish the monarchical principle that the people are unfit to govern, and we ought then 10 reform the Constitution by establishing a monarchy. The people had an interest in the integrity and ability of the officers, and would select such as could not be swerved from their duty. He refered to the proceedings of the New York Convention, and to the opinions given by Chancellor Kent, in favor of the election of the Justices by the people. With this loss of the election of Justices of the Peace, and Triennial Parliament, the English had lost much of their liberty, and the degeneracy of the people and of the Government followed. The experience of New York was in favor of this change: the people of that State decided in favor of the principle by one hundred and twenty thousand to five thousand. And what was the result of the change? He had a letter from a member of the Reform Association, in reply to an interrogatory he had put to that gentleman on the subject. Mr. LANSING, says, it gives much satisfaction, and that no one would venture to propose a return to the system which previously prevailed. Another letter from a lawyer, who went from Bucks county, Pennsylvania, stated that not one person could be found who was in favor of the old system. In Ohio, also, the people are well satisfied with this system of electing Justices, as he was informed by a letter from a distinguished member of Congress, Mr, Whittlesy, from Trumbull county, who stated further, that the idea that Magistrates were influenced in their decisions by these elections, was entirely unfounded. From Mr. LYTLE, former member of Congress from Ohio, he had the same infornation. He had various other letiers from gentlemen in Ohio to the same effect, from which he read extracts. The gentleman from Chester, said good officers were not to be obtained by election. That would be because the term is too long. If they were to be elected every year it would be much better. Under the old Constitution of Pennsylvania, the Justices were better than they had been since. We had the authority of the gentleman from Montgomery, not now in his seat, that the people were satisfied. The term now proposed, he (Mr. Earls) considered too long. In the outset of our Government, the system of electing these officers prevailed here, and so it did in Rhode Island, Georgia, Tennessee, Vermont, where it has never changed. These States have never touched the annual election of Magistrates. The term should be shorter than is presented either in the aniendment of the gentleman froin Chester,or the report of the committee, because it would secure better officers. Three years had proved satisfactory in Ohio, and one year in other States. The election being for a short term, the people could reelect the officers when they choose. He would not go for the establishment of life officers. Frequent elections secured that responsibility to the people which would make good officers, for the people would remove them if they did not fulfil their duty: 'The people were as honest as the members of this Convention ; and they would not elect a man unless they thought he would hold the scales of justice impartially. He would make the term of service very short; for the shortest term always gave the greatest satisfaction to the people. He believed that one year would give more satisfaction than a longer term. He, therefore, hoped the amendment would fail, and that some one would forward a proposition to reduce the term to one or two years. If an officer required time to prepare for the proper discharge of the duties of the office, the people would give him time. In one year's service he would qualify himself for reelection. In those States where the short term had been tried, they gave great satisfaction, and the same officers were frequently reelecied for many years, by short terms.
On motion of Mr. KONIGMACHER, the committee then rose.
WHEREAS, the remembrance of deeds of valor and the achievements of the patriots of the American revolution, to whom we are indebted for the independence and sovereignty of these United States from British thraldom and oppression, is the incumbent duty of all good citizens; and whereas, the anniversary of the declaration of American independence, as promulgated to the people by Congress on July 4, 1776, has been deemed at all times worthy of popular attention and regard, as the birthday of our national freedom; therefore, for the purpose of doing honor to that glorious occasion, be it
Resolved, That when this Convention adjourns, it will adjourn to meet again on Wednesday morning next, at nine o'clock.
Mr. Kein moved the second reading and consideration of the resolution.
Mr. DARLINGTON moved that the Convention do now adjourn. Agreed tomayes 53, noes 32.
The Convention then adjourned.
TUESDAY, JULY 4, 1837.
Mr. PennyPACKER, of Chester, presented a memorial from citizens of Chester county, praying that the sixth section of the ninih article of the Constitution, may
be so amended, as to read as follows, viz: “ The trial by jury shall be as heretofore, and on questions effecting life or liberty, shall be extended 10 every human being, and the right thereof shall remain inviolate”, which was relered to the committee on ihe ninih article.
Mr. CLARKE, of Inriana, presented a memorial from citizens of Clearfield county, praying for a Constitutional provision against the sale of monopolies and exclusive privileges by the Legislature, which was laid on the table.
Mr. PORTER, of Northampton, moved that the Convention proceed to the consideration of the resolution, which he submited yesterday, which was agreed to—ayes, 43 : nay3, 36. The question being on ihe second reading of the resolution, VOL. III.
Mr. PORTER moved to dispense with the reading of the resolution, and submited the following resolution :
“ Resolved, That the said resolution, together with the resolution submited by Mr. STEVENS, the resolution submited by Mr. PURVIANCE, on the 30th ultimo, and all amendments agreed to in committee of the whole, he refered to a select committee, to take the same into consideration, and to report thereon".
The resolution (after having been modified, so as to be in this form) was read a second time.
Mr. Brown, of Philadelphia, moved the indefinite postponement of this resolution.
Mr. Fuller, of Fayette, asked whether it was the intention of the mover, or whether it would be the effect of the resolution, to interfere with the proceedings on the various reports of the standing committees ?
Mr. Porter said, that was not the object he had in view, nor could such be the effect of the resolution. He desired to get a committee togeiher of nine members, from different parts of the State, and representing the different views of this body, to settle some general principles, with a view to shorten our labors. It would enable us to see whether, by consultation and some mutual concession, some satisfactory conclusion could be arrived at.
Mr. Brown said, that his object in moving the indefinite postponement, was to prevent an interminable discussion on the resolution. We had already before us, a volume of reports, which were now of no use, and we are called to refer to a select committee all these amendments. That committee would report all these in one amendment, and we should be plunged into endless difficulty, without the possibility of leading to any advantage. If we choose to depute to any other body of men, the task which we are sent here to perform, was it likely, that when they came to report, there would not be dissatisfaction and discord? He apprehended, there would. This had been the business of the committees from the beginning : instead of which, had the whole Constitution been taken up at first, and refered to the committee of the whole, we should now have been almost through our work. We had gone on, and there had been no aitempt to bring forward the intervention of a committee, until now, when we were just entering on the great battle ground-the subject of theJudiciary-now, when every man was prepared to act, and ready to compromise minor differences, now a new Committee was to be appointed to examine the whole ground again, with a view to prevent any change in the tenure of the Judiciary. It could not be, that the resolution was introduced to save time by the suppression of speeches, for if gentlemen had made up their minds to speak, they would speak at one time, if not at another. Already two reports were before us on the subject of the Justices, one made by the Chairman of the Judiciary committee, (Mr. Hopkinson) and another by the gentleman from Luzerne (Mr. WOODWARD); and a third proposition was to be expected. Members themselves, might as well meet the question, as send it to select committee. Shall the tenure of the Judiciary be limited to a tern of years? If so, shall it be for fifteen, for ten, for seven, for five years, or for a shorter term ? The subjeet may as well be received in this, as in any other way. The whole proceeding appeared to him, to be anomalous. If it should be settled in the committee that the change ought not to be made, the convention might determine that it ought to be made. A report from the committee, that amendments ought not to be made, would not avail. It would not prove to be a labor saving machinery; but, on the contrary, might occasion considerable loss of time. He thought it better to go through with the machinery we had become accus. tomed to.
Mr. Kuin, of Berks, asked for the yeas and nays, and they were ordered.
Mr. READ, of Susquehama, expressed the hope that the Convention would not now appoint a committee, for the sake of considering all which had been said in the last two months. If we did not go on in the regular process, in which we had gone on for the last two months, and which would bring us through, the effect will be to retard, to an indefinite period, the termination of our labors. The effect would only be mischievous-to throw all into a hotch-potch, or into the fire. He hoped the motion would be indefinitely postponed.
Mr. STEVENS, of Adams, said the object was to save time. The resolutions were laid on the table with a view to save time, and the vast expense which was daily accumulating. The adoption of this resolution, might lead to a compromise, which would enable us to close our labors, in reasonable time. What loss of time would be caused by such reference? There could be no loss of time; but if this motion prevail, we should have to offer the various propositions here in Convention, and to discuss them in succession, and at large, unless prevented by the previous question. If the committee could not agree, they would so report. If they were unanimous in recommending any measure, in a spirit of concession, yielding to each other on some points, and leaving what could not be d, for the people to dispose of, under the provision for future amendments, great expenses would be saved, and the people would be better satisfied. He thought so, and that no harm could possibly be done. When the report of the committee should be called up for action, then the motion for indefinite postponement might be made. But, pressed at this time, the motion would put an end to all hope, and condemn us to a session of six months longer, and an expenditure of a quarter of a million. What should induce gentlemen to be so jealous of each other, and so suspicious of the operations of this body, that they cannot consent to have a committee? Gentlemen were not acting so as to produce harmony of action here. Instead of harmony of action, there was no indication of any thing but the most acrimonious feeling, and the bitterest opposition.
Mr. Porter said, he was endeavoring to bring our labors to a point by concession. He never expected, that any proposition which he brought forward, would meet with the acquiescence of all. But he wished to do his part towards a peace-offering. He had thought his proposition would recommend itself to all parties, and he was always disposed to yield his share for the sake of peace and harmony. He found that his course met with the approbation of other gentlemen; and others might be induced to offer their suggestions, so that the committee might send forth something like the views of all brought together, and not ihose of any individual. No one could hope to carry all his views. He may endeavor, but would assuredly fail. Another individual would oppose hiin with his views, and he also would fail. This course was taken for the purpose of bringing the opinions of all as near together as possible, inasmuch as no one can expect to carry
out all his own individual views. It was in this view, he had offered his proposition, and not to disturb and distract the Convention. If, instead of producing the result he aimed at, it should appear that he had only thrown the apple of discord into the Convention, his expectations would be greatly disappointed. If the select committee could do any thing which was compatible with the spirit of compromise, it would be pleasing to the people, and dissipate the apprehensions which are spreading abroad, and also among some of ourselves. If he could effect any thing, he would go as far as any man in his willingness to surrender his own opinions.
Mr. FLEMING, of Lycoming, admired the spirit in which the proposition had been offered, but he could see no possible advantage which could be derived from it, therefore, he should vote in favor of indefinite postponement. We have now duplicate articles of amendments, and the gentleman had yesterdar introduced almost an entire Constitution; and, having embodied therein all he wished, was not content that his proposition shonld take the ordinary course pursued in regard to resolutions, but wished for a special committee, so that we would have the proposition, for the third time, before us. An anxious disposition to save time, and the expense of gentlemen remaining here, was a common profession. It was well conducted. Why was it reiterated ? These resolutions, to dispose of matters which had been settled before, were one of the great causes of expense. Tho spirit of comproinise might as well be excited in the Convention as in committee, and if we were to have compromise reports, it would not preven: any genıleman from giving his views. He could see no benefit from the course proposed, except in endorse the views of particular indivi. duals. The gentleman had a fair opportunity to bring his views before the Convention, in the same spirit of compromise, and could give his views, in order to effect a compromise and expedite the business of the Convention, and every individual member would still feel himself bound to bring in his own views, and there would be the same opportunity to come to a compromise, as if we had a majority ani a minority report of a committee hefore us.
The Convention could not fail to perceive most clearly, that notwithstanding all these declarations in regard to yielding and compromise-that the various propositions which had been introduced, would be again brought before ihe Convention. No matter whether we had a dozen or twenty reports, each meinber would still offer, and insist upon his own proposition. The only effect of the report of a select committee would be, to endorse the peculiar notions of a few individuals. He could see no advantage that would arise from sending the matter to a distinct and separate committee.
Mr. Smyth, of Centre, said, that he entertained no doubt of the since. rity of the gentleman who oflered the proposition ; but, he could not see what was to be gained by it. Besides, he objected to its being again spread before the people. He thought the effect of it would not be to expedite the business, for the propositions could not be adopied, without having first been acted upon in committee of the whole, and it was not to be expected, that the Convention would adopt the report of the committee, without considering it in committee of the whole, and going through the same routine we had already passed. The gentleman from Adams was continually bringing up the question of the expenses of the Convention,