Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

other way

seology. This word, appointment, means an absolute selection ; and would not be proper if the gentleman meant to connect the Senate with the Executive in any of the appointments. In the Constitution of the United States the word nominate is used, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoint. The meaning is, that the Governor shall in some case have the sole power of appointment, and that question they might just as well settle on the amendment of the gentleman from Chester as on the amendment of the gentleman from Beaver, he should, therefore, vote against this proposition in order to reach the amendment of the gentleman from Chester, so that we might get a decided expression upon this proposition which would put it to rest finally and forever. He was now prepared to vote upon this amendment of the gentleman from Chester, and he hoped the amendment of the gentleman from Beaver might be nega tived so that they might meet the other question directly and have such an expression of the Convention upon it as might be relied on hereafter.

Mr. Dickey said he also was prepared to vote. But he wished to remark that there was more in the proposition of his colleague (Mr. AGNEW) than the gentleman seemed to think. It contemplated leaving the moder appointment to be disposed of under the sixth article, with the concy ence of the Senate or in

any

that
may

be decided on. The offices in that section may not be all provided for, and, if any should be created, the proposition of his colleague would be found useful. He himself thought it would have been better to leave this matter to be disposed of in the sixth article, because we could there tell better where the appointing power should rest, and to whom should be confided the appointment of the Comptroler of Public Works and others. In that point of view he did not think the amendment of his colleague was objectionable.

Mr. Bell said he was not at all surprised that his proposition met with opposition in such a variety of shapes. Gentlemen had racked their inge. nuity to find a mode of defeating it. He was not surprised at this when he looked to the quarter from which this opposition came. It embraced a principle from which some gentlemen are disposed to recoil whenever it is presented to them—a principle which must now be settled, if we would not wish to see the scenes of the last two days re-acted here. He had this morning assigned the reasons which had directed his course, and he would not now recapitulate them, as he hoped they were within the recollection of the committee. He now only rose to brush away the cobwebs which had gathered round the perceptions of gentlemen, and to disabuse the minds of some who were favorably disposed towards his amendment. not expect that what he had to say would produce any effect on the opponents of his proposition, but it was to its friends that he addressed himself. One objection which had been made was to the word “judicial”, and some thought it was introduced here with a view to give the Governor the power to appoint these officers, in the proper section. If any fears of this kind yet existed, he hoped they would vanish. It is a reiteration. Instead of reading he shall appoint all officers it will only read he shall appoint all judicial officers“ by and with the advice and consent of the Senate"; it therefore, cuts off all such judicial officers. What officers will be left for him to appoint? Justices ? No. When we reach the proper article for the appointment of Judges of Courts, Justices, &c., you restrict him by designating a different course of appointment. Some gentlemen are desi.

He did

rous that the Associate Judges shall be elected by the people. That will be deliberated on, when we come to the proper article. At present it is sufficient to restrict to judicial officers. There are some who would striko out judicial officers, and say-all officers whose appointment is not herein otherwise provided for? He considered the language of his amendment the most suitable. It was necessary that some general mode should be prescribed, and there are many officers whose appointments cannot come from

any other source than the Governor. When they can be derived from any other source, it is pointed out. The Constitution provides no other mode. Was it not necessary there should be a general provision on the subject of appointment? Will any gentleman point out any mode in which every officer in the State of Pennsylvania, Inspectors of tobacco, lumber, flour, and all the other thousand officers whose uses are as multifarious as their names, can be appointed? It is impossible to point them all out in detail. If they are the creatures of statute laws, it is always in the power of the Legislature to change the mode of appointment—to take it away from the Governor and place it somewhere else. There is a desire in some gentlemen to descend to minutia, and to make provision for all emergencies. It cannot be done. The general power must be vested somewhere, and the residuum of power, or as the Constitution as it now stands, expresses it, such as "shall be established by law”, must be lodged in some one. It was objected by some that this was not the proper place for this provision. Some wish it to be in the sixth article, and that one provision shall suffice, Sheriffs, Coroners, and all the other officers in Pennsylvania. But we are here limiting the power of the Governor, not chalking out a whole system. We are prescribing certain powers; and this is the proper place.

Now he would ask, was it not perfectly proper, when we were about to divest the Governor of some of his inordinate patronage, that we should determine that in the creation of offices in future, who shall appoint the officers to fill them? And where could you lodge the power better than in the hands of the Legislature of Pennsylvania? How could we look into futurity in order to see the number of offices which the exigency of the moment might require? Let gentlemen carry back their recollection to the year 1790, and let them compare the population of that time with the number of offices and officers which then existed. How could gentlemen sit here in 1837, and guess what might be the number of offices which might be required 50 or 100 years hence? It was impossible, and consequently it was necessary to leave the matter open from the very nature of the subject. Where, then, he would enquire, could the power be better left than with the people, or what was the same thing, their immediate representatives—the Legislature. There was another objection which had been urged, andat which he would glance

Mr. Bayne, of Allegheny, called the gentleman from Chester to order on the ground that he was taking a very wide range-going into matters not immediately connected with the subject under consideration.

The Chair decided that the gentleman was in order, because he was merely adducing reasons why the amendment to the amendment should not be adopted.

Mr. BELL resumed: He understood that the gentleman who had called him to order was formerly a member of the Legislature. He was surpris

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

ed that he should have called him to order while he was endeavoring to show why the amendment of the gentleman from Beaver should not be adopted. At the time he was interrupted, he was going on to observe that another objection had been made by the friends of this principle.That objection was, that the proposed amendment does not include the latter part of section eight, in reference to disqualification. Now, the gentleman from Beaver was perfectly right, we were not speaking of officers generally

Mr. Cox, of Somerset, (interrupted:) If the committee would riseObjections being made in various quarters.

Mr. Bell proceeded: We were now prescribing the duties of the Gov. ernor, and it was not necessary until they were fixed, that we should introduce an amendment of this sort with respect to the qualifications and restrictions in reference to the appointment of officers. He confessed that he was not at all surprised at the ingenuity of the modes devised to evade the proposition, because it presented a principle which the Convention must now settle, unless they wished to see the scenes of the last two days re-acted. The gentleman from Allegheny (Mr. DENNY) had said, and he had been followed out in the idea by the gentleman from Philadelphia, (Mr. BiddLE) that the amendment instead of having the effect of restricting the power of the Governor, would tend only to increase it—that the only restriction proposed to be put upon the Governor was to subject his acts to the decision of the Senate. It had been contended, too, that the Senate was to appoint all the officers. Now, if the gentlemen had read the amendment carefully over, they would have found that it restrained the power of the Governor. To be sure, if gentlemen took it up and read one sentence and detached it from its fellow, they might arrive at such a conclusion.

Mr. Denny, of Allegheny, explained that what he had said was, that as the amendment gave the sole power of nomination to the Governor, it therefore, did not diminish his patronage.

Mr. Bell said that he should like to put a question to the gentleman from Allegheny.

Mr. FORWARD, of Allegheny, moved that the committee rise, report progress, and ask leave to sit again.

The question having been taken, was decided in the negative.
A division being demanded, there appeared ayes 36, noes, not counted.

Mr. Bell rose and concluded, after making two or three observations, very indistinctly heard,

Mr. DarLINGTON, of Chester, moved that the committee rise. The ques. tion having been taken, was decided in the negative-ayes 39.

The question was then taken on the amendment of Mr. AGNEw to the amendment, and decided in the negative.

YrasMessrs. Agnew, Baldwin, Barndollar, Bayne, Biddle, Brown, of Lancaster, Carey, Clark, of Dauphin, Coates Cochran, Cox, Crum, Cunningham, Darlington, Denny, Dickey, Dickerson, Dunlop, Harris, Henderson, of Dauphin, Houpt, Kerr, Konigmacher, Long, Maclay, M'Call, M'Sherry, Meredith, Merkel, Montgomery, Pennypacker, Reigart, Royer, Russell, Scott, Serrill,Snively, Stevens, Todd, Weidman, Sergeant, President-41.

Nars-Messrs. Ayres, Banks, Barclay, Barnitz, Bedford, Bell, Bigelow, Bonham, Brown, of Northampton, Brown, of Philadelphia, Clarke, of Indiana, Cleavinger, Cline, Cope, Craig, Crain, Crawford, Cummin, Curli

, Darrah, Dillinger, Donagan, Earle, Farrelly, Fleming, JForward, Fry, Fuller, Gearhart, Gilmore, Grenell, Hamlin, Hastings,

Hayhurst, Helffenstein, Henderson, of Allegheny, Hiester, High, Hyde, Ingersoll, Kennedy, Krebs, Lyons, Magee, Mann, M'Cahen, Merrill, Miller, Myers, Nevin,Overfield, Pollock, Purviance, Road, Riter, Rogers, Saeger, Sellers, Seltzer, Scheetz, Shellito, Sill, Smith, Smyth, Sterigere, Stickel, Swetland, Taggart, Weaver, White, Woodward—71

Mr. Cox said his friend from Chester was desirous of addressing the committee, and afterwards he proposed to speak himself. He moved that the committe rise.

Mr. SHELLITO said we were not nearer the question than we were last night.

Mr. MEREDITH said that courtesy to the gentleman from Chester required that he should be allowed a proper opportunity to speak on the subject.

Mr. FORWARD said this was one of the most important questions we should have before us, and he hoped that all would be heard who were desirous of speaking upon it.

Mr. Ayres: There is not half a house here. It would be very wrong to take the question to night.

Mr. EARLE : I trust there will be no further delay on so simple a question as this. The people decided it long ago. Gentlemen who wish to be heard upon it can speak on the second reading, as they sometimes say to us.

Mr. BANKs: As I have had the honor of addressing the committee this morning, I hope other gentlemen will not be deprived of expressing their views upon

it. There has been no waste of time on the subject yet, and will not be, if we take another day for it.

Mr. EARLE: I am willing to sit here and hear gentlemen till nine o'clock.

The committee, after some further discussion, rose, reported progress, and asked leave to sit again, which was agreed to; and

The Convention adjourned.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 14, 1837.

Mr. COATES, of Lancaster, presented a memorial from inhabitants of Susquehanna county, praying that the sixth section of the ninth article of the Constitution may be so amended that, in all questions affecting life or liberty, the right of trial by jury shall be extended to every human being, which was refered to the committee on the ninth article.

Mr. Cope, from the committee of accounts, made a report, which was agreed to.

SECOND ARTICLE.

The Convention again resolved itself into committee of the whole on the second article, Mr. CLARKE, of Indiana, in the Chair.

The amendment offered by Mr. BELL, of Chester, to so much of the report of the committee as relates to the eighth section being under consideration, Mr. DARLINGTON, of Chester, rose to address the committee. He felt

Senate ;

grateful, he said, for the indulgence which the committee had granted him, in allowing him to postpone until this morning, the few observations he proposed to make on this important question. He would endeavor to repay the kindness by making those observations short, and by occupying as little of the time of the committee as possible. The amendment presented two distinct questions, both of vital importance, and demanding the candid deliberation of the Convention.

Rrst: Whether the sole power of appointing judicial officers shall be taken from the Governor, and vested in him in conjunction with the

and Second ; Whether we shall take from the Governor and vest in him jointly with the Senate, the appointment of all officers to be created hereafter.

The first question was presented distinctly by the report of the committee to whom this article was refered; and he begged leave now to advert to that report which had been mainly lost sight of in this discussion. The existing Constitution provides that the Governor "shall appoint all oficers, whose offices are established by the Constitution, or shall be established by law, and whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for”. The report of the committee proposes to change the existing pro vision, and to make it read~" he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint all officers”, &c. Here is a distinct question presented to our consideration; and, in the observations I made the other day, I stated the doubt which suggested itself to my mind as to the propriety of voting for that report. I have now, on subsequent reflection, satisfied myself that I cannot give my consent to this part of the report of the committee. It is a change yncalled for by my constituents ; new, untried, sustained by arguments founded on an analogy to the Constitution of the United States, not applicable to our institutions, experimental, and of the effect of which we can have no knowledge. Not being able to add any thing to the able arguments which have been already brought forward against the report of the committee, I will refrain from taking up the time of the committee on that branch of the subject. There is a distinct opinion in the majority of this body adverse to my opinion, in favor of giving to the Senate a controling influence in these appointments; and this may be carried into effect by rejecting the amendment of my colleague, and adopting the report of the committee, which reads thus" he shall nominate, and, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint all officers”, &c. This I believe to be the opinion of a great majority of this Convention.

The second question is, in effect, whether you will vest in the Legislature the appointment of all officers to be created hereafter. This is a distinct question, and ought to be kept in the view of the committee. The object of the mover is distinctly stated—to strike out the words .. to be established by law". On this question, he had hoped the committee would have been called on to act separately. The distinct object of the mover is to take away from the Governor the appointment of all officers to be appointed to fill offices created by law. There is as decided an opinion in this committee against giving this immense power into the hands of the Legislature, as there is against confiding it to the Governor. He was opposed to the blending of these propositions. They ought to

« AnteriorContinuar »