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be kept distinct and separate ; we ought to vo vote separately on each, and test each of them according to its true merits. What does the amend. ment propose? It embraces more than ought to be included in any one proposition. It proposes that the Governor shall appoint a Secretary of the Commonwealth and an Attorney General during pleasure. Why are these officers of the Commonwealth introduced ? In the fifteenth section of this article, provision is made for a Secretary, and his duties are prescribed. Why has it been taken from that section and introduced here? What is the reason for this transfer? It is this——this proposition is introduced here in order to get votes for the amendment, which the other propositions contained in it, would not, in a distinct form, be able to command. He did not intend to throw blame on the mover of the amendment, but, he would enquire if it was not practicable so to distinguish the propositions as that a vote might be taken separately on each, and the merits of each thus tested. Why could not the committee pass now on she other part of the proposition, and leave the decision of so much as refers to the Secretary of the Commonwealth until we reach the section to which that subject properly belongs ?
What is the next proposition presented by the amendment of my colleague ? It is, that the Governor “ shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoint all judicial officers, whose appointment is not herein otherwise provided for ”: Why is the question introduced here as to judicial officers, when it is well known, that in the appropriate article, the provision for the appointment and tenure of those officers, will come before the Convention in its
order? In the fifth article, we shall have to prescribe the mode, as well as the tenure of appointment. The article which relates to the judiciary is the appropriate place for all provisions in relation to the officers of that branch.Why, then, has this subject been introduced here, except for the purpose of making the amendment more palatable to those who would be disinclined to vote for the objectionable part standing alone. There is another point to be taken into consideration. Before we terminate our labors, we may prescribe for the appointment of other officers than such as are judi. cial. We may determine that there shall be an Attorney General. There is no mention of such officer in the present Constitution, but, it might be thought expedient to provide for such an officer hereafter, and, in that case, how is he to be appointed? There would be no power vested in the Governor to make such appointment, or to appoint
any other than judicial officers, if there are no provision introduced for that purpose. So also, as to a Comptroller of Public Works. The amendment provides that the Governor and Senate shall appoint all judicial officers; and therefore, he has no power to appoint any others. The Governor cannot appoint a Comptroller of Pubiic Works, if we should think it expedient hereafter to create one, because, there is no power of appointment vested in him in any part of the Constitution. But these are matters merely presented for the consideration of the committee; and if any mode can be devised by which the question may be taken on each part of the amendment singly, so as to test the separate merits of each, I shall be satisfied.
'To return then to the point from which I set out. The proposition to vest in the Legislature the power to say who shall fill the offices they may create, is to me the most objectionable feature which could possibly
be introduced into the Constitution. It is a principle entirely new to the Constitution of Pennsylvania ; and, he trusted, before the Convention shall decide on its introduction, sufficient arguments would be adduced to satisfy the people of its propriety, for they would require some good reasons to show that it was founded on a just and republican principle. Is such a provision to be found in the Constitution of any other State in this Union ? I am not informed of it, if it be so. And such is the ingenuity and research of those who advocate this new feature, that if there was any thing like it in any of the other State Constitutions, they would assuredly have brought it before the view of this committee. I consider the principle of vesting in the Legislature the power of making laws by which offices are created, and also the power of filling those offices as a union of the Executive and Legislative functions, which is at war with all sound principles of Government. Will you all allow the Legislature to create innumerable officers at their will? If so, I defy you to put them out, when once legislated into existence. Will you allow the Legislature to create the offices, and then to say how they shall be filled ? Will you not keep the Executive and the Legislative departments of the Government separate and distinct, as they are kept in every other State ? It has been said that the provision does not make it obligatory on the Legislature to take into their own hands the filling of these offices. True, it does not. But the Legislature may do so : they may exercise the power, if they think fit. A Legislature may consider no other branch of the Government so competent to fill the offices, and may, therefore, carry out the principle by filling the offices themselves. If they did not do it themselves, they might depute the Governor and Senate to fill the offices : or, they might delegate the duty to the House of Representatives, by and with the advice and consent of the Governor-the very principle which you but yesterday repudiated--or they might determine that the offices should be filled by joint ballot--a principle which you also rejected yesterday. I object to holding the matter at such loose ends. What have we not heard, since the commencement of the session, against the encroaching power of the Legislature ? Have we not been told that it is the strongest arm of the Government, and that it is calculated to swallow up the power of the Executive and the Judiciary? Have not applications been made to us to impose restrictions on this branch, for the purpose of curtailing its dangerous powers ? Such was the object of the argument delivered by the gentleman from Philadelphia, (Mr. INGERSOLL) on the subject of the distribution of powers. And are you now disposed to vest in that Legislature, whose power you have already began to view with alarm, other and enormous and unheard of powers, in addition to what they already possess ? I hope this committee is not prepared, one day, to vote that this Legislature are in the possession of too much power, and, in the next, to place additional power in their hands. One of the strongest arguments brought forward by my colleague, was that the people had demanded a diminution of the power of the Executive. How far does this requisition of the people authorize us to go? Is there any diminution called for, except that the appointment of the county officers shall be taken from the Governor, and vested in the people ? On no other than this point has there been any decided expression of the wishes of the people. There had been ng positive expression of the decided
opinions of the people, in reference to the diminution of Executive power, further than this.
There is one portion of the State, at least, which desires no such diminution of the power of the Executive, as that which is proposed by the amendment of my colleague. If there has been no such expression of the will of the people on the subject of diminishing the power of the Executive, beyond what I have introduced, far less has there been any desire expressed by the people for the increase of power to be vested in the Legislature. Whence was the idea derived that the diminution of the power of the Executive is to be connected with the increase of the power of the Legislature ? Has there been, among the people, any mouth open in favor of such a proposition ? Not one: there has not been a single instance within my knowledge of any expression of public opinion in favor of giving to the Legislature the additional power contemplated by this amendment. I may add, that there is a disposition, on the part of the people, to curtail the power of the Executive so far as regards the appointment of Justices of the Peace; but is it for the purpose of vesting this power in the Legislature ? Certainly, it is not. We have already made a call on the Secretary of the Commonwealth for a list of the officers of this Commonwealth. We have not as yet been furnished with the list, for which I am sorry, as I should have derived much aid from it. Among the almost innumerable officers in this State, it will be found that about nine tenths are called into office under particular laws, and not by any Constitutional provision. Where do we find the authority for the appointment of the officers of the port of Philadelphia, for the Health officers, for the Auctioneers ? Whence do all the host of other officers scattered over the State derive their authority, if not from law? The laws are repealable; and the very first Legislature under the new Constitution, if we get a new Constitution, may repeal all the existing laws, and, under a different Governor, vest in themselves the same power of appointing these nine tenths of the public officers. They who hold under the laws are under the control of the Legislature, and it is for the Legislature to say if they shall be appointed or not. I apprehend there has been no expression of public opinion in favor of any such change as is contemplated here; and I beg leave to call the attention of the committee to this fact, as a sufficient reason for the vote I shall give, that no such change as this is desired by the people of my district. Other gentlemen may have different views of what their constituents require. It is not for me to enquire if the voice of the constituents of my colleague has called for such change. But I will refer my colleague, and the gentleman from Mifflin, to the fact, that in the district they in part represent, so far from there having been an expression of public opinion in favor of restricting the Executive patronage, there was given an aggregate majority of four thousand two hundred votes against calling a Convention. But when the voters of Delaware, Chester and Montgomery together, have cast such a majority against a Convention at all, I am at loss to find any argument in that faci
, that the people of that district are in favor of any such change. There is nothing in that to satisfy me that I ought to overthrow the provision of the present Constitution, for the purpose of substituting in its room, a principle untried, of doubtful effect, and contrary, as I deem it, to all sound rules of Government.
I shall hold myself bound to vote against the latter part of the amend
opinions of the people, in reference to the diminta 3.3
farthe Commons wealth for a list of the officers of this Commi Te bare not
yet been furnished with the list, for whicilinamas sonidhara derived such and from it. Among the almost offices in this State, it will be found that about nine teised into office under particular laws, and not by my Constitution
find the authority for the appointment of the port of Phil delphia, for the Tealth officers, for the
host of other officas seatterett over the Summer authority, if 1191 from law! The laws we repealable; widzintizginiature under the new Constitution. If we get a nem may repeat all existing laws, and, under a different Committhemselves the sun power of appointing these mine tenths aime officers. They hold under the laws are mder the commissarislature, and the Legislature to say if they shall be ut. I apprehend has been 110 expression of public opimmat any such change contempland liere ; and I beg leave humation of the to this chans may
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