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that armory to pass under the control of such an Executive head?
The Richmond Enquirer, long one of the leading exponents of the Southern Democracy, in commenting on the murderous assault on Senator Sumner, said:
Sumner, and Sumner's friends, must be punished and silenced. Either such wretches must be hung or put in the penitentiary, or the South should prepare at once to quit the Union.
If Fremont is elected, the Union will not last an hour after Mr. Pierce's term expires.
If Fremont is elected, it will be the duty of the South to dissolve the Union and form a Southern Confederacy.
Let the South present a compact and undivided front. Let her, if possible, detach Pennsylvania and southern Ohio, southern Indiana, and southern Illinois, from the North, and make the highlands between the Ohio and the lakes the dividing line. Let the South treat with California; and, if necessary, ally herself with Russia, with Cuba, and Brazil.
Senator Iverson, of Georgia, in a speech made to his constituents previous to the assembling of the second session of the 36th Congress, said: Slavery must be maintained-in the Union, if pos
sible; out of it, if necessary; peaceably, if we may, forcibly if we must.
In a confederated government of their own, the Southern States would enjoy sources of wealth, prosperity, and power, unsurpassed by any nation on earth. No neutrality laws would restrain our adventurous sons. Our expanding policy would stretch far beyond present limits. Central America would join her destiny to ours, and so would Cuba, now withheld from us by the voice and votes of Abolition enemies.
During the late memorable contest for Speaker, the same Senator remarked, as follows:
Sir, I will tell you what I would do, if I had the control of the southern members of this House and the other, when you elect John Sherman. If I had control of the public sentiment, the very moment you elect John Sherman, thus giving to the South the example of insult as well as
injury, I would walk, every one of us, out of the Halls of this Capitol, and consult our constituents; and I would never enter again until I was bade to do so by those who had the right to control me. Sir, I go further than that. I would counsel my constituents instantly to dissolve all political ties with a party and a people who thus trample on our rights. That is what I would do.
In an elaborate speech delivered later in the session by the same Senator, he said:
the blessings of Slavery, like the religion of our Divine Master, to the uttermost ends of the earth; and, rebellious and wicked as the Yankees have been, I would even extend it to them.
Whether we can obtain the Territory while the Union lasts, I do not know; I fear we cannot. But I would make an honest effort, and if we failed, I would go out of the Union, and try it there. I speak plainly-I would make a refusal to acquire territory, because it was to be slave ter ritory, a cause for disunion, just as I would make the refusal to admit a new State, because it was to be a Slave State, a cause for disunion.
The election of Mr. Seward, or any other man of his party, is not, per se, justifiable ground for dissolving the Union. But the act of putting the Government in the hands of men who mean to use it for our subjugation, ought to be resisted, even to the disruption of every tie that binds us to the Union.
Jefferson Davis, U. S. Senator from Mississippi, in an address to the people of his State, July 6, 1859, said:
the contingency of the election of a President on the For myself, I say, as I said on a former occasion, in platform of Mr. Seward's Rochester speech, let the Union be dissolved. Let the "great, but not the greatest of evils," come.
the Senate, contemplating the possible defeat of Mr. Clay, of Alabama, in a recent speech in his party in the coming Presidential contest,
I make no predictions, no promise for my State; but, in conclusion, will only say, that if she is faithful to the pledges she has made and principles she has professed-if she is true to her own interest and her own honor-if she is not recreant to all that State pride, in
tegrity and duty demand-she will never submit to your authority. I will add, that unless she and all the southern States of this Union, with perhaps but two, or, at most, three exceptions, are not faithless to the pledges they have given, they will never submit to the govern ment of a President professing yor political faith and elected by your sectional majority.
When Mr. Clay had taken his seat, Mr. Gwin, of California, made a speech in which he declared it as "the inevitable result that the South would prepare for resistance in the event of the election of a Republican President."
On the 24th of January, 1860, the Hon. Robert Toombs, of Georgia, made a violent speech in the Senate, on Mr. Douglas' Resolution directing the Judiciary Committee to report a bill for the protection of each State and Territory against invasion from any other State or Territory. Mr. Toombs commenced his speech by the announcement that the country was in the midst of civil war, adding, "I feel and know that a large body of these Senators are enemies of my country.' Mr. Toombs pro ceeded in an elaborate and vituperative speech to prove that the people of the North had violated the Constitution, by refusing to capture and return fugitive slaves to their masters in the South.
Sir, there is but one path of safety to the South; but one mode of preserving her institution of domestic Slavery; and that is a confederacy of States having no incongruous and opposing elements a confederacy of Slave States alone, with homogeneous language, laws, interests, and institutions. Under such a confederated Republic, with a Constitution which should shut out the approach and entrance of all incongruous and conflicting elements, which should protect the institution from change, and keep the whole nation ever bound to its preservation, by an unchangeable fundamental law, the fifteen Slave States, with their power of expansion, would present to the world the most free, prosperous, and happy nation on the face of the Sir, with these views, and with the firm conviction which I have entertained for many years, and which recent events have only seemed to confirm, that the "irrepressible conflict" between the two sections must and will go on, and I feel that I have no need to pledge my poor services to Sir, I have but little more to add-nothing for myself. with accumulated speed, and must end, in the Union, with this great cause-to my country. My State has spoken the total extinction of African Slavery in the southern for herself. Nine years ago a convention of her people States, that I have announced my determination to ap-met and declared that her connection with this governprove and urge the southern States to dissolve the Union ment depended upon the faithful execution of this fugitive upon the election of a Black Republican to the Presidency slave law, and her full enjoyment of equal rights in the of the United States, by a sectional northern party, and common Territories. I have shown that the one continupon a platform of opposition and hostility to southern gency has already arrived; the other waits only the sucSlavery. cess of the Republican party in the approaching Presidential election. I was a member of that convention, and stood then and now pledged to its action. I have faithfully labored to avert these calamities. I will yet labor until this last contingency happens, faithfully, honestly, and to the best of my poor abilities. When that time comes, freemen of Georgia redeem your pledge; I am ready to redeem mine. Your honor is involved-your faith is plighted. I know you feel a stain as a wound; your peace, your social system, your firesides are in
Senator Brown, of Mississippi, in a recent peech to his constituents, said:
I want Cuba; I want Tamaulipas, Potosi, and one or two other Mexican States; and I want them all for the same reason for the planting and spreading of Slavery. And a footing in Central America will powerfully aid us in acquiring those other States. Yes; I want these countries for the spread of Slavery. I would spread
Mr. Crawford, of Georgia, said:
volved. Never permit this Federal Government to | I think I speak the sentiments of my own constituents an pass into the traitorous hands of the Black Republican the State of South Carolina, when I say so. party. It has already declared war against you and your Institutions. It every day commits acts of war against you it has already compelled you to arm for your defense. Listen to "no vain babblings," to no treacherous jargon about "overt acts;" they have already been committed. Defend yourselves; the enemy is at your door; wait not to meet him at the hearthstone-meet him at the door-sill, and drive him from the temple of liberty, or pull down its pillars and involve him in a common ruin.
Senator Clingman, of North Carolina, in a recent speech, says that "there are hundreds of disunionists in the South now, where there was not one ten years ago," and that in some of the States the men who would willingly see the Union dissolved are in the majority. In considering the proper cause for disunion, Mr. Clingman continues:
In my judgment, the election of the Presidential candidate of the Black Republican party will furnish that
No other "overt act" can so imperatively demand resistance on our part as the simple election of their candidate. Their organization is one of avowed hostility, and they come against us as enemies.
The objections are not personal merely to this Senator (Mr. Seward), but apply equally to any member of the party elected by it. It has, in fact, been suggested that, as a matter of prudence, for the first election they should choose a southern free-soiler. Would the Colonies have submitted more willingly to Benedict Arnold than to Lord Cornwallis?
Mr. Curry, of Alabama, a member of the House of Representatives, in a recent speech; says:
However distasteful it may be to my friend from New York (Mr. Clark), however much it may revolt the public sentiment or conscience of this country, I am not ashamed or afraid publicly to avow that the election of William H. Seward or Salmon P. Chase, or any such representative of the Republican party, upon a sectional platform, ought to be resisted to the disruption of every tie that binds this Confederacy together. (Applause on the Democratic side of the House.)
Now, in regard to the election of a Black Republican President, I have this to say, and I speak the sentiment of every Democrat on this floor from the State of Georgia : we will never submit to the inauguration of a Black Republican President. (Applause from the Democratic benches, and hisses from the Republicans.) I repeat it, sir-and I have authority to say so-that no Democratic to the inauguration of a Black Republican President. representative from Georgia on this floor will ever submit (Renewed applause and hisses.) The most confiding of them all are, sir, for "equality in the Union or independence out of it;" having lost all hope in the former, I am for "INDEPENDENCE NOW AND INDEPENDENCE FOREVER!"
Mr. Gartrell, of the same State, said:
Just so sure as the Republican party succeeds in electing a sectional man, upon their sectional, Anti-Slavery platform, breathing destruction and death to the rights of my people, just so sure, in my judgment, the time will have come when the South must and will take an unmistakable and decided action, and that then, "he who dallies is a dastard, and he who doubts is damned." I need not tell what I, as a Southern man, will do-I think I may safely speak for the masses of the people of Georgia -that when that event happens, they, in my judgment, will consider it an overt act, a declaration of war, and meet immediately in convention, to take into consideration the mode and measure of redress. That is my position; and if that be treason to the Government, make the most of it.
Mr. McRae, formerly Governor of Mississippi, now a member of the House of Representatives, recently spoke in that body as follows:
I said to my constituents, and to the people at the capital of my State, on my way here, that if such an event did occur, while it would be their duty to determine the course which the State would pursue, it would be my privilege to counsel with them as to what I believed to be the proper course; and I said to them, what I say now, and will always say in such an event, that my counsel would be to take independence out of the Union in preference to the loss of constitutional rights, and consequent degradation and dishonor in it. That is my posi tion, and it is the position which I know the Democratic
Mr. Pugh, of the same State, made a speech party of the State of Mississippi will maintain. in the House, in which he said:
If, with the character of the Government well defined, and the rights and privileges of the parties to the compact clearly asserted by the Democratic party, the Black Republicans get possession of the Government, then the question is fully presented, whether the Southern States will remain in the Union, as subject and degraded colenies, or will they withdraw and establish a Southern Confederacy of coëqual homogeneous sovereigns?
In my judgment, the latter is the only course compatible with the honor, equality, and safety of the South; and the sooner it is known and acted upon the better for all parties to the compact.
The truest conservatism and wisest statesmanship demand a speedy termination of all association with such confederates, and the formation of another Union of States, homogeneous in population, institutions, interests, and pursuits.
Mr. Moore, of the same State, said:
I do not concur with the declaration made yesterday by the gentleman from Tennessee, that the election of a Black Republican to the Presidency was not cause for a dissolution of the Union. Whenever a President is elected by a fanatical majority at the North, those whom I represent, as I believe, and the gallant State which I in part represent, are ready, let the consequences be what they may, to fall back on their reserved rights, and say, 66 As to this Union, we have no longer any lot or part in it." Mr. Bonham, a member of the House from South Carolina, said:
As to disunion, upon the election of a Black Republican, I can speak for no one but myself and those I have here the honor to represent; and I say, without hesitation, that, upon the election of Mr. Seward, or any other man who indorses and proclaims the doctrines held by him and his party-call him by what name you please-I am in favor of an immediate dissolution of the Union. And, sir,
Mr. De Jarnette, a member of the House from Virginia, says:
Thus William H. Seward stands before the country a perjured traitor; and yet that man, with hands stained with the blood of our citizens, we are asked to elect President of the United States. You may elect him President of the North, but of the South never. Whatever the event may be, others may differ; but Virginia, in view of her ancient renown, in view of her illustrious dead, and in view of her sic semper tyrannis, will resist his authority. I have done."
Mr. Leake, also of Virginia, declares:
Virginia has the right, when she pleases, to withdraw from the Confederacy. (Applause from the Democratic benches.) That is her doctrine. We will not fight in the Union, but quit it the instant we think proper
to do so.
Mr. Singleton, of Mississippi, says: when will the South be united? You ask me when will the time (for disunion) come; It will be when you elect a Black Republican-Hale, Seward, or Chase-President of the United States. Whenever you undertake to place such a man to preside over the destinies of the South, you may expect to see us undivided and indivisible friends, and to see all parties of the South arrayed to resist his inauguration.
We can never quietly stand by and permit the control of the army and navy to go into the hands of a Black Republican President.
Gov. Letcher, of Virginia, in his recent message to the Legislature of his State, avows the rankest disunion and revolutionary sentiments. In this document, he declares that if a Republican Presiden is elected in 1860,
It is useless to attempt to conceal the fact that, in the present temper of the Southern people, it cannot be and
will not is submitted to. The "irrepressible conflict"
"The bargain between Freedom and Slavery contained in the Constitution of the United States, is morally and politically vicious, inconsistent with the principles on which alone our Revolution can be justified; cruel and oppressive, by riveting the chains of Slavery; and grossly unequal and impolitic, by admitting that Slaves are at once enemies to be kept in subjection, property to be secured and returned to their owners, and persons not to be represented themselves, but for whom their masters are privileged with nearly a double share of representation;" and Whereas (to quote the language of Wm. Ellery Channing) "We in the Free States cannot fly from the shame or guilt of the Institution of Slavery, while there are provisions of the Constitution binding us to give it support. on this subject our fathers, in framing the Constitution, swerved from the right. We, their children, see the path of duty more clearly than they, and must walk in it. No blessings of the Union can be a compensation for taking part in the enslaving of our fellow-creatures;" and
Whereas (to quote the language of Josiah Quincy, Sen.), "Scar-"The arm of the Union is the very sinew of the subjection of the Slaves; it is the Slaveholder's main strength; its continuance is his forlorn hope;" and
MONTGOMERY, June 15, 1858. DEAR SIR: Your kind favor of the 15th is received
Whereas (to quote the language of Mr. Underwood, of Kentucky, as uttered on the floor of Congress), "The Dissolution of the Union, making the Ohio River and Mason and Dixon's line the boundary line, is the Dissolution of Slavery. It had been the common practice for Southern giv-men to get up on this floor and say, 'Touch this subject and we will Dissolve the Union as a remedy.' Their remedy was the destruction of the thing which they wished to save, and any sensible man could see it ;" and
I hardly agree with you that a general movement can be made that will clear out the Augean stable. If the Democracy were overthrown, it would result in ing place to a greater and hungrier swarm of flies.
The remedy of the South is not in such a process. It is in a diligent organization of her true men for prompt resistance to the next aggression. It must come in the nature of things. No national party can save us; no sectional party can ever do it. But if we could do as our fathers did-organize committees of safety all over the Cotton States (and it is only in them that we can hope for any effective movement)-we shall fire the Southern heart, instruct the Southern mind, give courage to each other, and at the PROPER MOMENT, by one organized concerted action, we can precipitate the Cotton Stites into a revolution.
Whereas (to quote the language of Mr. Arnold, of Ten nessee, on the same occasion), "The South has nothing to rely on, if the Union be Dissolved; for, supposing that Dissolution to be effected, a million of Slaves are ready to rise and strike for Freedom at the first tap of the drum :" therefore,
1. Resolved, That in advocating the Dissolution of the Union, the Abolitionists are justified by every precept of the Gospel, by every principle of morality, by every claim of humanity; that such a Union is a "Covenant with The idea has been shadowed forth in the South by Death," which ought to be annulled, and "an agreement Mr. Ruffin; has been taken up and recommended in with Hell," which a just God cannot permit to stand; and The Advertiser (Published at Montgomery. Alabama), that it is the imperative and paramount duty of all whe under the name of "League of United Southerners," who, would keep their souls from blood-guiltiness, to deliver the keeping up their old party relations on all other ques-oppressed out of the hand of the spoiler, and usher in the tions, will hold the Southern issue paramount, and will day of Jubilee; to seek its immediate overthrow by all influence parties, legislatures, and statesmen. I have no righteous instrumentalities. time to enlarge, but to suggest merely. In haste, yours, etc.,
TO JAMAS S. SLAUGHTER, Esq.
W. L. YANCEY.
The Montgomery (Ala.) Confederation thus gives the record of the leading secession delegates from the Charleston Convention from that State. It says:
No one can be deceived as to what are the objects of the Charleston Convention. Listen to what their men say:
"I want the Cotton States precipitated into a revolution."- Wm. L. Yancey.
"If I had the power, I would dissolve this Government in two minutes."-J. T. Morgan. "Let us break up this rotten, stinking, and oppressive Government."-George Gayle.
"Resistance! Resistance to death against the ernment is what we want now."-David Hubbard.
AN ANTI-SLAVERY VIEW OF DISUNION.
2. Resolved, That (to quote the language of William H. Seward) "they who think this agitation is accidental, unnecessary, the work of interested or fanatical agitators,
and therefore ephemeral, mistake the case altogether: it is an Irrepressible Conflict between opposing and enduring forces and it means that the United States must and will, sooner or later, become either entirely a Slaveholding Natior or entirely a Free Labor Nation. It is the failure to apprehend this great truth that induces so many unsuccessful attempts at final Compromise between the Free and Slave States; and it is the existence of this great fact that renders all such pretended Compromises, when made, vain and ephemeral." Therefore,
3. Resolved, That no matter how sincerely or zealously any Political Party may be struggling with side issues, in relation to Slavery, to prevent its extension, or otherwise cripple its power, while standing within the Union and Gov-attack the Institution itself, its position is morally indesanctioning its Pro-Slavery Compromises, and refusing to
The following Resolutions, prepared by Wm. Lloyd Garrison, were adopted at a Convention of the non-voting Abolitionists (better known as Garrisonians), at Albany, New-York, on the 2d of February, 1859:
fensible; it rests upon a sandy foundation; its testimonies are powerless, and its example fatal to the cause of liberty: hence we cannot give it any support.
4. Resolved, That "better a thousand times that all North America should be obliterated by a concurrence of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as a dead, revenging sea over buried Cities, than that we, after all our light and Liberty, should live only by removing the truth that gave us being, or should set the example to a terrified and struggling world of a Nation claiming and daring to exist Whereas (to quote the language of John Quincy Adams), only by sustained and sanctified oppression."
THE POWER OF THE SUPREME COURT.
In view of the Dred Scott dicta and other encroachments upon the Liberties of the People and the rights of the States, that may well be apprehended from future decisions of a Federal partisan Judiciary, the opinions of the leaders of the old Jeffersonian Republican party on the powers and duties of the Supreme Court become matter of public interest.
OPINIONS OF THOMAS JEFFERSON.
Under date of Montecello, Dec. 25, 1820, he writes to Thomas Ritchie as follows:
The Judiciary of the United States is the subtle corps of sappers and miners constantly working under-ground to undermine the foundations of our confederated fabric. They are construing our Constitution from a coordination of a general and special government to a general and supreme one alone.
On the 18th of August, 1821, Mr. Jefferson writes to Mr. C. Hammond, as follows:
In a letter to John Adams, dated Sept. 11, never shrunk from its expression, that the germ of disso1804, Mr. Jefferson says:
You seemed to think that it devolved on the Judges to decide on the validity of the Sedition Law. But nothing in the Constitution has given them a right to decide for the Executive, more than the Executive to decide for them. Both magistrates are equally independent in the sphere of action assigned to them. The Judges, believing the law constitutional, had a right to pass a sentence of fine and imprisonment, because the power was placed in their hands by the Constitution. But the Executive, believing the law to be unconstitutional, were bound to remit the execution of it, because that power had been confided to them by the Constitution."
Again, in a letter to Judge Roane, dated Poplar Forest, Sept. 6, 1819, Mr. Jefferson remarks:
In denying the right they usurp in exclusively explaining the Constitution, I go further than you do, if I understand rightly your quotation from the Federalist, of an opinion that "The Judiciary is the last resort in relation to the other departments of the Government, but not in relation to the rights of the parties to the compact under which the Judiciary is derived.". If this opinion be sound, then indeed is our Constitution a complete felo de For intending to establish three departments, coördinate and independent, that they might check and balance one another, it has given, according to this opinion, to one of them alone the right to prescribe rules for the government of the others, and to that one, too, which is unelected by and independent of the nation. The Constitution, on this hypothesis, is a mere thing of wax, in the hands of the Judiciary, which they may twist and shape into any form they please. It should be remembered, as an eternal truth in politics, that whatever power in any government is independent, is absolute also; in theory only at first, while the spirit of the people is up, but in practice as fast as that relaxes. Independence can.be trusted nowhere but with the people in mass. They are inherently independent of all but moral law. My construction of the Constitution is very different from that you quote. It is that each department is truly independent of the others, and has an equal right to decide for itself what is the meaning of the Constitution in the cases submitted to its action, and especially where it is to act ultimately and without appeal. In a letter to Mr. Jarvis, dated Monticello, Sept. 28, 1820, Mr. Jefferson says:
It has long, however, been my opinion, and I have lution of our Federal Government is in the constitution of the Federal Judiciary-an irresponsible body, working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little to-morrow, and advancing its noiseless step, like a thief, over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped from the States, and the Government of To this I am opposed; beall be consolidated into one. cause, when all government, domestic and foreign, in little as in great things, shall be drawn to Washington as the centre of all power, it will render powerless the checks provided of one Government on another, and will become as venal and oppressive as the Government from which we separated. It will be as in Europe, where every man must be either pike or gudgeon, hammer or anvil. Our functionaries and theirs are wares from the same workshop, made of the same materials, and by the same hand. If the States look with apathy on this silent descent of their Government into the gulf which is to swallow all, we have only to weep over the human char acter, formed uncontrollable but by a rod of iron, and the blasphemers of man as incapable of self-gove.nment, become his true historians.
In a letterto Judge Johnson, dated Monticello, March 4, 1820, he says
I cannot lay down my pen without recurring to one of the subjects of my former letter, for, in truth, there is no danger I apprehend so much as the consolidation of our Government by the noiseless, and therefore unalarming, instrumentality of the Supreme Court. This is the form in which Federalism now arrays itself.
In a letter dated June 12, same year, he says, The practice of Judge Marshall, of traveling out of his case to prescribe what the law would be in a moot case not before the court is very irregular and very censurable.
In writing to Mr. W. H. Torrance, June 11, 1815, Mr. Jefferson says:
with exclusive authority to decide on the constitutionality The second question, whether the judges are invested with me in the exercise of official duties. Certainly of a law, has been heretofore a subject of consideration there is not a word in the Constitution which has given that power to them more than to the Executive or Legislative branches. Questions of property, of character, and of crime, being ascribed to the judges through a definite course of legal proceeding, laws involving such You seem, in pages 84 and 148, to consider questions, belong, of course, to them; and as they decide the Judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional on them ultimately, and without appeal, they, of course, questions-a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one decide for themselv. 8. The constitutional validity of the which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy. law or laws again prescribing executive action, and to Our judges are as honest as other men, and not more so. be administered by that branch ultimately, and without They have, with others, the same passions for party, for appeal, the Executive must decide for themselves, also, power, and the privilege of their corps. Their maxim is, whether, under the Constitution, they are valid or not. boni judicis est ampliare jurisdictionem," and their So also, as to laws governing the proceedings of the Legpower the more dangerous as they are in office for life, islature, that body must judge for itself the constitutionand not responsible, as the other functionaries are, to the ality of the law, and equally without appeal or control elective control. The Constitution has erected no such from its coördinate branches. And, in general, the single tribunal, knowing that, to whatever hands confided, branch which is to act ultimately, and without appeal or with the corruptions of time and party, its members would any law, is the rightful expositor of the validity of the become despots. It has more wisely made all the depart-law, uncontrolled by the opinions of the other coördi ments co-equal and co-sove: eign within themselves.
John Taylor, of Caroline, Va., who used in his day to speak and write "as one having authority" in the old Jeffersonian Republican party, in an essay entitled "New Views of the Constitution," says:
The perseverance of the gentleman in favor of a National Government proves that the subject was thoroughly considered; and the solemn preference of the Federal form demonstrates that no construction' by which the preference will be frustrated can be just. Its basis was State sovereignty, compatible with a federal limited Government, but incompatible with a supreme National Government. Hence State Sovereignty was denied by the gentlemen who proposed a National Government. This sovereignty is the foundation of all
the powers reserved to the States. Unless they are sus ained by it, they are baseless. State legislative, executive, and judicial powers, must all or none flow from this source. All are necessary to sustain the State Republican Governments. Subject either to a master, and the others become subject to the same master. If the State judicial power, as flowing from State SOVreignty, is not independent, State legislative and excutive power cannot be independent, because all rest. upon the same foundation; and because if a supreme federal Judiciary can control State Courts, it can also control State Legislatures and Executives. Thus a federal form of Government would be rejected, though it was established, and a National Government would be established, though it was rejected.
The legal features of the Constitution, in relation to judges, is expressed in the sixth article: "The stitution is the supreme law of the land, and the judges in every State are to be bound thereby." Can the judgments of the Federal court be a supreme law over this supreme law? Is there no difference between the supremacy of a Federal court over inferior Federal courts, and the supremacy of the Constitution over all courts? The supremacy of the Constitution is a guaranty of the independent powers, within their respective spheres, allowed by the Federalist to the State and Federal Governments. A supremacy in the court might abridge or alter these spheres. The State judges are bound by the Constitution and by an oath to obey the supremacy of the Constitution, and not even required to obey the supremacy of the Federal court. Why are all the departments of the State and Federal Governments equally bound to obey the supremacy of the Constitution? Because the State and Federal Governments were considered as checking or balancing departments. Had either been considered as subordinate to a supremacy in the other, it would have been tyrannical to require it by an oath to support the supremacy of the Constitution, and also to break that oath by yielding to the usurped supremacy of the other.
for that I think I have shown to be impossible, with the sise, and because the people have retained in their own powers which the Legislature may safely use and exerhands the power of controlling and directing the Legislature, by their immediate and mediate elections of President, Senate, and House of Representatives.-See ib., page 73.
Mr. Cocke, of Tennessee, on the same subject, said:
We have been told that the nation is to look up to these immaculate judges to protect their liberties; to protect the people against themse.ves.-Ib., page 75. In the House, Robert Williams, of North Carolina, said:
If this doctrine is to extend to the length gentlemen contend, then is the sovereignty of the Government to be swallowed up in the vortex of the Judiciary. Whatever the other departments of the Government may do, they can undo. You may pass a law, but they can annulit. Will not the people be astonished to hear that their laws depend upon the will of the judges, who are themselves independent of all law ?-1b., pages 531, 532.
John Randolph, of Roanoke, said:
But, sir, if you pass the law, the judges are to put their veto upon it by declaring it unconstitutional. Here is a new power, of a dangerous and uncontrollable nature, contended for. The decision of a constitutional question must rest somewhere. Shall it be confided to men imCon-mediately responsible to the people, or to those who are irresponsible? for the responsibility by impeachment is little less than a name. From whom is a corrupt decision most to be feared? To me it appears that the power which has the right of passing, without appeal, on the validity of your laws, is your sovereign. But, sir, are we not as deeply interested in the true exposition of the Constitution as the judges can be? With all due deference to their talents, is not Congress as capable of forming a correct opinion as they are? Are not its members acting under a responsibility to public opinion, which can and will check their aberrations from duty ? Let a case, not an imaginary one, be stated: Congress violates the Constitution by fettering the press; the judi cial corrective is applied to; far from protecting the liberty of the citizen, or the letter of the Constitution you find them outdoing the legislature in zeal; pressing the common law of England to their service where the sedition law did not apply. Suppose your reliance had been altogether on this broken staff, and not on the elective principle? Your press might have been enchained till doomsday, your citizens incarcerated for life, and where is your remedy? But if the construction of the Constitution is left with us, there are no longer limits to our power; and this would be true, if an appeal did not lie through the elections, from us to the nation, to whom alone, and not a few privileged individuals, it belongs to In their inquisitorial capacity, the Supreme Court, redecide, in the last resort, on the Constitution. lieved from the tedious labor of investigating judicial. points by the law of the last session, may easily direct the Executive, by mandamus, in what mode it is their pleasure that we should execute his functions. They will. also have more leisure to attend to the legislature, and forestall, by inflammatory pamphlets, their decisions on. all important questions; whilst, for the amusement of the
During the administration of John Adams, the Judiciary system was remodeled in such way as to create a large number of Circuit Judgeships, and to make the Supreme Court simply a Court of Appeal from the inferior jurisdictions. After the election of Mr. Jefferson, with a Republican (Democratic) majority in Congress the act was repealed.
During the debate in the Senate, which was protracted, on this repeal bill, Mr. Jackson of Georgia, said:
We have been asked if we are afraid of having an army of judges? For myself, I am more afraid of an army of judges under the patronage of the President, than of an army of soldiers. The former can do us more harm. They may deprive us of our liberties, if attached to the Executive, from their decisions; and from the tenure of office contended for, we cannot remove them; while the soldier, however he may act, is enlisted, or if not enlisted, only subsisted for two years; whilst the judge is enlisted for life, for his salary cannot be taken from him.-See Annals of Congress, 1801-2, page 47.
During the same discussion, Mr. Mason, of Virginia, said:
The objects of courts of law, as I understand them, are to settle questions of right between suitors, to enforce obedience to the laws, and to protect the citizens against the oppressive use of power in the Executive offices. Not to protect them against the Legislature,
public, we shall retain the right of debating, but not of voting.-Ib., pages 661, 662.
Nathaniel Macon, of North Carolina, said:
We have heard much about the judges, and the neces sity of their independence. I will state one fact, to show that they have power as well as independence. Soon after the establishment of the Federal Courts, they issued a writ-not being a professional man, I shall not undertake to give its name-to the Supreme Court of North. Carolina, directing a case then depending in the State Court to be brought into the Federal Court. The State judges refused to obey the summons, and laid the whole proceedings before the legislature, who approved their
conduct, and, as well as I remember, unanimously;
and this in that day was not called disorganizing.—Ib. page 711.
John Bacon, of Massachusetts, said:
The Judiciary have no more right to prescribe, direct, or control the acts of the other departments of the Gov