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Mr. Browy. I made no personal allusion to the gentleman from Northampion. I said that the people might suspect that something was wrong. If the gentleman has taken what I said to himself, the fault is not with me.
Mr. Porter. Sir, I take none of it to myself. The shoe does not fit. And, I say, that I generally find that a man who is so prone to impute improper motives to others, has enough work to do at home, if he will turn his attention to it.
I have been in favor of giving as much stability to our supreme court as we could give to it. This convention decided against the tenure of good behavior, and decided that the judges of the supreme court should hold their offices for the term of fifteen years after the adoption of the amendments to the constitution. Believing, as I do, that the present judges of the supreme court of Pennsylvania are as competent, as faithful, and as honest as any others that could be found, and as they are with. out charge or accusation of any kind made against them, I thought that this convention was as competent to appoint them for the period which has been fixed upon for the judicial tenure, as any governor and senate who might be elected under this constitution. I, therefore, offered my amendment this morniug, which I offered yesterday in committee of the whole, and which, I am gratified to say, found favor with the majority of this body. I believe it a decision of more importance than any other which we have made since the commencement of our labors. The objection to it is this :-Delegates are apprehensive that the judges will all live for fifteen years—that their commissions will all expire at one time, and, consequently, that the governor and the senate will have to re-appoint them all in the year 1854. Now, if gentlemen will look at the table of the chances of life, they will find that, according to it, such is not likely to be the condition of things; and that the very graduation which they would fix at certain periods of time will, according to the ordinary operation of nature, take place without their aid.
But my objection to legislating out of office the judges of the supreme couri, before the lerm for which they were appointed, is this : that I do not like to see a man legislated out of office for no offence. I have spoken of the judges of the supreme court, because the arguinents on the other side, if arguments they can be called, appear all to have been directed against my amendment. The reasons which induced me to move it, I have already stated. I do not intend to recapitulate them, and I should not have spoken at present, if it had not been for the language of the gentleman from the county of Philadelphia, (Mr. Brown) for which I took occa. sion to call him to order. I certainly did understand him to speak of members on this floor. lawyers who were practising in the supreme court, and having the fear of that court before their eye, and acting under such influences.
Mr. Brown, of Philadelphia. I did not say so. I merely said that the people might suspect such a thing, seeing that other judges had been otherwise treated. I imputed nothing to any delegate here.
Mr. PORTER resumed. I did not then mis-apprehend the gentleman from the county of Philadelphia. He repeats that the people might think 80, and, I repeat, that if they do think so, it will be at his suggestion. He is not willing to start the thing himself, but he throws out a suggestion for others to take hold of. I do not admire this sort of argument. But the gentleman is welcome to his mess in any way in which he can cook it up.
In regard to the president judges, I have nothing to say. As a body, I believe they are equal to any other judges, of the same class, in the United States or elsewhere. There are some among them who probably have not attained as much excellence as others, but as a body, I repeat, I think them equal to any other. I believe that what has been done in relation to the judiciary, has been directed more against the judges of the court of common pleas, than against those of the supreme court. If there have been any complaints on the part of the people, I know nothing of them. The gentleman from Luzerne, (Mr. Woodward) states, very properly I suppose, that there have been complaints in relation to certain judges, and I see that he has taken care to provide for his own immediate neighbors. It is probable they are the first in commission, but at any rate they are to have his special favor.
The question was then called for by Mr. Doran, and twenty-nine others rising in their places.
And on the question,
The yeas and nays were required by Mr. Dickey and Mr. REIGART, and are as follow, viz:
Yeas.—Messrs. Agnew, Baldwin, Barclay, Barndollar, Barnitz, Bedford, Bigelow, Brown, of Northampton, Carey, Chambers, Chandler, of Philadelphia, Chauncey, Clapp, Clarke, of Beaver, Clark, of Dauphin, Cochran, Cope, Cunningham, Darrah, Denny, Dickerson, Voran, Dunlop, Gilmore, Hastings, Hays, Henderson, of Dauphin, High, Hopkinson, Houpt, Hyde, Jenks, Konigmacher, Long, Mann, M’Sherry, Meredith, Merrill, Miller, Porter, of Lancaster, Porter, of Northampton, Purviance, Reigart, Ritter, Rogers, Russell, Saeger, Scheetz, Scott, sill, Snively, Sterigere, Sturdevant, Weidman, White, Woodward, Young, Sergeant, President–58.
Nars-Messrs. Banks, Bell, Bonham, Brown, of Lancaster, Brown, of Philadelphia, Butler, Clarke, of Indiana, Cleavinger, Cline, Coates, Cox, Crain, Crawford, Crum, Cummin, Curll, Darlington, Dickey, Dillinger, Donagan, Donnell, Earle, Fleming, Foulkrod, Fry, Fuller, Gamble, Gearhart, Grenell, Harris, Hayhurst, Henderson, of Allegheny, Hiester, Ingersoll, Keim, Kennedy, Krebs, Lyons, Maclay, Magee, Martin, M'Cahen, Merkel, Montgomery, Myers, Nevin, Overfield, Payne, Pennypacker, Read, Riter, Royer, Sellers, Serrill, Shellito, Smith, of Columbia, Smyth, of Centre, Stickel, Taggart, Thomas, Todd—61.
So the amendment to the amendment was rejected. Mr. Bell, of Chester, moved to amend the amendment by striking therefrom all after the word “the," where it first occurs, and inserting in lieu thereof, the following, viz:-“ President judges of the several judicial districts of tbis commonwealth, and the associate judges of the first judicial district, shall continue to hold their respective offices for the term of ten years, and the other associate judges for the term of five years, from and after the adoption of the amendments to to constitntion, if they shall so long behave themselves well.”
Mr. Dickey, of Beaver, moved that the convention do now adjourn, which was disagreed to.
VOL. XIII. G :
Mr. BANKS, of Mifflin, said he was gratified by this indication of fair. ness on the part of the gentleman from Chester, and that the gentleman should have his vote. He hoped, since the tenure of the judges of the supreme court had been fixed at fifteen years, that the convention would continue the president judges for ten years. The report of the minority of the committee was based on this principle. There was not any member who had any desire to treat badly the supreme julges. They are regarded as of high' station, and deserving of confidence. But the coinmittee could not see the propriety of making provision for the president judges. Now, as we are to allow the supreme judges a tenure of fifteen years, he hoped we should continue the president judges for ten years."
Mr. SHELLITO, of Crawford, said, that according to justice, this proposition should be adopted. One class of judges should be put on an equality with the other. If one was subjected to graduated terms, he could not object that the other should be the same. But, if we establish an inequaliiy, the people will spurn our work with indignation. We must carry out the principle to the president judges, the associate judges, and the other magistrates. It was inere nonsense to say otherwise.
Mr. Read moved that the convention do now adjourn.
Mr. MEREDITH asked for the yeas and nays on this motion, and they were ordered.
The question was then taken, and decided in the affirmative, as tol. lows, viz :
Yeas.-Messrs. Banks, Barclay, Barnitz, Bedford, Bonham, Brown, of Northampton. Brown. of Philadelphia, Clarke, of Indiana, Cline, Cope, Crain, Cummin, Cunningham. Curll. Dickey, Dickerson, Donnell, Earle, Fleming Foulkrod, Fry, Gamble, Grenell. Harris, Hastings, Henderson, of Allegheny, Henderson, of Dauphin, Hiester, High. Hyde. Ingersoll, Keim, Kennedy, Konigmacher, Krebs, Lyons, Maclay, Magee, Mann, Martin, M'Cahen, M'Dowell, Miller, Montgomery, Myers, Nevin, Overfield, Payne, Read, Riter, Ritter, Rogers, Scheetz, Sellers, Serrill, Shellito, Sill, Smith, of Columbia. Smyth, of Centre, Stickel, Sturdevant, Taggart, White, Woodward-64.
Nárs.-Messrs. Agnew, Baldwin, Barndollar, Bell, Bigelow, Brown, of Lancaster, Butler, Chambers, Chauncey, Clapp, Clarke, of Beaver, Cleavinger, Cox, Crawford, Crum, Darlington, Darrah, Denny, Dillinger, Donagan, Doran, Dunlop, Fuller, Gilmore, Hayhurst, Hays, Hopkinson, Houpt, Jenks, M'Sherry, Meredith, Merrill, Merkel, Pennypacker, Porter, of Lancaster, Porter, of Northampton, Purviance, Reigart, Royer, Russell, Saeger, Scott, Snively, Sterigere, Thomas, Todd, Weidman, Young, Sergeant, Président—49.
So the question was determined in the affirmative.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 1838.
Mr. CHAMBERS, of Franklin, submitted the following resolution, which was laid on the table for future consideration, viz:
Resolved, That there be paid to T. J. Becket, in addition to the daily pay allowed him by the committee of accounts, the sum of fifty dollars, for his services as door-keeper for the present session of the convention."
A motion was made by Mr. Porter, of Northampton, and read as follow3, viz :
Resolved, That the engrossed constitution, as amended by this convention, shall be signed in alphaletical order by themembers and officers thereof, on the twenty-second day of February instant, at eleven o'clock, A. M., in convention.
Which was laid on the table for future consideration.
A motion was made by Mr. Cline, of Bedford, and read as follows, viz :
Resolved, That in the opinion of this convention, the legislature ought to continue to provide by law, for the establishment of common schools throughout the state, and to make such further enactments on this subject as will be most likely to secure the benefits of instruction to all the children of this commonwealth.
Mr. Cline asked leave to state to the convention his reasons for offer. ing the said resolution.
And on the question,
That the convention proceed to the second reading and consideration of the said resolution.'
And on the question,
The yeas and nays were required by Mr. Cline and Mr. DARLINGTON, and are as follow, viz:
YEAs— Messrs. Agnew, Ayres, Baldwin, Banks, Barndollar, Bedford, Biddle, Brown, of Northampton, Carey, Chandler, of Philadelphia, Clapp, Clarke, of Ins diana, Cline, Coates, Cochran, Cox, Cummin, Curll, Denny, Doran, Earle, Farrelly, Fleming, Foulkrod, Grenell, Hastings, Helffenstein, Henderson, of Dauphin, Hiester, Ingersoll, Jenks, Kennedy, Konigmacher, Maclay, M’Sherry, Meredith, Mont. gomery, Myers, Porter, of Lancaster, Porter, of Northampton, Royer, Russell, Scott, Serrill, Sill, Stevens, Taggart, Thomas, Todd, Young, Sergeant, President–51.
Nars-Messrs. Barclay, Barnitz, Bigelow, Bonham, Brown, of Lancaster, Chambers, Clark, of Dauphin, Crain, Crawford, Crum, Cunningham, Darlington, Darráh, Dickey, Dickerson, Dillinger, Donagan, Donnell, Forward, Fry, Fuller, Gamble, Gearhart, Gilmore, Harris, Hayhurst, High, Hopkinson, Hyde, Keim, Krebs, Magee, Mann, M’Dowell, Merrill, Merkel, Miller, Nevin, Overfield, Pennypacker, Pur. viance, Read, Riter, Ritter, Saeger, Scheetz, Sellers, Seltzer, Shellito, Smith, of Columbia, Smyth, of Centre, Snively, Sterigere, Stickel, Weaver, White--56.
So the question was determined in the negative.
was referred the resolution on the subject of printing the constitution and amendments in pamphlet form, made report as follows, viz:
“ That although a special provision is made in the sixth section of the act of 29th March, 1836, for the publication of the said constitution and amendments, in the several newspapers of the cities and counties of the commonwealth ; yet as vast numbers of the people seldom see a paper, and as no country paper is sufficiently large to contain the said constitution and amendments, and must necessarily publish them in a detached form at different times, thus affording very imperfect information ; therefore,
Resolved, That twelve thousand copies in English, and three thousand copies in German, of the said constitution and amendments, shall be printed in pamphlet form, to be equally apportioned among the members of the convention, and delivered or forwarded to them for distribution.
Resolved, That the expense of said printing, and all other expensee incident thereto, be settled and adjusted by the accounting officers of this commonwealth.
Mr. CurlL moved that the convention do now proceed to the second reading and consideration of the said report and resolutions, which was agreed to.
The first resolution of the report being under consideration, as follows, viz :
Resolved, That twelve thousand copies in English, and three thousand copies in German, of the said constitution and amendments, shall be printed in pamphlet form, to be equally apportioned among the members of the convention, and delivered or forwarded to: them for distribution.
Mr. HIESTER of Lancaster, rose and said :
He did not know whether the three thousand copies in German was the proper number. Of the Debates and Journals of the convention, an equal number, in English and German, was ordered to be printed. In order in test the sense of the house as to the number which would be equisite, he would make this suggestion : that the secretary should call over the names of members, and each member should then say how many German copies would be sufficient for his district. He would, therefore, move to postpone the further consideration of the resolution, for the pur. pose of calling over the names of the members, as he had suggested.
Mr. M'SHERRY, of Adams, said, it was probable that gentlemen would not be prepared to answer at this moment, and, therefore, it would be better to postpone the further consideration of the subject until to-mor
Mr. STERIGERE, said, that the proposition would probably occupy more time than the gentleman who had brought it forward imagined. It would be better to postpone the whole business until to-morrow. It was his opinion, that it would be better to make the number of German copies double that which was named in the resolution. The proportion of the number of German to that of English copies, was decidedly too small. The papers which are printed in the German language are much fewer than those which are printed in English, and, therefore, there was a. greater necessity that the numbers of the German copies of this publication should be greater than that of the English. He was disposed to make a motion to substitute the words “six thousand," for the words "three thousand.”
Mr. STERIGERE, of Montgomery, moved to postpone the further consideration of the subject for the present.