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that it is not wiser to have them attached to the court, that they may have the benefit of the arguments of eminent counsel on the final hearing, and the senators may have the advantage of conferring with them in the progress of the argument. On this point there can be no serious difference of opinion.

Mr. V. V. concluded by observing that he should not detain the committee, with any remarks upon the other parts of the amendment.

Remarks of Mr. Van Vechten, on the amendment offered by Mr. Tompkins, for abolishing the court of chancery, &c. October 26.

Mr. Van VECHTEN. I will not enquire into the motives which have produced this proposition. Its obvious effect is indisputable. If adopted, the offices of the chancellor and judges of the supreme court will become vacant whenever it is ratified by the people. Is this one of the objects for which the Convention was chosen? It can hardly be considered an amendment of the constitution; for the purpose of constitutional amendments, is to settle general and permanent fundamental provisions. The office of the article under consideration will have been performed the moment it is ratified-what necessity is there for it? The tenure of office of the Chancellor and judges is not altered, nor is the organization of the courts in which they preside changed. Hence, it seems that the only end to be attained by it, is to vacate their offices. Is this Convention prepared to incur the just reproach which such a step will merit? The majority has already agreed to an amendment by which the Chancellor and judges are made removable, upon the application of the two houses of the legislature, provided two-thirds of the members concur therein. If then your Chancellor, or any of the judges of your supreme court have done aught for which they deserve to be removed, the legislature will have competent power to effect their removal. I entreat the committee not to tarnish the character of the Convention, by sanctioning a proposition so wanton, so violent, and so unbecoming its dignity. But let me examine the prominent reasons which have been urged to support it. It has been alleged that some of the judges have lost the confidence of the public by becoming political partizans. I will not stop here to investigate the truth of their partizanship; but admitting it to be true, I ask the committee to consider dispassionately whether it justifies the proposition before us. Let it be remembered, that all our public officers from the highest to the lowest have taken an open, avowed and decided part in political conflicts for many years past. The judges are men of like passions and infirmities as other men-when I say this, I wish not to be misunderstood. I am free to declare that in my judgment, it is desirable and highly proper that the judiciary of the state should stand aloof from the violence of party collisions; but I must beg leave to add, that with the examples and excitements which have been made to bear upon some of its members, it was more to be desired than expected that they should have done so. Have they not again and again been invited 10 party councils-to aid in the formation of party plans, and to lend their influence to carry them into operation? And have not those invitations proceeded from men holding distinguished stations in the different departments of the government? Will gentlemen candidly tax their memories, and ponder on these questions; and if they do not admit of negative answers, with what propriety can we agree to a proposition for vacating the seats of any of the judges because they have participated in our party conflicts. Nor is this all-one of the judges against whom the proposition before us is directed, has been appointed by the legislature a party elector of president and vice president of the United States. Let me ask, would that appointment have been made, had he not been a firm and tried partizan? Did not some prominent republican members of this Convention assist in promoting and making it? If they did, is it consistent now to urge the removal of any of the judges for having taken a part in our political conflicts? The procedure appears to me unseemly, and cannot I apprehend escape the observation and reprobation of our constituents. I shall therefore vote against it from a sense of duty, uninfluenced by either party attachments or party resentments.

GEN. TALLMADGE's speech on the motion made by him in Convention, on the 31st day of October, to strike out the word "senate," and to insert "council," to the end, that a council of appointment be formed, consisting of the first eight senators elected under the new constitution; and so for the other three classes of senators, in rotation.

In support of this motion, Mr. Tallmadge said that the object of his present motion, to strike out "senate," and insert "council," was to call the attention of the house to the great and important principle of separating the departments of government. He wished, as far as possible, to disconnect the legislative from the executive powers; and, above all, he was unwilling to impose upon and connect the senate with the appointing power, which was the worst and most corrupt and corrupting portion of the executive duties. He believed that we had already gone so far as to injure the constitution by the plans proposed: and he was fearful that in the end a worse constitution would be presented than the one which we had been endeavouring to amend. The Convention had started upon the principle that it was necessary to keep the great departments of the government separate. It had been determined that the judiciary should be a distinct branch; and, therefore, it had been taken from the council of revision. And it was likewise conceded, that it was equally imporportant for the legislature to be a separate and an independent branch-the law-making power, and to interfere with no other department.

It would be extremely desirable that neither branch of the legislature should interfere with the appointing power; and, therefore, he would gladly provide for a council of eight to be elected, one from each senate district; but, as various other plans had been suggested to this Convention without success, it appeared there was no other acceptable mode than to have the legislature exercise it in some way; and as a less evil than the plan at present established, he would recommend that the eight senators annually elected, constitute a council, who, together with the governor, should be an appointing power, instead of the governor and whole senate.

Mr. T. was not disposed to break in upon the arrangement that had already been established, with respect to the appointment of officers in the different towns and counties of the state-he was an advocate for dispersing the appointing power, and sending to the several counties all the officers which were proper to be sent to be there elected, or otherwise appointed in the counties. He wished he might not be misunderstood. The proposed council was intended only to come in the place of the whole senate. He would only go so far as to include those who, by the present arrangement, must be appointed at the seat of government. These eight senators, coming immediately from the people, bringing with them their wishes and feelings, would be well prepared to exercise this power; and if the exercise of it is calculated to injure the character of our legislature, it would certainly be better in the hands of eight than thirty-two. By the provisions already adopted, we leave to the governor and senate the appointment of more than one thousand officers, and, because we cannot suit ourselves as to the mode of appointment for numerous classes of officers yet unprovided for, and feeling ashamed to impose all upon the senate, we flee the difficulty; and we have gravely determined that all officers, not provided for by this constitution, shall be appointed in such manner as the legislature shall direct. Let it be remembered that we have made no arrangement for the appointment of any of the inspectors, auctioneers, surrogates, health-officers, &c. &c. nor for the numerous class of officers who are to take the acknowledgment of deeds, and with various others, amounting to upwards of two thousand. All this has been left for the legislature to determine upon hereafter; and what can they do if the power is not marked out by the constitution? Was it intended to have these officers as the bantlings of party, as a sure source of legislative disorder, and to vibrate from one extreme to the other, as should best suit the corruption of the times? On a former occasion a proposition was presented to provide for the appointment of those minor officers, in the counties, and without placing any share of them in the hands of the senate; but this was rejected. What is the result of all our determinations, to separate and preserve the different branches of our government, independent of each other? After having

taken the judiciary from the council of revision, and abolishing the council of appointment, because it was contrary to the principles upon which our government ought to be established, to allow the legislature to mingle with the other departments of the government, we have finally hit upon a plan which puts the same power, that we dare not trust in both branches of the legislature, into the hands of the senate; and then we have provided further, that about three thousand appointments shall be left as a subject of future legislation. Is it expected that the appointment of these officers is to be given to the assembly as their portion of the patronage, and as an offset against the power bestowed upon the senate? With such plans, operating on numerous assemblies, who can expect purity in legislation? There appears to be no possible place to deposit this power but in the senate; and in order to preserve as much purity as is consistent, in that body, the plan of having eight is proposed. Notwithstanding all the exertion that has been made, and the anxiety that has been expressed, to disperse this contaminating power; we are putting it at last into a branch of the legislature which ought to be preserved from the pollution of local and party considerations. It is to guard against these difficulties and dangers, that I at this time press upon this Convention the consideration of a subject, with which is connected the dearest interests of the community, a virtuous legislature.

The Senate is to constitute the court of errors, and shall we, in addition to their legislative and judicial functions, add that of an appointing power; and by so doing, take that source of corruption, which we could not endure in both branches of the legislature, and place it in the Senate? In addition to the power of appointing, they are also to be the removing power of many officers not appointed by them. This is a radical mistake. (Here Mr. T. was interrupted by Judge Radcliff, who was desirous to know what the question was.)

Mr. T. was extremely happy that the gentleman had made the inquiry, as he would undoubtedly be the better prepared to judge upon its merits, and he hoped the gentleman would be willing to fall into the measure under consideration, and lend his aid in endeavouring to establish it.

We have next turned the senate into a court martial, to inquire into the character of militia officers, and it is really to be feared, that by intrusting them with so large a share of appointing power, we shall completely defeat the great object for which we have been so anxiously striving: and which it is supposed we have in a measure accomplished.

The plan which I propose to recommend is the following:

That the eight senators, composing the 4th class, shall constitute and be an executive council

That the governor shall nominate by message in writing, and with the consent of the said council, shall appoint all officers in this state; whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law. But the legislature may, from time to time, provide by law, for the election by the people, or other mode of appointment, for all city or county officers. Provided such law or alteration, shall not take effect until two years after the same shall be enacted.

This number of eight is, perhaps, better adapted to the examination of claims to office, and charges against officers than the whole senate; and it certainly cannot interfere so much with the purity of legislation, as the plan of having the whole number of thirty-two engaged in this appointing power. It is notorious that vacancies may happen in the offices of our government, in which case it will be extremely inconvenient to wait for the convening of our legislature, before they can be filled; and to convene the senate for that express purpose, would be attended with a very serious expense.

We have been told by one of the highest judicial characters in the State, (the chancellor) that his term of service must expire within a year and a half; and this will occasion a vacancy in midsummer. Shall there be a suspension of the business of the court of chancery during the recess? for he cannot be permitted to hold over till the sitting of the legislature, or will the state go to the expense of calling the senate, to fill that vacancy?

It is to guard against some of the evils of which we have been admonished by experience, and to prevent corruption in the legislature that this subject is at

so late a period of our labours, submitted to the serious consideration of this convention.

Let it not be understood, said Mr. T. that by this plan I would in the least degree interfere with the laudable endeavours which have been directed to the dispersing of this power among the people, as much as can be consistent with true policy. There are many in this house who are not well satisfied with the idea of leaving so great a share of this power to the discretion of the Legislature, and what, in all probability, will ultimately fall back upon the senate.

Here Mr. T. begged the indulgence of the house whilst he should read a few words from President Adams' defence of the constitution of government, as follows:

"Hitherto we had heard nothing but of successive sovereign assemblies of the people's representatives; now indeed we learn that this assembly is to appoint judges, generals, and admirals; and a standing committee perhaps for the treasury, the admiralty, the customs, excise and foreign affairs. Whether these judges,and committees, and commanders, are to be members of the sovereign assembly, or whether their appointments are to vacate their seats, is not ascertained; but in either case it is obvious they will be the friends and confidents of the prevailing party in the house: they will be persons on whose friendship the major party in the assembly can rely to promote their views, by advancing their friends among their constituents, in order to procure a new election, or, in other words, a standing power; a thing which our author dreads so much in the representative assembly; and thus the whole executive and judicial power, and all the public treasure, is at once applied to corrupt the legislature and its electors. And what is it "to be accountable to the people's assemblies?" It is to be afraid to offend the strongest party in the house, by bestowing an office or deciding a cause, civil or criminal, against their inclinations.Corruption is let in in such a torrent, as the virtue of no people that ever lived, or will live, is able to resist, even for a few years; the gangrene spreads immediately through the whole body."

With these considerations, he submitted to the wisdom of the convention the proposition which he had read, and which, he flattered himself, if adopted, would be a means of preserving, in a measure, the purity of the legislature, by keeping from the senate a vast number of appointments, which must otherwise devolve upon that body.

Mr. Burrough's remarks on Mr. King's motion in Convention, on the right of Suffrage.

MR. BURROUGHS. Mr. President-I am surprised, that at this late period of the session, an attempt should be made to introduce a distinction between citizens of the same community, in the exercise of the right of suffrage; it seems to me to be an insult on the good sense of this Convention. We have at least three times voted this principle down by large majorities. At an early period of this session, an attempt was made, to require the citizen who approached the altar of liberty, (the ballot boxes,) to bring with him a little turf, as an offering, before he could be allowed to pay his devotion there. This, sir, was voted down by a large majority; next a little cash was required as a qualification; this also failed. Why then are we again called on to vote on a proposition of this kind? Do gentlemen believe that this Convention have so materially changed their minds on this subject, as to afford them a prospect of success? This may be possible, but I think hardly probable; and why this extreme anxiety to make this odious distinction, between citizens of a country, whose interests must be the same? Surely the mere payment of a six cent tax, cannot so far improve the judgment or heart of a man, as to render him a better voter than he was before, or than his honest neighbour that has not happened to pay this six cent tax; besides, this proposition is encumbered with qualifications difficult to define. How, I would ask, are a board of inspectors to determine the equity right of a person to land, on a contract to purchase? Are they to be vested with chancery powers for this purpose? If so, would they be competent to the proper exercise of such powers? Sir, the proposition is unreasonable, and impracticable, and cannot be carried into effect, and I therefore hope it will not prevail.

[At the extra session of the legislature, in November, 1820, a bill passed both Houses, by the provisions of which a Convention was to be called, without referring the question to the people in the first instance-delegates were to be chosen in February, 1821-and the convention to assemble in June following. This bill was sent to the council of revision, who returned it with the following objections, drawn up by Chancellor Kent, and concurred in by his Excellency Governor Clinton and Chief Justice Spencer, and dissented from by Justices Yates and Woodworth, Justices Van Ness and Platt, being absent.]

IN ASSEMBLY--Nov. 20th, 1820.

Objections of the council to the bill calling a Convention.

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Resolved, That it appears improper to the council, that the bill, entitled "an act recommending a Convention of the people of this state," should become a law of this state.

1. Because the bill recommends to the citizens of this state, to choose by ballot, on the second Tuesday of February next, delegates to meet in Convention, for the purpose of making such alterations in the constitution of this state, as they may deem proper, without having first taken the sense of the people whether such a Convention, for such a general and unlimited revisal and alteration of the consti tution, be, in their judgment, necessary and expedient.

There can be no doubt of the great and fundamental truth, that all free governments are founded on the authority of the people, and that they have, at all times, an indefeasible right to alter or reform the same, as to their wisdom shall seem meet. The constitution is the will of the people, expressed in their original character, and intended for the permanent protection and happiness of them and their posterity; and it is perfectly consonant to the republican theory, and to the declared sense and practice of this country, that it cannot be altered or changed, in any degree, without the expression of the same original will. It is worthy therefore, of great consideration, and may well be doubted, whether it belongs to the ordinary legislature, chosen only to make laws, in pursuance of the provision.s of the existing constitution, to call a Convention in the first instance, to revise, alter, and perhaps remodel, the whole fabric of the government, and before they have received a legitimate and full expression of the will of the people, that such changes should be made. The difficulty of acceding to such a measure of reform, without the previous approbation of the constituents of the government, presses with peculiar force, and with painful anxiety, upon the council of revision, which was instituted for the express purpose of guarding the constitution, against the passage of laws" inconsistent with its spirit."

The constitution of this state has been in operation upwards of forty years, and we have but one precedent on this subject, and that is the case of the Convention of 1801. But it is to be observed, that the Convention in that year was called for two specific objects only, and with no other power or authority whatsoever. One of these objects, was merely to determine the true construction of one of its ar ticles, and was not intended to alter or amend it; and the other was to reduce, and limit the number of the senators and members of assembly-The last was the single alteration proposed, and perhaps even with respect to that point, it would bave been more advisable, that the previous sense of the people should have been taken. But there is no analogy between this single and cautious case, and the measure recommended by the present bill, which is not confined to any specific object of alteration or revisal, but submits the whole constitutional charter, with all its powers and provisions, however venerable they may have become by time and valuable by experience, to unlimited revisal. The council have no evidence before them, nor does any legitimate and authentic evidence exist, that the people of this state think it either wise or expedient, that the entire constitution should be revised and probed, and perhaps disturbed to its foundation.

The council, therefore, think it the most wise and safe course, and most accord. ant with the performance of the great trust committed to the representative powers under the constitution, that the question of a general revision of it, should be submitted to the people in the first instance, to determine whether a Convention ought to be convened.

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