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correspond with this presumption, yet if it be in the main just, .It must destroy the supposition, that the sonate, who will merely sanction the choico of the executive, should feel a bias, towards the objects of that choice, strong enough to blind them to the evidencos of guilt so extraordinary, as to have induced the representatives of the nation to become its accusers. If any
further argument were necessary to evince the im. probability of such a bias, it might be found in the nature of the agency of the senate, in the business of appointments.
It will be the office of the president to nominate, and with tbe advice and consent of the senate to appoint. There will of course be no exertion of choice, on the part of the senate. They may defeat one choice of the executive, and oblige him to make another; but they cannot themselves choose—they can only ratify or roject the choice he may have made. They might even ontertain a proforence to somo othor porson, at tho very moment they were assenting to the ono proposod; because there might be no positive ground of opposition to him; and they could not be sure, if they withheld their assent, that the subsequent nomination would fall upon their own favourite, or upon any other person in their estimation more meritorious than the one rejected. Thus it could hardly happen, that the majority of the senate would feel any other complacency towards the object of an appointment, than such as the appearances of merit might inspire, and proofs of the want of it destroy.
A fourth objection to the senate, in the capacity of a court of impeachments, is derived from thoir union with the executive in the power of making treaties. This, it has been said, would constitute tho sonators their own judges, in every case of a corrupt or perfidious execution of that trust. After having combinod with the executivo in betraying tho interests of tho nation in a ruinous treaty, what prospect, it is asked, would there be of their being made to suffer the punishment they would deserve, when they were themselves to decide upon the
accusation brought against them for the treachery of which they had been guilty ? · This objection has been circulated with more earnestness and with a greater show of reason, than any other which has appeared against this part of the plan; and yet I am deceived if it does not rest upon an erroneous foundation.
The security essentially intended by the constitution against corruption and treachery in the formation of treaties, is to be sought for in the numbers and characters of those who are to make them. The JOINT AGENCY of the chief magistrate of the union, and of two-thirds of the members of a body selected by the collective wisdom of the legislatures of the several states, is designed to be the pledge for the fidelity of the national councils in this particular. The convention might with propriety have meditated the punishment of the executive, for a deviation from the instructions of the senate, or a want of integrity in the conduct of the negociations committed to him : They might also have had in view the punishment of a few leading individuals in the senate, who should have prostituted their influence in that body, as the mercenary instruments of foreign corruption : But they could not with more or with equal propriety have contemplated the impeachment and punishment of two-thirds of the senate, consenting to an improper treaty, than of a majority of that or of the other branch of the national legislature, consenting to a pernicious or unconstitutional law: a principle which I believe has never been admitted into any government. How, in fact, could a majority of the house of representatives impeach themselves ? Not better, it is evident, than two-thirds of the senate might try themselves. And yet what reason is there, that a majority of the house of representatives, sacrificing the intorests of the society, by an unjust and tyrannical act of legislation, should escape with impunity, more than two-thirds of the sonate, sacrificing the same interests in an injurious treaty with a foreign power? The truth is, that in all such cases, it is essential to the freedom, and to the necessary independence of the deliber
ations of the body, that the members of it should be exempt from punishment for acts done in a collective capacity; and the security to the society must depend on the care which is taken to confide the trust to proper hands, to make it their interest to execute it with fidelity, and to make it as difficult as possible for them to combine in any interest opposite to that of the public good.
So far as might concern the misbehaviour of the executive in perverting the instructions, or contravoning the viows of the senate, we need not be apprehensive of the want of a disposition in that body to punish the abuse of their confidence, or to vindicate their own authority. We may thus far count upon their pride, if not upon their virtue. And so far even as might concern the corruption of leading members, by whose arts and influence the majority may have been inveigled into measures odious to the community; if the proofs of that corruption should be satisfactory, the usual propensity of human nature will warrant us in concluding, that there would be commonly no defect of inclination in the body, to divert the public resentment from themselves, by a ready sacrifice of the authors of their mismanagement and disgrace.
NEW YORK, MARCH 11, 1788.
CONCERNING THE CONSTITUTION OF THE PRESIDENT: A GROSS AT TEMPT TO MISREPRESENT THIS PART OF THE PLAN DETECTED.
The constitution of the executive department of the proposed government, next claims our attention.
There is hardly any part of the system, the arrangement of which could have been attended with greater difficulty; and there is perhaps none, which has been inveighed against with less candour, or criticised with less judgment.
Here the writers against the constitution, seem to have taken pains to signalize their talont of misrepresentation. Calculuting upon the aversion of the people to monarchy, they have endeavoured to enlist all their jealousies and apprehensions in opposition to the intended president of the United States; not merely as the embryo, but as the full grown progeny of that detested parent. To establish the pretended affinity, they have not scrupled to draw resources even from the regions of fiction. The authorities of a magistrate, in a few instances greater, in some instances less, than those of a governor of New York, have been magnified into more than royal prerogatives. He has been decorated with attributes, superior in dignity and splendour to those of a king of Great Britain. He has been shown to us with a diadem sparkling on his brow, and the
imperial purple flowing in his train. He has been seated on a throne surrounded with minions and mistresses; giving audience to the envoys of foreign potentates, in all the superciJious pomp of majosty. The images of Asiatic despotism and voluptuousness, have not been wanting to crown the exaggerated scene. We have been taught to tremble at the terrific visages of murdering janisaries; and to blush at the unveiled mysteries of a future seraglio.
Attempts extravagant as these to disfigure, or rather to metamorphose the object, render it necessary to take an accurate view of its real nature and form; in order to ascertain its true aspect and genuine appearance, to unmask the disingenuity, and to expose the fallacy of the counterfeit resemblances which have been so insidiously, as well as industriously, propagated.
In the execution of this task, there is no man who would not find it an arduous effort either to behold with moderation, or to treat with seriousness, the devices not less weak than wicked, which have been contrived to pervert the public opinion in relation to the subject. They so far exceed the usual, though unjustifiable, licences of party-artifice, that even in a disposi tion the most candid and tolerant, they must force the senti. ments which favour an indulgent construction of the conduct of political adversaries to give place to a voluntary and unre. served indignation. It is impossible not to bestow the imputation of deliberate imposture and deception upon the gross pretence of a similitude between a king of Great Britain, and a magistrate of the character marked out for that of the president of the United States. It is still more impossible to withhold that imputation, from the rash and barefaced expedients which have been employed to give success to the attempted imposition.
In one instance, which I cite as a sample of the general spirit, the temerity has proceeded so far as to ascribe to the president of the United States a power, which by the instrument reported, is expressly allotted to the executives of the individual