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The Judicial System.
dence, as to gain by the judgment of one that I believed decided in my favor, he thinking that his own dec sion was wrong because, in such case, I would feel that neither my person nor property was safe. Take the Judges of the Supreme Court from all circuit duties, and you make them strangers to society; they will have no acquaintance with any portion of the profession, except the very few who may practice at their bar; let them then decide some favorite statute of some of your large sovereign States to be unconstitutional, and it will be found that they have not enough of character to sustain them. But keep each of them in the discharge of circuit duties, and they are all forced into society, in their respective circuits, they become personally and intimately known to most of the respectable men in those circuits; to clerks, marshals, jurors, witnesses, lawyers, bystanders; and, if they have integrity and talents to fit them for their high station, it becomes known, and felt, by the mass of society who are witnesses of their usefulness: then let them decide such a statute to be unconstitutional, (and so they ought to do, if such be the fact,) and then see how well public opinion will sustain them. The moment the decision is complained of, the inquiry by every man will be, did the Judge with whom I am acquainted, concur in that decision And, if answered in the affirmative, he will immediately say, the decision must be right, he is honest and enlightened, and would not have concurred unless the judgment were correct.
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never on individual responsibility; and always in presence only of the comparatively few, who may be attendant on the Supreme Court. By his plan, they will soon lose that manly independence so beneficial to society, and become mere drivellers, drones, ready to lean upon any associate, ambitious of distinction, and admirably fitted for any unworthy purposes to which a designing Executive may wish to apply them.
It is said that another misfortune from the proposed plan will be, that it will add to the existing grievance in the Supreme Court-delay. At the first view, there certainly appeared something very plausible in this objection; but, upon mature consideration, I think the business will rather be expedited by this additional number of justices, then otherwise.
How is the delay to be increased? Because, say gentlemen, each Judge must make himself acquainted with the contents of the record, and will take ten men longer to do so than seven.
This difficulty is in a good degree removed, if we suppose the Judges will make such arrangement, as that one shall read the record, and the other nine listen to him while reading it; upon this plan ten will become acquainted with its contents in as short a time as seven. But suppose some delay to be occasioned from this cause, it is more than counterbalanced by positive advantages by an increase of the number of Judges.
Have ten Judges of the Supreme Court performing the duties of Circuit Judges, and you bring to the Bench of the Supreme Court, in a short time, an intimate knowledge of the municipal laws of the respective States: when one of those causes depending for its decision upon any of those local laws shall be brought into the Supreme Court, the Court will at once be able to refer to all the statutes and
Again. You put a man at middle life upon the Bench well qualified for his station; make the Court stationary; take from the Judges all circuit duties; and, if he live to reasonable age, he will most probably die unqualified for his office. How will the Judges fill up the intervals of time between the sessions of the Supreme Court? It is answered by reading-I put it to every practical, well-decisions which ought to govern their judgment; whereas informed lawyer to say, whether it would not be more profitably employed in holding Circuit Courts. Take any one legal subject, and let the Judge be in search of information upon it, and, I say, he will, in my opinion, acquire more by hearing arguments upon it, for one day in the week, than he will by reading the whole week; and that which he has thus acquired, will remain with him for life.
now they are frequently at a loss to procure either the one
Suppose a case to be decided upon the local laws of Again. Take from them circuit duties, and a main stim- a State, and the State decisions to have fixed the conulus to exertion is destroyed; the mind is, for a consi-struction of a doubtful statute: but no book of reports derable portion of life, improved by use; one exertion containing those decisions to exist-How can the Suprepares it for another; and by repeated efforts, it ac- preme Court acquire the necessary information? Only quires a vigor and force not to be otherwise acquired. through the industry and research of the counsel emMake the Judges stationary, and they will soon content ployed. They may and often will report them differentthemselves with moderate labors; their reading will be ly, and leave the Court in great doubt. But pass this bill, alone; none to help them compare and examine ideas and one at least of the members of the Supreme Court collected from books; they will have no precise object will, on his circuit, have acquired a knowledge of those in view but keep them to the circuits, and there they decisions, and can give correct information to his brethren. will have every inducement to exertion; their conduct will But, sir, it has been urged that, by increasing the numbe in the view of the world; the causes openly argued;ber of Judges, you increase the number of causes in the the opinions of the Judge are formed for present use, Supreme Court, and of course must delay the decisions must be accompanied by his reasons to support them, de- there. To this argument I answer, first, it is not likely livered in presence of Jury, witnessess, parties, counsel, the fact will turn out to be as supposed: in all suits exand bystanders: If wrong, he will be called upon to re-ceeding the value of two thousand dollars writs of error examine them on a motion for a new trial, when their errors will be openly exposed, and they refuted. He will, therefore, have every inducement to continued and unremitted exertion and this very exertion will daily increase his capacity for usefulness.
can now be brought; if a Judge of the Supreme Court is associated with the District Judge on the trial below, and they concur in opinion, most frequently both parties will be satisfied, and no writ of error will be brought; whereas now, when the causes are decided below, by one man, On the plan proposed by this bill, you make the Judg- and he a District Judge, writs of error will be almost inva es men of vigorous minds, well stored with useful know-riably brought if there is the least room for a doubt. It ledge, capable of forming, and continually, not only forming, but actually expressing opinions for themselves.
On that proposed by the gentleman from Rhode Island, you will soon have your Judges book worms, if you choose, without any practical knowledge; their minds enervated for want of use, neither habituated to form, nor to express opinions for themselves; acting seldom or
is therefore most probable the number of writs of erro will be diminished in all those cases to which I have alluded.
But it is said now, no criminal case can be brought to the Supreme Court, nor can any civil one, when the matter in dispute is of less value than two thousand dollars; because, as the decisions will be by the District Judge alone, there can be no certificate of a division in opinion,
APRIL 12, 1826.]
The Judicial System.
by which means only such cases can be brought to the Supreme Court.
heretofore adopted; the only sensible alteration will be cuits; the business will be conducted upon the same plan We are creatures of habit, and I must regret that such an argument should be used to that, instead of one man upon the bench when the Courts defeat this bill. It conforms to the rules by which tyrants sit, there will be two. govern. The substance of it is, that it is better that a man any radical change in a judicial system, by which the setin one of those nine Western States, should be hanged tled habits of the People are disturbed, or changed, is or lose his property by the erroneous decision of the sin- not likely to succeed, even if the new would, in the end, gle Judge, than that a suitor from any other of the fifteen be better than the old; it is not likely that the new will States should have his suit delayed in the Supreme Court, be tolerated long enough to give it a fair experiment, unless the old has been found glaringly defective. In this by increasing the number of causes upon its docket. This argument cannot be tolerated; all are to be equal-instance this is not the case-the old has been tested and ly obedient to the same laws; all must be equally pro-approved, and, if now changed, as the gentleman wishes, tected by them. The main object of government, and the People will compel us to change back to that which one of its first duties, is, to protect, the innocent at the this bill proposes. same time that it punish the guilty. The citizens of one State are not to be unjustly punished, that those of another may have a speedy revision of their causes in the Supreme Court. The citizens of each are entitled to the same measure of justice, and an equal chance for a correct administration of it must be furnished to all. Will it be allowed that a citizen of Tennessee must submit to injustice, for no better reason than to enable a citizen of New York, or Rhode Island, to have his cause speedily decided | in the Supreme Court? It is hoped not.
Something was said about the weight of population, and that the proposed bill would give to the West more Judges than their relative numbers entitle them to.
Mr. President, I have not felt the force of any argument used upon this point. Before the judicial system of the United States is extended, there must be States; those States must have citizens living in them; and those citizens must have suits, or a reasonable prospect for suits of Federal jurisdiction to be decided, and whenever these things concur, your system, applicable to the other States, ought to be extended to embrace them.
It has been said that the system of 1801 did not go into operation; it was unpopular on account of those who proposed and adopted it, and, therefore, put down without a fair experiment. Be it so, and it is a proof of the correctness of my argument. The old system, that which we wish now to extend, had been adopted in 1789; its utility had been proved; without necessity a new experiment was made by the act of 1801, not called for by any existing grievance; the People would not submit to it; they put it down, and, with it, or rather before it, those who had brought it into existence. You now wish to reinquarter came the attack upon it. It was commenced by state that system to relieve the West. From that very Breckenridge, of Kentucky, and it was repealed. It is a mistake to suppose it never went into operation-it did No time was lost go into operation; we had the circuit system in operation, for a short time, both in Kentucky and Tennessee, the only two Western States then in existence. in putting it in operation any where, and but little lost in that of 1789 reinstated. Let us not repeat the expericommencing the struggle by which it was put down, and We need not flatter ourselves it will be better reTake a State composed of a number of counties, some ment. of them thickly populated, others with a population more ceived now than it was then. The system then approved, sparse: what would be thought of a legislature which, in is that which is still approved; pass this bill, and thereby devising a judicial system, would make one system for extend its benefits to the nine Western States. By this those counties of dense, another for those of thin popula- means you will keep the People happy and contented: tion? Would they act wisely or justly when they direct-but, disturb their settled habits, uselessly make the radied the courts in counties thinly settled, to be holden by a single Justice of the Peace, whose decision should be final; and the courts in the counties thickly settled, to be holden by a Justice of the Peace and a Judge of a Supreme Court; and that in all cases where they disagreed, no judgment should be entered until a Supreme Court, composed of seven men, should be consulted? All would concur in pronouncing such a course unwise and unjust; yet the very argument now used goes to justify such a system.
Upon this branch of the subject I hope it will be seen that, if this bill passes, the confidence reposed in the decisions in the Circuit Courts will tend to diminish rather than increase appeals; that the increased knowledge of local laws on the Supreme Bench will facilitate the decisions there, in place of delaying them; but that, if some delay should be produced, it is far better that should be submitted to, than that nine States should be compelled to live under a judicial system less favorable to the administration of justice than that which is afforded to the other fifteen.
There is another point of view in which this matter ought to be considered, when we are considering and comparing the utility of the bill upon your table, with the system of 1801, which the gentleman from Rhode Island desires to re-establish as a substitute for it.
cal change which gentlemen desire, and a struggle is again
Mr. President, we have borrowed many of our most valuable ideas upon legal subjects from Great Britain; but care must be taken not to copy too far. That country it has it perfectly in his power to acquire a knowledge of is of small extent, an Island; a Judge in any one part of the general laws applicable to the whole, and, also, of the particular customs applicable to any particular part. That is not our situation in the United States-our counCourt ought to be well acquainted with the general laws try is of immense extent; your Judges of the Supreme That which this bill proposes is a mere extension of the of nations; with your conventional laws; with the Conjudicial system, as it now exists, and has existed, in fifteen stitution and laws of the United States, and with the ConIts utility has been tested stitutions and laws of twenty-four distinct and indepenof the States, for many years. by experience, and its provisions have been generally ap-dent States, varying from each other in many important proved. If the bill passes, no change, even in the nine particulars. The same system which has been found well States, will be effected by which society can be disturbed; adapted to the one country, may be entirely unsuited to the Courts will sit at the same time in the respective cir- the other. Four Judges would be more likely to bring
The Judicial System.
[APRIL 12, 1826.
ing themselves acquainted with our actual condition. Had this been done upon the present occasion, I cannot but flatter myself that several of the difficulties, which seem to have occurred to the minds of some gentlemen, would
But it is said by gentlemen opposed to this bill, if it should pass, and you increase the number of Judges, and then it should be found that the usefulness of the Supreme Court is destroyed, the mischief is past remedy, because Congress, cannot, consistently with the Constitution, reduce the number.
This objection I think is more specious than solid. Suppose the increase to have taken place and to be found inconvenient, the grievance to be redressed will be common to the People of all the States, and if we are to live under a common Government, this will be perfectly fair; all will then have a common interest in redressing this, and how long do you think it would take to reduce the number as low as gentlemen would wish, say to their favorite number four?
all necessary legal knowledge into the Court of King's Bench, in England, than ten will be to bring all the legal knowledge necessary to the bench of the Supreme Court. The situation and circumstances of our own country must be carefully attended to, otherwise we shall do great mis-easily have been removed by their own sound judgment. chief by borrowing from others, and adopting systems not suited to the extent of our territory, to the circumstances, and situation, and habits, of our citizens, nor to the various and mutified peculiarities in our Federal and State laws. From no country upon earth can we expect a model which will suit us for a judiciary. Our country, and every thing in it, is upon a more extended scale; and our judiciary must be adapted to our own situation and circumstances. The politician, who will be useful in the United States, must permit his mind to comprehend the various interests of the different sections of country; the habits, customs, and pursuits of the People in different quarters-even their prejudices, if you choose-and, from all these considerations, enact his laws upon such principles as will secure the interests of the whole. He who will not permit his mind so far to expand as to embrace the whole extent of Would it not be very easy to provide that as time rehis own country, will always be in danger of inflicting moved the incumbents their places should not be filled? injury, while he intends to afford protection. Let us then and, in a few short years, gentlemen can atttain their obpass this bill; make our system co-extensive with the ject in a way entirely free from objection. Look to the country; adapt it to the wishes and expectations of socie-ages of the men upon the Bench; of those that would ty; place every State on an equal footing, in fact, with probably be qualified to go there, and all fears of this every other: we will then have made an effort upon this permanent mischief will vanish. My acquaintance with subject from which we have reason to anticipate much the members of that Court is of very modern date, and good. Should it, contrary to our expectations and wishes, even now, of the seven which I once found upon the be productive of mischief, the fifteen States which now Bench, two are removed; and it is rather a melancholy have an efficient system, can have no just cause of com-reflection that in the course of nature others must soon plaint the situation of all will be equal-the inconveni- follow them. ence will be common to all. We have a right to expect, and therefore do expect, this risk will be encountered in an attempt to do justice to all. Fifteen of the States now have a system with which they are satisfied: nine others ask to have the same system extended to them, that they may enjoy the common benefit. No, say they by doing so you compel us to run the risk of a worse system than we now have; say the nine, we think it will be an improvement, and it is much better you should hazard the change, than that we should have the certainty always of a bad and unequal system. I put it to the candor of gentlemen, to their sense of justice, to say whether they think it reasonable that these nine States should always remain in their present condition, solely from a fear that an extension of the system will deprive them of some benefits which they now experience? That is the true question now to be decided. Considerate men, willing to make the advantages and disadvantages of a common government common to all, can answer but one way.
But, sir, take the plan proposed by the gentleman from New Hampshire, recommit this bill to the Judiciary Committee, without any instruction what to do, and they must return it in the shape it now is, as containing the system least exceptionable which they can devise. This will produce delay, and, in the end, defeat the passage of the bill, in any shape, and thus the matter is to rest for another year.
Should a reduction in number be found indispensable, my plan would be, to wait the silent but sure operations of nature to make that reduction, and, in the course of a short period, gentlemen can have the number just that which may suit their views.
I am anxious for the passage of this bill; yet, to get it along, I am not prepared to profess any principle upon which I would not act, and therefore I will not say that if the increased number should be found to be an evil, that I would remedy that evil by changing the system and turning out a part of the Judges, and thus reduce the number. There is no necessity to resort to any such remedy, and I will never act upon a doubtful power, affecting so important a department, when, by a short delay, a remedy is sure to be within our reach which none can doubt our right to apply.
Some gentlemen seem really to doubt whether we have any great cause of complaint, as we have a system under which we have lived, and which is as much as our population entitles us to, if not more.
I assure the worthy gentleman who has had the trouble of all these calculations, that he and I, on this question, act on different principles, and therefore I have not, nor shall I weary either the Senate or myself to review and test the correctness of his tables. I would not even upon this question look over it, if he were so kind as to loan it me.
I know we have nine States called Western; that these
Gentlemen say they do not wish, indirectly, to defeat this measure; that they are very willing that any griev- States are settled by citizens of the United States; that ances which exist may be redressed; but, they think, these States have been admitted into the Union upon an may be redressed in some better mode. I am neither equal footing with the original States in all respects whatwilling nor inclined to doubt the sincerity of gentlemen ever; that those citizens have important interests to be dewho use this language, but words cost so much less than cided in the Federal Courts, both in the Circuits at home acts, that I wish to see some manifestation of a regard for and in the Supreme Court at Washington; that, accordour interest in acts done. When I think the course re-ing to the present organization of the Courts in those Cir. commended must end in a sacrifice of our interest, or at cuits, there is not a reasonable opportunity afforded for a least, a procrastination of the redress to which we are due administration of the laws; and that in the Supreme entitled, I cannot do less than resist it. When gentlemen Court, so far as their most important interests are conwish, seriously, to protect our interests, to redress our cerned, from its present organization, the chance for a due grievances, I should be gratified to find, from their argu- administration of the law is still less. Upon these princi ments, that they had used their common industry in mak-ples it is, that I contend the same systein which is found
APRIL 13, 1826.]
The Judicial System-Resciding Rules.
by experience to be beneficial in the other fifteen States, shall be extended to, and include these nine likewise. This I think we are entitled to demand: but I will not say we do so. There would neither be a propriety, nor a necessity for the use of such language in this body. It will always be sufficient here, to show, that a respectable portion of the Union labors under some inconvenience, which ought to be redressed and which can be redressed without endangering the whole, and that remedy will certainly be applied.
These things, it is hoped, have been shown, and I flatter myself our grievances will be now redressed by the passage of the bill upon your table.
Upon this subject, Mr. President, I am conscious I have consuined more of your time than I ought to have done. It is a subject upon which it is natural to expect that those representing States which feel that their interests have been too long overlooked or postponed, should manifest some solicitude. I have manifested none which I do not really feel, and as, in speaking, I have no object in view, but to express the opinions I entertain, in terms that cannot be misunderstood, I may sometimes use expressions not acceptable to the feelings of others; whenever this does happen I can only regret it, because nothing is farther from my wish than uselessly to wound the sensibility of any man living.
So far as I am concerned, in future, I shall endeavor to economize our time by remaining silent, when consistent with my duty I can do so; this is amongst the many evidences I furnish myself, that, as men advance in life, if they retain the faculty of knowing when they ought to commence speaking, they seldom do that of knowing when they ought to desist.
The bill was then laid over until the next day.
Mr. RANDOLPH rose, and said: Sometime ago, I gave notice to the Senate I would, unless the subject should be taken up by some other member of this body more able, but not more willing, to vindicate its privileges than myself, move for the recision of so much of the new rules of this House, which give to the presiding officer of this body the appointment of its committees, and the control over the Journal of its proceedings. I did give notice on both points, although, the debate being broken off abruptly, for reasons beyond my ken or control, notice appeared in the public papers on the first of these points only-the appointment of committees. I now rise to give notice that I shall, to-morrow, unless the subject be taken out of my hands by some one more capable of doing justice to it, move, and support with reasons for that measure, the restoration to this body of its ancient and accustomed privileges. This body exhibits a memorable, I will not say a lamentable, instance of the tendency of human affairs towards servitude and abuse. To get rid of the trouble of ballotting for committees, the subject was placed in the hands of your most lamented and venerable predecessor, who was a member of this House, who was responsible to us for his situation, and who exercised that trust under that responsibility; but who, by my vote, never should have been invested with it, or any other human being, unless, as Jefferson said, we could find angels in the shape of men. In consequence of a fact, as notorious as it was disgusting, the Journal was put under the control of the same presiding officer-a fact to which I allude no further than by the words which I uttered, because it was notorious and disgusting: that fact, with which other facts led to a state of things in tins country unexampled, but not unexampled elsewhere; one set of officers to do the duty, and another set to receive the salary. There was a time when these two expressions had their meaning: " sober as a judge," "as good as the bank;" but they have both Jost their meaning. If our officers cannot do their duty, fet us pat persons in their places that can do it. I rose to
give notice only. I shall go back and say, that the Secretary of this House being a sworn officer-being supposed to be competent-being supposed to be faithful-being supposed to be willing to do his duty-to him, and to him only, under the supervision of ourselves, can be safely trusted the control over the Journal, for reasons which I shall humbly submit, to this House to-morrow.
THURSDAY, APRIL 13, 1826.
then rose, and moved to rescind the two rules of the Agreeably to notice given yesterday, Mr. RANDOLPH Senate, which place the power of appointing the Com mittees of the Senate, and the supervision of the Journal, the motion in a speech of an hour and a half duration. with the presiding officer of the Senate, and supported The motion lies on the table one day.
The Senate resumed the unfinished business of yesterday, and again took up the bill to extend the Judicial System of the United States-Mr. WOODBURY'S motion to recommit the bill being still under consideration.
Mr. BERRIEN rose, and said he entertained certain opinions on the subject now under consideration, which, as a member of the Judiciary Committee, he felt himself called upon to state to the Senate. I do not deceive myself, said Mr. B. by the expectation, that I can arrest the progress of a measure, which is obviously hastening to its consummation, under the influence of motives, as various and contradictory to each other, as the bill itself is inconsistent with the system which it professes to sustain. If the objections which I have to it, had been met by its advocates, I should have been relieved from the necessity of trespassing on the patience of the Senate. But neither here, nor in the discussions before the committee, has this bill been sustained on its own intrinsic merits. No one has attempted to prove the efficacy of the system itself, and still less to demonstrate its superiority to others, which will readily suggest themselves to the mind. The unanswerable argument of its advocates is, that it is the best which can be done. Though the bill under consideration is defective in principle; though it affords no remedy for the evils to which the existing system is liable; though its provisions may tend to consequences highly injurious to that valuable department of the Government, which it proposes to regulate, still its adoption is recommended as a concession to the wishes of our brethren of the West, as the only one in which a majority of the Legislature of the Union can concur. From this doctrine I must dissent.. The principles of this bill are at war with all the convictions of my judgment, and are equally condemned by the results of my experience. The existing Judicial System is radically defective, and requires a remedy which we have it in our power to afford. I am not absolved from the obligation to urge the adoption of that remedy, by the suggestion that others will not do their duty.
Before entering into this discussion, I ask the permission of the Senate to relieve it from the objection that the motion for re-commitment by the Senator from New Hampshire, is unaccompanied by specific instructions for the guidance of the committee. Against the insinuation that this form has been given to the motion, with a view to defeat the bill, by indirect means, it is not necessary that I should vindicate him: his course, in this House, has been too plain, straight forward, and direct, to subject him to such an imputation. But the motion itself, in the precise form in which it is submitted, is consistent with parliamentary usage, and is obviously adapted to the investigation of the objection which we desire to present to the consideration of the Senate. The bill contains a provision for the increase of the number of Judges of the
The Judicial System.
Supreme Court, against which the Senator from New Hampshire protests, as destructive of the efficiency of that high tribunal. His motion is directed against that provision. He proposes to re-commit the bill, with instructions to report one, which, without increasing the number of Judges of the Supreme Court, shall afford a remedy for the evils complained of. Here is a specific instruction, which is calculated to carry into effect the views of the mover, to avert the evils which he believes this bill has a tendency to produce. The committee are not to be confined to this system or to that, for the obvious reason, that every specification would have weakened the force of the motion, in its principal object: that of avoiding an increase of the number of Judges of the Supreme Court. The course is then a fair, proper, and efficient one, and not liable to any objection of the want of parlamentary form, or technical precision.
[APRIL 13, 1826.
sire to be indulged: From the views which I entertain in relation to the Judicial department, from my early, constant, and confirmed conviction of its importance to the preservation of this Union, I have not heard, without alarm, some of the doctrines that have been advanced on this occasion. In the progress of this discussion, (and if with any object connected with it, certainly with a view to induce the Senate to adopt the bill under consideration,) gentlemen have inveighed against the Supreme Court, because of the tenure by which the Judges hold their offices; because of its excessive jurisdiction, principally with reference to its power to decide on the constitutionality of State laws; and because of its decisions, the uniform tendency of which, it is said, has been to strengthen the arm of the Federal Government.
Why are these suggestions presented to us now? It is not the object of this bill. It is not within the scope of the legislative power to change the condition of the Judicial department, in the particulars complained of. Ought to be changed? Is it believed that such a change can be effected? What number of persons will concur in the opinion that the tenure of the Judicial office should be any other than during good behavior? It is fixed by the Constitution. Why then is it drawn into the discussion of this bill?
I must relieve myself, also, from an imputation, which it is unpleasant to hear, and which it would be still more unpleasant to deserve-that of entertaining any unfriend-it ly feeling towards those States who are more immediately interested in this bill. In regard to those local grievances, which induced them to seek this extension of the Judicial System, I enter into no controversy. The fact of their existence is admitted on the simple statement of the Representatives of those States on this floor, who are We are presented with an alarming picture of the exentitled to receive, and do receive from me, the most un-cessive jurisdiction of this Court-for what purpose? It limited credit. The very able and elaborate argument is not the object of this bill to reduce it. It is said, too, which we heard yesterday from the Senator from Tennes- that the uniform tendency of the decisions of this tribusee, was not necessary, so far as I am concerned, to prove nal, from the very origin of the Government, has been to that evils exist in the Western States, to which it is the strengthen the Federal arm-and what then? Will the duty of Congress to apply a remedy. Gentlemen have march of that Government be arrested by the bill under intiinated a distrust of the sincerity of similar declarations, consideration Gentlemen do not impute incorrectness which they say are mere words, not followed by corres-of motive-they do not even assert that the Judges have ponding acts. We are called upon to redeem ourselves decided incorrectly. They limit themselves to a statefrom this imputation, that of keeping the word of promise ment of the consequences which they suppose have resultto the ear, and breaking it to the hope, by specifying the ed from these decisions. Sir, it is a mistake to ascribe to relief which we are willing to afford-by suggesting a the decisions of your Courts, that which is the necessasystem, which, while it shall be free from the objections ry result of time. The increased and increasing strength urged against this bill, shall be adequate, at the same time, of the Federal Government, is the inevitable consequence to the wants of the West. Before I sit down, I will en- of the development of its powers, of its action upon the deavor to meet this requisition; but I desire first, that People of the States, of its own multiplying resources the question between these new States and ourselves and extended patronage. It is time which has strengthened should be truly stated, and clearly understood. the Federal Government, by calling into action those The Senators from the Western States deceive them-powers of which the full effect could not be discerned selves, when they assert that we are well off, that we by the Sages who formed our Constitution. The quesare content with our actual situation under the present tion recurs, why are these considerations presented to Judicial System." Sir, the fact is not so. I speak after us in the discussion of a bill to extend the Judicial Sysan experience of twenty years of constant practice in tem of the United States? If the evils complained of the Judicial tribunals of the Union. There are rad-exist, they will remain. This bill does not touch them. ical defects in the system. In the Courts of original But, gentlemen neither speak nor act without an object. jurisdiction, those defects are severely felt in the States Is it desirable to weaken the Judicial department? Is it where this system has been in operation for the greatest the purpose of this bill to effect that object indirectly? length of time. Now it is the effect of this bill, without If so, it is time to call upon the friends of the Judiciary applying any remedy to these defects, to extend its opera- to pause, lest the spirit of concession should carry them tion throughout the Union, to rivet it on the original beyond the limits of prudence. States, and to render comparatively inefficient the Court Mr. President: We are engaged in a review of the of appellate jurisdiction. Whether this bill be perma- Judicial System. The evidence that it is defective, is to nent or temporary, it affords no remedy for the evils of be found in the repeated attempts which have been made the existing system; and unquestionably increases the to modify it. It was formed in the infancy of this Godifficulty of removing them at any future period. The vernment, and is inadequate to the exigencies of its prePeople of the new States have their peculiar grievances, sent condition. There are, moreover, essential defects which we are willing to remove. We have ours, in the in the system, which have existed from the commenceremoval of which we call upon them to aid us. We ask ment, and now that we are called to its revisal, we ought them to accept a common remedy, alike applicable to to perform the work thoroughly. Frequent alterations their condition and to ours; to correct the errors of the of a Judicial System are to be avoided; and there is, beJudicial System before they extend it, and thus fix it in- sides, at all times, much difficulty in reconciling conflictdefinitely on us and themselves. If, then, in reference to ing opinions, even in relation to such as are indispensa this measure, aught of complaint can be indulged, in re-ble. These reflections inculcate the propriety of making lation to the conduct pursued by gentlemen on this floor, the remedy which we shall now adopt, co-extensive with the right to complain is with us; certainly sir, not against the evils which exist. They admonish us not to content ourselves with partial and temporary expedients; but, en larging our views, to endeavor to devise a system which
There is yet another preliminary remark, in which I de