Skip to comments.Journal of the Federal Convention June 12th 1787
Posted on 06/12/2011 2:59:51 AM PDT by Jacquerie
Three year terms and minimum age in first branch. Fixed salaries paid by National Government. Dual service in National Legislature and as officer of US. Term limits. Seven year Senatorial terms. No salary for Senators.
IN COMMITTEE OF THE [FN1] WHOLE
The Question [FN2] taken on Resolution 15, [FN3] to wit, referring the new system to the people of the [FN4] States for ratification it passed in the affirmative:
Massts. ay. Cont. no. N. Y. no. N. J. no. Pa. [FN5] ay. Del. divd. Md. divd. Va. ay. N. C. ay. S. C. ay. Geo. ay. [FN6]
Mr. SHARMAN & Mr. ELSEWORTH moved to fill the blank left in the 4th. Resolution for the periods of electing the members of the first branch with the words, "every year." Mr. SHARMAN observing that he did it in order to bring on some question.
Mr. RUTLIDGE proposed "every two years."
Mr. JENNIFER propd. "every three years," observing that the too great frequency of elections rendered the people indifferent to them, and made the best men unwilling to engage in so precarious a service.
Mr. MADISON seconded the motion for three years. Instability is one of the great vices of our republics, to be remedied. Three years will be necessary, in a Government so extensive, for members to form any knowledge of the various interests of the States to which they do not belong, and of which they can know but little from the situation and affairs of their own. One year will be almost consumed in preparing for and travelling to & from the seat of national business.
Mr. GERRY. The people of New England will never give up the point of annual elections, they know of the transition made in England from triennial to septennial elections, and will consider such an innovation here as the prelude to a like usurpation. He considered annual elections as the only defence of the people agst. tyranny. He was as much agst. a triennial House as agst. a hereditary Executive.
Mr. MADISON, observed that if the opinions of the people were to be our guide, it wd. be difficult to say what course we ought to take. No member of the Convention could say what the opinions of his Constituents were at this time; much less could he say what they would think if possessed of the information & lights possessed by the members here; & still less what would be their way of thinking 6 or 12 months hence. We ought to consider what was right & necessary in itself for the attainment of a proper Governmt. A plan adjusted to this idea will recommend itself-The respectability of this convention will give weight to their recommendation of it. Experience will be constantly urging the adoption of it, and all the most enlightened & respectable citizens will be its advocates. Should we fall short of the necessary & proper point, this influential class of Citizens will be turned against the plan, and little support in opposition to them can be gained to it from the unreflecting multitude.
Mr. GERRY repeated his opinion that it was necessary to consider what the people would approve. This had been the policy of all Legislators. If the reasoning of Mr. Madison were just, and we supposed a limited Monarchy the best form in itself, we ought to recommend it, tho' the genius of the people was decidedly adverse to it, and having no hereditary distinctions among us, we were destitute of the essential materials for such an innovation.
On the question for [FN7] triennial election of the 1st. branch
Mass. no. [Mr. King ay.] Mr. Ghorum wavering. Cont. no. N. Y. ay. N. J. ay. Pa. ay. Del. ay. Md. ay. Va. ay. N. C. no. S. C. no. Geo. ay. [FN8]
The words requiring members of ye. 1st. branch to be of the age of years were struck out Maryland alone, no. The words "liberal compensation for members" being considd. Mr. MADISON moves to insert the words, "& fixt." He observed that it would be improper to leave the members of the Natl. legislature to be provided for by the State Legisls. because it would create an improper dependence; and to leave them to regulate their own wages, was an indecent thing, and might in time prove a dangerous one. He thought wheat or some other article of which the average price throughout a reasonable period preceding might be settled in some convenient mode, would form a proper standard.
Col. MASON seconded the motion; adding that it would be improper for other reasons to leave the wages to be regulated by the States. 1. [FN9] the different States would make different provision for their representatives, and an inequality would be felt among them, whereas he thought they ought to be in all respects equal. 2. [FN9] the parsimony of the States might reduce the provision so low that as had already happened in choosing delegates to Congress, the question would be not who were most fit to be chosen, but who were most willing to serve.
On the question for inserting the words "and fixt."
Massts. no. Cont. no. N. Y. ay. N. J. ay. Pa. ay. Del. ay. Md. ay. Va. ay. N. C. ay. S. C. no. Geo. ay. [FN10]
Doctr. FRANKLYN said he approved of the amendment just made for rendering the salaries as fixed as possible; but disliked the word "liberal." he would prefer the word moderate if it was necessary to substitute any other. He remarked the tendency of abuses in every case, to grow of themselves when once begun, and related very pleasantly the progression in ecclesiastical benefices, from the first departure from the gratuitous provision for the Apostles, to the establishment of the papal system. The word "liberal" was struck out nem. con.
On the motion of Mr. PIERCE, that the wages should be paid out of the National Treasury,
Massts. ay. Ct. no. N. Y. no. N. J. ay. Pa. ay. Del. ay. Md. ay. Va. ay. N. C. ay. S. C. no. G. ay. [FN11]
Question on the clause relating to term of service & compensation of [FN12] 1st. branch
Massts. ay. Ct. no. N. Y. no. N. J. ay. Pa. ay. Del. ay. Md. ay. Va. ay. N. C. ay. S. C. no. Geo. ay. [FN13]
On a question for striking out the "ineligibility of members of [FN12] Natl. Legis: to State offices."
Massts. divd. Cont. ay. N. Y. ay. N. J. no. Pa. no. Del. no. Md. divd. Va. no. N. C. ay. S. C. ay. Geo. no [FN14]
On the question for agreeing to the clause as amended Massts. ay. Cont. no. N. Y. ay. N. J. ay. Pa. ay. Del. ay. Md. ay. Va. ay. N. C. ay. S. C. ay. Geo. ay. [FN15]
On a question for making Members of [FN16] Natl. legislature ineligible to any office under the Natl. Govt. for the term of 3 years after ceasing to be members.
Massts. no. Cont. no. N. Y. no. N. J. no. Pa. no. Del. no. Md. ay. Va. no. N. C. no. S. C. no. Geo. no. [FN17]
On the question for such ineligibility for one year
Massts. ay. Ct. ay. N. Y. no. N. J. ay. Pa. ay. Del. ay. Md. divd. Va. ay. N. C. ay. S. C. ay. Geo. no. [FN18]
On [FN16] question moved by Mr. PINCKNEY for striking out "incapable of re- election into [FN16] 1st. branch of [FN16] Natl. Legisl. for years, and subject to recall" agd. to nem. con.
On [FN16] question for striking out from Resol: 5 [FN19] the words requiring members of the senatorial branch to be of the age of years at least Massts. no. Cont. ay. N. Y. no. N. J. ay. Pa. ay. Del. no. Md. no. Va. no. N. C. divd. S. C. no. Geo. divd. [FN20]
On the question for filling the blank with 30 years as the qualification; it was agreed to.
Massts. ay. Cont. no. N. Y. ay. N. J. no. Pa. ay. Del. no. Md. ay. Va. ay. N. C. ay. S. C. ay. Geo. no [FN21]
Mr. SPAIGHT moved to fill the blank for the duration of the appointmts. to the 2d. branch of the National Legislature with the words "7 years.
Mr. SHERMAN, thought 7 years too long. He grounded his opposition he said on the principle that if they did their duty well, they would be reelected. And if they acted amiss, an earlier opportunity should be allowed for getting rid of them. He preferred 5 years which wd. be between the terms of [FN22] 1st. branch & of the executive
Mr. PIERCE proposed 3 years. 7 years would raise an alarm. Great mischiefs had [FN23] arisen in England from their septennial act which was reprobated by most of their patriotic Statesmen.
Mr. RANDOLPH was for the term of 7 years. The democratic licentiousness of the State Legislatures proved the necessity of a firm Senate. The object of this 2d. branch is to controul the democratic branch of the Natl. Legislature. If it be not a firm body, the other branch being more numerous, and coming immediately from the people, will overwhelm it. The Senate of Maryland constituted on like principles had been scarcely able to stem the popular torrent. No mischief can be apprehended, as the concurrence of the other branch, and in some measure, of the Executive, will in all cases be necessary. A firmness & independence may be the more necessary also in this branch, as it ought to guard the Constitution agst. encroachments of the Executive who will be apt to form combinations with the demagogues of the popular branch.
Mr. MADISON, considered 7 years as a term by no means too long. What we wished was to give to the Govt. that stability which was every where called for, and which the Enemies of the Republican form alledged to be inconsistent with its nature. He was not afraid of giving too much stability by the term of Seven years. His fear was that the popular branch would still be too great an overmatch for it. It was to be much lamented that we had so little direct experience to guide us. The Constitution of Maryland was the only one that bore any analogy to this part of the plan. In no instance had the Senate of Maryd. created just suspicions of danger from it. In some instances perhaps it may have erred by yielding to the H. of Delegates. In every instance of their opposition to the measures of the H. of D. they had had with them the suffrages of the most enlightened and impartial people of the other States as well as of their own. In the States where the Senates were chosen in the same manner as the other branches, of the Legislature, and held their seats for 4 years, the institution was found to be no check whatever agst. the instabilities of the other branches. He conceived it to be of great importance that a stable & firm Govt. organized in the republican form should be held out to the people. If this be not done, and the people be left to judge of this species of Govt. by ye. operations of the defective systems under which they now live, it is much to be feared the time is not distant when, in universal disgust, they will renounce the blessing which they have purchased at so dear a rate, and be ready for any change that may be proposed to them.
On the question for "seven years" as the term for the 2d. branch
Massts. divided (Mr. King, Mr. Ghorum ay-Mr. Gerry, Mr. Strong, no) Cont. no. N. Y. divd. N. J. ay. Pa. ay. Del. ay. Md. ay. Vt. ay. N. C. ay. S. C. ay. Geo. ay. [FN24]
Mr. BUTLER & Mr. RUTLIDGE proposed that the members of the 2d. branch should be entitled to no salary or compensation for their services
On the question, [FN25] Massts. divd. Cont. ay. N. Y. no. N. J. no. P. no. Del. ay. Md. no. Va. no. N. C. no. S. C. ay. Geo. no. [FN27]
It was then moved & agreed that the clauses respecting the stipends & ineligibility of the 2d. branch be the same as, of the 1st branch: Con: disagreeing to the ineligibility.
It was moved & 2ded. to alter Resol: 9. [FN28] so as to read "that the jurisdiction of the supreme tribunal shall be to hear & determine in the dernier resort, all piracies, felonies &c."
It was moved & 2ded. to strike out "all piracies & felonies on the high seas," which was agreed to.
It was moved & agreed to strike out "all captures from an enemy."
It was moved & agreed to strike out "other States" and insert "two distinct States of the Union"
It was moved & agreed to postpone the consideration of Resolution 9, [FN28] relating to the Judiciary:
The Come. then rose & the House adjourned
FN1 The word "the" is here inserted in the transcript. FN2 The word "was" is here inserted in the transcript. FN3 The words "the fifteenth Resolution" are substituted in the transcript for "Resolution 15." FN4 The word "United" is here inserted in the transcript. FN5 Pennsylvania omitted in the printed Journal. The vote is there entered as of June 11th. FN6 In the transcript the vote reads: "Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, [FN5] Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye-6; Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, no-3; Delaware, Maryland, divided." FN7 The word "the" is here inserted in the transcript. FN8 In the transcript the vote reads: "New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, aye-7; Massachusetts [Mr. King, aye, Mr. Gorham, wavering] Connecticut, North Carolina, South Carolina, no-4." FN9 The figures "1" and "2" are changed to "First" and "Secondly" in the transcript. FN10 In the transcript the vote reads: "New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, aye-8; Massachusetts, Connecticut, South Carolina, no-3." FN11 In the transcript the vote reads: "Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, aye-8; Connecticut, New York, South Carolina, no-3." FN12 The word "the" is here inserted in the transcript. FN13 In the transcript the vote reads: "Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, aye-8; Connecticut, New York, South Carolina, no-3."
FN14 In the transcript the vote reads: "Connecticut, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, aye-4; New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, Georgia, no-5; Massachusetts, Maryland, divided."
FN15 In the transcript the vote reads: "Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye-10; Connecticut, no-1."
FN16 The word "the" is here inserted in the transcript.
FN17 In the transcript the vote reads: "Maryland, aye-1; Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, no-10."
FN18 In the transcript the vote reads: "Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, aye- 8; New York, Georgia, no-2; Maryland, divided."
FN19 The words "the fifth Resolution" are substituted in the transcript for "Resol: 5."
FN20 In the transcript the vote reads: "Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, aye-3; Massachusetts, New York, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, no-6; North Carolina, Georgia, divided."
FN21 In the transcript the vote reads: "Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia North Carolina, South Carolina, aye-7; Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Georgia, no-4."
FN22 The word "the" is here inserted in the transcript.
FN23 The word "have" is substituted in the transcript for "had."
FN24 In the transcript the vote reads: "New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye-8; Connecticut, no-I; Massachusetts [Mr. Gorham and Mr. King, aye; Mr. Gerry and Mr. Strong, no] New York, Divided."
FN25 [It is probable ye. votes here turned chiefly on the idea that if the salaries were not here provided for the members would be paid by their respective States] This note for the bottom margin. [FN26]
FN26 Madison's direction is omitted in the transcript.
FN27 In the transcript the vote reads: "Connecticut, Delaware, South Carolina, aye-3; New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, no-7; Massachusetts, divided."
FN28 The words "the ninth Resolution" are substituted in the transcript for "Resol: 9."
Resolutions came up fast and furious today.
Resolution #15 of the Randolph/Virginia Plan, to send the eventual Constitution to conventions of delegates chosen by the people, passed 6-3.
(The Randolph/Virginia Plan was proposed on May 29th)
Roger Sherman (CN) and Judge Oliver Ellsworth (CN), regarding Resolution #4, motioned that representatives be elected every year.
John Rutlidge (SC) offered two years.
Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer (MD) argued for three years. People would lose interest if held more often and talented men would be reluctant to serve.
James Madison (VA) agreed with three years. It will offer stability to what had been unstable government. Representatives needed the time to learn the affairs of other states as well as their own. In one year terms they would spend too much time in travel. Madison served in the Confederation Congress.
Elbridge Gerry (MA) forcefully defended annual elections as a safeguard against tyranny. He was equally against triennial elections and a hereditary executive.
(Mr. Gerry only reluctantly participated in these debates to develop a stronger government. Still, he knew a stronger government was necessary, just not one as far removed from the people as most of the other delegates wished.)
James Madison (VA) suspected the people did not have strong opinions as to length of terms. Convention members should use their judgment and later explain why the convention chose the term.
Elbridge Gerry (MA) sarcastically disputed Mr. Madison.
Three year Congressional terms passed, 6-4.
No minimum age for congressman passed with only MD dissenting.
James Madison (VA) wished to add fixed to liberal compensation. He also thought it dangerous for the states to provide Congressional salaries.
George Mason (VA) agreed. Inequality among representatives would be resented. The states could reduce salary to the point of discouraging the best men to serve.
(More mistrust of the States. It wasnt unusual for the States to not bother sending delegates to the Confederate Congress. Often, there was no quorum, and thus no business could be conducted.)
Mr. Madisons motion to fix the salaries of congressmen passed, 7-3.
Dr. Benjamin Franklin (PA) motioned, and the convention agreed to strike liberal.
(Franklins contributions to the convention revealed his knowledge of human nature, in particular the tendency to self aggrandizement. He compared papal benefices to what he wished to avoid in Congress. What he feared, we have today. Government service is a route to riches for too many politicians, who somehow enter as middle class and leave wealthy. A recent series of articles at FR definitively showed how expert our servants magically become at stock picking. IIRC, three of the four wealthiest counties in the nation are clustered around DC. Welcome to the New Rome, where all wealth flows.)
William Pierce (GA) motioned for salaries to be paid out of the national treasury. It passed 7-3.
An unnamed delegate proposed to strike out the ineligibility to other state or national offices clause. It was defeated 5-4.
The Randolph Plan included a measure to reduce corruption involving departing/defeated house members. It proposed these former members could not accept follow on appointive offices for one year after departure. It passed 8-3.
(Once again, there is the concern over corruption. Today, IMHO our government is corrupt beyond repair.)
On the question to remove a minimum age for Senators in Resolution #5 of the Randolph Plan, it was defeated, 6-3.
The committee of the whole voted 7-4 to require a minimum 30 years of age for senators.
Richard Spaight proposed seven year terms for senators.
Roger Sherman (CN) thought seven years too long and proposed five. If they served well, they would be reelected. If not, they should be gotten rid of earlier.
William Pierce (GA) preferred three years.
Governor Edmund Randolph considered the purpose of the Senate, to tame the democratic tendencies of the House, required a longer term. He offered as an example the Senate of MD which barely stemmed the popular torrent. The Senate would protect the Constitution against an executive working in concert with demagogues in the House.
(Here the again, lack of a professional court recorder is evident. The richness of the debates was lost in Mr. Madisons terse notes. Still, we can see what they worked towards, government divided enough to prevent the accumulation of power in one or just a few hands yet strong enough to meet the proper objects of government. Divided government helped protect us from tyranny for a long time.)
James Madison (VA) thought the stability of seven year Senatorial terms as necessary to match the power of the House.
(Next, were words that should have been remembered 120 years later.)
Mr. Madison, In the States where the Senates were chosen in the same manner as the other branches of the Legislature, and held their seats for 4 years, the institution was found to be no check whatever agst. the instabilities of the other branches.
(The foundation of the republic must be the people, yet too much democracy, as under the Confederation was dangerous and must be avoided. The 17th Amendment is criticized almost daily at FR, and for good reason. Our Senators are in actuality three term Congressmen, but far more dangerous.)
Seven year senatorial terms passed 8-1.
Pierce Butler (SC) and John Rutlidge (SC) wished to deny salary and any other compensation to Senators. The motion was defeated, 7-3.
Stipends and ineligibility to high appointive offices would be the same in both houses of Congress.
The committee voted on relatively minor changes to Resolution #9 regarding the Judiciary.
Constitutional Convention Ping!
I had to look up William Pierce, this comes from “wiki”:
Little is known about Pierce’s early life or background.
He was born in York County, Virginia in 1753. He served in the Continental Army through most of the War of Independence. He was recognized by Congress for his bravery at the Battle of Eutaw Springs on September 8, 1781. He received brevet promotion to major at the end of the war.
After his military service, Pierce sought to establish himself as a merchant in the Caribbean. He eventually settled in Savannah, Georgia. Pierce had business troubles and substantial debts, and sought but did not receive appointment to a position in the federal government. He was unsuccessful in a bid for the United States House of Representatives in 1789.
I also came across this, and found it interesting...
“William Pierce, of Georgia, spoke very little at the Constitutional Convention, but his contributions to what we know of the other delegates to the Convention are invaluable. He wrote short character sketches of each of the delegates; they are reproduced here in alphabetical order.”
Yesterday you brought up the aristocratic leanings of our Constitution. Today, Pierce Butler and John Rutledge, both of SC, both aristocrats in the southern sense, opposed Senatorial salaries. Your link about the delegates said of Butler, "He is a Gentleman of fortune."
Madison provided no detail, but the subject will come up again. Without salaries of course, the Senate could only be composed of the wealthy, ie, American aristocrats. That this restriction did not make it into the Constitution was, IMO, indicative of their intent to reduce aristocratic leanings in the Senate.
I make note of the differences in the backgrounds and the political and business interests of some of those guys, in comparison to this guy (according to wiki):
Edward Langworthy (17381802) was an American teacher who was a delegate to the Continental Congress from Georgia and a signer of the Articles of Confederation.
Edward was born in Savannah, Georgia in 1738. Nothing is known of his ancestors since he was a foundling. He was raised in the Bethesda Orphan House at Savannah, and educated in the school there. He later taught in that same school.
Since he was born only five years after James Oglethorpe shipped the first colonists to Georgia, it is likely that his parents were included with those recruited from debtors’ prisons or poorhouses.
Langworthy began working with Georgia’s Committee of Safety, and was their secretary when they became a revolutionary Council of Safety on December 11, 1775. The Georgia assembly sent him to the Continental Congress in 1777, and he arrived just in time to sign the Articles of Confederation. He served in the Congress until 1779.
The following quotation is from North Carolina's James Iredell.
"The only real security of liberty, in any country, is the jealousy and circumspection of the people themselves. Let them be watchful over their rulers. Should they find a combination against their liberties, and all other methods appear insufficient to preserve them, they have, thank God, an ultimate remedy. That power which created the government can destroy it. Should the government, on trial, be found to want amendments, those amendments can be made in a regular method, in a mode prescribed by the Constitution itself [...]. We have [this] watchfulness of the people, which I hope will never be found wanting." - Elliot, 4:130
His is an interesting story. From the www.northcarolinahistory.org web site, I found this information about him:
"When the Philadelphia Convention of 1787 proposed the federal Constitution, Iredell was its foremost advocate in North Carolina. He inaugurated the first public movement in the state in favor of the document and wrote extensively in hopes of creating a new government. In particular, he responded to Virginias George Masons eleven objections to the Constitution and gained national attention in doing so. A Norfolk printer, for example, shelved other political tracts in 1788 to publish Iredells Answers. The essay preceded 49 of the 85 essays that constitute the Federalist Papers and appears to have been widely distributed.
"At the first North Carolina ratification convention, Iredell was the floor leader for the Federalist forces. After the 1788 convention refused to ratify the federal Constitution, he then wielded his influential and skillful pen to fell Anti-federalist arguments and champion the Federalist cause and the benefits of the Constitution. When North Carolina finally ratified the document at its second convention (1789), Iredell was widely considered the intellectual general of the Federalists victory.
"For Iredells ratification efforts, President George Washington rewarded the North Carolinian with an appointment to the original U.S. Supreme Court, where he served for almost a decade. (Even before ratification, his acquaintances had speculated that his future included a federal judgeship.) During his tenure on the Supreme Court, Iredell closely dealt with Presidents Washington and John Adams and offered vigorous and partisan support for their administrations. He also chronicled important events and personalities.
"In his near decade on the Court, Iredell wrote opinions in only a few reported cases. In Hylton v. United States (1796), the Court, with Iredells concurrence, upheld the constitutionality of a federal tax on carriages, thereby implicitly proclaiming the Supreme Courts equivalent authority to pronounce congressional acts unconstitutional. In Chisholm v. Georgia (1793), Iredell as the lone dissenter supported the result that ultimately prevailed by means of the adoption of the Eleventh Amendment, which precludes suits by citizens of one state against another state. The case still receives both juristic and scholarly attention. In Alden v. Maine (1999), a majority of the U.S. Supreme Court, for instance, frequently cited Iredells Chisholm dissent and considered it to be according with the original understanding of the Constitution, thus, as the dissenting opinion observed, rendering the Eleventh Amendment superfluous.
"Like other justices of his era, Iredell spent most of his time traveling the federal circuits and doing the work of the circuit courts. This work, with the related travel and other hardships, took its toll on an already fragile physical constitution. Worn down by his occupations demands, Iredell died on October 20, 1799, at the age of forty-eight. He is buried in the Johnston family cemetery in Edenton, North Carolina."
Donna Kelly and Lang Baradell, The Papers of James Iredell, Vol. III, 1784-1789 (Raleigh, 2003); Don Higginbothom, ed., The Papers of James Iredell 2 Vols. (Raleigh, 1976); Griffith J. McRee, ed., Life and Correspondence of James Iredell, 2 Vols. (New York, 1857-58); Willis P. Whichard, Justice James Iredell (Durham, 2000).
By Willis P. Whichard, Former Associate Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court (1986-1998) and former Dean of Campbell University School of Law (1999-2006)
Mason started out a strong supporter of the developing Constitution, but gradually changed his mind and ended up an even larger opponent.
In your Hylton v. United States, where judicial review is exercised, I also found evidence of the power in a few of the day's debates at the Convention. Thus, I don't think Marbury v. Madison was all that big a deal.
Have you thought of posting and commenting on Mason's Eleven Objections? It sounds as if it was a foil to Madison's “Vices of the Political System of the United States” in early 1787.
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