Skip to comments.Journal of the Federal Convention August 10th 1787
Posted on 08/10/2011 2:34:14 AM PDT by Jacquerie
Article VI Sections 1- 7. Property Qualifications. The $100,000 President. Rich Rogues. Quorums. Compel Attendance. Free Speech. Expulsion. Journal.
Art. VI. Sect. 2. [FN1], [FN2] taken up.
Mr. PINKNEY. The Committee as he had conceived were instructed to report the proper qualifications of property for the members of the Natl. Legislature; instead of which they have referred the task to the Natl. Legislature itself.
Should it be left on this footing, the first Legislature will meet without any particular qualifications of property: and if it should happen to consist of rich men they might fix such such qualifications as may be too favorable to the rich; if of poor men, an opposite extreme might be run into. He was opposed to the establishment of an undue aristocratic influence in the Constitution but he thought it essential that the members of the Legislature, the Executive, and the Judges, should be possessed of competent property to make them independent & respectable. It was prudent when such great powers were to be trusted to connect the tie of property with that of reputation in securing a faithful administration. The Legislature would have the fate of the Nation put into their hands. The President would also have a very great influence on it. The Judges would have not only [FN3] important causes between Citizen & Citizen but also, where foreigners are concerned. They will even be the Umpires between the U. States and individual States as well as between one State & another.
Were he to fix the quantum of property which should be required, he should not think of less than one hundred thousand dollars for the President, half of that sum for each of the Judges, and in like proportion for the members of the Natl. Legislature. He would however leave the sums blank. His motion was that the President of the U. S. the Judges, and members of the Legislature should be required to swear that they were respectively possessed of a cleared [FN4] unincumbered Estate to the amount of ----- in the case of the President &c &c.
Mr. RUTLIDGE seconded the motion; observing that the Committee had reported no qualifications because they could not agree on any among themselves, being embarrassed by the danger on one side of displeasing the people by making them high, and on the other of rendering them nugatory by making them low.
Mr. ELSEWORTH. The different circumstances of different parts of the U. S. and the probable difference between the present and future circumstances of the whole, render it improper to have either uniform or fixed qualifications. Make them so high as to be useful in the S. States, and they will be inapplicable to the E. States. Suit them to the latter, and they will serve no purpose in the former. In like manner what may be accomodated to the existing State of things among us, may be very inconvenient in some future state of them. He thought for these reasons that it was better to leave this matter to the Legislative discretion than to attempt a provision for it in the Constitution.
Doctr. FRANKLIN expressed his dislike of [FN5] every thing that tended to debase the spirit of the common people. If honesty was often the companion of wealth, and if poverty was exposed to peculiar temptation, it was not less true that the possession of property increased the desire of more property. Some of the greatest rogues he was ever acquainted with, were the richest rogues. We should remember the character which the Scripture requires in Rulers, that they should be men hating covetousness. This Constitution will be much read and attended to in Europe, and if it should betray a great partiality to the rich, will not only hurt us in the esteem of the most liberal and enlightened men there, but discourage the common people from removing into [FN6] this Country.
The Motion of Mr. Pinkney was rejected by so general a no, that the States were not called.
Mr. MADISON was opposed to the Section as vesting an improper & dangerous power in the Legislature. The qualifications of electors and elected were fundamental articles in a Republican Govt. and ought to be fixed by the Constitution. If the Legislature could regulate those of either, it can by degrees subvert the Constitution. A Republic may be converted into an aristocracy or oligarchy as well by limiting the number capable of being elected, as the number authorised to elect. In all cases where the representatives of the people will have a personal interest distinct from that of their Constituents, there was the same reason for being jealous of them, as there was for relying on them with full confidence, when they had a common interest. This was one of the former cases. It was as improper as to allow them to fix their own wages, or their own privileges. It was a power also which might be made subservient to the views of one faction agst. another. Qualifications founded on artificial distinctions may be devised, by the stronger in order to keep out partizans of a weaker faction.
Mr. ELSEWORTH, admitted that the power was not unexceptionable; but he could not view it as dangerous. Such a power with regard to the electors would be dangerous because it would be much more liable to abuse.
Mr. Govr. MORRIS moved to strike out "with regard to property" in order to leave the Legislature entirely at large.
Mr. WILLIAMSON. This could [FN7] surely never be admitted. Should a majority of the Legislature be composed of any particular description of men, of lawyers for example, which is no improbable supposition, the future elections might be secured to their own body. Mr. MADISON observed that the British Parliamt. possessed the power of regulating the qualifications both of the electors, and the elected; and the abuse they had made of it was a lesson worthy of our attention. They had made the changes in both cases subservient to their own views, or to the views of political or Religious parties.
[FN8] Question on the motion to strike out with regard to property
N. H. no. Mas. no. Ct. ay. N. J. ay. Pa. ay. Del. no. [FN9] Md. no. Va. no. N. C. no. S. C. no. Geo. ay. [FN10]
Mr. RUTLIDGE was opposed to leaving the power to the Legislature. He proposed that the qualifications should be the same as for members of the State Legislatures.
Mr. WILSON thought it would be best on the whole to let the Section go out. A uniform rule would probably be never [FN11] fixed by the Legislature, and this particular power would constructively exclude every other power of regulating qualifications.
On the question for agreeing to Art. VI. Sect. 2d.- N. H. ay. Mas. ay. Ct. no. N. J. no. Pa. no. Md. no. Va. no. N. C. no. S. C. no. Geo. ay. [FN12]
On Motion of Mr. Wilson to reconsider Art: IV. Sect. 2; so as to restore 3 in place of seven years of citizenship as a qualification for being elected into the House of Represents.
N. H. no. Mas. no. Ct. ay. N. J. no. Pa. ay. Del. ay. Md. ay. Va. ay. N. C. ay. S. C. no. Geo. no. [FN13]
Monday next was then assigned for the reconsideration: all the States being ay. except Massts. & Georgia
Art: VI. Sect. 3. [FN14], [FN15] taken up.
Mr. GHORUM contended that less than a Majority in each House should be made of [FN16] Quorum, otherwise great delay might happen in business, and great inconvenience from the future increase of numbers.
Mr. MERCER was also for less than a majority. So great a number will put it in the power of a few by seceding at a critical moment to introduce convulsions, and endanger the Governmt. Examples of secession have already happened in some of the States. He was for leaving it to the Legislature to fix the Quorum, as in Great Britain, where the requisite number is small & no inconveniency [FN17] has been experienced.
Col. MASON. This is a valuable & necessary part of the plan. In this extended Country, embracing so great a diversity of interests, it would be dangerous to the distant parts to allow a small number of members of the two Houses to make laws. The Central States could always take care to be on the Spot and by meeting earlier than the distant ones, or wearying their patience, and outstaying them, could carry such measures as they pleased. He admitted that inconveniences might spring from the secession of a small number: But he had also known good produced by an apprehension, of it. He had known a paper emission prevented by that cause in Virginia. He thought the Constitution as now moulded was founded on sound principles, and was disposed to put into it extensive powers. At the same time he wished to guard agst. abuses as much as possible. If the Legislature should be able to reduce the number at all, it might reduce it as low as it pleased & the U. States might be governed by a Juncto- A majority of the number which had been agreed on, was so few that he feared it would be made an objection agst. the plan.
Mr. KING admitted there might be some danger of giving an advantage to the Central States; but was of opinion that the public inconveniency [FN17] on the other side was more to be dreaded.
Mr. Govr. MORRIS moved to fix the quorum at 33 members in the H. of Reps. & 14 in the Senate. This is a majority of the present number, and will be a bar to the Legislature: fix the number low and they will generally attend knowing that advantage may be taken of their absence. the Secession of a small number ought not to be suffered to break a quorum. Such events in the States may have been of little consequence. In the national Councils, they may be fatal. Besides other mischiefs, if a few can break up a quorum, they may seize a moment when a particular part of the Continent may be in need of immediate aid, to extort, by threatening a secession, some unjust & selfish measure.
Mr. MERCER 2ded. the motion
Mr. KING said he had just prepared a motion which instead of fixing the numbers proposed by Mr. Govr. Morris as Quorums, made those the lowest numbers, leaving the Legislature at liberty to increase them or not. He thought the future increase of members would render a majority of the whole extremely cumbersome.
Mr. MERCER agreed to substitute Mr. Kings motion in place of Mr. Morris's.
Mr. ELSEWORTH was opposed to it. It would be a pleasing ground of confidence to the people that no law or burden could be imposed on them, by a few men. He reminded the movers that the Constitution proposed to give such a discretion with regard to the number of Representatives that a very incovenient number was not to be apprehended. The inconveniency [FN18] of secessions may be guarded agst. by giving to each House an authority to require the attendance of absent members.
Mr. WILSON concurred in the sentiments of Mr. Elseworth.
Mr. GERRY seemed to think that some further precautions than merely fixing the quorum might be necessary. He observed that as 17 wd. be a majority of a quorum of 33, and 8 of 14, questions might by possibility be carried in the H. of Reps. by 2 large States, and in the Senate by the same States with the aid of two small ones. -He proposed that the number for a quorum in the H. of Reps. should not exceed 50 nor be less than 33, leaving the intermediate discretion to the Legislature.
Mr. KING, as the quorum could not be altered witht. the concurrence of the President by less than 2/3 of each House, he thought there could be no danger in trusting the Legislature.
Mr. CARROL this will be no security agst. a continuance of the quorums at 33 & 14. when they ought to be increased.
On [FN19] question on Mr. Kings motion "that not less than 33 in the H. of Reps. nor less than 14 in the Senate shd. constitute a Quorum, which may be increased by a law, on additions to [FN19] members in either House.
N. H. no. Mas. ay. Ct. no. N. J. no. Pa. no. Del. ay. Md. no. Va. no. N. C. no. S. C. no. Geo. no. [FN20]
Mr. RANDOLPH & Mr. MADISON moved to add to the end of Art. VI. Sect 3. "and may be authorised to compel the attendance of absent members in such manner & under such penalties as each House may provide." Agreed to by all except Pena. which was divided.
Art: VI. Sect. 3. [FN21] agreed to as amended Nem. con. Agreed to nem. con. [FN23]
Sect. 4. [FN22]
Sect. 5. [FN22]
Mr. MADISON observed that the right of expulsion (Art. VI. Sect. 6.) [FN22] was too important to be exercised by a bare majority of a quorum: and in emergencies of faction might be dangerously abused. He moved that "with the concurrence of 2/3 " might be inserted between may & expel.
Mr. RANDOLPH & Mr. MASON approved the idea.
Mr. Govr. MORRIS. This power may be safely trusted to a majority. To require more may produce abuses on the side of the minority. A few men from factious motives may keep in a member who ought to be expelled.
Mr. CARROL thought that the concurrence of 2/3 at least ought to be required.
On the question for [FN24] requiring 2/3 in cases of expelling a member. [FN25]
N. H. ay. Mas. ay. Ct. ay. N. J. ay. Pa. divd. Del. ay. Md. ay. Va. ay. N. C. ay. S. C. ay. Geo. ay. [FN25]
Art. VI. Sect. 6. as thus amended [FN26] agreed to nem. con. Art: VI. Sect. 7 [FN26], [FN22] taken up.
Mr. Govr. MORRIS urged that if the yeas & nays were proper at all any individual ought to be authorised to call for them: and moved an amendment to that effect.- The small States may otherwise be under a disadvantage, and find it difficult, to get a concurrence of 1/5.
Mr. RANDOLPH 2ded. ye. motion.
Mr. SHERMAN had rather strike out the yeas & nays altogether. They never have done any good, and have done much mischief. They are not proper as the reasons governing the voter never appear along with them.
Mr. ELSEWORTH was of the same opinion.
Col. MASON liked the Section as it stood. it was a middle way between the two extremes.
Mr. GHORUM was opposed to the motion for allowing a single member to call the yeas & nays, and recited the abuses of it, in Massts. 1 [FN27] in stuffing the journals with them on frivolous occasions. 2 [FN27] in misleading the people who never know the reasons determining the votes.
The motion for allowing a single member to call the yeas & nays was disagd. to nem. con.
Mr. CARROL. & Mr. RANDOLPH moved Here insert the motion at the bottom of page [FN9] [FN28] [FN9] to strike out the words "each House" and to insert the words "the House of Representatives" in Sect. 7. Art. 6. and to add to the Section the words "and any member of the Senate shall be at liberty to enter his dissent."
Mr. Govr. MORRIS & Mr. WILSON observed that if the minority were to have a right to enter their votes & reasons, the other side would have a right to complain, if it were not extended to them: & to allow it to both, would fill the Journals, like the records of a Court, with replications, rejoinders &c.
[FN29]Question on Mr. Carrols motion to allow a member to enter his dissent
N. H. no. Mas. no. Cont. no. N. J. no. Pa. no. Del. no. Md. ay. Va. ay. N. C. no. S. C. ay. Geo. no. [FN30]
Mr. GERRY moved to strike out the words "when it shall be acting in its legislative capacity" in order to extend the provision to the Senate when exercising its peculiar authorities and to insert "except such parts thereof as in their judgment require secrecy" after the words "publish them." -[It was thought by others that provision should be made with respect to these when that part came under consideration which proposed to vest those additional authorities in the Senate.]
On this question for striking out the words "when acting in its Legislative capacity"
N. H. divd. Mas. ay. Ct. no. N. J. no. Pa. no. Del. ay. Md. ay. Va. ay. N. C. ay. S. C. ay. Geo. ay. [FN31]
FN1 See ante.
FN2 The word "was" is here inserted in the transcript.
FN3 The words "have not only" are transposed in the transcript to read "not only have."
FN4 The word "clear" is substituted in the transcript for "cleared."
FN5 The word "to" is substituted in the transcript for "of."
FN6 The word "to" is substituted i
n the transcript for "into."
FN7 The word "would" is substituted in the transcript for "could."
FN8 The words "On the" are here inserted in the transcript.
FN9 In the printed Journal Delaware did not vote.
FN10 In the transcript the vote reads: "Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Georgia, aye-4; New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Delaware, Delaware, [FN*] Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, no-7."
FN11 In the transcript the words "be never" are transposed to read "never be."
FN12 In the transcript the vote reads: "New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Georgia, aye-3; Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, no-7."
FN13 In the transcript the vote reads: "Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, aye-6; New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, South Carolina, Georgia, no-5."
FN14 See ante.
FN15 The words "was then" are here inserted in the transcript.
FN16 In the transcript the word "of" is crossed out and "a" is written above it.
FN17 The word "inconveniency" is changed to "inconvenience" in the transcript.
FN18 The word "inconveniency" is changed to "inconvenience" in the transcript.
FN19 The word "the" is here inserted in the transcript.
FN20 In the transcript the vote reads: "Massachusetts, Delaware, aye-2; New Hampshire, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, no.-9."
FN21 The word "was" is here inserted in the transcript.
FN22 See ante.
FN23 In the transcript this reads as follows: "Sections 4 and 5, of Article 6, were then agreed to, nem. con."
FN24 The word "for" is omitted in the transcript.
FN25 In the transcript the vote by States is omitted and the following sentence is inserted: "ten States were in the affirmative, Pennsylvania, divided."
FN26 The words "was then" are here inserted in the transcript.
FN27 The figures "1" and "2" are changed to "first" and "secondly" in the transcript.
FN28 Madison's direction is omitted in the transcript.
FN29 The words "On the " are here inserted in the transcript.
FN30 In the transcript the vote reads: "Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, aye-3; New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylania, Delaware, North Carolina, Georgia, no-8."
FN31 In the transcript the vote reads: "Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, aye-7; Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, no-3; New Hampshire, divided."
Article VI Section 2 was taken up. The Legislature of the United States shall have authority to establish such uniform qualifications of the members of each House, with regard to property, as to the said Legislature shall seem expedient.
Charles Pinckney (SC) noted the Committee of Detail was not able to draft a recommendation as to property qualifications. The first Constitutional Congress would perhaps meet without a standard. If composed of either rich or poor men, they could set the standard. He opposed an undue Aristocratic influence, but still favored some amount of wealth in order to remain independent and respectable. Much will be entrusted to the Executive, Legislative and Judicial members; should they not have large stakes in the wise administration of the Government?
Mr. Pinckney motioned to fix the minimum net worth of the President at one hundred thousand dollars, and half or so for Judges and something appropriately less for members of Congress.
John Rutlidge (SC) (a member of the Committee of Detail) seconded and observed the Committee could not come to an agreement among themselves.
Judge Oliver Ellsworth (CN) brought up that changes as to new states and moving centers of wealth could not be predicted. He did not support either uniform or fixed qualifications. Leave them to Congress.
Dr. Benjamin Franklin (PA) (offered his usual wisdom) ridiculed the notion that wealth promoted honesty. Some of the greatest rogues he was ever acquainted with, were the richest rogues. Be careful not to be partial to men of wealth.
Mr. Pinckneys motion was defeated.
James Madison (VA) vociferously rejected Congressionally determined wealth qualifications as a dangerous power. The standard should be in the Constitution, for if not, Congress could subvert the Constitution if it could determine the qualifications of both electors and elected. A Republic could thus be transformed into an Aristocracy or Oligarchy. If I correctly read the rest of his comments, Madison knew there was a tendency for elected officials to feather their nests and impair potential opponents.
Judge Oliver Ellsworth (CN) did not view the Section as dangerous.
Governeur Morris (PA) moved to strike with regard to property. Each house would have carte blanche to determine any and all qualifications of its members. (Bad idea)
Hugh Williamson (NC) was aghast. He predicted Congress would be composed of lawyers and would fix elections to favor their kind. (Again and again, our Framers as a group were concerned with, and strove to prevent structural corruption in our governing document.)
James Madison (VA) reminded all of the British Parliaments power to set qualifications of both electors and elected. It was done to secure their positions. (What percentage of laws is designed to keep incumbents in office?)
On the motion to strike, with regard to property, it failed to pass, 6-4.
John Rutlidge (SC) hit on the solution; make the qualifications that of those in the State Legislatures.
James Wilson (PA) thought it best to delete the section entirely.
On the question to accept Section 2 of Article VI, The Legislature of the United States shall have authority to establish such uniform qualifications of the members of each House, with regard to property, as to the said Legislature shall seem expedient, it failed 7-3.
James Wilson (PA) motioned to reconsider Article IV Section 2 for the purpose of returning to a three year citizenship (v. seven) requirement for election to the House of Representatives.
Mr. Wilsons motion passed 6-5. Article IV Section 2 would be reconsidered the following Monday.
Article VI Section 3 was next. In each House a majority of the members shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day.
Nathaniel Gorham (MA) (touched on an issue that plagued Congress under the Articles of Confederation. So many members declined to attend sessions that business was often stymied for months at a time) thought something less than a majority should constitute a quorum.
John Mercer (MD) would also make do with less than a majority. He used the word secession, for under the Articles of Confederation, States could de facto secede from the Union simply by not attending Congress. Mr. Mercer favored the method of Parliament, where the number is small.
George Mason (VA) cautioned that a majority was the right standard because our country was large, the various interests would grow even larger and distant parts must be represented. Why allow States nearby to the seat of government to commandeer Congressional sessions? Such a rule prevented paper money in VA. It was possible, given the extreme case, to form Juntos.
Rufus King (MA) admitted some danger but would accept it.
Governeur Morris (PA) moved to fix the minimum for a quorum at thirty three in the House and fourteen in the Senate. (There is that word, secession again) He saw even the threat of secession as a tool that could be use to extort concessions.
(I believe this is the only Convention reference to State secession from the future Constitutional Union.)
John Mercer (MD) seconded Mr. Morris.
Rufus King (MA) said he just prepared another method to achieve the same results that would allow for increased membership.
John Mercer (MD) agreed to the substitution.
Judge Oliver Ellsworth (CN) opposed fixed numbers and proffered that each house be authorized to demand member attendance.
James Wilson (PA) concurred.
Elbridge Gerry (MA) proposed further hard numbers of Reps and Senators to conduct business.
On the question to amend Article VI Section 3 to read, not less than 33 members of the House of representatives, nor less that 14 members of the Senate, shall constitute a quorum to do business; a smaller number in either House may adjourn from day to day, but the number necessary to form such quorum may be increased by an act of the Legislature on the addition of members in either branch, failed 9-2.
Governor Edmund Randolph and James Madison (VA) motioned to add to the end of Art. VI. Sect 3, "and may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members in such manner & under such penalties as each House may provide." It was agreed to, 10-0-1.
Article VI Section 3 as amended, was agreed to without opposition.
Sections 4 & 5 of Article VI were agreed to.
Section 6 of Article VI. Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings; may punish its members for disorderly behaviour; and may expel a member, was debated next.
James Madison (VA) thought a mere majority (or less) to expel a member would be abused. He motioned to insert with the concurrence of 2/3 between may and expel.
Governor Edmund Randolph and George Mason (VA) approved.
Governeur Morris (PA) would trust the majority. There was room for abuse by minorities to retain the dirtbags.
Daniel Carroll (MD) agreed with Mr. Madison and would require at least 2/3 majority.
On Mr. Madisons 2/3 motion, it passed 10-0-1.
The amended Section 6 of Article VI passed without opposition.
Article VI Section 7, The House of Representatives, and the Senate, when it shall be acting in a legislative capacity, shall keep a journal of their proceedings, and shall, from time to time, publish them: and the yeas and nays of the members of each House, on any question, shall at the desire of one-fifth part of the members present, be entered on the journal, was up.
Governeur Morris (PA) motioned and Mr. Randolph seconded, that yeas and nays be recorded any time a single member requested. Small States would be at a disadvantage with a 20% requirement.
Roger Sherman (CN) & Judge Oliver Ellsworth (CN) (apparently looking at the politics of recorded votes) would do away with recorded votes .
George Mason (VA) saw the existent wording an acceptable middle way.
Nathaniel Gorham (MA) was against the amendment; he saw abuses of such a rule in MA. There were too many recordations for frivolous votes and they could be used to mislead the people who would not know the reasons.
Mr. Morris motion to amend was disagreed to without opposition.
Daniel Carroll (MD) & Governor Edmund Randolph moved to strike each House, and insert the House of Representatives, and add to the end, "and any member of the Senate shall be at liberty to enter his dissent."
Governeur Morris (PA) and James Wilson (PA) opposed and thought it would fill the Journals with the equivalent of unnecessary objections, rejoinders, etc common to judicial proceedings.
Mr. Carrolls amendment failed to pass, 8-3.
Elbridge Gerry (MA) (These delegates didnt miss anything.) moved to delete, "when it shall be acting in its legislative capacity." Recorded votes should be available in advise and consent situations. He motioned to insert "except such parts thereof as in their judgment require secrecy" after the words "publish them."
Mr. Gerrys motion passed, 7-3-1
The topic of voter qualifications is a regular feature at FR.
What about qualifications of the people we put into office? Today, the Framers began from an assumption that some amount of wealth was appropriate for our President and lesser amounts for Senators and so on down to Congressmen and Judges. After all, wouldnt affluent men better defend property and contract rights? Maybe so, but great wealth was not synonymous with good character, as wittily summarized by Ben Franklin, Some of the greatest rogues he was ever acquainted with, were the richest rogues.
What of new States that would start off as subsistence agricultural societies? It takes time to build wealth and such a rule would invite Eastern carpetbaggers to immediately set up residency.
As usual with most issues, the Framers went round with various motions. Ranging from Congressionally determined dollars amounts of wealth, wealth fixed in the Constitution or perhaps wealth rules utilized by the States, they were initially puzzled. Finally, the delegates determined that sitting members would invariably set the wealth bar at a level designed to protect their seats and influence. James Madison was certain that minimum wealth standards would eventually transform the republic into an Aristocracy or Oligarchy. By a 7-3 vote, the clause was removed.
Once again, the Framers got it right.
Fascinating! Outstanding post! Thanks for your work, Jacquerie.
I agree— This Federal Convention ,1787 has become a site I am addicted to reading. All the crap I learned in High school —and I was either asleep —or they just didn’t teach this.
FOr an Old Deist I note Doctr. Franklin reminded his delegated peers of the authority of Scripture and the qualification for a Ruler.Were this Journal written today (or post 1962) the mere politicians would have excluded any reference to Scripture. lest they offend the ACLU or the World citizens.
Sometime after the Constitution is finished, I might try to index the hundred or so topics by date. That way, when taxation for instance comes up, we can refer to the exact dates and what the Framers had to say about it.
...I might try to index the hundred or so topics by date. That way, when taxation for instance comes up, we can refer to the exact dates and what the Framers had to say about it.
WOW! That would be an ultimate reference source. Hard work, brilliant thinking.