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The Draft Constitution as reported August 6th may be viewed here.

James Madison (VA) & John Rutlidge (SC) motioned "that each House shall keep a journal of its proceeding, [FN1] & shall publish the same from time to time; except such part of the proceedings of the Senate, when acting not in its Legislative capacity as may be judged by that House to require secrecy," as an amendment to 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.”

John Mercer (MD) said the motion implied the Senate would have powers other than Legislative.

Mr. Madison’s motion was rejected by all states except VA.

Elbridge Gerry (MA) & Roger Sherman (CN) moved to insert after the words "publish them" the following "except such as relate to treaties & military operations." Their object was to give each House a discretion in such cases.

On Mr. Gerry’s question, it failed 9-2.

Judge Oliver Ellsworth (CN) thought the clause should be done away with.

James Wilson (PA) responded that the people have a right to know what their Agents are up to. (Our Agents are up to . . . If only our politicos viewed us as their principals.) His next point is most excellent; the clause is in the Articles of Confederation. To remove it would be to arm opponents.

George Mason (VA) agreed. The people would be justly outraged.

Roger Sherman (CN) would trust this to Congress.

Article VI Section 7 down to “publish them,” passed without opposition.

As to the question on the words to follow, “except such parts thereof as may in their Judgment require secrecy," it passed 6-4-1.

(This is would end up nearly unchanged in Article I Section 5 of our Constitution)

The remaining portion of Article VI Section 7 was agreed to without opposition.

Article VI Section 8 was next: “Neither House, without the consent of the other, shall adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that at which the two Houses are sitting. But this regulation shall not extend to the Senate, when it shall exercise the powers mentioned in the ----- article.”

Rufus King (MA) (Congress met in various locations under the Articles of Confederation) made note of the dishonor to the government of meeting in new places. He thought at least a law was necessary to move the seat of government (From NYC).

James Madison (VA) joined Mr. King.

Governeur Morris (PA) motioned to add “during the session.” (I’m not positive where in the clause this would go.)

Richard Spaight reasoned that since the government sat in NYC and a law would be required to move it. It would remain there for at least one Congress.

Governeur Morris (PA) found “such a distrust is inconsistent with all Govt.”

James Madison (VA) mused on a seat of government. He motioned "the Legislature shall at their first assembling determine on a place at which their future sessions shall be held; neither House shall afterwards, during the session of the House of Reps. without the consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor shall they adjourn to any other place than such as shall have been fixt by law."

Elbridge Gerry (MA) pointed out that as a law, the President could check the will of the two houses. Bad idea.

Hugh Williamson (NC) & Daniel Carroll (MD) supported Mr. Spaight.

John Mercer (MD) agreed the seat of government would not be moved if a law was required to move it. The words, "during the session of the Legislature” were prefixed to the 8th section. The last sentence of the 8th section, “But this regulation . . . ,” was removed.

Article VI Section 8 as amended, was approved.

Governor Edmund Randolph moved to reconsider Article IV Section 5 which was struck on 8 Aug.

Article IV Section 5. “All bills for raising or appropriating money, and for fixing the salaries of the officers of Government, shall originate in the House of Representatives, and shall not be altered or amended by the Senate. No money shall be drawn from the Public Treasury, but in pursuance of appropriations that shall originate in the House of Representatives.”

This was a concession to Large States for equal State suffrage in the Senate. The Large States as well as the people will require it as defense against the more Aristocratic leaning Senate. He asked the Small States to support the section.

Hugh Williamson (NC) seconded.

Charles Pinckney (SC) opposed.

The motion to reconsider Article IV Section 5 passed 8-2-1.


1 posted on 08/11/2011 2:57:03 AM PDT by Jacquerie
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To: Lady Jag; Ev Reeman; familyof5; NewMediaJournal; pallis; Kartographer; SuperLuminal; unixfox; ...
Constitutional Convention Ping!

About five weeks and a lot of work remain. Notice Mr. Randolph's motion at the end to revisit money bills, which in the Report of August 6th were to originate in the House and be subject to only an up or down vote in the Senate.

House control over the content of appropriations, where the people and large States would dominate, was part of the compromise to grant equality of State Suffrage in the Senate.

To Governor Randolph, the Senate was aristocratic enough before the money bill compromise was rejected. It would form the basis of his decision to not sign the Constitution.

Fellow Virginian George Mason will grow increasingly uneasy too, and not sign it for similar reasons.

The third big name to eventually not sign was Elbridge Gerry. His opposition will be more general in nature, but will center on his fear of standing armies.

While Governor Randolph will come to defend the Constitution at the VA Ratifying Convention, George Mason will join Patrick Henry as two of its most critical opponents.

Mr. Gerry will do the same in MA.

I bring this up because opposition from these three will become more obvious as the Convention works its way into September.

2 posted on 08/11/2011 3:24:31 AM PDT by Jacquerie
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