The section would thus read, "Full faith and credit ought to be given in each State to the public acts, records, and Judicial proceedings of every other State, and the Legislature shall by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, Records, & proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof.
George Mason supported the motion, as it appeared to be restricted to judgments and judicial proceedings.
Mr. Wilson said that unless the Congress could determine the effect, it would change nothing that does not already exist among Sovereign nations.
Samuel Johnson disagreed; it would allow Congress to determine the effect of one State law in another State.
Edmund Randolph warned the Convention that such loose wording would supplement opposition to the plan. He would go no further than the Report.
Mr. Morris motion passed 6-3.
James Madison further motioned some wordsmithing which passed without opposition.
The amended report, "Full faith & credit shall be given in each State to the public acts, records & judicial proceedings of every other State, and the Legislature may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts records & proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof," passed by acclamation.
The clause in the Report "To establish uniform laws on the subject of Bankruptcies, was next.
Roger Sherman did not wish to see bankruptcies punished with death as was sometimes done in England.
Governeur Morris noted it was a delicate subject, but one which he did not think would be abused.
Congressional power to establish uniform bankruptcy laws passed 9-1.
Charles Pinckney moved to postpone the Committee of Eleven report of 1 Sep, in order to consider, "The members of each House shall be incapable of holding any office under the U. S. for which they or any other for their benefit, receive any salary, fees or emoluments of any kind, and the acceptance of such office shall vacate their seats respectively." Holding two offices would still be mutually exclusive; but leaving elective office for appointive office should be an option. He brought up an interesting Roman era quote.
Mr. Pinckneys motion failed 8-2.
Rufus King motioned and Hugh Williamson seconded to amend so as to read, "The members of each House shall be ineligible to any civil office under the authority of the U. S. created during the time for which they shall respectively be elected, and no person holding an office under the U. S. shall be a member of either House during his continuance in office." This would prevent members of the first Congress from accepting appointive office.
Roger Sherman saw corruption written all over any option for members of Congress to obtain appointive office.
Governeur Morris thought if the Executive could not appoint members of Congress, he would just appoint their friends and relatives. (In a strange twist, he thought it better to appoint legislative members rather than their cronies.)
Elbridge Gerry further illustrated the corruptive effect of appointing Congressional members to appointive office. Fools from Congress would take the place of competent civil officers.
Nathaniel Gorham favored the amendment. The example of State governments proved his point.
Gov. Edmund Randolph vehemently opposed the possibility of appointed offices for Congressmen.
Abraham Baldwin disagreed with Mr. Gorham. Any comparison to the situation in State government was not applicable; there were far fewer qualified State men to fill appointive offices compared to national offices.
George Mason maintained the exclusion would prevent corruption.
James Wilson opposed the exclusion.
Charles Pinckney said the best men, whether subject to exclusion or not, will not be available to fill the judiciary.
Mr. Kings motion to prevent the first Congressmen from accepting appointive office, failed 5-5.
Hugh Williamson offered an amendment that passed.
The section thus read, "The members of each House shall be ineligible to any Civil office under the authority of the U. States, created, or the emoluments whereof shall have been increased during the time for which they shall respectively be elected-and no person holding any office under the U. S. shall be a member of either House during his continuance in office," which passed.
Most of the clauses in the Constitution were written the way they were to correct a problem or defect in government we experienced as colonials under the British Monarchy or as independent, sovereign states under the Articles of Confederation.
Today, the corrupting influence of Executive appointments was debated. In the recent past, enormously powerful Royal Governors, appointed by the King, regularly compromised the popular branch of colonial governments, the Assembly. Not only could Governors veto colonial bills, and even dissolve Assemblies, they offered judgeships, government contracts and other forms of patronage to Assembly members. An Assemblyman who owed his concurrent job as a customs agent would be a reliable point of support for the Governors policies.
So, a lesson our Founders took from colonial experience was to rein in Executive power. The State Constitutions of 1776-1777 empowered legislatures over their Judicial and Executive branches. As long as the people dominated, via their reps, liberty was assured, or so they thought. Legislatures made a preponderance of appointments, including judicial ones. In most States, they appointed Governors. The downside was erratic government subject to passions of the day. Paper money, stay and tender laws, and laws which contradicted the Articles of Confederation were problematic.
Faced with recent experience of executives too strong and subsequently too weak, our Framers sought a solution, and in the process gave us distinct separation of powers. Legislators were prohibited from simultaneous service in the Executive branch and were constrained from creating such offices for their enrichment after elective service.