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In Convention. Deliberation on the Committee of Style Report continued.

Hugh Williamson motioned to add fifty percent more representatives in general, and one each in particular to the smallest States. It was defeated 6-5.

The Convention unanimously agreed to devise a rule for Senatorial rotation such that both Senators from a State could not be replaced in the same year.

In Article I Section 3, “Ex Officio” was removed so as to read, “The Vice-President of the United States shall be President of the senate . . .

John Rutlidge and Governeur Morris moved impeached men be suspended from office until acquittal.

James Madison predicted abuse by the House of Reps. It would amount an open power to temporarily remove the President. Rufus King agreed.

(Mr. Madison acknowledged an expansive definition of the impeachment power. High crimes, misdemeanors, poor judgment, policy disputes, anything could be used as justification. An impeachable crime is that which the House thinks is impeachable.) The motion to suspend impeached officials was defeated 8-3.

In Article 1 Section 4, "except as to the places of choosing Senators" was added without opposition to prevent Congress or the States from upsetting the appointment of Senators.

Next, Art. 1. Sect. 5. "Each House shall keep a Journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may in their judgment require secrecy." George Mason & Elbridge Gerry motioned to remove any confidentiality from the proceedings of the House of Reps. It was objected to on the basis of, for instance, preparations for war. The motion was defeated 7-3-1.

Abraham Baldwin (GA) motioned to amend Article I Section 6 regarding the prevention of appointments to civil offices and Congressional corruption of them. He was not seconded.

Next, an Art. 1. Sect. 8. enumerated power, “The Congress "may by joint ballot appoint a Treasurer.”

John Rutlidge opposed this power and moved to let the Treasurer be appointed in the manner of other officers.

From Nathaniel Gorham’s and Rufus King’s comments it was apparent State Legislatures generally appointed their Treasurers. It would invite opposition to do otherwise at the National level.

Governeur Morris was convinced a Treasurer not appointed by Congress would be more exposed to impeachment and removal.

Roger Sherman would leave the appointment power with those who appropriate the money, Congress.

General Pinckney said their State Treasurer is appointed by legislative joint ballot. Bad appointments are made and the legislature is reluctant to admit mistakes.

The motion to strike the clause passed 8-3.

Another enumerated power in Art 1. sect. 8. "but all such duties imposts & excises, shall be uniform throughout the U.S." was unanimously annexed to the power of taxation. (I suspect taxes were not included to be uniform because direct taxes had to be per capita.)

Next up, “To define & punish piracies and felonies on the high seas, and punish offences against the law of nations.”

Governeur Morris moved to strike the last “punish.” It was repetitive.

James Wilson objected because it would give Congress alone power to decide what was a matter for all civilized nations. It would make the tiny and powerless US appear ridiculous.

The motion to strike the second “punish” passed 6-5.

Ben Franklin moved and James Wilson seconded to add “a power to provide for cutting canals where deemed necessary" after the Article I Section 8 power to “To establish post offices and post roads.”

Roger Sherman objected. The US should not pay for projects that benefit the few.

James Wilson viewed such improvements as a revenue source.

James Madison would enlarge the power, "to grant charters of incorporation where the interest of the U.S. might require & the legislative provisions of individual States may be incompetent." With the ability to approve corporations, a political obstacle would be removed to the improvement of communications between the States with roads and canals.

Edmund Randolph seconded.

Rufus King thought the power unnecessary. James Wilson believed it was needed to prevent a State from obstructing the general welfare. (I do not follow this reasoning.)

Rufus King said the States would be at a disadvantage and divided over the power. If I understand him, the people of Philadelphia and NYC would be inclined to oppose the Constitution with this power because it would enable the formation of banks and commercial monopolies.

James Wilson envisioned the assistance to Western Settlements canals would afford. He was not confident it would foster division in the cities. Via the commerce power, commercial monopolies were already addressed.

George Mason wished to limit it to canals. He did not support government monopolies.

The question as to canals only failed 8-3.

With that vote the included power to grant charters of incorporation fell as well.

James Madison and Charles Pinckney motioned to include power to establish a university.

James Wilson supported the motion.

Governeur Morris did not think the power necessary within the federal city.

The question to establish a federal university fell 6-4-1.

George Mason motioned and Edmund Randolph seconded to add "And that the liberties of the people may be better secured against the danger of standing armies in time of peace" to, "To provide for organizing, arming and disciplining the Militia &c.” (We knew that standing European armies, designed to face invaders, were soon turned inward on the people. Defense was needed, it would not be with standing armies.)

James Madison supported the motion as there would be occasions to mobilize before outbreak of hostilities, yet declare that standing armies are a evil to be avoided.

Governeur Morris opposed it as an insult to the military class.

Charles Pinckney and Gunning Bedford also opposed the motion.

On Mr. Mason’s motion, it failed 9-2.

George Mason wished to strike, “nor any ex post facto law.” It was not clear the prohibition applied strictly to criminal cases and it cannot be entirely avoided in civil cases.

Elbridge Gerry seconded, only because he would extend it to civil cases.

The motion to remove the clause failed unanimously.

Charles Pinckney and Elbridge Gerry moved to insert a declaration "that the liberty of the Press should be inviolably observed."

Roger Sherman said it was unnecessary since Congressional power does not extend to the Press. (Mr. Sherman’s point illustrated a problem that extends to this day. Federalists contended that to enumerate Natural Rights would eventually be an invite to an interpretation they are our sole rights, to the exclusion of the universe of rights unenumerated. This has largely happened.)

The motion to guarantee Press Freedom failed 7-4.

Next from Article I Section 9, “No capitation tax shall be laid, unless in proportion to the census herein before directed to be taken.”

George Read (DE) motioned and Hugh Williamson (NC) seconded to insert after "capitation" the words, "or other direct tax," as further clarification. The motion was agreed to. George Mason motioned to add, “or enumeration” after “census” as explanatory, which passed with only CN & SC dissenting.

Next from Article I Section 9, "no tax or duty shall be laid on articles exported from any State" was added, “no preference shall be given by any regulation of commerce or revenue to the ports of one State over those of another: nor shall vessels bound to or from one State, be obliged to enter, clear or pay duties in another.”

George Mason motioned and Elbridge Gerry seconded a clause to require an annual account of the public expenditures.

Governeur Morris declared it would be impossible in many situations.

Rufus King said it would be impractical to account for every shilling. James Wilson seconded. Many operations of finance cannot be published at certain times.

Charles Pinckney, Thomas Fitzsimmons (PA) and Roger Sherman agreed.

The motion of George Mason so amended to read, "appropriations by law as follows-"and a regular statement and account of the receipts & expenditures of all public money shall be published from time to time," passed without opposition.

The first clause of Art. I Sect 10-was altered so as to read-'No State shall enter into any Treaty alliance or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make any thing but gold & silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility."

Elbridge Gerry motioned a like clause to preclude the National Government from impairing contracts. It was not seconded.


1 posted on 09/14/2011 2:51:24 AM PDT by Jacquerie
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To: Lady Jag; Ev Reeman; familyof5; NewMediaJournal; pallis; Kartographer; SuperLuminal; unixfox; ...

Constitutional Convention Ping!

2 posted on 09/14/2011 2:53:45 AM PDT by Jacquerie
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