The Montrose Democrat. (Montrose, Pa.) 1849-1876, January 15, 1867, Image 1

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A. J. GERRITSON, Proprieio'
' 4 I7M I TC,"
Of the Bill to establish Negro S of
frEtea in tlis Disttic of Columbia.
a people, their will should exert - at least a
reasonable jetluenee . upen..these - Who are
Would; .f or,inatince, the. Legislature of
the.state of,bleF„Yor/r.,,0f Penesylva
nia, or,ofrtidiana, or Oe...aley State in the
To the Senate of the United States:
Union, in'opposition to thereepressed trill
I have received and Considered a bill of a large majorityy . of tbe people whom
entitled "An act to regulate th e &Active they'Verir4Woh.d.torepreseet; arbitrarily
franchise in .the District of Columbia," i force upon them, as voters,- all persons of
passed by the Senate on the lath of De- the Afritittlyor [Pero eatif, and make - the - hi
cember, Und.filthe I.4OtTSCOrIP - Pi•esenta- eligible f4it'Offid&,"Without any other %pal
tives on the succeeding day. It was pre- iff,9,4tion.t-lien 7 a;ciftaip term of readenee
seuted for my approval on the 26th ulti ... - within the State In neitber of the States
1110- 7 - biz- 41 aP 3 after th e . PmePrtrql named would the colored population,
Ccingresi—and-is' now returned with my ! when acting together, be abteto produce'
ohjections, to the Senate, in which House' any great social or political result. Yet
it originated. -
1 in New York, before he can vote, the
Measures having been introduced at the ; man of color must fulfill conditions that
commencement of the first session of the are not required of the white citizen ; in
present Cure*teSs for the exteniion of the ! perms ) leania the elective franchise is re
fratichise to persons of colt'r in i' striated to white freemen ; while in Inch
the Di strict
. of Columbia,
.steps-weretk; Etna negroes and mulattoes are expressly
ken 1115 +-authOritiesbliYasti excluded from the right ofsuffrage.
ingtou and Georgetown, to ascertain and It hardly seems consistent with the
make known the opinion of the people 01 . l principles of right and justice that repre
the two cities upon a subject so hunted i-r sentatives from states where suffrage is
ately affecting their welMreas accommun- ! either denied the colored man, or granted
ity. ! hint on qualifications inquiring intern-
The question was submitted to the pee- genes or property l 'sliebtd. Compel the peo
ple at special elections, held in the mouth ! ple,of tlio, District, Of ._.(ialniubia toAryi au
,1 December, 1865, when the qualified vd- I exHrietent'efitieletheit'-601 eonatiidenii
tors of Washington and Georgetown. with : have- thusfar shown an unwillingness to
great unanimity of sentim en t, expressed tek for themselves. Isl'or 'doe's it accord
,11, , niselves opposed to the contemplated., with our republican ideas
.that the princi
irisht ion. , pie of self-government shouliflose its force-
I.; Washington, in a vote . of 0556--thi.' when applied to the residents of the Dis
hrgest, with but two exceptions, ever' trict, mereV because their legislators are
oc!led in that city—only 33 ballots were . nol, those o 4 the State? , responsible,
cast for'negro suirragi; while in George- 1 through the ballot, to the: people for
tr,wn, in au aggregate of 813. N'Pte.i—_--a whom tbey• are the law-making power.
number considerably in excess of' the av- : The great object (.f placing the seat of
(r.i.:e vote at the fear preceding annual . goyernment under the exclusive legisla- I
elections—but one was given in ‘ 7 .:as or_ of i tio n of Cou : rress was to secure the entire
I he. proposed extension , of the elective independence of the General Government
franc'...i-,.. frum 'indite State influence, and to enable !
As these elections seem to have been' it to discharge, without -danger of inter
r..inlnet ed with entire fairness, the result . ruptiun or inf.imvenient of its authority,
rinHt be accepted as a trut hful expression the high ftinct ions for which it was crea
,.fthe opinion of the" people-:of the Dim- -14 Led 1. y the people.
, i , ..t ap•ut the question which evoked h. I For this important purpose it was ceded
I'es . -essing, as an organized dommunitY, 4 to the United States by Maryland and :
use ,:a:lio popular right as the inhabitants Vir g iLia, and it c.ert aitily never could have
a :.I:tte Lt. Territory, to make known : b ee n contemplated, as one of the objects
• h-ir will upon 'matters y,hich - ;:fi't et to be attain'ealTplAciti , i'iCulider the ex- ,
1 i-Ir s ,-, oial an i political condition, they ; clusi,e.p i k0 .i... 4 1L.1,..... ..r /1..,..--------
_,--• .. 1 -
~.ahl h., , •ii :•:•etectot no more appropriate wo,,,,tau t oeu-,t0.1 - 4?-pagimuisis4l4. : poitee.-ai
)ode of meniortalizing Congress upon life ' parties:a, iilaCti fur-en ei-perimental-test of ,
s,,Heet of this Lill-than through. the.i.uf- their principles and -I heories. - , , .
...._. .
.rages of their qualified Voters. .. -- • - ' While,lndeed, the..i4ldents of tf,A:tea(
'Lithely disregarding . the wishes of the of gove t, .pmen are. uot,..eltizens cif any
'l-n ,'
, .
of II"' Di
el f . (Thlintil'i'i , (- 7 ' . . - stat aila are.uot, therefore, allowed -a,, has deemed it right and'expedient toffee in the electoral college, or represen- '
o) j .lss the measure now "bwille4-1 for tatiun in the counci:s of th.e . nation, they
~1,: sigtriture. It therefore bccomes•tlie I are, nevtTrtheless, - nierican citizens, enti
‘; of the Executive, standing between tied as such to every guarantee of the
'''' ; '" , : i ' l " liu " (11. -the tic an` ll.ll -'- i wi ii o f Constitution, to every benefit of the laws, •
rite other . , esirly,-4pr*edi;lo . a 6tcrite :i„,l to every right which pertains to the
\+ I:ether be sinitild .ap,prev&i,the bill, fond- citizens of our common country. ,
thus aid in i k lacitig-upon the statrtebo(As , In all matter ,, then a ff ect i ng - t h e i r do
1' nation nla wtgainst'whinir the pee
rt-;t mestic afftirs, the spirit of our democrat-'
ple to whorn it is to apply havens ..t. form of government demands that their '
and with such unanimity protecsrlAmo.zr-i; it
whether he should return. t with his ob- . 1
wishes s
eel ' and taught to feel that, although
they b© consulted and respect
i,-ctions, in tbe hope that, upon reeensid
eration, Congress, acting as th nut permitted practically to participate in e represen-..
tatives of the inhabitants of the seat of o
nat i ona l tincernFs they ere nevertheless
governineni, will permit them to regulate,.
Limier a paterull. government, regardful
of their ri:dits, p l . indful 4 44.4: wanisi,aud
a purely local question, as to tht - to may s Ai t ,i t e l t; 4 .f o r t teif pkosperitY. It vrnA . ev' •
seem best suited to their interests, omit , jaor
aplated Out ell local pies
' Lions would be -left to tbeir decision, at
The District of Columbia wa s Cr- ‘ aed t° ! l e a s t to , ,An e xt e nt that would not be in
the United States by Maryland and Vit.-
ginia, in order that it might '
cetnpatible with the object for which
become the ' '
i Congress-was greeted exclusive. legisla 7
i , t;enritient seat of government 4 the C. lien over the geat nr goVeiitment. -
I amt su
:s:ates. Acce
ec t-To pted "
th by C
"ongre usss, it at
legi once i
When the Constitution was yet under
R•bje exclusive sla- )
Lion" for which provision is made in the ' it was -assumed by Mr.
I Madison that its inhabitants would be al-
Federl Constitution. It should be born?, lowed " municipal legislature for local
in mind, however, that in exercising its.t
f , ractions as the law-tusking purposes, derived from their own snffra
aking power of the !
_ cs. „
District Of Coindibia,-the
When for the first time, Congress, in
national : legisratnre is nciewitlio r nt Ilinit
but that Cciregreks ishound to observethe , the year 1800, assembled at Washington,
letter and spirit of the Constitution,Adams,
as i President in his speech at its
well in iliPenUctment ofloearlaWs for the r ,s , l onetime ,. reminded the two houses that it
seat of government, as in .legislation•conc 1
was for them to consider whether the le
mon to the entire Union. . , . . , cal powers of the District of Columbia,
Were. it • to be'adailue-.'- in e .-
ati vtjle ii•ol l t, I vested byjlie, constit4tiort,lq_ the .
lc • f the triated'Start6, Albin be im
"to ' 6.X6felio exclusive lfgis t 11 2, 01 in 1 0 .
...„ - • • ..r y r,.i ji i 1 meat Ni t A
aff cases - isrliuppever, ::pniferred ip at - tier, Ise_ iond Vie ,Oka . them
Con.Tess_unlimited power.withili c tlieDis- I t "'Aside . e• itls - Che ea - Pilot Of 'a great
' ••••• of Cot - , ttlii '' ' .'.le 411 t.,..; • ; -,. - ,4 ) i n ° 4,o L e - ; . 445"0 - Pplug — iiili unexampled -*a=
triet. of Annabli,Ltitles ofnoliilitftnight
be granted - -within its bomadariei laws
might be made " respecting .an establish . -
ment of religion,„or,prohibiting the free
exercise thereof; or abridging thefree
dom Or the - press - ; 6rtheright
of tlie - yeople peaceably to assemble and
to petitton'tbe- government for • a redress
of.grievances ! !! Despotism would thus.
rule at the seat of government of a tree
republic, and as a place of permanent res
idence, it would he avoided by ail who:
prefer the blessirigeof liberty to the mete
emoluments of Official
It sliould 43cite retueli:hero that in
legislating for the District: of Columbia;
under the Federal Constittitlo,:the rela
tion of Congress inhahitants is anal
ogous to that of a 'Legislature to the pee:
pie of a State, under their' wn local Con.
satiation. It does not; therefore;:semnto
be asking too much that, in matters p e r=
tainina to the District, - Chngtiss should
have a b like respect for the and, incart
ests Ohs inhabitants as is entertained
a,State :Legislature for the wishes and .
prosperity of those for whom they legis
late. The spirit of our Canatitntion; and
the' genius 'of our g - o'Verittaelit'retllM
that, irr regarittb any law - Which is t 94
feet and have a permanent hearia tit*
nidity in artte,in-c - ommerce, in weilth,and white to colored males over twenty years
in population, • and possessing within it- of age was one hundred and thirty to one,
self,,thpseAtelarCres - lvtliqhi - Ifilot thrown here the black race constitute nearly one
away lanientahly ;'Lnisdirecied, would third of the entire population, whilst the
secure to it a lung course of prosperity , same class surrounds the District on all
and self-government." Three years had sides, ready to change their residende at
elapsed-when- Congress was ealled-upon I a moment's notice, and with all the facia
to determine the propriety of retroceding ty of a nomadic people; in order to enjoy
to Maryland and Virginia the jurisdiction here, after a short residence, a privilege
of the territory which they had respect , they find nowhere else. It is within their
tively relinquished to the government of power, in one year, to come into the dis
the United States. It was urged on the trict in .s-uch numbers as to have the sc
one hand, that exclusive jurisdiction was I preme control of the white race and to
not useful or necessary to the govern- govern - them - by their own 'officers and by
ment ; that it.deprived the inhabitants oft the exercise of all the municipal authority
the District of their political rights ; that —among the rest, of the power of taxa
much of the time of Conaress was con- tion-over property in which they have no
s , •
sumed in legislation pertaining to it ;that interest.
'• its government watloxpensiyel that Con- In Masdclinsetts, where they have en
gross was not competent to legislate for joyed the benefits of a thorough educa
' the District, bOaus6,.ite'nletnbers were ! ttonal - System, a qualification of intelli
, strangeki, (Oat 4tikeriti,,ruktf that it 4 geneeis required, while here suffrage is
was an example of a oy ernn,ent, With
;:, extended•to all, without discrimination,
out representation 7 -an experiment, dan- as well-to the most incapable,
• who can
„ liberties of the States. , prove a , residence in the District of one
the otbei baud it was 61,1, uniting , year, ns to those persons of dolor who
other reaseitiV'iti4,:viiice4ithily;, 1.40,4,h0 comparatively few to number, are perms
. ~
coirsttueittetei , :,,if (sermon Vir. nent phabitanta, • and , 'having givren evi
ginia and Martlairil contemidatddl,4o , dencejoimerit andi qualification, are•vec
txercise of exclusive legislation by ton- ' tgaiec4 %tic Useful' 'lnd reSponsible ufeml
gress, and that its usefulness, if not its ne
cessity was ineerred from the inconven
ience_which was felt for want of it by the
Congress of the Confederation ;* that the
people, themselves, who, it was said, bad
Wen - deprived of their political rilihts,had
not. complained , and did not desire a re
trocession ; that the evil might be reme
died by giving them a representation in
Congress Arben the District should be
come-sufficiently populous, mid in the
meantime a local legislature; that if the
inbahitanta had not political rights, they
had great political influence; that the
trouble and expense of legislating for the
Dist i rict would not be great, but would
diminish, and might in a great measure
be avoided' by / a local legislature • and
that Congress could not retrocede die in
habitants without their consent. Contin
uing to live substantially under the laws
that existed at the time of the cession,
and such' changes only have been made
as were suggested by themselves, the 1
people of the District have sought, by a
local legislature, that, which has been gen- ;
erally conceded by the Congress of the. I
As a general rule, sound policy requires
that the legislature should yield to the ;
wishes of a people, when not inconsistent ;
with the Constitutiod and the laws. The'
measures suited to ono community might
not be well adapted to the condition of
another; and the persons best iivalified to
determine such questions are to be direct
ly affected by any proposed law. In Mas-1
sachusetts, for ilistance, male persons are
allowed to vote, 'without regard to color,
provided they possess a certain degree of
Intelligence. In a population in that State
of 1,231,060, there were, by the census of
1860, only 9602 persons of color; and of
the males over twenty years of age, there
were 339,086 white to 2602 colored. By
tho same official enumeration, there were
in the District of Columbia 60,794 whites
to 14,313 persOns of the colored race.—
Since tthen,however, the colored popula
,,ion of the istrict has largely increased,
and it is estimated:that at the present time ;
there are nearly a hundred thousand
whites to thirty thousand negroes.
The cause of the augmented number of
the latter class needs no explanation.— I
Gtrtill'AffiZt "Zt tiVifig - `the' war - Te - Came a
place of refuge for those who escaped
from servitude, and it is yet the abiding i
place of a considerable portion of those
who sought within its limits a shelter
• from bondage. Until then held in slave
' rv--
, and denied all opportunities for men-
tat culture, their first knowledge of god- ;
eminent was acquired when, by conferr-1
in' upon them freedom, it became the
benefactor of their race; the test of their
capability for improvement began when,'
for the fl . rst - tinte,lthe career of free indust •
try and the avenues to intelligence were ,
opened to them. Possessing these advati- ;
tab'es but a limited time, the greater num.
ber perhaps having entered the District
of Columbia during the later years of the ;
war, or since its termination, we may
well pause to inquire whether, after so
brief a probation, they are as a class ea- ,
pablez of an intelligent exercise of the ,
t ri,..7ht of suffrage, and qualified to dis-
I charge the duties of official position. The!
people who arc daily witnesses of their
'mode of living, and who have become fa- i
miiiarWith their habits of thought, have
expressed the opinion that they are not
yet competent to serve as electors, and
thus become eligible for office in' the lo
cal governments under which they live.
Clothed with the elective franchise,
their numbers, already largely in excess
of the - demand for labor, would be soon
increased by an influx from the adjoining
States. Drawn from fields where employ.
ment is abundant, they would in vain seek
it here, and so add to the embarrassments
already experienced from the large class
of idle persons congregated in . the Dis
Hardly yet capable of forming cor
rect judginentsupon the important ques-0
tions that often make the issues of a po
litical contest, they could, readily be made
subservient to the purposes of designing
persons. While in Massachusetts, under
the census of 1860, the proportion of
hers of the community. Imposed upon
an unwilling people, placed by the Consti
, tution under the exclusive legislation of
Congress, it would ho viewed as an arbi
trary exercise of power, - and as an indien
! tion by the country of the purpose of Con
gress to compel the acceptance of negro
suffrage by the States. It would engen
der a feeling of opposition and hatred be
i tween the two races, which, becomin g
ineradicable, deep rooted and would
vent them from living together in a state
lof mutual friendliness. Carefully avoiding
every measure that might tend to pro
s r s t i
y a b i
e n
t e N d r e
th e it
such-a result, and followingthe clear
a promote
will,n d thus ll.e
1 a k sin i l i od id u l r y de r al
when that popular will leads the way,
prepare for the gradual and harmonious
introduction of this new element into the
political power of the country.
It cannot be urged that the prep d 1
I ose ;
I p-tension of suffrage in the District of
; Columbia is necessary to enable persons
;of color to protect either their interests
lor their rights. They stand here precise
ly as they stand in Pennsylvania, Ohio,
I and Indiana. Here, as elsewhere, in all
; that - pertains to civil rights, there is roSt.h ,
; ing to distinguish this c/ass of persons from Ii
' citizens of the. United States; for they pos
the "full and equal benefitof all laws
and proceedings for the security of per
son and property as is enjoyed by white
citizens," and are made "subject to like
punishment, pains and penalties, and to ,
,aione other, any law, statute, ordinance,
regulation or custom to the contrary not
withstanding." Nor, as has been assum
ed, are their suffrages necessary to aid a
loyal sentiment here; for local „govern
ments already exist of undoubted fealty to
the government, and al.e sustained by
communities which were among the first
to testify their devotion to the• - Union,
and which,. during the struggle, furnished
their full' quotas of men to the Military
service of the country.
The exercise of the elective franchise is
the highest attribute (Ilan American citi
zen, and, when guided by virtue, intelli
gence and patriotism, and a proper ap
preciation of our institutions, constitutes i
the true basis of a demaeasssia ..s.. ss a, ssr . , -- —s--1
er is lodged in the body of the people. reference to the mast eminent writers up-
Its influence for i good necessarily depends on our system ofgovernment, who seem
upon the elevated character and patriot- to concur in the opinion that encroach
ism of the elector, for if exercised by per- meats are most to be apprehended from
sons who do not justly estimate its val- the department in which all legislative
ue, and asi s ho are indifferent s to its re- - powers are vested by the Constitution.
sults, it swill only serve as a means of pla- Mr. Madison, in referring to the difficulty
cis; powir in the bands of the unprinci- of providing some .practiCal security for
pled and ambitious, and must eventuate each against the invasion of the others,
in the complete destruction of that liber- remarks that. " the Legislative Depart
ty of which should be the most powerful ment is every where extendiugthe sphere
conservator. Great danger, is, therefore, jof its activity, and drawing all power into
to be apprehended from an untimely ex- its impetuous vortex." " The founders
tension of the elective franchise to any of our republics * a a seem never to
new class in 611 r country, especially when have recollected the danger frqm legisla
the large majority - of that class, in wield- j tire usurpations, which by assembling all
ing the power thus placed in their hands, power in the same hands, must lead to
cannot be expected correctly to cornpre- the same,tyraany as is threatened by ex
bend the duties and responsibilities which ecutive usurpations." In a representa
pertain to suffrage. Yesterday, as it tire Republic, where the Executive Mag
were, four millions of persons were held istracy is carefully limited, both in the
in a condition of slavery, that had existed extent and the duration of its power, and
for generations; to day they are freemen, where the legislative power is exercised
and are assumed by law to be' citizens. Iby an assembly which is inspired by a
It cannot be presumed, from their provi- supposed intlaence over the people,, with
ous condition of servitude, that as a class, an intrepid confidence in its own strenth;
they are as well informed as to the nature which is • sufficiently numerous to feel all
of our Government as the intelligent for- the passions which actuate .a multitude,
eigner who makes our land the 'home of yet not so' nimierons - as to-he incapable of
hiseboice. , • pursuing the objects of its passioris-by
In the case of the latter-/neither a real- means which --reason -preseribes—it--is
deuce of five years, and the knowledge of against the enterprising, .ambition of this
our institutions which it gives, nor attach- department that the people .ought to in
ment to the principles of the Constitution, tinlge .all their jealousy and exhaust - all
are the only conditions upon which he I their precautions." - s _
can be admitted to-citizenship. He must "The Legislative Department derives
prove, in addition, a good moral charac- a superiority in our GovernMent from oth
ter, and thus give reasonable ground for er circumstances. Its constitutional pow
the belief that he will be faithful to the ers being at, once more extensive and less
obligations which he assumes as a citizen susceptible of precise limits, it can With
of the republic. Where a people—the the greater facility mask, under complies
source of all political Tower—speak,-by i. ted and indirect measures, the encroach
their suffrages, through the instrumental- ! ments Which it makes on the_ co ordinate
ity of the ballot box, it must be carefully ! departments. On the other side, the ex
guarded against the control of those who 1 ecutive power being restrained within a.
are corrupt in principle and enemies of 1 narrower compass, and beiug more sim
free institutions ; for it can only,becorue ' pie in its nature, and the judiciary being
to our political and social system a safe described by landmarks still less uncer
, conductor of healthy popular sentiment I lain, projects of usurpation by either of
when kept free from demoralizing infleen- these departments-would immediately be
' ces. Coutrolled, through fraud and usur- tray and defeat themselves. Nor is tbis
pation, by the designing, anarchy and des- i all; as the Legislative department alone
potisin must inevitably follow. In the I has access to the pockets of the people,
I hands of the patriotic and worthy, our and has iii some constitutions full disuse-
Government will be preserved upon the.
tion, and in all a prevailing influence over
principles of the Constitution inherited the'pecuniary. rewards of those who fill
from our fathers. It follows, therefore, I the other departments, a dependence is
i that in admitting to the ballot box a new thus created iti the latter which gives
I class of voters not qualified for the*elec- still greater facility to encroachmentsssf
I •
live franchise, we weaken our system of the former. We have seen that-the ten
government, instead of adding to its 1 dency of republican governments is to an
strength and durability.. ' of the legislativot the
1 aggrandizement
In returning this bill to the Senate-I ' expense of the other depart s ,
deeply regret that there• should be any bit.. Jeffetson,•in referring teillio early
conflict of opiaion between the Legiala;iN
,enstitntion of Virginia, objeetell that by
Live and executive departments of the its, provisionS , 'ail .the powers of govern-
Government in regard td measures that i ment—legfslative,, executive And. judicial
vitality agent the prosperity and peace of !,—resulted to the legislative body, hold
the country. Sincerely desiring to roc - t ing that "the ' Concentrating these in the ,
Oncile-the States with one another, and I same handS is precisely the definition of 1
the whole people to the government (di despotic government. It will be no alle
United States, it has been my earnest I viation , that these powers will be exercis- I
Wish to cooperate with Congress in all iedby a plurality of hands, and not bya
measures having - for their object apropor I single one. • One hundred and' seventy
and complete adjustment
. of the questions i t h ree despots would surely be as L oppres- 1
!resulting from . our late civil- mar. /11* I
- 6'043 one: -4tilittle Nillittliv4illtacthati ,
I monyobittowetta the. m ; bnlinake—branobes i t h e yetiodeu,- by .t eturselycs..4i Au. elen-..,
1 of the Governtnent, always necessary for
the public welfaie, alias' never more de
manded than at the -present time, and it
will therefore be myconstrifiLaim to pro:
mote, as far as possible, concert - of action
between theta. The differences of ;opin
ion that, have already occurred haVe rem
dered Me only the inore cautious list the
Executive should encroach upon any of
the prerogatives of Congress, or, by ex
ceeding, in any manner, the constitution
', al limit of his dutieS, destroy the equilib
rium which•sh - ould exist between the sex
' eral 4.70 ordinate departments, and which
is so essential to the harmonious working
lof the Goverment. I know it .bas been
urged that the executive Department is
more likely to enlarge the sphere of its ac
tion than either of the other two branch
es of the Government, and especially in
the exercise of the veto power conferred
upon it by the Constitution.
It should be remembered, hOwever, that
this power is wholly . negative and conser
vative in its character, and . was' intended
to operate as a check upon, unconstitu
tional, hasty and improvident legislation,
and as a means of Proteetien against inva
sions of the jest powers of the 'Executive
and Judicial Departments. It is remark
ed by Chancellor 'Kent, that "to enact
laws is a transcendent power; and, if the
>body that possesses it be a full and equal
representation of the people, there is dan
ger of its pressing with destructive weight
upon all the other parts of the machinery
of government. It, has, therefore, been
thought necessary, by the most skillful
and most experienced artists in the sci
ence of civil policy, that strong barriers
should be erected fur the protection and
security of the other necessary powers of
the Government. Nothing has been
deemed more fit and expedient for the .
purpose than the provision that the head
of the Executive Department should be
so constituted as to secure a requisite
share of independence, and that he should
have a negative upon the passing of laws;
and that the judiciary power, resting on
a still more permanent basis, should have
the right of determining upon the validi
ty of laws by the standard of the Consti
the despotism was not the gevetentent
we fought for; but one which shcitild not
only be feunded do freeprincipies, but in
which the powers of government . clonld
be so divided _and balanced am qag savets l ::
bodiekef magistracy as that no. opeitituhl , --
transcend, heir legal litaitiiitboakbeiag
effeetnallk checked and restrained ty the
"For this reason that Convention wbinh
passed the ordinance of sovernment laid -.
its foundation on (his basis, that the Ler
isiative, executive and Judiciary Depart
ments should be separate and distinct, so
that no person should exercise the pow
ers of more than one of them at the same
time. But tiO' barrier, was provided be
tween these several &veers. ;.The Judi
ciary and executive members were left de
pendent on the legislative for theirsubsis
tence in office, and some of them for their
continuance in it. If, therefore, the Leg
islature assumes executive and Judiciary
powers, no opposition is likely to-be made
nor, if made, can be effectual; be t cause in
that case they may put their proceedings
into the form of :let of assembly, whicht:
will render them obligatory ou the other
branches. They have - accordingly,.
ny instances, decided rights wbichshould
have been left to judicial controversy; and
the direction of the executive, during the
whole time of their session, is becoming
habitual and familiar."
Mr. Justice Story, in hiS''conimenturies
on the Constitution, reviews the same sub
ject, and says
"The truth is; that th,e legislative pow
er is the great ' and overruling, power in
free Government" -
."The representatives
of the people will watch with jealousy ev
ery encroachment of the executive Magis
trate, for it trenches upon thtir own au
thority. But who shall watch the en s
cro.achmeute ofthese representatives them
selves ? Will they be as jealoue of the
exercise of - power by Themselves as by
others?" ." There are man); reasons
which may be assigned for the engrossing
influence of the :Legislative Department.
In the first phioe, its constitutional pow
ers art more eitensiee, and les4 capable of
being brought• Within precise limits; than
those of the either of the oilier
ed. It reaches few objects, and those are
known. It cannot transcend them with
out being brought in contact . with the oth,
er departments. Lati "may check, and
restrain, and bind its exercihe. The same
remarks apply with still greater force to
the judiciary. The jtiriadietion io or
. I - '
may be bounded to a few objoets' or per
sons or, however general and unlimited,
its operations are nyeesstfrily confitielitt
the mere administration of iiiivate' and
public justice
act upon. It can decide only Upon rights
and cases as they are brought by others
before it. It can do nothing fdritself.. It
must do everything fur otherS. It mast
obey the laws; and jilt corruptly adminis
ters them it is subject to the powef of
On the other band, the legislative pOir
er, except in the few (*.les of e.onstitution- -
al prohibition, is enlimited. It is forever
varying its means and its end. It gov
erns the laws and institutions and public
policy of the country. It regulates all he
vast interests. It disposes of till itsprop-
erty. Look brit at the exercise - of ovo or
three branches of its ordinaryLpoweis.
levies all taxes; it directs and aPPr n ini; 1-
ates all supplies ; it gives the rules for tile'
descent, distribution and dm:Flies, of
property held by individuals. controls
the sources and resources of [wealth. It
changes at its the whole fabrics' or
the laws. It mord& at its ple4ure almoit
all the institutions which give strengt h
and comfort and dignity to Society. - In .
the next place it is the directOisible rep ,
resentative-of the will of the people in alt
the changes of time and cliTtonstances.— '
It has the pride as 'well 'ns the power • of
numbers. It is easily moved , and steadi
ly moved by the strong impulses of Popu
lar feeling and popular odium. It obeys,
without reluCtance, the wishes and 'the
will of the majority for the time being.— .' -
The path tat plblie favor lies ?pen by such
obedience; and it ends not only support
but impunity in whatever Measures the
majority advises, even though they tran
scend the constitutional-limits. It hastier'
motive, therefore, to be jealous' or sett-'
pnlous in its own use of power, and it;
finds its ambition stimulated' and' he arm '
strengthened by the countenance and the '
courage of nuinbers. These views are not, •
alone those of men who look with appre
hension upon the fate of republics, but
they are also freely admitted by some of
strongest aavocateslor popularrights
and the permanency of republican institu
tions." ." Each department', should have
a will of its owb." "Each Ahotild".hiviie
its own indcpendence-secure? beyond the_
power of being taken away by either or
both di the .others. But at the UTIIO time
the relations - of each to the !other should .
be so strong that there shouid be mow,
al.interest to sustain: and pretect each oth ,
er. - There should' , ..nedoonly be constitu
tional means, but personal Motives, to're
sist encroachments of one or( either of the:
others. Thus, ambition would be madeto
counteract ambition; the deiBire4 of power
tat:heck .poweri , and. the iiressuire.ot in
west, to .bitrIUUU) 40,'OfitstaReg
It uannia pnui-ti without
It cannot create cuntrtivermies to