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MAY 9, 1832.]

Case of Samuel Houston.

(H. OF R.

the constitution, all barriers for the security of our liber- Note 2.- Amendments to the Constitution of the United ties, in order to invest him with absolute power; little

States. thinking of the shortness of the time during which he can 4th Amendment. “The right of the people to be secure bold it, or of the impossibility of preventing it from passo in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against uning into other hands, or of restraining its exercise when- reasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated; ever it may fall into those of an ambitious President, dis, and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause, supposed to respect no law but his own will, and to disregardported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing all restraints on its free indulgence. The gentleman from Tennessee has thought proper to se zed.”

the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be notice certain rumors in the public prints, that there is an 5th Amendment. “No person shall be held to answer

association of some sort between the President and the party for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a pre· accused, in relation to the subject, and connecting him sentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases

with the enterprises before mentioned. These were men- arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia when tioned by the gentleman for the purpose of giving them a in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor contradiction. He has contradicted them in his place; but shall any person be subject, for the same offence, to be does he expect his word to be taken by those who have twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be comtheir fears? If he does, he asks too much. A statement pelled, in any criminal case, to be a witness against him. made hy that gentleman of facts which could be within self; nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without his knowledge, I would believe, and, without hesitation, due process of law," &c. make the foundation of an order, as did the House of Delegates of Virginia, in 1784, on the word of Patrick Hen-cused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial by

6th Amendment. In all criminal prosecutions, the acry, in Warden's case. This credence I would give, be an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the cause not only the gentleman from Tennessee possesses crime shall have been committed, which district shall have the confidence of forty or fifty thousand freemen, whom been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of he represents here, but because of his personal worth, the nature and cause of the accusation, to be confronted and of his talents and public services here. But he can with the witnesses against him, to have compulsory prohave no personal knowledge of those matters, nor can any cess for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the one except the parties implicated; and unless we knew assistance of counsel for his defence.” the witnesses whom he has consulted, and could hear the

The above amendments are not original. They exist in facts, no obligation of courtesy challenges our assent. I

England, and have grown out of their civil revolutions, would not have alluded to the rumors of the day, had not beginning with the charter granted at Runny Mead, in the gentleman dragged them into debate, for the purpose the early part of the thirteenth century, called the great of their refutation.

charter. Since the great revolution of 1688, and the Rumor, indeed, with her hundred tongues, has said establishment of an independent judiciary, the rights and much on these topics, and much to alarm; but public ru- privileges of an Englishman are secured, precisely as ours mors are so frequently false, that but little confidence, I

are by the above amendments. Yet these provisions were admit, is to be placed in them. I generally disregard never understood to interfere with the power of the them, and wait for proof. If the gentleman from Tennes- courts, or of Parliament, to punish contempts or breaches see (Mr. Polk) will extend the inquiry he proposed the of privilege. The twenty-first Congress explained and other day, to some of those matters, I would thank him. limited the provision in the judicial act of 1789, relating What to me bears the most inauspicious appearance, the to contempts, and, in doing so, never dreamed that they most ominous threatenings, is, the industry of purpose, of or their predecessors of the first Congress were interfermeans, of modes of attack-all tending to arbitrary power. ing with the constitution as originally adopted, or with the This identity may result from the operations of one mind, amendments relied on. The people of Virginia have the or of many combined. The latter I think far the most same enactments as those in the amendments before menprobable, because the purpose has long been manifest, tioned; yet the General Assembly, and their courts, pun. and many of the means employed, before he, who is now ish contempts in the usual manner. Virginia has legislated President, was even thought of as such.

on this subject, and limited the power, still treating and defining it as a power existing without any enactment.

That State has but lately refused to imitate the provisions NOTE 1.-Art. 3, Sect. 1, Constitution of the United States. of the act of the last Congress.

NOTE 3. 1. “The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts I have mentioned the law of Pennsylvania, authorizing as the Congress may, from time to time, ordain and esta- the employment of military force to resist the execution blish,” &c.

of a decree of the Supreme Court, in Olmstead's case. 2. “The judicial power shall extend to all cases in law I will now present to the public the resolutions of that and equity arising under this constitution, the laws of the State, proposing to amend the constitution so as to create United States, and treaties made, or which shall be made, an impartial tribunal to settle questions of right and jurisunder their authority,” &c.

diction between the State and Federal Governments. It is manifest that the first and second sections of the The act of Assembly being referred to in the resolutions, third article of the constitution have relation only to that I omit its insertion. I also add the letter of Governor judicial power which is vested by each nation in its judi- Snyder to President Madison, with the answer of the latcial tribunals, for the trial of all causes, of whatever na- ter; the Executive communication of Pennsylvania to the ture, civil and criminal, between parties, or in rem, where several States, proposing the amendment to which I have one party is either unknown, or whose appearance cannot alluded. I add the answers of New Hampshire, Vermont, be enforced. These provisions have no possible reference New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Kentucky, North Caroto that incidental, inherent power of self-defence, which lina, Tennessee, and Georgia. I regret that I have not all tribunals, when created, must possess to enable them those of Delaware and South Carolina. The doctrine to exercise their powers.

contended for by Pennsylvania, in 1809, was, so far as the The first Congress so thought, and gave power to pun- judicial power is concerned, the present State right docish contempts of court by fine and imprisonment in a sum-trine. That State denied the competency of the Supreme mary manner.

Court to decide, finally, on the constitutional powers of VOL. VIII.-182

H. OF R.]
Case of Samuel Houston.

(Mar 9, 1832. the State and General Government, or on rights claimed if they resist encroachments on their rights, will freby a State, and adjudged to it by its own courts. She quently be interrupted; and if, to prevent this evil, they accused the Supreme Court of usurpation, and proposed should, on all occasions, yield to stretches of power, the the creation of a separate special tribunal for such pur- reserved rights will depend on the arbitrary power of the poses. Mr. Madison was President; he considered, as he courts. did when he wrote the judicial act of 1789, when he as- Resolved, That, should the independence of the States, sisted to adopt the constitution, and, as he has lately ex- as secured by the constitution, be destroyed, the liberties plained himself, that the Supreme Court was the very of the people in so extensive a country cannot long surtribunal created for this great purpose, without which the vive. To suffer the United States' courts to decide on scheme of a Federal Government must have been imper- State rights, will, from a bias in favor of power, necesfect, and must have soon fallen to pieces by conflicts of sarily destroy the federal part of our Government: and, authority.

whenever the Government of the United States becomes During the administration of Mr. Madison, and of his consolidated, we may learn from the history of nations immediate predecessor, the party, calling itself republi- what will be the event. can, was kept together: it remained unbroken; was not, To prevent the balance between the General and State as now, mixed up and compounded of the elements of all Governments from being destroyed, and the harmony of the parties that ever existed, and embracing the leaders the States from being interrupted, of all. When that party had the ascendancy in the Gene- Resolved, That our Senators in Congress be instructed, ral Government, and in a sufficient number of the States, and our Representatives requested, to use their influence to make any amendment they pleased, all the old States to procure an amendment to the constitution of the United east of the Mississippi, and south of the Hudson, together States, that an impartial tribunal may be established to with Tennessee and Kentucky, formed out of two of them, determine disputes between the General and State Governsolemnly decided that the siipreme Court was the tribu- ments; and that they be further instructed to use their nal appointed by the constitution to decide finally on the endeavors, that, in the meanwhile, such arrangements rights, powers, and jurisdiction of the General and State may be made between the Government of the Union and Governments. Perhaps I ought not to say all; I am not of this state, as will put an end to existing difficulties. certain whether South Carolina and Delaware acted at Resolved, That the Governor be requested to transmit a all; if they did, Delaware must have concurred, for such has copy of these resolutions to the Executive of the United always been her doctrine. I think it was understood that States, to be laid before Congress at their next session. South Carolina also concurred. Pennsylvania ought not And that he be authorized and directed to correspond to be excepted, because, although her Government re. with the President on the subject in controversy, and to sisted, her people overthrew the resistance, and concur- agree to such arrangements as may be in the power of red with all the country south of the Hudson. President thie Executive to make, or that Congress may make, either Madison felt himself bound by the decision of the Su- by the appointment of commissioners or otherwise, for preme Court; assumed to himself no power to controvert settling the difficulties between the two Governments. that decision, but determined to enforce it. I add the And that the Governor be also requested to transmit a answer of New Hampshire, also, because that State ap- copy to the Executives of the several States in the Union, pears to concur with the South in their present politics. with a request that the same be laid before their respect

Let any reflecting citizen look upon the doctrines of ive Legislatures. the whole South, in 1809, and contrast them with those of

JAMES ENGLE, part of the South now; the peaceful constitutional princi.

Speaker of the Ilouse of Representatives. ples of the former, with the turbulent nullifying notions of

P. C. LANE, the present time; and, while making the comparison, let

Speaker of the Senate. him reflect on what the party, calling itself republican,

Approved the 3d day of April, 1809. then was, and on the strange, discordant elements of

SIMON SNYDER. which the party assuming the same name now is concocted. Whoever seriously reflects on these things, must be led to fear that dissolution lies at the bottom of the pre

LANCASTER, April 7, 1809. sent doctrines of the South.

To the President of the United States:

Sir: In discharge of a legislative injunction, I transmit Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of to you the proceedings of the General Assembly on the the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, &c. That, as a mem- long litigated case of Gideon Olmstead and others versus ber of the Federal Union, the Legislature of Pennsylvania Elizabeth Sergeant and Esther Waters, executrixes of acknowledges the supremacy, and will cheerfully submit David Rittenhouse, deceased, late treasurer of Pennsylto the authority of the General Government, as far as that vania. Believing it will tend to a more perfect underauthority is delegated by the constitution of the United standing of the subject, I take the liberty of enclosing a States. But, whilst they yield to this authority, when ex- copy of an act of the General Assembly relative thereto, ercised within constitutional limits, they trust they will and also to beg leave to refer you to two other acts, passnot be considered as acting hostile to the General Govern- ed February 1st, 1801, and 2d April, 1803. ment, when, as guardians of the State rights, they cannot While I deeply deplore the circumstance which has led to permit an infringement of those rights, by an unconstitu. this correspondence, I am consoled with the pleasing idea tional exercise of power in the United States' courts. that the chief magistracy of the Union is confided to a man

Resolved, That, in a Government like that of the United who merits and who possesses so great a portion of the States, where there are powers granted to the General esteem and confidence of a vast majority of the citizens Government, and rights reserved to the States, it is im- of the United States; who is so intimately acquainted with possible, from the imperfection of language, so to define the principles of the federal constitution; and who the limits of each, that difficulties should not sometimes less disposed to protect the sovereignty and independence arise from a collision of powers: and it is to be lamented of the several States, as guarantied to them, than to defend that no provision is made in the constitution for determin- the rights and legitimate powers of the General Governing disputes between the General and State Governments ment; who will justly discriminate between opposition to by an impartial tribunal, when such cases occur.

the constitution and laws of the United States, and that of Resolved, That, from the construction the United States' resisting the decree of a judge, founded, as it is conceived, courts give to their powers, the harmony of the States, in a usurpation of power and jurisdiction, not delegated


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