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power without rendering themselves hateful to the people at large? When this is the case, something may be left to the legislature, freely chosen by ourselves, from among ourselves, who are to share the burdens imposed upon the community, and who can be changed at our pleasure. Where power may be trusted, and there is no motive to abuse it, it seems to me to be as well to leave it undetermined, as to fix it in the constitution.
With respect to disputes between a state and the citizens of another state, its jurisdiction has been decried with unusual vehemence. I hope no gentleman will think that a state will be called at the bar of the federal court. Is there no such case at present? Are there not many cases in which the legislature of Virginia is a party, and yet the state is not sued? It is not rational to suppose, that the sovereign power shall be dragged before a court. The intent is, to enable states to recover claims of individuals residing in other states. I contend this construction is warranted by the words. But, say they, there will be partiality in it, if a state cannot be defendantif an individual cannot proceed to obtain judgment against a state, though he may be sued by a state. It is necessary to be so, and cannot be avoided. I see a difficulty in making a state defendant, which does not prevent its being plaintiff. If this be only what cannot be avoided, why object to the system on that account? If an individual has a just claim against any particular state, is it to be presumed, that on application to its legislature, he will not obtain satisfaction? But how could a state recover any claim from a citizen of another state, without the establishment of these tribunals ?
The honorable member objects to suits being instituted in the federal courts by the citizens of one state against the citizens of another state. Were I to contend, that this was necessary in all cases, and that the government without it would be defective, I should not use my own judgment. But are not the objections to
it carried too far? Though it may not, in general, be absolutely necessary, a case may happen, as has been observed, in which a citizen of one state ought to be able to recur to this tribunal, to recover a claim from the citizen of another state. What is the evil which this can produce? Will he get more than justice there?- The independence of the judges forbids it. What has he to get?--Justice. Shall we object to this, because the citizen of another state can obtain justice without applying to our state courts? It may be necessary with respect to the laws and regulations of commerce, which Congress may make. It may be necessary in cases of debt, and some other controversies. In claims for land it is not necessary, but it is not dangerous. In the court of which state will it be instituted—said the honorable gentleman. It will be instituted in the court of the state where the defendant resides, where the law can come at him, and nowhere else. . By the laws of which state will it be determined-said he. By the laws of the state where the contract was made. According to those laws, and those only, can it be decided. Is this a novelty ?-No, it is a principle in the jurisprudence of this commonwealth. "If a man contracted a debt in the East Indies, and it was sued for here, the decision must be consonant to the laws of that country. Suppose a contract made in Maryland, where the annual interest is at six per centum, and a suit instituted for it in Virginia, what interest would be given now, without any federal aid? The interest of Maryland most certainly, and if the contract had been made in Virginia, and suit brought in Maryland, the interest of Virginia must be given without doubt. It is now to be governed by the laws of that state where the contract was made. The laws which goyerned the contract at its formation, govern it in its decision. To preserve the peace of the union only, its jurisdiction in this case ought to be recurred to. Let us consider, that when citizens of one state carry on trade in another state, much must be due to the one from
the other, as the case between North Carolina and Virginia. Would not the refusal of justice to our citizens, from the courts of North Carolina, produce disputes between the states ?
Would the federal judiciary swerve from their duty, in order to give partial and unjust decisions ?
The objection respecting the assignment of a bond to a citizen of another state, has been fully answered. But suppose it were to be tried as he says, what would be given more than was actually due in the case he mentioned ? It is possible, in our courts as they now stand, to obtain a judgment for more than justice. But the court of chancery grants relief. Would it not be so in the federal court? Would not depositions be taken to prove the payments, and if proved, would not the decision of the court be accordingly?
He objects, in the next place, to its jurisdiction in controversies between a state and a foreign state. Suppose, says he, in such a suit, a foreign state is cast, will she be bound by the decision? If a foreign state brought a suit against the commonwealth of Virginia, would she not be barred from the claim if the federal judiciary thought it unjust ? The previous consent of the parties is necessary; and, as the federal judiciary will decide, each party will acquiesce. It will be the means of preventing disputes with foreign nations. On an attentive consideration of these courts, I trust every part will appear satisfactory to the committee.
The exclusion of trial by jury in this case, he urged, would prostrate our rights. Does the word court only mean the judges? Does not the determination of a jury, necessarily lead to the judgment of the court ? Is there any thing here which gives the judges exclusive jurisdiction of matters of fact? What is the object of a jury trial ?-To inform the court of the facts. When a court has cognizance of facts, does it not follow, that they can make inquiry by a jury? It is impossible to be otherwise. I hope that in this country, where impartiality is so much admired, the laws will di
rect facts to be ascertained by a jury. But, says the honorable gentleman, the juries in the ten miles square will be mere tools of parties, with which he would not trust his person or property; which, he says, he would rather leave to the court. Because the government may have a district ten miles square, will no man stay there but the tools and officers of the government? Will nobody else be found there? Is it so in any other part of the world, where a government has legislative power? Are there none but officers and tools of the government of Virginia in Richmond ? Will there not be independent merchants, and respectable gentlemen of fortune, within the ten miles square ? Will there not be worthy farmers and mechanics ? Will not a good jury be found there as well as any where else? Will the officers of the government become improper to be on a jury? What is it to the government, whether this man or that man succeeds ?
- It is all one thing. Does the constitution say, that juries shall consist of officers, or that the supreme court shall be held in the ten miles square? It was acknowledged by the honorable member, that it was secure in England. What makes it secure there? Is it their constitution? What part of their constitution is there, that the parliament cannot change? As the preservation of this right is in the hands of parliament, and it has ever been held sacred by them, will the government of America be less honest than that of Great Britain ? Here a restriction is to be found. The jury is not to be brought out of the state. There is no such restriction in that government; for the laws of parliament decide every thing respecting it. Yet gentlemen tell us, that there is safety there, and nothing here but danger. It seems to me, that the laws of the United States will ly secure trials by a jury of the vicinage, or in such manner as will be most safe and convenient for the people.
But it seems that the right of challenging the jurors.
is not secured in this constitution. Is this done by our own constitution, or by any provision of the English government? Is it done by their magna charta, or bill of rights ? This privilege is founded on their laws. If so, why should it be objected to the American constitution, that it is not inserted in it? If we are secure in Virginia, without mentioning it in our constitution, why should not this security be found in the federal court ?
The honorable gentleman said much about the quit rents in the Northern Neck. I will refer it to the honorable gentleman himself. Has he not acknowledged that there was no complete title? Was he not satisfied, that the right of the legal representative of the proprietor did not exist at the time he mentioned ? If so, it cannot exist now. I will leave it to those gentlemen who come from that quarter. I trust they will not be intimidated on this account, in voting on this question. A law passed in 1782, which secures this. He
He says that many poor men may be harassed and injured by the representative of lord Fairfax. If he has no right, this cannot be done. If he has this right and comes to Virginia, what laws will his claims be determined by ?-By those of this state. By what tribunals will they be determined ?-By our state courts. Would not the poor man, who was oppressed by an unjust prosecution, be abundantly protected and satisfied by the temper of his neighbors, and would he not find ample justice? What reason has the honorable member to apprehend partiality or injustice? He supposes, that if the judges be judges of both the federal and state courts, they will incline in favor of one government. If such contests should arise, who could more properly decide them, than those who are to swear to do justice? If we can expect a fair decision any where, may we not expect justice to be done by the judges of both the federal and state governments? But, says the honorable member, laws may be executed