Elliot’s Debates: Volume 2

Convention of New York

Saturday, July 5, 1788.—

Sec. 2. Clause 2. Amendment moved by Mr. M. SMITH: —

Resolved, as the opinion of this committee, that the Congress should appoint, in such manner as they may think proper, a council to advise the President in the appointment of officers; that the said council should continue in office for four years; that they should keep a record of their proceedings, and sign the same, and always be responsible for their advice, and impeachable for malconduct in office; that the counsellors should have a reasonable allowance for their services, fixed by a standing law; and that no man should be elected a counsellor who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and who is not either a natural-born citizen, or has not become a citizen before the 4th day of July, 1776.”

Clause 3. Motion by Mr. M. SMITH:—

Provided, That all commissions, writs, and processes, shall run in the name of the people of the United States, and be tested in the name of the President of the United States, or the person holding his place for the time being, or the first judge of the court out of which the same shall issue.”

The committee then took up the 3d article.

Mr. JONES proposed the following amendments, which he explained in a speech of some length, and was followed by Mr. SMITH; but no debate ensued: —

Resolved, as the opinion of this committee, that nothing in the Constitution now under consideration contained shall be construed so as to authorize the Congress to constitute, ordain, or establish, any tribunals, or inferior courts, with any other than appellate jurisdiction, except such as may be necessary for trial of causes of admiralty and maritime jurisdiction, and for the trial of piracies and felonies committed on the high seas; and in all other cases to which the judicial power of the United States extends, and in which the Supreme Court of the United States has no original jurisdiction, the cause shall be heard, tried, and determined in some of the state courts, with the right of appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States, or other proper tribunal, to be established for the purpose by the Congress, with such exceptions, and under such regulations, as the Congress shall make.”

As the secretary went on with this article, Mr. JONES submitted the following amendments: —

Resolve 1. “Resolved, as the opinion of this committee, that all appeals from any courts in this state, proceeding according to the course of the common law, are to be by writ of error, and not otherwise.”

Res. 2. “Resolved, as the opinion of this committee, that no judge of the Supreme Court of the United States shall, during his continuance in office, hold any other office under the United States, or any of them.”

Res. 3. “Resolved, as the opinion of this committee, that the judicial power of the United States, as to controversies between citizens of the same state, claiming lands under grants of different states, extends only to controversies relating to such lands as shall be claimed by two or more persons, under grants of different states.”

Res. 4. “Resolved, as the opinion of this committee, that nothing in the Constitution now under consideration contained, is to be construed to authorize any suit to be brought against any state, in any manner whatever.”

Res. 5. “Resolved, as the opinion of this committee, that the judicial power of the United States, in cases in which a state shall be a party, is not to be construed to extend to criminal prosecutions.”

Res. 6. “Resolved, as the opinion of this committee, that the judicial power of the United States, as to controversies between citizens of different states, is not to be construed to extend to any controversy relating to any real estate not claimed under grants of different states.”

Res. 7. “Resolved, as the opinion of this committee, that the judicial power of the United States, as to controversies between citizens of the same state, claiming lands under grants of different states, extends only to controversies relating to such lands as shall be claimed by two or more persons, under grants of different states.”

Res. 8. “Resolved, as the opinion of this committee, that the person aggrieved by any judgment, sentence, or decree of the Supreme Court of the United States, with such exceptions, and under such regulations, as the Congress shall make concerning the same, ought, upon application, to have a commission, to be issued by the President of the United States, to such learned men as he shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoint, not less than seven, authorizing such commissioners, or any seven or more of them, to correct the errors in such judgment, or to review such sentence and decree, as the case may be, and to do justice to the parties in the premises.”

Res. 9. “Resolved, as the opinion of this committee, that the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of the United States, or of any other court to be instituted by the Congress, ought not, in any case, to be increased, enlarged, or extended, by any fiction, collusion, or mere suggestion.”

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Contents

General Overview

In 1787 and 1788, following the Constitutional Convention, a great debate took place throughout America over the Constitution that had been proposed.

In-Doors Debate

View in-depth studies of the Massachusetts, Virginia, and New York state ratifying conventions.

The Federal Pillars

View drawings of the federal pillars rising published by the Massachusetts Centinel during the ratification debate.

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The Stages of Ratification: An Interactive Timeline

View the six stages of the ratification of the Constitution with links to many other features on this site.

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Interactive Ratification Map

View interactive maps showing the breakdown of Federalist-Antifederalist strength at the state level during the Ratification debate.

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