Debate on the Judiciary

State House Garden
State-House Garden Philadelphia

William Birch Print
New York Public Library, www.nypl.org

Debate on the Judiciary

"The convention opens the great field of political speculation; and there seems to be at present an astonishing variety in the opinion even of respectable men…"


-"Extracts of a letter from a gentleman of character in New York":
The Massachusetts Gazette

The Convention, meeting in the Committeee of the Whole, considered the proposal that the judiciary be appointed by the national legislature. James Wilson (PA) favored their appointment by the executive - he argued intrigue, partiality and concealment would be the consequence of selection by the legislature. Rutledge (SC) was against any court system except a single supreme one. Madison (VA) and Wilson moved to leave the method of appointment blank for a while. The motion passed.

The delegates then agreed that the judiciary should have tenure during good behavior and a fixed salary. They also resolved to make provision for admitting new states to the union.

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Last updated: February 26, 2015

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