Executive Appointment of Judges Not Approved

Thomas Jefferson
Charles Willson Peale, 1791-1792

Independence National Historical Park

Executive Appointment of Judges Not Approved

"…I have taken lengthy notes of every thing that has yet passed [in the Convention], and mean to go on with the drudgery, if no indisposition obliges me to discontinue it."

-James Madison to Thomas Jefferson

The Convention quickly agreed that the Executive should have a veto unless overridden by a 2/3 vote, and that a National Judiciary consisting of a Supreme Tribunal should be established. Appointment of the judges by the Senate was hotly debated. Gorham preferred appointment by the executive with the advice and consent of the Senate, as in Massachusetts. Wilson and Madison agreed. Luther Martin, Sherman, Mason, Randolph, and Bedford did not. Madison noted that George Mason thought if “the Judges were to form a tribunal for [the purpose of impeaching the Executive], they surely ought not to be appointed by the Executive.” Executive appointment lost, MA and PA ay, 6 no, NJ and GA absent.

Executive appointment with Senate confirmation also lost and the Convention went on to other provisions.


Thursday, July 19, 1787
Executive Re-election Debated

HOME The 225th Anniversary of the Constitution Convention

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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