Line By Line Review

Gouverneur Morris
Gouverneur Morris, delegate from Pennsylvania
Edward Dalton Marchant, 1873-1874

Independence National Historical Park

Line By Line Review

"Mr. Gouverneur Morris moved to strike out 'punish' before the words 'offences against the laws of nations,' so as to let these be definable as well as punishable, by virtue of the preceding member of the sentence."

- James Madison in his Notes of Debates in the Federal Convention

The Convention continued their consideration of the draft Constitution reported by the Committee of Style examining it virtually line by line. As an indication of the consideration given each item, one example from James Madison's Notes on the Federal Convention:

Art. 1. Sect. 8: The Congress "may by joint ballot appointed a Treasurer."

Mr. Rutledge moved to strike out this power, and let the Treasurer be appointed in the same manner with other officers. Mr. Gorham & Mr. King said that the motion, if agreed, to would have mischievous tendency. The people are accustomed & attached to that mode of appointing Treasurers, and the innovation will multiply objections to the System. Mr. Gouverneur Morris remarked that if the Treasurer be not appointed by the Legislature, he will be more narrowly watched, and more readily impeached-- Mr. Sherman -- as the two Houses appropriate money, it is best for them to appoint the officer who is to keep it; and to appoint him as they make the appropriation, not by joint, but several votes:

General Pinckney "The Treasurer is appointed by joint ballot in South Carolina. The consequence is that bad appointments are made, and the Legislature will not listen to the faults of their own officer."

On the motion to strike out….[ Ayes-8; Nos-3]

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Saturday, September 15, 1787
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Last updated: February 26, 2015

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