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March 17, 1830.]
Executive Powers of Removal.
- ing power and duty of the Senate during the Presidential In the discussion of "Foot's resolution” he introduced
term, when, if ever, he would be disposed to violate the the argument upon this topic of the removing power of rights of the citizen.
the President, and restraining power of the Senate, and The power is now boldly asserted on this foor by the told us he was not, as a citizen, in favor of removals for majority, for the first time since the foundation of the re- opinion's sake, or for votes given, or to make room to republic, of removing this class of federal officers by the ward followers, by the public offices of the country; and President at discretion, without the slightest restraint by then my hopes were bright, and I drew the most favorathe Senate, and without even the right of a culprit to ask ble inferences; but-yes, then came the hope-destroying the cause of condemnation, upon a blind and servile pre." but,” that in the latter branch of a sentence has spoiled sumption, on the part of the Senate, that the cause was law- so many glorious promises, in this world, held out in the ful and good! And traversing the line of their whole lives, first member of it--" but you shall not inquire whether the and their recent course under the late administration, the removals were for such causes or not!” and then my hopes majority have proclaimed over this subject an absolute in him died within me. We asked bread, and he gave us clespotism and right of dark and ex parte inquisition! It a stone. We desired a fish, and be gave us a scorpion. fell upon my ear like the anathema of the minority pro. We cannot eat either of them. Let this administration nounced from the modern Vatican! It sounded like the digest both, if it can. knell of our constitutional liberties! And let not the Sena Constitutional liberty, expelled from most governments tor from Tennessee (Mr. Grundy) " lay the flattering upon earth, faint with wandering the desert, and scorched unction to his soul,” nor deceive himself, in the moments by the vertical rays of domestic tyranny, beheld the Senaof the intoxicating victory of the combination, by suppos- tor afar off, like the broad top of an umbrageous tree, proing the public mind can be diverted from the great and mising her shade and protection; she hastened, heated and vital principles at issue between us, by telling them the fatigued herself the more, to approach him, and repose dispute is about the miserable offices of the country, or under his shadows but she found his roots surrounded by comparing the struggle for these great republican princi- many rods of impassable, pestilential morass of Executive ples to an attempt to agitate the ocean by throwing peb. will, so that she could not enter the circumference of his bles into it, as he has done. We admit the people of the shade, and she looked in another direction. United States cannot be agitated—they ought not to be In approaching the argument of the Senator from Virgiagitated-on account of the offices or the einoluments. nia, (Mr. TAZEWELL) I will not permit myself to suppose
Was it the value of the tea tax, let me ask him, that in that the late consul to Algiers, (Mr. Lee,) against whom I duced some of the fathers of the revolution to throw the voted with reluctance, arising from an acquaintance in tea chests into the harbor of Boston, and commence the 1824, that gave me an exalted opinion of the splendor of American revolution! Or was it the principle assumed by his mind; and from the double expense of outfit, and custhe British crown and Parliament, to bind the colonies, in tomary present to the Dey of Algiers, represented to us all cases whatsoever, by an ex parte, arbitrary will, in by the Senator from Virginia, as if he would persuade us which the colonies had no voice--for the British crown to vote for him; as well as from the arguments urged by never advanced the claim to do so by a dark and secret the Senator from Tennessee, (Mr. WHITE]-I will not inquisition. The victims might be present in the capital suppose this consul is to be made the scape-goat to bear of England, and even in the House of Parliament, and away the sins of this administration; and that the majority, know all the causes of their condemnation. Britons would having established their reputation with the public by his not bear the tyrannical principle now advanced. The rejection, are now about to turn round and swallow all colonies would not bear one of a milder form. And if that huge batch of nominations lying on your table-even their posterity be not wofully degenerated from the spirit all the bireling printers and editors of party papers, whose of their ancestors, since they drew the broad distinction nominations were cautiously held back for the arrival of between the value of the trifling tea tax and the great the Virginia Senators from the late convention--as if it principle involved in it, they will exclaim with us, "take were taken for granted that modern Virginia produces a all the offices in the country during the term of your Pre-race of men, good and true, with such elastic and distendisident, but restore to us our constitutional liberties, sacri- ble Senatorial guzzles, as to swallow down Camel's rump ficed to screen a rash President and cabinet from the light of the green mountains--pinus nondum secta in suis montiof inquiry, by this portentous declaration of Executive bus---with all its pines, oaks, and hemlocks unfelled upon irresponsibility, and dark inquisition!”
its sides! Old Virginia did once produce a race of men Let me now examine the substance of the arguments capable of distinguishing between the value of a tea tax by which this despotic principle is supported. And first and the great principle of regulated liberty involved in in order is the President himself. In his first message, the demand-a race apt to revolt at any arbitrary or imhe labors to propagate the idea that offices, in this country, proper use of Executive power, and jealous of the enare not private property, but public trusts. We admit it. croachments of Executive will. The President is right. Will he admit, in turn, our pro
The Senators from Virginia and Louisiana (Messrs. positions, above laid down, and more especially that offi. TAZEWELL and Livingston) have pointed out the power of ces are not the private property of a President or cabinet, impeaching the President as our only remedy for an abuwith which to buy popularity and votes, or to reward men sive exercise of the power of removal—and the Senator for votes or influence, or as instruments with which to from Missouri (Mr. Berton) concurs with the former in punish opponents for their votes and opinions? His argu- placing these matters upon the high responsibility of the inent is a two-edged sword, and cuts both ways with equal President!"--meaning impeachment as a remedy, or that keemness and force; unless, indeed, it be sinful in the car- “ the King can do no wrong!" and the two former also urge dinal and bishop to eat pig and lamb, in order that his auxiliary arguments, which I shall notice separately. Upon holiness the Pope may monopolize the market of Rome, this common doctrine of the majority, that impeachment and eat them all himself! The Senator from Tennessee is our only remedy, we contend they are wrong upon the [Mr. Grundy) has disappointed all my hopes in him upon reason and utility of the thing, as well as upon the authorithose inomentous questions. I had been taught--and I ty of the case. now discover greatly mistaught--to look to him as a star Mark the gradual approaches of despotism. Under the of constitutional liberty in the West. In our need I cast last administration, all the majority, who were then in the my eyes and hopes upon him; but he vanished like a me- Senate, held to a diametrically opposite creed; and now, teor from my view, and left me standing disappointed and within a few days past, there has been a great consolidain the dark.
tion of phalanx among the faultering and oscillating ranks
Executive Powers of Removal. .
March 17, 1830.
of the majority. Men who through their lives have taught this Government, in writing of the United States, says, and practised the reverse-men who have been doubting the first term of an American President is always spent in during the session, seem suddenly to have been converted, securing his re-election to a second; and as to the restrainand confirmed in this new and monstrous faith of Execu- ing powers of the Senate, a little management in the dis. tive irresponsibility, dark inquisition, and four years' des- position of offices can always secure a majority of that potism! Not hereditary as yet--the people are not ready body. There was too much truth in that book, whether for that. Not even for life as yet-the people are not pre- it be palatable or not. pared for that either. But a despotism for years, with no No, sir, instead of a dominant party, such as the preother restraint but to impeach the dominant party, in the sent triumphant combination, impeaching their President, person of their leader, whose popularity they abuse! Con-the astonishing scene at this moment exhibited in this body sul for years, with a servile Senate! Then Consul for life, shows the impossibility of that being the appropriaie pre with a more servile Senate! Then Emperor of France, ventive against the abuse of power by the Executive. In with absolute power!
the recess, a rash administration, surrounded and pressed All history warns us that such are the regular gradations by a mercenary host of office hunters, claiming the reward by which the liberties of mankind have been successfully of their prostituted influence and votes, contrary to the assailed and overcome. They seldom fall by one grand known original design of the President, rushed into a coup de main on the first assault. The rampart of written course of proscription 'and rewards, that led them into constitutions is seldom overleaped at the first effort, as Re- an inextricable dilemma. The friends of law and the mus overleaped the mimic walls of his brother Romulus outraged elective rights of the citizen demanded the at the rude foundation of Rome.
cause of the removals. If the adininistration should come It is more usual and practicable to approach it by gra- out with the true causes, like conscious innocence anveildual undermining, or by taking sufficient distance, and sing herself, and acknowledge they had used the offices of planting a style of precedent two feet high, then four, six, the country as their own private property, as means of reeight, ten, until the assailants reach and surmount the wall, wards and punishments, for the exercise of the right of enter the fortress, and carry even the citadel itself. The election, the honest yeomanry of the United States, wbo usual process is for a combination, under some name or had no sinister views in the late election, would condemo other, to rally around some popular leader, usually one them. If the administration should shrink from the truth, dazzling the multitude with military fame; set him up for fear ta tell the people that their public offices had been their head, to answer their own purposes; seize the Go- used as bribes to buy popularity, or weapons of war vernment, and gradually demolish, one after another, the pon opponents, and make a false return to our call, we last landmarks of constitutional liberty; and then taunt the could and would expose the falsehood of the return, and slaves by telling them to go exercise the right of rebellion, the cajoled public would give a verdict against them, and and rescue themselves by victory if they can. If you suc- damn them for the double crime. Let the administration ceed, it will be glorious revolution--if not, your chains can choose either born of the dilemma, and public condemnabe riveted no closer!
tion will be inevitable. There is no alternative but for the The only redeeming feature in this four years' despotism majority to refuse to allow the inquiry-the high and hithof the majority, is the right of impeaching the President, erto unalienable right of inquiry into the exercise of Exto which we are pointed as a relief from our chains. That ecutive discretion and official trust, which stands in reis to say, go put the majority down if you can; for never publics in opposition to the maxim that “ the King can until then could you impeach their President, if there do no wrong" in monarchies. And, with all the precept
Was ever the miracle achieved of inducing and practice of their lives staring them in the face, the a majority, in the spring tide of success, to impeach them- majority has now resolved to exclude every ray of light selves, in the person of their leader, for deeds of despot- from the causes of removal. This administration cannot ism done to accommodate themselves and their friends bear the responsibility; but, if it be distributed among some Impeachment indeed! As well might some philanthropist twenty-five or six Senators, it may be less felt; and we travel in the South, and there proclaim, trumpet-tongued, need not be surprised if the most lucrative offices and to the slaves of America, "Rise! impeach your masters splendid appointments should be thrown at their feet br before themselves, for holding your race in slavery for two the grateful administration; as the King would reward his hundred years!” And if the children of Africa should parasite for saving the royal reputation at the hazard of doubt the practicability of inducing the masters to in- his own; or, as Alexander, whose madness had rushed him peach and condemn themselves, when made judges in into some inextricable ambuscade or dilemma, would fi their own cause, let him explain himself intelligibly-- ward old Parmenio, Philip's general, for covering him “Rise, turn the tables on your masters; enslave them for from the assailants, by risking his own life, and sacrificing two hundred years in your turn, and make them raise the veteran phalanx! 1 appeal from the interested argucorn, cotton, and rice, indigo, tobacco, and sugar cane, ments of the dominant party, who are accused by the mifor you.”
nority of this violation of our constitutional rights, to the But suppose the miracle performed, of a majority, in venerable and disinterested authority of the illustrious the zenith of power, impeaching themselves in the House dead, who founded the Government, and set it in motion: of Representatives, for the uses they have made of the and in due time I will appeal to the past acts of the majo President's popularity and military eclat. Is it quite sure rity as good authority against themselves, and no more. we could persuade two-thirds in the Senate to condemn In the concluding paragraph of the same nuinber serenand punish him for cause, even if that were the preventive ty-seven of the Federalist, upon this very subject of apremedy against arbitrary will?
pointment and removal, after showing the constant feMr. Hamilton, in writing his seventy-seventh number of straining power of the Senate to be the preventive rer the Federalist, was a prophet. In treating of the suppos- dy to save the republic from harm, by the encroachment ed danger of the Senate overruling the President, and as- of Executive wil, Mr. Hamilton points out "lis liab Jay suming the Government, he said, “besides this, it is evi- at all times to impeachment, trial, dismission from ofice; dent that the power that can originate the disposition of incapacity to serve in any other, and to the forfeiture honors and emoluments, is more likely to attract than to of life and estate, by subsequent prosecution in the be attracted by the power which can merely obstruct their common course of law. But these precautions, great is course.". And Mr. Hamilton, like another Elijah, seems they are, are not the only ones which the plan of the to have shed his mantle upon his Elisha. A foreigner, sup- convention has provided in favor of the public security. posed to be Mr. Poletica, the late Minister from Russia to in the only instances in which the abuse of the Executive
March 17, 1830.]
Executive Powers of Removal.
anthority was materially to be feared, the Chief Magis- tional in the case of a marshal, for example, all the estrate of the United States would, by that plan, be subject- tates beld under the sales of the successor would be void, ed to the control of a branch of the legislative body. What and the proceedings in such cases, from the beginning, more can an enlightened and reasonable people desire?” might be opened, and the property of the country unsetSuch was the exposition upon which the people adopted tled! Suppose it be so, is not that a question for the Judithe constitution of government presented by its framers. ciary Department Can any decision of the Senate, either
Thus we see that the high power of impeachment was way, on these calls for information on these nominations, intended only for punishment and disqualification, in exchange the legality of such titles? That matter is already traordinary cases of corruption and crime; and, in party fixed one way or the other for the past. Let us do our duty times, can never be used until after the dominant party is for the future. Would even the violation of our oaths, down, if at all. It was never intended as the common and of the constitution, secure such titles, if they be preventive remedy of restraint upon the encroachment of void? Executive will, pending the Presidential term, when, if The Senator from Louisiana, (Mr. Livingston) as a ever, the mischief will be done. So in an attorney, re- reason for excluding the light of inquiry from the deeds ceiver, collector, marshal, and the like, the mischief they of the administration, points us, in addition to the power do is not in the moment of transit from the end of one of impeachment, to the responsibility of the President to term to the beginning of another. Pending the term, as the people at the end of his term! and even says, that is well with the President as with the inferior officers of the better and more direct than the greatly divided responsiGovernment, is the mischief-doing season; and hence the bility of this more numerous body! So seem to think restraint of the Senate on the President, and of the ap- the powers that be; and hence the cabinet and President, pointing power on the officers of the class before the Se- being but a small body, shrink so modestly from this innate, during their terms. The highest and lowest may be quiry, and expect the majority to assume the responsibili. subjected to impeachment, which was intended to be the ty of screening them at their own hazard, by excluding arsenic of the State, to be administered only in extreme the light. cases, and then with a careful and skilful hand, and But let us examine this new security for the public, not as the food of the body politic, and the milk and has. which looks very much like a new edition of the homely ty pudding of the republic, to be taken as daily aliment. proverbs, of shutting the door after the horse is stolen, or In other countries the impeaching and the attaining pow- administering medicine after the patient is dead. The Preer have been employed upon minorities. Man is the sident is responsible, to the extent of his re-election, at same in America.
the end of his term; but does that either prevent or cure The Senator from Virginia taught us directly the re- the barm done the republic during the term? So is the verse of this in the Panama report under Mr. Adams; whole class of officers now before the Senate responsible, he now tells us, that to inquire into, and determine to the extent of a re-appointment, to the appointing power, the cause of removal, would be prejudging the cause at the end of the term: but has that been found efficient of impeachment that may come before us! It is an un- to prevent them from embezzling our funds and ruining safe and unsound notion to consider the withholding of our affairs, so far as they lie within their circle of action, the advice and consent to a nomination as a reflection during the term; and then escaping from the continent, even upon the nomince; much less could such withhold- through the mouths of our great rivers and estuaries, ing be prejudging the President guilty of corruption and or going to Texas or Mexico, before that responsibility impeachable offence. But pray, would it be prejudging attaches? the innocence of the President, when he informs us, as he So the President, if disposed himself, or if pressed, as is bound to do, how the vacancy happened, whether by I believe he has been, and still is, by a mercenary party, removal, resignation, or death, to sanction all, and thus into a course of illegal and tyrannical proscription, must be commit ourselves? Did the Senate prejudge Mr. Monroe restrained during the term when the mischief is about to and his cabinet guilty of impeachable corruption, in re happen: for no man can pretend that our ancestors, watchjecting the military nominations in 1822, on the ground ful of the rights of their posterity, were less jealous of the that others were lawfully in, or entitled to those offices? chief Executive, than they were of the little subordinate It is a new idea of the Senator, and has no soundness in it. agents of the public, or less jealous of the constitutional The whole effect of our proceeding is to exercise our liberties of the country, than of the paltry trash called wholeson.e restraining power, and determine whether money. Besides, the very point of our objection is, that there be a lawful vacancy to be filled, without touching, if the offices of the country may be thus used as propertyeither by consent or refusal, the higher and distinct ques. as means of purchasing support, or instruments of represstion, whether there be corrupt and impeachable motives. ing opponents, a combination of ambitious men, using the Is every court that errs in judgment of law, guilty of im- martial fame of a President--the bauble that has always peachable motives, and prejudged by the reversal of the cajoled nations out of their liberty, or had much to do in judgment? Or, does the Senator intend to assume that it will in time buy their way into a permanent possession There was impeachable motive in the fell swoop of this of the Government; and, with the purse and the sword, administration? I shall not dispute with him upon that compel the people to submit to the great change in the point at present. No, the President, pent up in this city, principles of the Government now proclaimeil on this cannot possibly know the fitness of applicants, or the cau- foor; and then run through the rapid gradations to absoses of removal, so well as the Senators from the State; lute despotism, as so many republics have done before us. and hence the wisdom of this representative plan, and We see that combination gradually raising their mounds the restraining power of the Senate in form of advice, and towards the top of our ramparts. We object to their not of condemnation. It should be exercised in candor quietly approaching, and overtopping our walls. They and charity towards the President, as the gentle and ordi- lull us by their speeches, as Titus might have told the nary medicine of the State, even by those called the op- Jews at the siege of Jerusalem. “Behold! this is your position, and not to harass and embarrass the Chief Ma- Sabbath day! It is not lawful to make resistance to our gistrate, or as arsenic to destroy him. If there be cause works on this day.” The Jews kept their Sabbath, and of impeachment, it must arise, usually, in the obstinate prosecuted their internal feuds; and Titus raised his perseverance in arbitrary Executive will, after the Senate incunds, and planted his battering rams and catapults. So has approved or rejected.
the Senator tells us--behold, these four years are a SabAnother novel doctrine of the Senator from Virginia is, bath; (ise no preventive or restraining measures; let us that if we should determine the removal to be unconstitu- raise, and approach with our mounds, until the end of the
open and avowed, the President wants my vote, and I want
[March 17, 1830. term; and then you may make a sally, and throw them all to have empowered them, like another Sampson, to pull down if you can. History informs us that Titus took Je- down the very pillars on wbich it rests, and prostrate all rusalem. And if this dark inquisition, unexaminable pro- in the dust. What strange madness in the father of a scription, and abuse of the offices and honors of the coun- young family to hire a guard, at twenty-five thousand doltry, by using them as funds to purchase popularity, be lars per annum for the captain, and six thousand dollars tolerated by the public, (for this minority is powerless, each for the subordinates, to watch over bis household; save only to sound the alarm,) history will tell posterity and then authorize them to strangle the mother or nurse, that a combination of aspirants, of all political denomina- upon whose preservation depends the existence of his tions, destroyed the constitutional liberties of the United helpless offspring! The freedom and purity of elections States by the usual gradations of tyranny and bribery are as essential to our liberties as the pillars to the dome combined, as was feared and deprecated by the father of they support, or the mother or nurse to the suckling inhis country! Let him who doubts this final result of the fant. principles now advocated here, reflect a moment upon only But let us return, and see how completely the doctrine of a few of the immediate practical consequences of those this session annihilates the very appointing power of the principles.
Senate, renders them the mere servile registers of ExecuAnd, first, the present doctrine of the majority completė- tive rescripts, and breaks down the dykes that keep out ly annihilates the appointing power of the Senate, as well the ocean of despotism and corruption! Suppose Clark as its salutary restraining power; and confers despotic dis-appointed Treasurer to-day by an almost unanimous vote cretion upon the President. It is true, this majority could of the Senate, as the fact was. To-morrow A comes, and turn around again to their old opinions and practice; but, convinces this administration that he commanded at the in the mean time, the liberties of the country are in dan- last election, or can command at the next, a thousand more ger, when the sentinel bas deserted his post upon the wall; votes than the incumbent. A is made Treasurer, and a and the four years' despotism may be, as with so many servile Senate advises and consents to their own degradaother republicans, but the prelude to one of a more per tion. Next day B shows the candidate for the next Presimanent and dreadful character.
dency that he can command double the number, and B is The Senator from Louisiana (Mr. Livingston] admits appointed Treasurer in place of A, removed. A servile that his doctrine enables the President to keep a favorite Senate advises and consents; and so on throughout the in office, or turn the best man out, in spite of the Senate! alphabet, from A to Z. Does not every one see that the And what is that but despotism?' The admission is per- appointing power of the Senate is surrendered and gone? fectly correct; and we thank him for so much develop- The restraining power of the Senate, the high trust given ment of the principles of this Mosaic, tasselated adminis- us for public security, and not as a feather to decorate cur tration. Look at the case of William Clark, Treasurer of individual caps, is surrendered and gone. Are we asked the United States. I take it for its strength; for his high what is the remedy? It is plain. Ask the cause of the qualifications for the office; for his mild and spotless cha- removal; and if the administration dare tell the truth, it racter, and because he has rendered more conspicuous ser- will be, that it was for opinion's sake, or the exercise of vices to his country in the late war, in his humbler sphere, the elective right, or to pay a bribe previously stipulated than General Jackson did, in proportion to his more eleva- by contract, express or implied, for votes or influence. ted and expanded theatre of action. The Senate, friends Tell the President, as the British barons told their King, of Jackson and all, confirmed his nomination at the last " we are not willing to have the laws of” appointment session. No sooner were our backs turned, than he was and removal changed. Tell him the cause of the removal struck from the roll of office, to make room to reward a is itself unlawful, and the removal void—not only unlaw. favorite eulogist of the President. And, according to the ful, but against the constitutional rights of the citizen and doctrines now taught, the Senate cannot even ask for the the Senate, and doubly void; and, consequently, there be: cause; but a servile Senate must register the rescript in ing no other objection, William Clark is still Treasurer of submissive humility! There is no other way of saving your the United States of right, though ousted by superior administration from public reprehension, than by screening force. But if a false return be made, let the people and them from the light of truth; for we defy them to show their representatives determine which master they will any cause for this unlawful act but the opinion of General serve, the President or the constitution; and if the latter, Clark, and to reward a partisan by rendering the offices impeach him for violating the constitutional rights of the the private property of the administration, to reward their citizen, and making the false return; if the former, let friends and punish their opponents. Their corrupt and them wear their chains, as unworthy of liberty regulated subsidized press has been employed all summer in assign- by law, and go worship their idol, and tremble at his ing false causes for such removals; but when the Senate frowns. meets, and the minority demands the true causes, they Let me read you another practical consequence from shrink from the inquiry ir. conscious guilt. And no won your own book, the long neglected report of the Senator of the conversion of the offices of the country into the Mr. Adams was President,) upon the propriety of curtail. means of tyranny and bribery combined, as such a use of ing Executive patronage. Listen, and admire the fulfilthem would be.' The causes of removal cannot bear the ment of the prophecy. light. The ears of the American people must not hear In page 3, * "And in this aspect of the reality sve them! their eyes must never behold them on paper! The behold the working of patronage, and discover the rear Turk from office, for the mere exercise of some privilege ages, to flock to the standard of power, wheresoever
, and secured to him by the capricious edict of the Sultan, bis by whomsoever, it may be raised.". master. Still less dare the head of an American depart
In pages 10 and 11. “We must then look forward to ment avow having struck an American citizen from the the time when the nomination by the President can roll of official existence for his opinion of the fitness of carry any man through the Senate, and his recommenda elective franclube, secured to liim by the more permanent Congress, when the principles of public action will be and august guaranty of the constitution. to appointed a President and cabinet to guard it and then mene of one
man". And what is the government of one the office I for
What will this be but the govern
March 17, 1830.]
Executive Powers of Removal.
man but a monarchy? Names are nothing. The nature The culprit, arraigned at the bar, and the military, subject of a thing is in its substance, and the name soon accom- to the personal orders of the President, and liable to be modates itself to the substance.
stricken from the roll by his fiat, are entitled to more
courtesy and fairness than this. “Those who make the President must support him. And, on behalf of the outraged rights of the country, I Their political fate becomes identified, and they must stand now appeal to Mr. Madison, who is still living, and to the or fall together. Right or wrong, they must support him." just spirits of the illustrious dead, whose voice is to be
A precious confession! So thought Washington heard in the constitution of the United States, in the con when warning is of the danger of combinations, for Wash- temporaneous expositions of that instrument, and in the ington called things by their right names. With him, in early legislation of the country, and to the laws of the that instance, the name was quite significant of the thing land, to learn the true extent of this power of removal so much to be dreaded by posterity. Behold in this ad. from office, the causes for which it may be exerted, and ministration, and in this majority of the Senate, the reali- the concurrent and restraining powers of the Senate of the zation of the fears of Washington, and the fulfilment of United States, in such cases, to secure the citizen from the the predictions of the prophet of evil!
arbitrary will of a single man. The opinion of Mr. MadiYou have only to add, as your speeches indicate that you son we have in the case where, by law, the President has will, your sanction to the practice of removing men with the absolute power of removing his creature at will, that out a shadow of lawful cause, or any other that you dare no wanton use can be made even of that absolute poweravow, to make room for corrupting the very sources of an opinion in consonance with the genius of our republic, mental light, by rewarding the corps of mercenary editors; which views all powers as public trusts, and none as mere or to reward even the very electors of President and Vice prerogatives. The constitution, article 2, section 2, gives President-who, above all others, should stand aloof in the the appointment of the whole class of officers of the pubhigh and honorary duty they perform, like Cæsar's wife, lic now before you, with terms, tenures, and duties pre. not only free from reproach, but above suspicion; and scribed by law, and not by Executive will, to the President then add a dark, ex parte, worse than Spanish inquisition and Senate of the United States. Congress has not thought of condemnation and removal, and refuse all inquiry and it proper, if they possess the power, to bestow the appointpublic knowledge of the causes--and your four years' des- ment elsewhere; but has left this whole class upon the propotism will be complete!“ The President must be sup- visions of the constitution. ported, right or wrong. He wants my vote, and I want I have attempted to demonstrate, and the Senator from his patronage!" Hang over the palace door, as you please, Louisiana (Mr. L.) admits, that the doctrine now contendthe label of law and liberty,” inside stalk the demons of cd for by the majority annibilates the appointing power dark, inquisitorial, proscriptive despotism, amidst the of the Senate, ani renders the President absolute, and at clanking apparatus for forging chains and manacles for liberty to keep in or turn out men in defiance of the Senslaves!
ate. The restraining power belongs to the organization But there is a redeeming spirit in the American charac- of the Senate, for the public security; is a high constituter. The sons of Revolutionary sires will never submit to tional trust, without which the appointing power of the this. I do not speak of commotion and revolt, the last re- Senate is annihilated; and we cannot renounce it, nor de. sort of wretched slaves, but of the calm majesty of free- sert our constitutional post, as guardians of the public men, (cajoled, deceived, and infatnated by an interested liberty. To abandon it changes the nature of our Governoffice hunting combination, using the common artifice, the ment, and, as you yourselves declared in Mr. Adams's martial fame of their leader, and the cry of coalition and time, makes the President a monarch! Under this derereform,) rising, and, in the forms of their violated elective liction of duty, the United States are no longer a repubfranchise, redressing their wrongs, and reclaiming their lic! Tell us no more of the tyranny of kings, and of the rights and liberties, as inherited from their fathers. For, servility of parasites and courtiers, bowing and acknowin leaving the graves of their forefathers, and migrating ledging “the King can do no wrong.” It is a striking beyond the grand range of the Alleghanies, to find free circumstance that they who have pretended most regard space and easy sustenance for themselves and their fami- for popular rights and democracy, are the advocates of lies, they carried with them, even to the remote wilds of the alarming power now conceded to the President. the Osage and Desmoines, the St. Francois, and the Merri Let us now hear the contemporaneous expositors of the mack, those principles of union and civil liberty which constitution, to learn if such arbitrary and unexaminable they inherited from their fathers, and there cherish them discretion was contemplated. Mr. Hamilton, one of the in their hearts, and impress them upon the minds of their framers of the constitution, in the seventy-seventh numchildren.
ber of the Federalist, says, when he, and Madison, and Jay, Turning with disgust and abhorrence from this picture were expounding the nature of our Government to induce of despotism and midnight inquisition, with the determi- the people to adopt it: nation of freemen not to submit to it, let us look upon that “It has been mentioned as one of the advantages to be fair portrait of law and liberty with which the gentleman expected from the co-operation of the Senate in the busifrom Delaware cheered us, and fix our hopes upon its fu- ness of appointments, that it would contribute to the stature restoration.
bility of the administration. The consent of that body Beverly Allen, District Attorney of Missouri, to whose would be necessary to displace as well as appoint. A case I will advert, for the sake of illustration, as to holy change of the Chief Magistrate, therefore, would not ocground, where the flag of opposition to this despotic in- casion so violent or so general a revolution in the offices quisitorial abuse of power was first unfurled, in his memo- of the Government, as might be expected if he were the rial, concluded in common charity, when his removal, sole disposer of offices. Where a man, in any station, had pending his term, was announced to him, that some causes given satisfactory evidence of his fitness for it, a new Prehad been represented to the administration for such a sum-sident would be restrained from attempting a change in mary condemnation without notice, and he asked for the vor a person more agreeable to him, by the appre
He asked the Secretary of State, and he declined hension that the discountenance of the Senate miglit frusto answer him! He inquired then of the President, and trate the attempt, and bring some degree of discredit uphe stood mute! He besought the Senate of the United on himself. Those who can best estimate the value of a States to tell him, and the majority refused to print his re- steady administration, will be most disposed to prize a prospectful and laconic memorial, and now declare that they rision which connects the official existence of public men will not even inquire into the cause of his condemnation with the approbation or disapprobation of that body, which,