« AnteriorContinuar »
7. On the creation of any new county, Justices of the Peace shall be appointed, in the first instance, in such manner as may be prescribed by law. When vacancies shall occur in any county, or it shall, for any cause, be deemed necessary to increase the number, appointments shall be made by the Governor, on the recommendation of the respective County Courts.
8. The Attorney-General shall be appointed by joint vote of the two Houses of the General Assembly, and commissioned by the Governor, and shall hold his office, during the pleasure of the General Assembly. The Clerks of the several courts, when vacancies shall occur, shall be appointed by their respective courts, and the tenure of office, as well of those now in office as of those who may be hereafter ap. pointed, shall be prescribed by law. The Sheriffs and Coroners shall be nominated by the respective County Courts, and when approved by the Governor, shall be commissioned by him. The Justices shall appoint Constables. And all fees of the aforesaid officers, shall be regulated by law.
9. Writs shall run in the name of the Commonwealth of Virginia, and bear teste by the Clerks of the several courts. Indictments shall conclude, Against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth.
ARTICLE VII. The Executive Department of the Government shall remain as at present organi. zed, and the Governor and Privy Councillors shall continue in office, until a Governor' elected, under this Constitution, shall come into office; and all other persons in office when this Constitution shall be adopted, except as is herein otherwise expressly directed, shall continue in office, till successors shall be appointed, or the law shall otherwise provide ; and all the Courts of Justice now existing shall continue with their present jurisdiction, until and except so far as, the Judicial system may or shall be hereafter otherwise organized by the Legislature. Done in Convention in the City of Richmond, on the fifteenth day of January, in
the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty, and in the fiftyfourth year of the Independence of the United States of America.
PHILIP P. BARBOUR,
President of the Contention. D. BRIGGS,
Secretary of the Convention.
Ordered, that the roll containing the draught of the Amended Constitution adopted by this Convention, and by it submitted to the people of this Commonwealth, for their ratification or rejection, be enclosed by the Secretary in a case proper for its preservation, and deposited among the archives of the Council of State.
Ordered, that the Secretary do cause the Journal of the proceedings of this convention, to be fairly entered in a well bound book, and after the same shall have been signed by the President, and attested by the Secretary, that he deposit the same, together with all the original documents in the possession of the Convention, and connected with its proceedings, among the archives of the Council of State: and further, that he cause ten printed copies of the said Journal to be well bound, and deposited in the Public Library.
Ordered, that the President of the Convention, do certify a true copy of the Amended Constitution to the General Assembly now in session; and that the General Assembly be and they are hereby requested to make any additional provisions by law, which may be necessary and proper for submitting the same to the voters thereby qualified to vote for members of the General Assembly at the next April elections, and for or ganizing the Government under the Amended Constitution, it caso it shall be approved and ratified by such voters.
Substance of Governor Giles's Address to the Executive Commit
tee, on Saturday, October the 17th, 1829. (Made at its request.) Referred to in page 257 of these Debates.
Mr. Giles introduced the address, by begging the Committee to be assured, that he felt a high sense of the honor conferred upon him, by a call to present to the Committee his views of the interesting subjects then under its consideration; and that while it would give him sincere pleasure to comply with the call, he had not the vanity to presume, that any thing he could say would influence the opinion or vote of any member of the Committee. But, he could not avoid expressing the high satisfaction he felt at the spirit of liberality, harmony and concession, which had marked the proceedings of that Committee from their commencement to the present time. Nor could he help expressing at the same time, the deep concern and regret he felt at the equality of votes, or near approach to it, which had been given upon several of the most interesting subjects, as well by this as by the other Committees of the Convention. He could not, however, entirely suppress the hope, that by persevering in the same friendly and liberal comparison of opinions, which had heretofore been manifested in the Committee, a nearer approach to unanimity might hereafter be had, or at least, greater majorities might be found for adopting some one course of measures. Mr. G. then observed, that in executing the task he had undertaken, he proposed to present to the Committee nothing more than an outline compendious view of the whole subjects before them, as well as of the particular one more immediately under consideration. Relying upon the intelligence of every member of the Committee, he proposed to adventure but little into minute demonstration or argument, and hoped that each member would fill up for himself, from his own reflections, the vacuums which must necessarily attend a mere outline view of this, as well as every other subject.
Mr. G. then said, he was himself deeply impressed, and he was confident every other member of the Committee was equally so, with the great importance of the objects for which they were called together, and of the powers with which they were invested to effectuate these objects. The one was nothing less than the formation of a social compact or written constitution for the whole people of Virginia the other, nothing less than the whole sovereign rights and powers of the saine people. These involve trusts and duties of high and paramount impression, and demand the best efforts of our best deliberations to carry them into effect in such a manner as to answer the just expectations of our constituents and of the world. The object of every social compact or written Constitution, is to establish a practical Government, and to prescribe rules for its observance, thereby limiting its powers within a prescribed sphere of action. Fundamental laws must necessarily be general in their character, otherwise they would swell into a formidable code of legislative enactments. These general laws are intended as guides to the practical Government es. tablished by them, and are to such practical Government what that Government is to the individual citizens. The social compact or written Constitution prescribes rules of conduct for the observance of the practical Government. The practical Govern. ment prescribes rules of conduct for the observance of its individual citizens. All Governments profess to have the same objects in view in their formation--the safety of the people from all violence without or within the protection of person-and the protection of property. These last are effected by an equal administration of justice to all. All these great objects can only be effected, by drawing from nature great general principles, applicable to the science of politics, for the formation of a practical Government, which, from its own intrinsic operation, shall produce good moral tendencies on the community over which it is established. Two general modes only have heretofore been devised for the formation of Governments, with the exceptions of a few Republics of very limited extent of territory and population. The one
through the notion of inviolability--the other, through the principle of responsibility. Governments founded on the notion of inviolability, are far more ancient, and even at the present day far more numerous than those founded on the principle of respon. bibility. The notion of inviolability is not found in nature. It is of human invention. It is the offxpring of fraud and cunning, supported and effectuated by force. The ad nission that an agent, transacting the concerns of his principal, becomes thereby invested with the powers to exercise jurisdiction over boil the person and property of such principal, through an invented faculty of inviolability, is repugnant to every dictate of nature, and of common sense. The notion of inviolability cannot, therefore, be found in nature, and consequently not in science-yet the elder Mr. Adams las not hesitated to declare, that the British Government, which is founded on the notion of inviolability, is the only scientific Government in the world. This form of Gyvernment profes3-s to derive its origin from something above human rights; and for the want of something more intelligible, asserts that origin to be divine-derived from God himself. This origin, if true, would be solid, unquestionable and irresistible. But, it is not true--it is the mere invention of fraud and cunning. Responsibility is a principle found in nature-yet the Governments founded on it are of comparatively modern date. The North American Constitutions, so called for distinction's sake, are at this day the only ones founded on this principle. Aitempts at its imitation have been made by the Mexican and South American Republics; but, they are at this time in such an unsettled state, that no positive conclusions can be drawn as to their final destinies. The first of these Constitutions is of little more than half a century standing, and is the one we are now engaged in amending or destroying. Responsibility is a principle derived from nature. It consists simply in the obligations, that every agent, who undertakes to manage the concerns of his principal, thereby takes upon himself to account for his conduct, in their management, to his principal. It is the plain, natural principle of the accountability of the agent to his principal. Every d.ctate of our nature-every dictate of the innate or moral sense, attests the truth of this principle. This principle of responsibility is the true ground of the representative system of Government, and is founded upon the natural rights of man, in his individual character. These form the basis of every social compact or written Constitution. Every social compact or written Constitution is formed by the distribution of these rights between the governors and the governed. This distribution, when made, constitules what is called the Republican form of Government; and whether such Government, when formed, be good or bad, must essentially depend upon the wise or unwise distribution of these rights. Inviolability is the basis of the Moriarchical form of Government. All the North American Constitutions, as well State as Federal, profess to be founded on this principle of responsibility in all their departments. The Federal Executive professes to be founded on the same principle, but the test of its responsibility has been found in practice, inefficacious and unavailing. That test, during the continuance of the Executive in office, consists only in impeachment, which is found in practice to be an inefficient test. But, the real inefficiency of the responsibility of the Executive, consists in the great patronage originally bestowed upon it, and its vast accumulation since that time. Patronage is the offspring of inviolability, not of responsibility and in that consists the great error in the organization of the Federal Executive. It is the anomalous adaptation of a Monarchical Executive to a Republican Legislature. Patronage is the natural enemy of responsibility, and has been seen at open war with it in the administration of the Federa} Government, particularly since its vast accumulation within the last fifteen or twenty years. The Virginia Executive is founded on the same principle of responsibility, but it is an actual, efficacious one--not merely virtual or nominal. Its test is the best that human wisdom could devise,
Mr. G. expressed extreme regret, that this part of our Constitution should have been so much misrepresented through the public prints, and he feared, so little un derstood through the State generally. He, therefore, begged the dispassionate and deep reflections of the Committee to this branch of the subject, banishing, as far as practicable, all former prepossessions and he hoped to be indulged with a more minute examination and illustration of this part of the subject. He said, the Governor and Council were respectively elected by joint ballot of both branches of the Legislature. The present Constitution requires, that a regular journal of the proceedings of the Council should be kept and subscribed by the Councillors themselves. The Councillors are made advisers of the Governor by the Constitution, and these jour. nals, containing minutes of all their advice, are at all times subject lo the call of the General Assembly, and are in fact annually called for by the House of Delegates. In these provisions will be seen a complete and perfect test of the accountabihty of the Councillors to their electors. The sampe journals furnish the test of the accountability of the Governor. He is required to follow, or refuse to follow, the advice of the Council-and, in either case, the journals will exhibit his conduct; and, therefore, furnish a perfect test of his responsibility also. But, the tests of responsibility, do not