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'jurisdiction of the crime. As doubts have existed, whether by the law of nations a surrender of fugitives from justice can be lawfully demanded from the Government of the country, where they seek an asylum, there is great propriety in making this a positive right in regard to the United States. It is for their mutual benefit and convenience. It will promote harmony and good feeling between them. It will also add strength to a great moral duty, and operate indirectly to the suppression of crimes; and finally, it will thus increase the public sense of the blessings of the National Government.
§ 239. The next clause is 'No person held to service, 'or labor in one State under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation
therein, be discharged from such service or labor ; but 'shall be delivered up on the claim of the party, to whom 'such service or labor may be due.' This clause was introduced into the Constitution solely for the benefit of the slaveholding States, to enable them to reclaim their fugitive slaves, who should escape into other States, where slavery is not tolerated. It is well known, that, at the common law, a slave escaping into a State, where slavery is not allowed, would immediately become free, and could not be reclaimed. Before the Constitution was adopted, the Southern States felt the want of some protecting provision against such an occurrence to be a grievous injury to them. And we here see,
that the Eastern and Middle States have sacrificed their own opinions and feelings, in order to take away every source of jealousy on a subject so delicate to Southern interests ; a circumstance, sufficient of itself, to repel the delusive notion, that the South has not at all times had its full share in the blessings resulting from the Union.
Guaranty of Republican Government. — Mode of making
$ 240. The fourth section of the fourth article declares : • The United States shall guarantee to every State in this • Union a republican form of Government; and shall protect
each of them against invasion ; and on application of the Legislature, or of the Executive, when the Legislature cannot be convened, against domestic violence. The propriety of this provision will scarcely be doubted. If any of the States were to be at liberty to adopt any other form of Government, than a republican form, it would necessarily endanger, and might destroy the safety of the Union. Suppose for instance, a great State, like New-York, should adopt a monarchical form of Government, it might, under an enterprising and ambitious King, become formidable to, if not destructive of, the Constitution. And the people of each State have a right to protection against the tyranny of a domestic faction, and to have a firm guaranty, that their political liberties shall not be overturned by a successful demagogue, who shall arrive at power by corrupt arts, and then plan a scheme for permanent possession of it. On the other hand, domestic violence by popular insurrection is equally repugnant to the good order and safety of the Union; and one of the blessings arising from a National Government is the security, which it affords against a recurrence of evils of this sort. Accordingly, it is made an imperative duty of the General Government, on the application of the Legislature or Executive of a State, to aid in the suppression of such domestic insurrections; as well as to protect the State from foreign invasion.
§ 241. The next (the fifth) article provides for the mode of making amendments to the Constitution. · The Con'gress, whenever two-thirds of both Houses shall deem it
necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution; 'or, on application of the Legislatures of two-thirds of the ' several States, shall call a Convention for proposing amend
ments; which, in either case, shall be valid to ail intents and ' purposes, as a part of this Constitution, when ratified by the ‘Legislatures of three-fourths of the several States, or by
Conventions in three-fourths thereof, as the one, or the other 'mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress ; ‘provided that no amendment, which may be made prior to 'the year one thousand eight hundred and eight, shall in any
manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no State without its con'sent shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.'
§ 242. The importance of this power can scarcely be over-estimated. It is obvious, that no human Government can ever be perfect; and it is impossible to foresee, or guard against all the exigencies, which may in different ages require changes in the powers and modes of operation of a Government, to suit the necessities and interests of the people. A Government, which has no mode prescribed for any changes, will in the lapse of time become utterly unfit for the nation. It will either degenerate into a despotism, or lead to a revolution, by its oppressive inequalities. It is wise, therefore, in every Government, and especially in a republic, to provide peaceable means for altering and improving the structure, as time and experience shall show it to be necessary for the public safety and happiness. But at the same time, it is equally important to guard against too easy and frequent changes; to secure due deliberation and caution in making them; and to follow experience, rather than speculation and theory. A Government, which is always changing and changeable, is in a perpetual state of internal agitation, and incapable of any steady and permanent operations. It has a constant tendency to confusion and anarchy.
§ 243. The Constitution has adopted a middle course. It has provided for amendments being made ; the mode is easy; and at the same time, it secures due deliberation, and caution. Congress may propose amendments, or a Convention of the States. But in any amendment proposed by Congress, two-thirds of both Houses must concur; and no Convention can be called, except upon the application of two thirds of the States. And, when amendments are proposed in either way, the assent of three-fourths of all the States is necessary to their ratification. And, certainly, it may be said with confidence, that if three-fourths of the States are not satisfied with the necessity of any particular amendment, the evils, which it proposes to remedy, cannot be of any general or pressing nature. That the power of amendment is not in its present form impracticable, is proved by the fact, that twelve amendments have been already proposed and ratified.
§ 244. The proviso excludes the power of amendment, until the year 1808, of the clauses in the Constitution, which respect the importation and migration of slaves, and the apportionment of direct taxes. And as the equality of the States in the Senate might be destroyed by an amendment, it is expressly declared, that no amendment shall deprive any State without its consent of its equal suffrage in that body.
Public Debt. — Supremacy of the Constitution, and Laws.
$ 245. The first clause of the sixth article is . debts contracted, and engagements entered into, before the • adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Con
federation.' This can scarcely be deemed more than a solemn declaration of what the public law of nations recognizes as a moral obligation, binding on all nations, notwithstanding any changes in their forms of Government. It was important, however, to clear away all possible doubts, and to satisfy and quiet the public creditors, who might fear, that their just claims upon the Confederation might be disregarded or denied.
$ 246. The next clause is . *This Constitution, and the *Laws of the United States, which shall be made in pursuance thereof, and all treaties made, or which shall be made under the authority of the United States, shall be the su'preme law of the land. And the judges in every State shall • be bound thereby, any thing in the Constitution, or Laws of any State, to the contrary notwithstanding. The propriety of this power results from the very nature of the Con. stitution. To establish a National Government, and to affirm, that it shall have certain powers; and yet, that in the exercise of those powers it shall not be supreme, but controllable by any State in the Union, would be a solecism, so mischiev. ous, and so indefensible, that the scheme could never be attributed to the framers of the Constitution, without manifestly impeaching their wisdom, as well as their good faith. The want of such an effective practical supremacy was a vital defect in the Confederation ; and furnished the most solid reason for abolishing it. It would be an idle mockery to give powers to Congress, and yet at the same time to declare, that those powers might be suspended or annihilated, at the will of a single State; that the will of twenty-three States should be surrendered to the will of one. A Government of such a nature would be as unworthy of public confidence, as it would be incapable of affording public protection, or private happiness.
$ 247. From this clause results the duty of all judges, State, as well as National, to disregard all laws of the States,