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(March 18, 1836.
The great position which I take is, that an impeacha extension of the non-committal policy to the high and ble offence has been charged upon the President, and sacred functions of Senators and judges, and exhibiting that he has been adjudged guilty of tbat offence, with a subtle contrivance for condemning the victim without the forms of an impeachment, and without the bene out committing the judges. They show that this is not efits of a trial.
a case for common law averments, not a case for set. Suppose gentlemen undertake to arrest me at the ting out with legal verbosity, that the aforesaid Andrew threshold, and say, we did not impugn bis motives, we Jackson, yeoman, not having the fear of God before did not attribute bad intentions, we merely charged the his eyes but being moved and seduced by the instigafact.
1 tion of the devil, he first dismissed Mr. Duane from the To this I answer:
Treasury; and, aster that, appointed Mr. Taney to the 1. If there was no allegation there was no denial of Treasury; and, after that, he took upon himself the rebad motive; and the charge of the crime implies the sponsibility of removing the deposites; and, finally, he wicked intent.
perfomed a certain late proceeding in relation to the 2. That the speeches of gentlemen supplied what the public revenue. All this, though eminently pictuform of their charge omitted; and that the imputation resque, and even quite dramatic in a common law inwithheld from the record was proclaimed from the dictment, happens to have no place in an impeachment; mouth, and incorporated into every speech.
and I might safely rest my case where it now stands; 3. That the criminal averment, “ dangerous to the but I choose to go further, to rise higher, and to place liberties of the people,” was inserted in the first and my cause upon loftier and nobler grounds. I take the retained in the second form of the charge, and only 1 true position, that the impeachment of a magistrate dif. dropped from the third and last form after having been fers from the indictment of a citizen; and that a magisrepeatedly pointed out, and fully relied on as showing trate may be impeached under our constitution, tried, the criminal and impeachable character of the accusation. | convicted, and subjected to every penalty known to an
4. That no legislative use was made of the condemna- | impeachment, not only without the allegation of bad tory resolve, after it was passed; that no such use could motives, but without the fact of such intentions, or even then or can now be made of it, because in its nature it! the possibility of possessing intentions of any kind, is a criminal accusation, and presents a case, not for either good or bad. And, first, I show what the judg. legislation, but for punishment.
ment on impeachment is; and for that purpose refer to 5. That gentlemen in the opposition drew the charge article 1, section 3, of the constitution: themselves, and altered it themselves; and may have “Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend had a reason, not yet explained, for omitting those im- further than to removal from office, and disqualification putations of criminality in the record which were so to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit, profusely and conspicuously used in their speeches. under the United States; but the party convicted shall
6. That even a regular and formal impeachment re nevertheless be liable to indictment, trial, judgment, and quires no allegation of corrupt motive.
punishment, according to law.” 7. That the offence being stated in the article of im. Upon this provision in the constitution I have to repeachment, the conviction will be valid; and the only mark that impeachment lies against nobody but an offisentence known under our constitution will be pro cer; and, in its judgment, is official and not personal. nounced without reference to the quo animo.
It affects the officer, not the man. The object of the 8. That this is not a case of regular impeachment, judgment is preventive, not penal justice. It is not but of irregular condemnation without impeachment, | punishment for past offences, but prevention of future and a charge on which the House of Representatives | misconduct, that is intended. Removal from office and might frame an impeachment in form, and send it to disqualification to hold office is the ultimate penalty us for trial. It is precisely the preliminary resolution, which can be inflicted under it. If the offence for the general charge, without specification and technical which the impeachment was made should amount to a averments, which is the incipient step and opening pro crime at common law, or by statute, then a criminal cess to the preferment of an impeachment in form. It trial might ensue, and the punishment provided by las is the initiative to impeachment. So say the books. for that offence might be inflicted. The difference Listen to Jefferson, in bis Manual of parliamentary prac. between indictment and impeachment lies in the differtice, drawn up by him for our especial guidance, and lence between preventive and penal justice. The imprinted by ourselves for our convenient snd constant peachment is to prevent the officer from doing further reference. He says: “The general course is to pass a mischief; the indictment is to punish the man for the resolution containing a criminal charge against the sup. mischief he has done. A man can only be punished for posed delinquent, and then to direct some member to crime, and wicked intention is necessary to constitute impeach him by oral accusation at the bar of the House | crime; but the officer may be deprived of his office for of Lords." This is the way to begin an impeachment acts not amounting to crime, for want of the corrupt inin the House of Representatives, and this is the precise tention; for these acts may be detrimental to the commanner in which we began it in the Senate. We passed , munity, and the welfare of the community may require the resolution as the book directs, and we passed it with that these acts should cease, whether they proceed from the criminal charge in it. We began the impeachment a wicked heart, or a weak head, or even a mistaken regularly, but we began it in the wrong place, and our principle of action. Hence, impeachment lies for the proceedings ended where those of the House of Repre-act, without regard to the criminal intention; and in. sentatives begin; we ended with the adoption of a gene- dictment lies for the crime of which criminal intention ral resolution, containing a criminal charge against the is the essence and the touchstone. From this fair supposed delinquent.
analysis of the impeachment process and judgment, in These brief answers I hold to be sufficient, Mr. Presia contradistinction to indictment, results the inference dent, to set aside any defence which could be bottomed that criminality of intention is no way essential to the on the omission, accidental or designed, of formal aver- / validity of impeachments under the constitution. So ments of bad motives in the sentence pronounced against distinct is the trial by impeachment from that upon in. · the President. They show that the impeachable na- dictment for the same offence, that one cannot be plead ture of the charge is not affected by that omission; on l in bar of the other, under the clause of the constitution the contrary, the very circumstance of the omission which protects the citizen from two prosecutions for may aggravate the conduct of the Senate by showing an the same offence.
March 18, 1836.]
In England, on the contrary, the sentence on convic. criminal intentions. Judge Chase was impeached upon tion under impeachment extends to legal and actual eight articles; five of them charged corrupt and wicked punishment--to punishment in person and in property intentions, three charged no intentions at all, being for the party may be both fined and imprisoned. On wholly silent on the question of motives, and merely indictments both in England and our America, as every alleging the commission of the acts and the violation body knows, the direct object of the prosecution is of the law. The three articles thus silent on the punishment--punishment in life, limb, person, or prop question of motives were distinct and substantive erty; and preventive justice is only an incident. When charges in themselves, not variations of the same ever, then, punishment would follow conviction, wheth charge in other articles, but containing new and distinct er on indictment or impeachment--whenever the life or charges; and, therefore, to stand or fall upon their own limb of the party was to be touched--whenever his body merits, without being helped out by a reference to the might be cast into prison, or his property taken by fine same charges in another form, in another part of the proor forfeiture--in every such case, the quo animo, the ceedings. They were the articles first, fourth, and fifth. state of mind, the criminal intent, was of the essence of Mr. B. would state them particularly; for if the least the offence, and must be duly averred and fully proved, doubt remained on the mind of any one after seeing the or clearly inferrible from the nature of the act done; but case of Judge Pickering, the tenor of these three arti. in the case of impeachment under the constitution of cles in the impeachment of Judge Chase would entirely the United States, where the sentence could extend no remove and dispel that doubt. The first of these artifurther than merely to prevent the party from using his cles, which is number one in the impeachment, relates power to do further miscbief, leaving him subject to a to the trial of Fries at Philadelphia, and charges the future indictment, then the intent of the party, whether judge with three specific instances of misconduct in congood or bad, innocent or wicked, became wholly im. ducting that trial; and concluded them with the allegamaterial, not necessary to be alleged, nor requiring to tion, that they were dangerous to our liberties,” and be proved or inferred, if the allegation should chance to win violation of law and justice;" but without the slight. be made. Every averment relative to the intention est reference to the quo animo of the judge, or the slate would be surplusage; for the mischief to the public was of mind in which the acts were done. The article is the same, whether a public functionary should violate | wholly silent with respect to his intentions. The fourth the law from weakness or wickedness, from folly or article contains four specifications of misconduct, all from design.
charged to have occurred on the trial of Callender, in Mr. B. said that the cases of the Judges Chase and
he cases of the Judges Chase and Richmond, Virginia, and alleged them to be “subverPickering were evidences of the truth of his argument; sive of justice” and “disgraceful to the character of a for in one of these there could be no corrupt or wicked judge;" but they were wholly silent as to the intenintention, for the party was insane, and therefore ir.capa tions of the judge, and left the quo animo with which ble, both in law and in fact, of being either corrupt or he did the acts entirely out of the record. The fifth wicked; and in the other of which the mere naked article charged a specific and single violation of law, in violation of law was charged, without the slightest ref. | ordering the arrest of Callender upon a capias, instead erence to the intentions, or quo animo, of the party. of directing him to be called in upon a summons, but Mr. B. then went into a detailed statement of the im.) without imputing any motive or intention whatever, good peachment of these two judges, to sustain the view he or bad, to the judge, for preferring the capias to the had been taking, and to apply historical facts and judic summons. The only averment is, “that Callender was cial decisions to the legal doctrines which he had laid arrested and committed to close custody contrary to law down. Judge Pickering, a district judge of the United in that case made and provided.” Such were the three States for the State of New Hampshire, was impeached articles which charged violations of law upon Judge for acts of flagrant illegality, and which, in truth, im Chase, without imputing criminal intentions or corrupt plied great wickedness: the articles of impeachment motives to him; and upon which the judge was as fully charged wicked and corrupt intentions; yet it was tried, and made as ample a defence, both upon the law proved that he was incapable, in law and in fact, of and the facts, as he did upon the five other articles which wickedness or corruption; for he was utterly insane, contained the ordinary averments of wicked and corrupt both at the time of committing the acts, and at the time intentions. Neither the learned judge himself, nor any he was tried for them, and could not, and did not, ap. one of his numerous and eminent counsel, made the pear before the Senate to make any defence. His un. least distinction between the articles which charged, and fortunate condition was both proved and admitted, and the articles which did not charge, corrupt intentions. the Senate was moved by counsel to stop the proceed. They went to trial upon the whole alike; put in no deings against him, and to remit or postpone the trial; but murrers, made no motions to quash, reserved no points, the Senate took the clear distinction between a proceed but defended the whole upon the law and the facts of ing which could only go to removal from office and a each separate charge. This, sir, should exterminate disqualification for holding office, and a prosecution doubt and silence cavil. It should put an end to all idea which might involve a criminal punishinent; and they | of getting out of the dilemma in which the Senate is proceeded with the trial, heard the evidence, found the placed by intrenching themselves now behind the inillegal acts to have been committed, and pronounced / nocency of President Jackson's intentions. the sentence which the good of the community required, Mr. B. continued. Thus far, Mr. President, I have and which the unfortunate judge was a proper subject argued this point upon principles of law and reason, supto receive, that of removal from office. They did not ported by precedents drawn from our own history, and add a sentence of disqualification for holding future I trust have fully established my first proposition, nameoffices, for he might recover his understanding, and ly, that the offence charged upon President Jackson again become a useful citizen. The Senate limited was an impeachable offence, and that as a high crime, itself to a sentence which the good of the community though it would be sufficient for my argument that it demanded, and which was applicable to misfortune and charged conduct amounting to misdemeanor only; and, not to criminality, which was suited to the acts of consequently, that the conduct of the Senate, in prothe judge, without regard to the absence of intentions. ceeding against him without the forms of an impeach
The case of Judge Chase was a case of a different ment, was illegal, irregular, unconstitutional, and sub. · kind to prove the same point. It was a case of various versive of the fundamental principles of law and justice. articles; some with, some without, the averment of | But although my case may be made out, and my propo.
[March 18, 1836.
sition established, yet my magazine of argument is not mark, that the severe reprobation which it expresses is exhausted, and I still have in reserve a most potential many ten thousand times more applicable to the Senate argument to be used in this case. It is the argument of of the United States, for its conduct towards President authority, and is drawn from the legislative history of Jackson, than to the Kentucky Legislature for its pro. one of the States of this Union—the State of Kentucky; posed conduct towards Judge Innis. In that case the and a brief introductory narrative may be necessary to / Kentucky General Assembly was not the tribunal for the develop its origin and to elucidate its application. trial of the federal judge in the event of his impeach
It is a matter of history, Mr. President, that some ment, and their prejudication of his case did not affect forty years ago, a judge of the court of appeals in Ken the bosom of his constitutional triers. In President Jack. tucky had the misfortune to be a pensioner on the son's case his prejudgers were his constitutional judges, Spanish Crown, and held a secret correspondence with and judges who would have a legal right to sit in judge the Governors General of Louisiana for the separation ment upon him, notwithstanding their moral disqualifi. of the Western from the Atlantic States. A legislative cation for that duty by their prejudication of his case. inquiry established these facts, and the unhappy judge In Judge Innis's case there was no great national event avoided the stroke of justice by retiring from the judge connected with his fate; no change in the ascendancy of ment seat. The same inquiry implicated another judge political parties to be effected; no political prophecies in Kentucky, not of the State courts, but of the federal to be accomplished by the prophets themselves; no great Judiciary; and at a succeeding session of the General | moneyed power to be gratified; no barrier to be struck Assembly, a member of that body, Humphrey Marshall, down from between the people and their eternal foe; no Esq., introduced a resolution condemning the conduct obstacle to be removed from before the onward march of that federal judge, and recommending an inquiry to of a political and moneyed confederacy which was ad. be instituted into it by the House of Representatives of vancing to the conquest of the Government, and only the Congress of the United States. This proceeding stopped in its course by the invincible courage and inwas resisted by distinguished members of the Kentucky corruptible integrity of one man. Judge Innis's case Legislature; and another resolution was brought in, ut- was different from all this. It affected no one but him. terly reprobating the motion of Mr. Marshall, and severe- self. It was individual and personal; his prejudgers were ly condemning the attempt to procure from a legisla- | not his triers; and, whatever wrong might be done him, tive body the expression of an opinion upon the guilt orbis country at least was safe, and her free institutions innocence of an officer who was subject to impeachment might survive and flourish; yet, even in this case of mit. before the Senate of the United States. After several igated wrong and contingent injustice, how keen was day's discussion, says the historian, the following resolu the scent that snuffed the approach of danger in the tion was offered by Mr. Clay.
lainted breeze! How sharp was the eye that detected " Whereas the General Assembly did, at their last the lurking mischief in the remote contingency of a bare session, order transcripts of the evidence taken before possibility! How pointed, how cutting, how strong, and the committee appointed to examine into the conduct of bow just, the rebuke that was lavished upon a legislative Benjamin Sebastian to be transmitted to the President body' for setting the example of pronouncing an opinion of the United States and to the Senators and Representa- upon the guilt or innocence of an officer subject to im. tives from the State in Congress; and as the present peachment before the Senate of the United States! Assembly has entire confidence in the general adminis. Every word of it is a two-edged sword cutting into the tration, and in the Congress of the United States, among vitals of the Senate, and leaving that deadly wound for whose duties is that of arraigning the public officer, or which there is no healing in the art of surgery. To private citizen, who may have violated the constitution comment upon such a case is impossible; to amplify, is or the laws of the Union; and whereas the legitimate to weaken it; to repeat, is to destroy; yet at how many objects which call for the attention of the Legislature are points must the minds of Senators instinctively halt, themselves sufficiently important to require the exercise catch up the cutting phrase, apply it to their own case, of all their wisdom and time, without engaging in pursuit while the small, still yoice of conscience whispers, ten of others, thereby consuming the public treasure, and thousand times more applicable to us than to them! the time of the representatives of the people, in investi Mark a few of these phrases: “ The constitutional right gating subjects not strictly within the sphere of their of Congress to arraign the public officer who may have duty; and inasmuch as the expression of an opinion by violated the constitution;" is the waste of time and pub. the General Assembly upon the guilt or innocence of lic money in pursuing subjects not within the sphere of Harry Innis, Esq., in relation to certain charges made their duty;" '"the injustice of prejudging an impeachagainst him, would be a prejudication of his case-if in able officer;" "the stigma upon an innocent man, if unone way, would fix an indelible stigma upon the charac. justly condemned;" "the impediment to justice, if the ter of the judge, without the forms of trial or judicial guilty should be absolved;” the flagrant enormity of proceeding, and if the other, might embarrass and pre. pronouncing an opinion upon impeachable charges withvent a free and full investigation into those charges; out the forms of trial or judicial proceeding;' « the towherefore,
tal impropriety of even indicating an opinion upon the " Resolved by the General Assembly, That it is im truth or falsehood of the accusation;" the constitution. proper in them to prescribe to Congress any course to al and legal security of each citizen to have a fair and be taken by that body in relation to the said charges, impartial trial, both by impeachment and at common or to indicate any opinion upon their truth or falsehood. law;" “the subversion of the fundaır.ental principles of
“ Resolved, that the constitution and laws of the land, l justice, and the dangerous example of a legislative body, securing to every citizen, whether in or out of office, a | before the commencement of any prosecution, expressfair and impartial trial, whether by impeachment or at ing an opinion upon the guilt or innocence of an implicommon law, the example of a legislative body, before cated individual." All these expressions apply directly the commencement of any prosecution, expressing an and with infinitely more force to the case of President opinion upon the guilt or innocence of an implicated Jackson than to that of Judge Innis. The Bank of the individual, would tend to subvert the fundamental prin- United States, !hrough all its organs, had appeared as ciples of justice.”
the accuser of President Jackson. It had sat in judg. Mr. President, I seize, with confidence, and appropri- ment upon him for a violation of the laws and the conate without abatement to the present occasion, every stitution in dismissing Mr. Duane and appointing Mr. word that is contained in this resolution, with the re. / Taney; for laking upon himself the responsibility of re
March 18, 1836.)
moving the deposites, and for his proceedings in relation end, by their votes, to the administration of the "ty. to the revenue. It had demanded his impeachment, rant” that was destroying their country; the "insane" foretold it, and named the member of the House of Rep-| went to the portico of the Capitol to put an end, with resentatives whom it presumed to say would bring it for his pistol, to the life of the same “tyrant." But thanks ward. The public press in the service of the bank had to God and to the people! bis providence held back been for many months preparing the public mind for the the bullets; their confidence sustained him at the polls, event; and, just at the commencement of the session, and their justice will find the means of expunging from the bank itself, in its own person, and in the most im- | our journals that unjustifiable sentence which should posing form, stepped from behind the curtain, and appear never have been put upon it. ed upon the stage as the responsible accuser. It caused Sooner or later, expunged it will be. At this session, a manifesto of some fifty pages to be drawn up by a com. if the voice of the people is obeyed; after the next gen. mittee of its directors; adopted by a vote of the board; eral election, if it is not done now. There is no room ordered 5,000 copies to be printed; a copy to be laid for mistake. Two years' past history, and the issue of upon the table of every member of Congress, and the the elections, had developed the will of the people. rest distributed all over the Union. It was that famous Far from believing in the truth and justice of the sen. manifesto, from which I have read some passages, in tence pronounced by the Senate, and returning a House which the President of the United States was compared of Representatives to impeach the President in form, to counterfeiters, and the first place in the comparison they have gone on increasing in their confidence and assigned to him. The Senate and the country would affection, returning larger and larger majorities in his remember that manifesto. It was the authentic act of favor; and in primary meetings, legislative resolves, the bank, and contained the identical charge against the and a thousand different modes, have testified their will President which was immediately afterwards brought that this unjust sentence should be expunged from the into the Senate-and, what is more, it contained every journal. The will of the great majority of the people argument which was used in the Senale in support of of these States is known; it is in favor of expurgation. the condemnatory resolution. The President, then, The famous Mr. Fox voted in favor of expunging the was an implicated and accused individual at the com- / record of Wilkes's expulsion from the journals of the mencement of the session of 1833-'34. He was accused House of Commons, against his own opinion, and against by the bank; and, being thus accused, the Senate took his previous votes, and in professed obedience to the cognizance of the charge without the intervention of the will of the people. His example is worthy of imitation; House of Representatives, debated it for a hundred and I trust (said Mr. B.) that the expressed will of the days, and adopted it. The resolution brought into the people will be obeyed in this case. For or against the General Assembly of Kentucky, in the case of Mr. In expunging, I trust it will be obeyed; and that the nis, strong as they are, are yet described by the histori. voices of the State Legislatures will be equally respect. an,* from whom I have read them, as being "temperate ed, work which way they may. and just, and respectful to the sacred rights of every pri. Mr. B. concluded what he had to say upon this part vate citizen to enjoy an impartial trial without the de. of the case with expressing his deep regret that the nunciation of influential men in office.” I concur in this General Assembly of Kentucky, in 1834, should have sentiment, Mr. President, and so did the General Assem. so sadly and lamentably forgotten their own example of bly of Kentucky concur with the mover of the resolution 1807. In 1807, as has been shown, they deprived the which I have read; for, although that resolution was not
resolutions of Mr. Marshall of their criminating characadopted, yet it had the effect of changing the resolutions ter before they would adopt them; in 1834, and in the of Mr. Marshall, and to deprive them entirely of their
month of February of that year, while the proceeding criminating character.
against President Jackson was in full blast, it adopted Such were the sentiments entertained in Kentucky, resolutions against bim of the most violent character, such the jealous and sensitive delicacy of the feeling upon the very points in discussion, and ordered them to against the prejudication of an impeachable officer; and | be transmitted to their whole delegation in Congress. all this generous feeling, watchful jealousy, and cutting | The following is a copy of these resolutions: rebuke, was called forth in a case of most remote and I “Resolved, That the President of the United States. contingent mischief, where the prejudgers were not the by causing to be withdrawn the public money from the triers, and where the prejudication could have but a place of safe deposite, where it had been made by law, most indirect operation upon the minds of the actual | and placing it in local banks under his control, of the judges. If just there and then, how much more so now solvency of which the people at large know nothing, and here! When the Senate of the United States, and into whose affairs their representatives have no right upon charges put forth by the Bank of the United to examine, has violated the laws and constitution of the States, sits in judgment upon the President of the Unic United States; that he has assumed a responsibility' ted States, condemns him unheard, fixes a stigma on his dangerous to liberty, and which tends to the concentra. name, rouses one hundred and twenty thousand peopletion of all power in the hands of the Chief Magistrate to petition against him-more than ever appeared at the l of the United States.” bar of the national convention against Louis the XVI- “ Resolved, That, by the frequent exercise of the veto gives an audacious institution a triumph over him, and power, and that still more arbitrary and dangerous one subjects his life to imminent deadly peril. Yes, sir, of withholding bills passed by both Houses of Congress, puts life itself in danger; for it is inconiestable that the thereby preventing the opportunity of a reconsideration denunciations of the Senate had the effect of putting by that body in the mode prescribed in the constitution, the pistol in the hands of the assassin. Yes, sir, these | the President has, to a great extent, crippled and para. denunciations! for while rational, intelligent, and in- lyzed the legislative department of our Government, formed people saw the injustice of the charge against and, in some instances, has prevented the exercise by the President, and the folly of believing that the remo. Congress of their essential constitutional rights." yal of the deposites had made the distress; yet, with tlie " Resolved, That the Clerk of this House transmit to ignorant, the uninformed, and the insane, it was quite each of our Senators and Representatives in Congress, different. They believed it all, and acted according to copies of the foregoing resolutions." their belief. The ignorant went to the polls to put an 11. Having shown, Mr. President, that the proceed
ing against President Jackson was illegal and unconsti. * Mann Butler, Esq.- Note by Mr. B.
tutional, I take up my second proposition, which affirms SENATE.]
[March 18, 1836.
the injustice of that proceeding, and makes an issue of fact, that the mover of the resolution gave it up, and fact upon the truth of the sentence pronounced upon was compelled to give it up, or lose the whole reso. him. This proposition is in these words:
lution; for it was well known throughout the Senate “And whereas the said resolve, in all its various that not even a party majority, at the end of an hun. shapes and forms, was unfounded and erroneous in point dred days' debate, could be got to vote for it; that of fact, and therefore unjust and unrighteous, as well as several members of the opposition openly admitted the irregular and unconstitutional; because the said Presi. right of the President to make the dismission, and could dent Jackson, neither in the act of dismissing Mr. Du- not vote for the resolution with that specification in it. ane, nor in the appointment of Mr. Taney, as specified The second specification was for appointing Mr. Ta. in the first form of the resolve, nor in taking upon him. / ney to make the removal of the deposites, which Mr. self the responsibility of removing the deposites, as Duane would not. This requires no consideration, and specified in the second form of the same resolve, nor in admits of no notice. It was scarcely noticed in debate; any act which was then or can now be specified under and, being wholly dependent on the first specification, the vague and ambiguous terms of the general denun it was withdrawn with it and never mentioned since. ciation contained in the third and last form of the re It was given up by the mover without a vote, because solve, did do or commit any act in violation or in dero. even a party majority could not be got to vote for it; and gation of the laws and constitution, or dangerous to the in cannot be resuscitated now for the sake of a postbuliberties of the people."
mous discussion. The condemnatory resolution, as first drawn up, con. The third specification was for taking on himself the tained two specifications of supposed violation of law responsibility of removing the deposites. This specifi. and constitution: first, the dismission of Mr. Duane from cation, like the two former, was found to be too weak the Treasury Department because he would not remove | to stand a vote. It was withdrawn by the mover with: the public moneys from the Bank of the United States; 1 out a vote, because it was known that not even a party and, second, the appointment of Mr. Taney to make | majority could be induced to vote for it. Being thus that removal. The second form of the resolution con. given up and abandoned, it can no longer claim the tained a single specification, namely, taking upon him. honor of a notice. self the responsibility of removing the deposites; and An allegation, twice repeated by way of aggravation, the third and ultimate form of the same resolution was | also graced the first and second forms of the resolution, utterly destitute of any specification whatever. Having which disappeared from the third; it was, that the remarked that these specifications were copied from President's conduct was dangerous to the liberties of the proceedings of the Bank of the United States, and the people. This allegation also shared the fate of the in the very words used by that institution, such as he three specifications. It was given up and withdrawn had read them at the opening of this debate, Mr. B. without a vote, because not even a party majority could said, we join issue upon each of these specifications, as vote for it; and thus it was clearly admitted that the far as they are made under the first and second forms President's conduct was not dangerous to the liberties of which they bear, and are ready to join issue upon any the people. specification which can be assigned under the vague The resolve as adopted was void of specification, and terms of the third form.
contains no allegation whatever on which an issue of We deny, out and out, that there was any violation of fact or of law could be taken. It was a vague, indefithe laws or constitution in the dismissal of Mr. Duane, nite denunciation, witbout a reference to any act, at cr in the appointment of Mr. Taney, or in taking upon any time, in any place, or to any law, or any clause in bimself the responsibility of removing the deposites, or the constitution supposed to be violated. Against such in ary proceeding whatever, either late or early, in re a condemnation argument is impossible, for issues are lation to the public revenue.
impracticable. I limit myself to the broad, emphatic All these denials we made at the time; and every denial of the truth and validity of any thing that can be specification ventured upon by the mover of the resolu specified under this vague denunciation. I pronounce tion was promptly met and fully overthrown by us. myself and my friends to be now standing ready, chalShall I repeat the arguments we then used, or shall I lenging and defying any specification under this resolulimit myself to a recapitulation of points which mark tion, and waiting to impale and transfix it the moment it our reasoning, and to an enumeration of proois which is produced. And here I conclude this head, and hold attest our victory? I prefer the latter, and shall pro. my second proposition to be completely established; ceed accordingly.
namely, that the charge of violating the laws and constiFirst, then, the dismissal of Mr. Duane because he tution was unfounded and erroneous in point of fact, would not remove the deposites:
and that the condemnation of the President was, thereIn answer to this specification we showed, first, that fore, as unjust and unrighteous as it was illegal, irreguthe right of the President to dismiss this Secretary re: 1 lar, and unconstitutional. sulted from his constitutional obligation to see the laws III. I pass on to the third proposition, which affirms faithfully extcuted; secondly, from the recognition of the vagueness and ambiguity of the resolve as adopted, the right in the first act of Congress establishing the and presents some of the evils resulting from such an Treasury Department.
indefinite mode of condemnation. It is in these words. Here is the law: “Whenever the Secrelary (of the " And whereas the said resolve, as adopted, was unTreasury) shall be removed from office by the Presi. certain and ambiguous, containing nothing but a loose dent of the United States, or in any other case of va and floating charge for derogating from the laws and cancy in the office of Secretary, the assistant shall, du constitution, and assuming ungranted power and auring the vacancy, bave the charge and custody of the thority in the late executive proceedings in relation to records, books, and papers, appertaining to the said the public revenue, without specifying in what part of office." This is the seventh section of the act entitled the executive proceedings, or what part of the public "An act to establish the Treasury Department,” revenue, was intended to be referred to, or what parts passed September 2, 1789. It is an express, and, as of the laws and constitution were supposed to have the debates of the time will show, a purposely express. | been infringed, or in what part of the Union, or at what ed recognition of the right of the President to dismiss period of his administration, these late proceedings this officer. And here I might dismiss this specifica- were supposed to have taken place; thereby putting tion; but it is right to recall the recollection of the leach Senator at liberty vote in favor of the resolve upon