In Committee of the whole House.
7th Amendment. "No Soldier shall in time of peace be quartered in any house without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law."
Mr. Sumter moved to strike out the words "in time of peace" and also the last words or the paragraph from the word "owner."
Mr. Sherman said he thought this was going too far; occasion might arise in which it would be extremely injurious to put it in the power of any man to obstruct the public service: He adverted to the British regulations in this case, of quartering soldiers in public houses. This motion was negatived.
Mr. GERRY said, that he conceived the article might be so altered as to relieve the minds of the citizens of the United States. It is said, government will take care of the rights of the people; but these amendments are designed to prevent the arbitrary exercise of power. He then moved to insert between the words "but" and "in a manner" the words by a civil magistrate. Negatived.
The amendment was agreed to.
8th Amendment. "No person shall be subject, except in case of impeachment to more than one trial for the same offence, nor shall be compelled to be a witness against himself nor be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation."
Mr. BENSON observed, that it was certainly a fact, that a person might be tried more than once for the same offence: Instances of this kind frequently occured. He therefore moved to strike out the words "one trial or." This was negatived.
Mr. SHERMAN was in favor of the motion.
Mr. LIVERMORE was opposed to it: He said: The clause appears to me essential; if it is struck out, it will hold up the idea that a person may be tried more than once for the same offence. Some instances of this kind have taken place; but they have caused great uneasiness: It is contrary to the usages of law and practice among us; and so it is to those of that country from which we have adopted our laws. I hope the clause will not be struck out.
Mr. PARTRIDGE moved to insert after the words "same offence," the words by any law of the United States. Negatived.
Mr. LAURANCE moved to insert after the words "nor shall" these words in any criminal case. This amendment was agreed to.5
9th Amendment. "Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted."6
Mr. LIVERMORE said, the clause appears to express much humanity as such, he liked it; but as it appeared to have no meaning, he did not like it: As to bail, the term is indefinite, and must be so from the nature of things: and so with respect to fines;7
and as to punishments, taking away life is sometimes necessary but because it may be thought cruel, will you therefore never hang any body—the truth is, matters of this kind must be left to the discretion of those who have the administration of the laws.8
This amendment was adopted.
10th Amendment. "
The rights of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, shall not be violated without probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and not particularly describing the places to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."9
Mr. BENSON moved to insert after the words "and effects," these words against unreasonable seizures, and searches.
Mr. GERRY objected to the words, "by warrants issuing" He said the provision was good, as far as it went; but he thought it was not sufficient: He moved that it be altered to and no warrant shall issue. This was negatived.
The question was then put on the amendment and carried.
12th Amendment. Art. I, Sec. 10, between the 1st and 2d par insert, "No state shall infringe the equal rights of conscience, nor freedom of speech, or of the press, nor of the right of trial by jury in criminal cases.
Mr. TUCKER moved to strike out these words altogether, as they were an interference with the Constitutions: The Constitution of the United States, he said, interfered too much already.
Mr. MADISON said he hoped the clause would be retained. I think, said he, these abuses are most likely to take place under the State governments; and if they are to be restrained in any thing, this appears to me the most necessary: We shall do what will be grateful to the people by retaining the clause.
Mr. TUCKER'S motion was negatived.
The words on motion of Mr. LIVERMORE were then transposed, and the amendment agreed to.
13th Amendment. Art. 3. Sec. 2, add to the 2d par. "But no appeal to such court shall be allowed, where the value in controversy shall not amount to one thousand dollars; nor shall any fact triable by jury according to the course of common law be otherwise re-examinable than according to the rules of common law"
Mr. BENSON moved to strike out the first part of the paragraph respecting the limitation of appeals.
Mr MADISON observed, that except some adequate substitute was proposed, he thought it would be necessary to retain the clause: There is, said he, perhaps no danger of any court in the United States, granting an appeal where the value in dispute does not amount to 1,000 dollars; still the possibility of such an event has excited the greatest apprehensions in the minds of many citizens of the United States: The idea that opulent persons might carry a cause from one end of the continent to another has caused serious fears in the minds of the people: I think it best to retain the clause.
The motion was negatived.
Mr SEDGWICK, to strengthen the clause, moved to strike out 1,000 dollars, and to insert 3,000. This motion was seconded and supported by Mr. Livermore, but was negatived, and the amendment accepted.