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title:“James Madison to Edmund Pendleton”
authors:James Madison
date written:1789-9-23

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:00 a.m. UTC
retrieved:Dec. 9, 2023, 10:18 p.m. UTC

Madison, James. "Letter to Edmund Pendleton." Creating the Bill of Rights. Ed. Kenneth R. Bowling and Helen E. Veit. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1991. 297-98. Print.
Manuscripts Division, Library of Congress

James Madison to Edmund Pendleton (September 23, 1789)

The pressure of unfinished business has suspended the adjournment of Congs. till saturday next. Among the articles which required it was the plan of amendments, on which the two Houses so far disagreed as to require conferences.1 It will be impossible I find to prevail on the Senate to concur in the limitation on the value of appeals to the Supreme Court, which they say is unnecessary and might be embarrassing in questions of national or constitutional importance in their principle, tho' of small pecuniary amount.2 They are equally inflexible in opposing a definition of the locality of Juries. The vicinage they contend is either too vague or too strict a term, too vague if depending on limits to be fixed by the pleasure of the law, too strict if limited to the County. It was proposed to insert after the word juries—"with the accustomed requisites"—leaving the definition to be construed according to the judgment of professional men. Even this could not be obtained. The truth is that in most of the States the practice is different and hence the irreconciliable difference of ideas on the subject.3 In some States jurors are drawn from the whole body of the community indiscriminately; In others from large districts comprehending a number of Counties; and in a few only from a single County. The Senate suppose also that the provision for vicinage in the Judiciary bill, will sufficiently quiet the fears which called for an amendment on this point.4 on a few other points in the plan the Senate refused to join the House of Reps.

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