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title:“John McKesson's Notes of the New York Ratification Convention Debates”
authors:John McKesson
date written:1788-7-5

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:02 a.m. UTC
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McKesson, John. "John McKesson's Notes of the New York Ratification Convention Debates." The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution. Vol. 22. Ed. John P. Kaminski. Madison: Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2008. 2099-2105. Print.
McKesson's Notes, New-York Historical Society

John McKesson's Notes of the New York Ratification Convention Debates (July 5, 1788)

CONVENTION PROCEEDINGS. To Article 2d. Sect. 3d.
Mr. M Smith moved for the following Amendment or proviso to be added to that Section— Provided Article 3d. Sect. 1.—
SAMUEL JONES. The Judicial 1 Does not define the Cases to which 2d. Ought not to make the Genl. Govt. creat[e] an infinite number of Courts To carry into Effect all the Judicial Powers, they must have Courts in the respective Counties in every State If they Commission the State Courts many Inconveniencies There will be a clashing of Jurisdict. Many Cases it will be difficult to designate Instances—Naturalization Laws—Bankrupt Laws— It cannot be determined to which It may be said An Appeal will Lie That is only to be argued from Induction In a Trial for Real Property part of the Controversy at least may depend on naturalization 3d. The Supreme Court has original Jurisdiction—and no appeal— or Court to Correct Errors— The Institution of New Courts should be erected with Caution Ld. Cook—New Courts tend to the Great oppression of the People But few such Courts in any part of the world—wherever they are they have done evil— There should be somewhere a power of Reconsideratn— The Star Chamber in England the most [like] this Court of any I recollect—They were great Men many Good Men— The oppression became so great the Parliamt. abolished Had the Court been kept within due Bounds Another Matter of great Importance The Genl Govt. & State Govts. make one compleat Govt.—They should therefore be kept so as to harmonise and prevent Clashing of Jurisdictions All men love power— All Men at least have a wish to extend that power Without restrictions there would be a Contest for Power—and the Great National Court must Swallow the others— Great National Matters may be determined before them—There will be no Controul—They will be even Superior to the Legislature— In England the Best of Jurisdiction Judicial There in all Common Law Court[s] the House of Lords the dernier Resort—In Civil Law Courts Commissions Issue to review their proceedings—This succeeds well in other Countries— In Wales the Courts retain original Jurisdict with an appeal or writ of Error to the Courts at Westminster which have appellate Jurisdiction— Mr. Jones moved It is admitted Congress must have power to establish Inferior Courts—without that power— The Courts excepted are such as the Genl Govt. must have It is a Matter of Importance that the Judges of the Sup: Court should be as unbiased in office as possible as well as independent— I therefore move for the followg Resolut to be added to the two former "Resolved as the opinion of this Comee. that no Judge of the Sup. Court of the United States shall during his continuance in Office hold any other office under the United States or any of them"
Article 3d. Section 2d. Between a State and Citizens of another State— In all Criminal prosecutions a State is a Party—many difficulties might arise—many Criminals are really Citizens of other States—And if not they may so plead— A State must at least have some portion of Sover[e]ign Power—And therefore should never be made a defendt. to a Citizen or Citizens— To Citizens of different States— "to Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants from different States"—If they are Citizens of different Why should Citizens of different States or foreigners in any Contracts be entitled to any measure of Justice different from the Citizens of the State where the Contract is made In England or in France Why should a person residing in Connect. or N Jersey who holds Lands in this State have any other Measure of Justice or Trial of Title different from the Citizens of the State— If every Man is entitled to bring a Suit in the state Sup. Court because he lives in another State it is easy to See that every Suit for Land may
MELANCTON SMITH. As the Clause now Stands—All Causes goes to the Judiciary of the united States— The Laws of the Genl. Govt. are to controul the Laws The Causes arising on the Laws of the Genl Govt. must go to the Genl State The Judicial Power shall extend to all Cases in Law and Equity How far will this Extend— It has been contended that in matter of Taxes the State and Genl Govt. have con[current] Jurisdiction— It has also been Contended This Clause extends power to many Causes and [things?] not of a national Concern— Some Gent say that the Courts will have concurrt. Jurisdict—others If all Cases In State Courts all Causes facts to be tried by a Jury— The Genl Govt. having this Power may Institute a Trial by Jury or they may not— Why remove the Trial of Causes between foreigners from the State Courts In All Appeals to the Genl. Sup. The Appeal is both as to Law & fact—If there should be any Cases of a Criminal Nature (except those excepted) The Appeal is to be on Law and fact— Will there be a Trial by Jury on the appeal If a Man has been tried In a Civil Cause the Court must have jurisdict of the Law & fact Can they refer the fact to a Jury— Objection farther In a Criminal Suit the Def[endan]t is to be tried in the State but no provision to be tried in the Vicinage— Further—The States will be Subject to the Suits of Individuals—This inconsistant with Sover[e]ignty— What is the meang of if it does not authorize A State to sue Individuals and Individuals to Sue and recover Judgmts. agt. a State—If they have this Power given they must have Power to ordain the Means of bringing a State to answer and to give Judgmt. and Compel Execution— I wish these things explained that my Errors may be corrected if not well founded—