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court of Appeals does represent the people, be- rated it into the constitution, where it stood cause the judiciary is ibe check upon That until the days of reform swept it away-bebranch of the government, to prevent their lieving this, it is my candid opinion that if passing illegal and unconstitutional enaci. any other sistem were to be incorporated in
to the constitution than an elective system The judicial power of the State acts more of the judiciary, it would injure the consti. closely upon the people than any oth'r de- tution before the people and it is this which partment of the government. I assert that induces me to support the amendment of my the poor man, the man of bone and sinew, friend from Baltimore city (Mr. Ab volt.) tbe real working man of the Sale, looks and Mr. THRUSTON. I think this is a question feels as gir nyly towards this principle of upon which we are all bound to give our the ele«tion of jndges and sheriffs and clerks, testimony so far as we can with regard to as to the elecion of the man who is to repre- wbich is the preferable sys'em. The people sent him in ihe legislative balls. I deny iban whom I in part represent are made up mostly if the people are competent, as they are, to of mechanics and laborin: men. I have elect the governor, and members of the gene- iaken great pains to converse with them ral assemily, that they are not as fully com- whenever an opportunity occurred, and I petent to elect their judges. There may have bare found them almost universally in favor been alues in the elective system; and under of an appointive system. They have lived what system have there not been abuses ? under loch systems. We find that the elective You cannot change human nature by the 31s- systein does not secure judge: as unbiased tem of appointment. The governor of the and free from prejudice as the appointive State is a mere man; and when he exercises system, of which my constituents, i am sure the right which the constitution gives himn, in large number of them, are in favor. I am appvining men to office, in nine cases out of snre that if we incorporate that system into ten he will appoint his own politicıl friends. ibe constitution it will secure in that neighIt is not the same way with the people of borhood additional support to it. your State. The people of your State, as a gen- Men are not fitted from mere personal popueral thing, when ther cin get hold ofan hon- larily to fill the judicial offices. So far is my est minn fur judge, will elect him in preference experience gives, we rather finil men who are to a dishonest one; and they canı more easily sometimes unpopular even more fitted for discrimina'e among the men who live in their such offices than those who have attained own neiglihorboods, as to who is honest and greal personal popularity-huse who seek who is dishonest; who is lerned in the law, popularity for their own purposes. We and who is unlearned in the law, than the know further that seeking for popularity and governor of your State. There have been electioneering for office creates a state of evidences of parti-anship under an appoinled mind wholly inconsistent with the proper judiciary that we have not seen under an elec- exercise of the judicial functions. I am sure tive judiciary. It is but the other day that that the appointive system willg:in strength I heard it asserted by a gentlemen in my city 10 the constitution in the county which I that the supreme court of the United States represent, and so far as my own experience in making iis decision in the Dred Scott case, goes, laving practiced under both systems, had (ted 18 al partisan court; and he made I bave not a shadow of doubt that the apa good arguin'nt to prove it. That is one pointive system gives the greatest satisfacof the illustrations of ihe appointive systein; lion. and it is one of the evidences to show that Besides, the people do in fact elect the the appointive system cannot change humin judges even under that system, for they elect Duture. Wherever you find human nature the man who has the appoint ng power. you will fiud it shject to sympathies and They control the party who appoi'its the bias. The more appointment or election of a judges, and it throws such a guard around. man to an office cannot take away from bim ihe appointment that it may be said that the that sympathy or that bias.
peop e do practically elect. I am confident Berjaving therefore as I do that the people ihat the appointive system is most popular in of the State will not consent to give up this my section of the State. power they hive exercised for lourie n years, Mr. STIRLING. It seems to me that this å power which the convention of Maryland amendment is rather premature. I do not in 1851 gare them in good fuith, and which ihink it will settle anything; for the next they of right ought not to be deprived of, section says that the judges shall be apbecause it is a right which they have exer- pointel by the governor. cised fourteen years and should have exer- The PRESIDENT. That can be stricken out. eised ever since 1776, and in my opinion Mr. STIRLING. It seems to me that the mowould have done it if it had not been that tion of the gentleman trum Allegany (Mr. the old convention of 1776 were acting un- Thruston) ought not to have been with der the old prejudices derived from the colo- drawn, because whether you adopt the apnial government, and derived this idea of the pointive system or the elective system, there appointive system from Eugland and incorpo- will certainly be judges appointed to fill vå
carcies. I cannot therefore vote to strike who perhaps may not know how many out the word “appointment,” whatever my judges sit there, or whether there is such a views may be with regard to the best system court at all; the idea of calling upon such a to adopt.
man to elect a judge to the highest judicial The PRESIDENT. It is to test the sense of tribunal of the State, is which I hope the convention.
will not be con sidered proper. Mr. Stirling. It will test it wrongly then, If you undertake td-cide the question of if it leads us to strike out wbat ought to be the election of the judiciary as an abstract in there.
question, and preferable to their appointment, Mr. THRUSTON. I only withdrew my you embarrass those who intend to make ihis amendment temporarily. I shall renew it distinction. I suggest, therefore, that this after wards.
is a merely verbal alteration. Undoubtedly Mr. RIDGELY. I do not see the slightest if the house shall at a future time decide Decessity for the amendment suggested by that the court of appeals shall be appointed, the gentleman from Baltimore city (Mr. and that the circuit judzes shall be elected, Stirling.) There is a special section which nobody will hesitate to turn back to this providis for i he case of death, res goation and section and add the necessary words to meet removal from office, which mes that ditfi-thit state of the case. The gentleman from cully. Here the word first occurs, and this Ballimore will therefore perceive that be has is the appropriate place, it strikes me, in been in great haste to make this change, bewhich the sense of the house ought to be canse there is not now the slightest necessity tested.
for it. There is not a man bere, criainly, Mr. CHAMBERS. I have but a word to sıy. I be his opinions upon this question what they have heretofore expressed at large my views may, who would for a moment hesitate, if the upon the subject. I have not altered any buse should deci le that the court of appeals opinion I entertained since the convention of shall be appointed and the circuit judges 1851. But I may be permitted to say that what elect d, to say it is right to make the change I considered then as probable, all the mis- in this section necessary to conform to that chiefs I foresaw bave not only been realized decision but have been experienced to an extent far Mr. Sands. I do not purpose now to beyond my anticipation at that time. I hold, argue the comparative merits of the two sysas I always have he d, since I have had any tems, appointive and elective. I shonld not intiligence upon the subject, that the lenure have risen at all had I not some days ago for life or for good behavior, and the gystem in imated that I might perhaps as it member of appoinıment are both important, and the of the judi iary com nittee, submit a miuority former I deem still more important than the r port. Circumst.nces induced me to alter laiter.
my mind wiih rezard to that matter, beI merely mean now to have my opinion re- lieving that I could attain any ends I might corded as nut only unchanged, but co firmed. have in view as well by amendments of secAll the expe ience I have bad is that you tion after section, as the judiciary report have lessened the character of the judiciary; shall be reid, is by a minority report. and I was going to say, you have abolished There have of course to my mind, as well the respeci to the organs of the law, which as to the minds of other gentlem-n, been reathose or ais bave informer times universally sons suygested for and agaios both systems. experienced at the bands of the people. But I kuow that the judiciary power of our sysupou my opinion I do not deem it necessary tem of goverument is perhaps the most imnow to enlarge, or the re:isons for it. | uu- porunt branch of the goverument; l.ecause it derstand that opinions have been formed. does not martier what laws you have upon
But I rise now for the purpose of suggest your statue book, if your judiciary inisintering the fact that this proposal is out of tine. prets or miscoustrues them. We are all There are persons upon this floor who will satisfied of the necessity of wise, learned and advocate the appointinent of a portion of impartial judges. The question of course the judiciary, and the electioa of another with us all is bow best to obtain hem. How portion of it. I shill vote that way. Inw shall we best obtain the man for the place ? believe that a majority of this body will cer- Although the remark of my friend from tainly adopt a system of appointment, so far Baliimore city who has addressed the conas the judges of the court of appeals are con- vention miglit at Grst strike the ear as not cerned. The idea of giving to the men in a containing the iruth of the maiter, that the distant part of the Stite the app in ment of people of the judicial district or circuit were a judge of ihe court of appeals, whose sole belier qualified to judge of the man as to his au hority is to decide questions of law; the moral character, and us to his legal learning, ide of yiving to the man who lives at the thao ihe governor of the State, :thou, h it inay reuotest distance in the Siale, whose babits have 8-emed to have lit le weight or truth in have never claimed ihe ex-rcise of one m)- it; yet rei ct : you are to bare a man to ment's rei ction upon the qualifications ne-occupy the beach of one of your crcuits, cessiry for a judge of the court of appeals, He is either to be chosen by the people or by
the governor. The chances, I presume. of the may be brought into conrt any day; and
was the sort of man to pander to the populace, The qualifications of a lawyer are some- and to deal with a light hand with crime, thing that cannot be hidden, or his disquali- rowdyism, profligacy of any sort that came fications at the bar. If he is successful, if he under his judicial notice. It has got to be a is learned, if he is able, if he is eloquent, the saying among the people who are in the hab. men who are called upon to select bim are it of coming into our courts—don't fall into constant witnesses of bis professional career; Judge Pryor's hands; if you do he will give and I do not know one fact more certain you the extent of the law. Why do the than this, that the popular appreciation of a people re-elect him? Why bave the masses judge's character and ability, is its very best voted for bim? Because he was to'erant of test. It is that teaching which is attained popular abuses, rowdyism, drunkenness, by experience. He has practiced for years rioting, and everything of the sort. No, sir; in the courts of his circuit, and the people that is not the secret of the matter; it is behaving causes there have intrusted them to cause the people who have elected him once bim. They witness his management of their and again, have observed for many years his causes, and of the causes of other partirs, conduct as a judge, and they have faith in and there is nothing more certain than this, his legal learning, faith in his integrity, and that when a party has a suit to be brought know he is just the man to whom they can in any court of the State, be knorrs exactly safely intrust their interests; and the consethe man best qualified to try it, and he will quence has been that he is now filling by ap
pointment and by election, his third term in On the other hand, the governor of the that service. Stale appoints a man whose face perbaps he I did not propose to say as much as this. has not seen a dozen times, or half a dozen These thoughts suggested themselves to me. times; and appoints him how ? It would I do believe that the people are the best judges hardly be dignified for the gentleman to go of the character and qualifications of their and solicit the appointment. He would bet- judges, and they have such intimate knowlter solicit it at the hands of the people than edge of the men at all times and under all at the hands of the executive. How does the circumstances, personally, morally, and progovernor hear of him, or what does the gor- fessionally, that they know into whose hands ernor know of him, except through there to intrusi themselves and their welfare. commendations of his personal and perhaps Mr. NEGLEY. I do not intend to say much of his political friends? That is the amount upon this matter, but I am inclined to favor of the governor's knowledge of the man; the aniendment of the gentleman from Baltiwhile the knowledge the people possess con- more city (Mr. Abbolt.) I do not believe cerning him is that which has grown up that the operation of the elective system of perhaps from an experience of iwenty or the judiciary of Maryland for the last four. Thirty years' active professional service in teen years has been found to depreciate the the community.
character of the judges, in the circuits at This being the case, who is the best quali- least. In our own district we have on the fied to judge what man can best occupy the bench a man who was on the bench under bench, the governor who knows him only the appointive system, and I think altogether from the recommendations of bis personal as competent and as good a judge as it would and political friends, or the people who have be possible for the legislature or for the gorbeen the witnesses of his course of conduct ernor to give us; because I believe that the for twenty or thirty years? I say the people people of the district are the best judges of are the best judges And the people have a ihe integrity and legal capacity of the man very just appreciation of the importance of to be selected for the office. The constitution the judicial office. They know that their provides that the citizens shall not go out and property, perhaps their lives, their interests of select A, B and C, without any reference to every character, are under his especial guar- their integrity or legal caparity. The condianship. They know that not only npon stitution restricts the selection to men learned bis impartiality but upon bis legal wisdom in the law. With that restriction, I think perhaps depend the positions they hold. They that the people of the several districts are
go to him.
abundantly capable of making the selection | tricts is not proper, because every man in every for themselves.
portion of the Suite has an equal interest Is it not a notorious fact that a man can go in the selection of the judges of the court of into ans judicial disirict in the State of Ma-appeal, because they preside over his cases Tyland, into any county of the Suite of Mary- and determine them. The judge of the court land, and inquire of the most ignorant man of appeals does not decide the cases that he can find i here, who is their best lawyer, arise particularly in the district in which he and le will immi diately be told. In our is chosen, but be sits in judgment upon cases own county the little boj s, the children in that come to him from districts that have no the streets, can point oui the best lawyer in voice in his selection. There is injustice in the county. So that the parties who are to that; and as a State officer he ought to be make the selection in our county are better elected by a State ticket. qualified to do so than the governor or the A State officer is the servant of the entire legislature, of whom not five men, tbree people of the Sute, and the entire people of meu, and perhaps not one man out of the the State have an equal interest in hiss lition. county will know anything about the party So I am really on principle incline i 10 favor to be appointed. The governor and the leg- the election, toth of judges of the court of islature must rely upon in'ormation obtained appeals, and of judges of the district courts. from others, from the delegates or senator | I believe it would be most bazardous 10 atfrom the county, or they must rely upon per- i tempt to take away this right of selection sobal representations made to them as to the from the people. fitness of the party who asks for the office. Gentleman in this convention have been
I am one of those wbo are willing to trust speaking much about the apprehension that the honesty of the people in the selection of they might do something to jeopardize the their officers at all times. There is just as adoption of ibis constitution. In my bumble much corruption, jus: as much wire-pulling, judgment you cannot more effectually jeopjust as much personal preference in the se- Jardize the adoption of this constiution than lection of judicial officers by the governor by attempting to take away a right which the and the legislature, as there is among the peop'e know that they possess. The proplo people; and more so. They are appointed are jealous of being deprived of power they ihrough the represenlations of personal ouce possessed. You would a thousand times frit ods; and there is just as much liability to better uever have given it to them at all; get incompetent men as there is by allowing there would then not be so much difficulty in the selection to be made by the people. Alter withholding it. But having possessed it, hav. all, these things are to be judged by their re- ing exercised without any dissatistaction to sults. The elective feature has been adopt themselves or any detriment to justice throughed, I believe, in most of the States; and I out the State, they will be very loth to give have yet io learn that the bench in the States it up. If gentleman are sincere in their disis now more corrupt or less competent than it position to insert nothing in this constitution was under the appointive system.
that may jeopardize its passage, I think they There lore I am in favor of the election of would better be very careful about attentpting the judges by the people, not only in the cir- w take away from ihe people ihis privilege. cuiis, but in the court of appeals ako. It There are a few of the lower officers of the has been argued that the man in a distant State, such as constables, road supervisors, county of the State has no interest in the se- and perhaps magistrates, whom there may be lection of a judge for the court of appeals.- some ground for appointment; at least the He is as much an integral portion of the constables and road supervisors. But as to State of Jaryland and of the population of the higher officers, the judiciary, I am not Maryland, living in the county of Allegany, inclined to wuch ibem, or to change the as if he lived in the heart of Baltimore city; principle concerning them which now exists and he has just as mu h right, and perhaps in our constitution. The people have not sufjust as much interest to the extent of bis fi- fered. The complaint in our county is not nances, in the selection of a judge of the about the circuit judge, or not about ihe court court of appeals as the man who lives in the of uppeals particularly, except that they think heart of Baliimore city. The man whose ju- they ought to have a chance to assist in the risdiction extends all over the State, over election of officers who preside over their cases every part of it, is as much the officer of the if they are elected at all; but it is with regard individual who lives on the top of the Alle- to these little peity offices where they have ganies, as of the man who lives on the shorts suffered. But there is no complaint; there of the bay; and the one citizeo is just as is no wish or desire, I believe, among the peomuch interested in the selection of that officer ple 10 have a change in regard to the mode as the oiber; and it is just as right and proper of selecting circuit judges or judges of the orthat he sh uld vote for him. Hence the pro- phans' court. There may be some difference priety of electing judges of the court of ap- lof opinion with regard to these lower offices ; peals by general tickel. This systein of select- and I am not so very particular about ing judges of the court of appeals by dis- tbem, whether you elect the magistrate, or give to the circuit judge the power to appoint ferred higher honor upon his office, either in him. But I am decidedly opposed to appoint- the court of a peals or on the !ower bench, ing the court of yppeals or ihe circuit judges; than the justice of the superior court of Baland I shall therefore vote for the amendment. timore city, Judge Martin.
Mr. RIDGELY. I shall follow the example With:his experience and this observation, I nf my friend from Baltimore city who opened am unwilling to turn back to the point where this debate (Mr. Stockbridge.) He occupied we stood in 1850. I find the opinion I ena very short time. The experience which I tertained in 1850 confirmed and sustained by have had in the last fourteen years bas con- the past. firmed in my mind the fitness and propriety There is another reason for my vote. This of my vote in the convention of 1850, to make is a very important movement. Neither my this system an elective system. In that respect people nor the people at large bave ever been my experience differs from that of the gentle consulted upon this subject When we were man from Kent (Mr. Chambers.) My experi. sent here as members of this convention, this ence has not assured me that we have lost any- question was not raised before our constituthing from the change; but on the contrary in ency. I hold that I have as much a duty to tbe judicial district in wbich I reside my experi- perform to represent my constituency here, as ence has been that we have gained by the if I were in a legislative body. It is my duty to change.
reflect what I believe to be the wants and the It may be that we have not in general ob- will of that constituency. Never having spetained judges so profound in judicial learning cially discussed this question, it never having as we had under the former system; but we been particularly brought before the people, have obtained judges who have in the opinion we are asked, without any sort of information of our people met the wants of the people.- upon this subject, boldly, at once to cut loose It is not per se judicial learning, learning in the from the system wbich in general has worked law, that makes up all the elements of char- well, and to fall back upon the old system acter necessary to constitute a good judge. which we know in the experience of the past, There are other elements of character besides did not work well. that of profound legal learning; and they Just turn to our experience anterior to 1850, have been eminently displayed in my judicial and see what was the condition of the judidistrict. We have had two judges under this ciary under the appointing system. I happen system; the one the lamented Alfred Consta- to be cotemporaneous with that system, and ble; and the other the present judge, John H. know something about it, and I bere chalPrice. The business habits of those gentle- lenge, with the exception of the court of apmen, their accessibility, their irreproachable peals, a comparison between the associates upprivate character, superadded to a reasonable on the bench under the old system with the amount of judicial learning, bas eminently bench of the circuit courts now under the new fitted those gentlemen for the positions which system. they held.
For these reasons I am unwilling to vote to Nor have I observed that in other quarters change the mode of selection, and to return of the State there has been any lessening of the to the old system of appointinent anterior to amount of judicial learning or fitness for the the adoption of the present constitution. position upon the bench, among the various Mr. Bond. I bare no doubt that it is the incumbents of the bench. If you will look wish of every member of this convention to around through the various circuits, beginning adopt that mode, whether appoiniment or at Allegany, w bo is upon the bench there under election, which is most conducive to the pubthe elective system? Look again at Frederick lic good. The only difference between us and Carroll; who are upon the bench there seems to be, that some think that the public under the elective system? Passing by the good would be better promoted by the elective district in which I live, and of which I have system; and some on the contrary think it just spoken, to the Eastern Shore, we come to would be better promoted by the appointive Judge Carmichael, who was succeeded by judge system. Ricaud ; and in the lower district, judge In the early part of the session I bad the Spence. I put it to the convention whether honor to submit to the consideration of the the bench has fallen very far below what it judiciary committee the outline of a system was under their predecessors? In my opinion in which I proposed an elective judiciary. I they level up fully to the standard of their am free to say it was not because I regarded predecessors as a whole.
it as the best system ; but I really supposed It is true they have been unfor upate in it would probably be the only tenable systein. Baltimore city; but it was in the inception of Since I find some of our friends upon the the system when Baltimore city bad the mis- other side in favor of an appointive system, fortune to make a selection which probably being very glad to find that it is so, I now they would not have made under a larger ex- say that I am an advocate of the appointive perience. At present the bench of Baltimore system, and will vote for it. city, generally speaking, is highly respecta- These gentleman who have occupied the ble. Indeed I know of no judge who bas con floor in favor of the elective system, seem to