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Jensen, Merrill; Kaminski, John P.; Saladino, Gaspare J. (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Pennsylvania
(1976)

B. The Dissent of the Minority of the Convention,   pp. 617-640


Page 635

B. DISSENT OF MINORITY/18 DEC.
tervention of the legislature necessary to give them operation. This
became necessary, and was afforded by the parliament of Great
Britain in consequence of the late commercial treaty between that
kingdom and France. As the senate judges on impeachments, who is
to try the members of the senate for the abuse of this power! And
none of the great appointments of office can be made without the
consent of the senate.
Such various, extensive, and important powers combined in one
body of men are inconsistent with all freedom; the celebrated Montes-
quieu tells us, that "when the legislative and executive powers are
united in the same person, or in the same body of magistrates, there
can be no liberty, because apprehensions may arise, lest the same
monarch or senate should enact tyrannical laws, to execute them in
a tyrannical manner."
"Again, there is no liberty, if the power of judging be not separated
from the legislative and executive powers. Were it joined with the
legislative, the life and liberty of the subject would be exposed to
arbitrary control: for the judge would then be legislator. Were it
joined to the executive power, the judge might behave with all the
violence of an oppressor. There would be an end of everything, were
the same man, or the same body of the nobles, or of the people, to
exercise those three powers; that of enacting laws; that of executing
the public resolutions; and that of judging the crimes or differences
of individuals."
The president general is dangerously connected with the senate; his
coincidence with the views of the ruling junto in that body is made
essential to his weight and importance in the government, which will
destroy all independency and purity in the executive department, and
having the power of pardoning without the concurrence of a council,
he may screen from punishment the most treasonable attempts that
may be made on the liberties of the people, when instigated by his
coadjutors in the senate. Instead of this dangerous and improper
mixture of the executive with the legislative and judicial, the supreme
executive powers ought to have been placed in the president, with a
small independent council made personally responsible for every ap-
pointment to office or other act, by having their opinions recorded;
and that without the concurrence of the majority of the quorum of
this council, the president should not be capable of taking any step.
We have before considered internal taxation, as it would effect the
destruction of the state governments, and produce one consolidated
government. We will now consider that subject as it affects the per-
sonal concerns of the people.
The power of direct taxation applies to every individual, as Con-
635


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