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Jensen, Merrill; Kaminski, John P.; Saladino, Gaspare J. (ed.) / Ratification of the Constitution by the states: Pennsylvania
2 (1976)

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


Page 629

B. DISSENT OF MINORITY/18 DEC.
vasion, the factious disposition of the people, or any other plausible
pretense that the occasion may suggest; and having thus obtained life
estates in the government, they may fill up the vacancies themselves,
by their control over the mode of appointment; with this exception in
regard to the senators, that as the place of appointment for them must,
by the constitution, be in the particular state, they may depute some-
body in the respective states, to fill up the vacancies in the senate
occasioned by death, until they can venture to assume it themselves.
In this manner may the only restriction in this clause be evaded. By
virtue of the foregoing section, when the spirit of the people shall be
gradually broken; when the general government shall be firmly estab-
lished, and when a numerous standing army shall render opposition
vain, the Congress may complete the system of despotism, in renounc-
ing all dependence on the people, by continuing themselves, and
[their] children in the government.
The celebrated Montesquieu, in his Spirit of Laws, vol. 1, page
12th, says, "That in a democracy there can be no exercise of sovereign-
ty, but by the suffrages of the people, which are their will; now the
sovereign's will is the sovereign himself; the laws therefore, which
establish the right of suffrage, are fundamental to this government.
In fact, it is as important to regulate in a republic in what manner,
by whom, and concerning what suffrages are to be given, as it is in a
monarchy to know who is the prince, and after what manner he ought
to govern." The time, mode, and place of the election of representa-
tives, senators and president general of the United States ought not
to be under the control of Congress, but fundamentally ascertained
and established.
The new constitution, consistently with the plan of consolidation,
contains no reservation of the rights and privileges of the state gov-
ernments, which was made in the confederation of the year 1778, by
Article the 2d, viz.: "That each state retains its sovereignty, freedom
and independence, and every power, jurisdiction and right, which is
not by this confederation expressly delegated to the United States in
Congress assembled."
The legislative power vested in Congress by the foregoing recited
sections is so unlimited in its nature; may be so comprehensive, and
boundless its exercise, that this alone would be amply sufficient to
annihilate the state governments, and swallow them up in the grand
vortex of general empire.
The judicial powers vested in Congress are also so various and ex-
tensive, that by legal ingenuity they may be extended to every case,
and thus absorb the state judiciaries, and when we consider the deci-
sive influence that a general judiciary would have over the civil polity
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