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Senator Hunter's Propositions

Senator Hunter's Propositions image
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The followmg are the prppoaitioni of Senator Hunter, of Virginia, announoed ia his speech of Friday last, as the basis of a sntisfactory settlement of the pending troubles : "In the íirst placo (said Mr. ïlunter,) I would reaort to a dual Executive, as proposed by Mr Cal hou n, but in anothöt l'orrn, I would provide that each section should eleet a President, to : e culled the First and Second President, the First to serve for four years, and the President next succeeding him to i#rve for four otner years, and after wards be realigible. During the term ! of the First President, the Socoad should be Preident of ihe Penale, having a r.asting vote in cusa of a tie. No tre.tty should be valid which did not have the signatura of both Presidente and be sanctioued by two-thirds of the Senate. No law should be valid which was not signad by b )th Pru-idoaU, or, in event of a veto, bo pastóecl by the sanction of a majority oi the Senators from the section from which ho carne And no offieer should ba appoinled unleM with the sanction of both Presidents, or the aaoction ' of a majority of the Senators from whtsnee they are appointed. Aad, srs, I would change, if Í had the power, the tnode of electiug tbee Presidenta. I would provide that each Stute should be divided into Presidntial Electoral districts. Each district should elect one man as Elector, and these Electors should meet in one chambur, and the two men who, afear a certain number of ballota, should receive the hiuhest number of votes should be submitted aa candidatos to the people, and he should be daclared President who hould have the niajoritv of dist; iets. I vvouid do thiu to destruy the chances? of a cou.biuatiou for purpose of' power and patronage. 1 would sub-titute this instead of a natiunal coüvention. I would diminish the lemptutinns to all such corrupt coinbinations lor spoils and patronage, by the fact that one of the Presidenta that vvouid be electad would have four years to serve before he could take ihe power. Mcüiitime ho would be ij irainiiig for four yeurs as President of the Senate, and using the veto power. The faet of such a división of the Executive power would destroy, to a great extent, miserable systesi of rotation in office, and make merit the test of place. It would bave anothar good cffaet. Il would save ua all those agitatious attending the Presideutial elio. tions wbioh now disturb the couutrv. The election would take place in one section at a time, and vvouid take place in each section but once in eig .t years. In this way we sh uld escape the agitatioos that arenow and distracting us. I do not believe that to ihis syetem the ebjactïona could apply which have been urged against a dual Executive. I huve no idea we could get up two parties, gelting around a Second President, for the Second President could not exercise the veto power odIj at the vvill of hiso;vn Mction, and the rule would be Ihe rule of juslice, und the probability is that, xvhunever there id a dispute, it would be aptest to end in adopting that course which j 'either was iuat or seemed to be just. Neither will it r;tai'd the operatious of the government in tiuao of war. The j operation would be quick enough ! And, in time of peaco, del aya aould only occur where the disputa was between seations, and then the movenr.ent ; ought to be slow, until soine rneans j could be found for concifiating and adlusting the ditiereuce." In addition, Mr. Hunter guggested ihe réorganizatïon of th United States Suprema Oourt, expressing his viuws on this subyoct as foilows : " 1 believe it was iuUnded by the framers of the coneUtution that the States should be instrumental in restorinq; fugitive ülavss, and we know il is in their poA'er to obstruct and actually to impede the government .;! the United States. Nwo, sir, I propose, n order to secure the proper enforcement of the;e ii:fhts, that the supremo Court should uieo be readjusted so as to coosist of ten members - five from each section - the Chief Justice to be oiie ol the five; and 1 would all.ow auy State to bring inother State before it, on charge of having failed to discharge its constitutional obligatious; and then, if the Court found the State to be n fault, ! then, sir, I vvouid have, if it did not repair the wrong, that any otber State might deny all privileges to its eitizens, and that all the States might tax its oommerce until it ceased to bo in fault. Thus I would próvido a reroedj ! out bringing the general government in ! collision with tho States, and I would ! give the States in such oases the right ' of denying the disoharge of anjrobhgation which they niity have inourred. In this way I believe these wrong might be remedied, without pvoduciiig" any colusión orjarriug. L order to make this complete, it should bo pr - vided that the Judges of the Suprome Gourt in e:ich section should be ap(lointed by the President from thntsec-! ion, and that is the only orijj'jnal appointinar power I would give the Second President. I have presan ted in this Bcbeme one which, iu my opinión, would adjusi the differencea of tb cial systoms so as to be mutually snfe. If this wero adopted, I, for one, would be rilling to regúlale the righls f pe ceesion, which, I think, is not a right i'Xpressly given in the constitution, vet result from the nature of }o oompñct, ' I would agrne lliat no State ehall ln allowed to accede, unless by the will ot the inajx íty oí tbo States of tbat section. Whenever the mnjority of tij States ineilhre section Süid tln;re wns iv cause for secession, the should dopart. But if tht:v iaiil tbe cause did not cist, tlia inora] (orce of Mieh a decisión on the part of her confedérate woul'df eatisfy a Stalfi. I think a pystem thoti adjusted would eü;ib!ü us to establish a permanent guvernmont, a u?ful and jiist governmont, tiat would bo ïanked' among the most per.nacent of all hu. uu institutions, and would erable us torear up an empire that vvoiild exeeed anything that is to be found in tb pages of history."


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