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Debate: In The House Of Representatives, March 22, 1845, On ...

Debate: In The House Of Representatives, March 22, 1845, On ... image
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Mr. Galloway moved to reconsider the volé by wliich the bilí was passed to improve tho administration of Jusííce: Mr. Prett hoped that those who wislied a reconsideration, and had object ions, would state their reasons. Mr. Galloway said I he bilí had never I becn read or considered. The Speaker said tliat í-he bilí iiadbeen before the house si.x weeks, and it was the iauit of members i( it had hut been examined. Mr. Roof was opposed to veconsideration, and ín favor of the bilí, and supposed he should reccive the maledictions of the bar on this account. He liad terday voted against the bilí, not krrow-1 ing exactly what it containcd; but last evejning he had examined it, und was riow in favor of it. lie thought it sách as the people required, andtliat they would have it uliimritcly. Mr. Harvie said it had been often reiterated during the session, that no imnortaut laws should be touched on account of I he revisión which was pending. This bilí had not been read i'ñ either branch of the legislature, and he did not believe that half a dozen were acquaintcd with its provisions. It proposed to affect the entire system of jurisdiction in the State. I f it passed, they ought to'abolish the office of commissioner for revising the laws. All the other bilis had boen thoroughly canvassed and examined, and yet the present bilí, which was of more importance than any other, had been hurried through the House without being once read. Hethought there was an objection tothe bul n the very first section,vvhieh gave justices power to try equity cases. He also pointed out a number of other defects, and hoped for the credit of the House that the vote would be reconsidered. On reading thebillhe had been tempted to use the quotation, that "fools rush in where angels fear to tread." The Speaker said he had casually êx-i amined the Uï 11, and had treated it as a bundie of absurdities. After the bill had been passed he had examined it, thinking there mightbe something in it worth considering. There had been considerable demagogueism introduced into the legislature, which clamóred for what was cal led legal reform, and it was dangerous to say any thing against it. He brought forward sections to show the inconi'uous character of the bill; andasked whether there were in each township four justices .capable of acting as jndges, and taking the place "of judge Manning. He proceeded to point out the defects of the bill, and toshow the Érriosibility of its beingacted upon. it was seless to go throngh the entire bill, as it bounded in absurdities. There were many propositions which, besides being ad, were ábsolutely ludicrous. Memers should have examinedihe bill before oting for it. He thought it b;irely posible thatthe country might be sufficionty ad vaneed to be ready for such a bill in bout 1500 years.Mr. Pratt conld not yet say whetherhe vasin favor of the bilí or opposed to It. - Vhen he asked for information on the ubject, he had supposed that something mors objectionable %vould have been asigned than he had yet heard. He proceeded to reply to the object ons which íad been raised, and did not seewhyjusices should not try equity as well asother cases. However illiterate a man rnight be, he was able to state his case befare a ustice in aplain and common-sense manner. He was unoble fo sec the forcé of he argumento brought against the bilí, uit did not yet know that he should vote br it. Mr. MacLeod saiel he wasone of those who had examined the bilí with a good deal of care, and must admit that he had very rarely derived so much edification ind amusement (rom any given quantityjf pages. He had at first imagined ihat this bill was but the printed babbling of sorne idiot, who luid thought fit lo throw his notions into this sha pc. On looking further, he liad reasons to change his opinions, and concluded ihat the author of this bill, instead of being a madtnan, was the veriest fooi that ever lived. In the end, he had come to the conclusión thal he was a mixture of fooi and knave. - The bill was a fine specimen of demagogueism, and showed miserable imbecility combined with great dishonesty; and it was vcry fortunate that there was nol sufficient knavery to force the folly alon They could scarcely piek out one section of the bill which was not entirely subversie of Ihe present system of law, which had been received by the wise and good for ages. Ho osked if they were to quench the liglit which experienco had given, and adopt this system in the dark? Thesectjonsof the bill confiicted with each ottór. So far trom this bill haying atendency tosimplify justicc, it would increase perjury and open the floodgates of iniquity. Under the existing law evidence of thosc who had been convicted of perjury was refused; but under the provisions of this bill, Mcrjured persons were allowed to bcpetent witnesses. The salutary restraints of justïce were tnrown aside by this bill, and yet ihcy were asked lo support it. - The duties assigned to county clerkscould never be performed, they were so enormous. He contended against the principie of electing jïidges which was incorporated in tliis bill. Iti the mineral districts of his country, wb.ere ruffians of every description were congregated. and whcre there existed the grentest need of justice being proporly administercd, ifthe people elected the judge, theculprit would go unpunished. The bill was so full of ridiculous absurdities frorn one end to the other, that the person whodrafted it ought to have his head shaved, and be placed in a strait jncket. The very forms prescHBe'd were a gross violation of the conslitution. The bill had never been considered or examined, and yet it had passed; and he asked whether gentlemen were prepared to reconsider the vote, or sweep out of existence a system which had been sanctioned forages.Mr. llays said he was satisfied, from a casual rending of the bilí, thatit wns not perfect, but he was convinced that the peo{)ledesired some change íri ihe present system and the question was whether the sysíem introduced by this bilí was as good as the present one. There were a good man y salutary provisions in this bilí, which would sooner or later be ndopted. He had seen no bad efíects from the jurisdiction of justices. The lime was coming whenlhe people would demand important changes in the judiciary system, and if such a bilí as this were not passed, they would have something similar to it. ít had been said that all judicial reíbrms liad heen opposed by lawyers; and he had always been of opinión that lawyers blinded and oppressed tho people. If this bilí should pass it would greatly injure the[■avvyers, and therefore it might naturally be supposed that they would oppose it. - F rom the peculiar anguish manifested there by the lavvyers, it reminded him of Banquo's ghost. They found that if the bill became a law they would lose theïr practice. He could easily teil who were lawyers in the House, f rom the opposition given tothis bill. There were ne?essarily orrors committed in all first attempts to introduce important reforms, and this bill might require nmendments; but somc measure of the kind was necessary. Th o motion to roconsider was lost - aves '20, noes 20, the chairman (Mr.


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