MVB Senate remarks on the judiciary, 21 January 1828
Monday, January 21, 1828.
Mr. VAN BUREN observed that, on Friday the Senator from Tennessee (Mr. White) happened to be on the floor, explaining his views on this amendment, when he (Mr. V. B.) entered the Senate—and he supposed, from the tenor of that gentleman’s observation, that his amendment was, in its scope, co-extensive with the argument on the bill to abolish Imprisonment for Debt, to which he alluded. I was, said Mr. V. B. in error; and the motion of the Senator from Tennessee, I now learn, does not attempt to take away the supervision of the Supreme Court of the United States but to adopt the laws of the several States in the Circuit Courts, under the supervision, as formerly, of the Supreme Court. The amendment would, perhaps, secure some provisions in favor of those States which they could not otherwise attain; and he had no intention to oppose the bill or the amendment, under their present aspect.
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Mr. VAN BUREN said, that, if possible, this bill ought now to be decided upon. It was a measure which had long occupied Congress, this being the second or third session in which it had been discussed. The bill passed the Senate in its present form, two years since. The course now proposed was a middle one, and he saw no objection to it. It did not go the length desired by the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Johnson.) It did, certainly, as was stated from the gentleman from Georgia, (Mr. Berrien,) establish two different rules. This objection, however, would be removed, if an amendment could be introduced to make its operation equal in all the States. As to the State which he in part represented, he thought it would be acceptable, and considered as in no way interfering with the established Judiciary. He hoped that it would now be decided, in order to save time, and to satisfy those who were desirous of the passage of the bill.