Washington ed 1853 112 KENYON supra note 28 at 391 quoting Gilbert Livingston

Washington ed 1853 112 kenyon supra note 28 at 391

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Washington ed., 1853). 112. KENYON, supra note 28, at 391 (quoting Gilbert Livingston). Antifederalist penman "Montezuma," writing sarcastically as if a proponent of the Constitution, "exulted" that the ab- sence of rotation would prevent "the representatives from mixing with the lower class," thus pre- [Vol. 41:1
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TERM LIMITATIONS to the Philadelphia Convention, remarked that "[niothing is so essential to the preservation of a republican government as a periodical rotation,"' 13 presuma- bly referring to both the participatory benefits and legislative controls afforded by limited tenure. A deep mistrust of power underlay the antifederalist concern about the ab- sence of rotation from the Constitution. They felt that "the predominant thirst of dominion . . . has invariably and uniformly prompted rulers to abuse their power." 4 Thus, during the state ratifying conventions, the Antifederalists predicted two ill effects. First, incumbents would abuse congressional perqui- sites to circumvent free elections and ensure life tenure. 115 Then, congressper- sons would become a political and social aristocracy with little in common with the people. 6 Additionally, the Antifederalists viewed the Constitution's legislative con- trols of residency requirements and frequent elections as grossly inadequate weapons for taming the national rulers' lust for power. Patrick Henry con- tended, "The only semblance of a check is the negative power of not re-elect- ing them. This, sir, is but a feeble barrier, when their personal interest, their ambition and avarice, come to be put in contrast with the happiness of the people.'1 17 In contrast, the Federalists argued that the regular election of the House and Senate would be sufficient to restrict tenure "for a limited period," even if tenure were not explicitly set at "a period of years" as it was in many state constitutions.' 1 8 In response to the antifederalist charge that representatives would continually be reelected, much like the delegates to Congress under the Articles of Confederation, Publius responded, "They [meaning the delegates under the Articles] are elected annually, it is true; but their re-election is con- sidered by the legislative assemblies almost as a matter of course. The election serving the rulers' power while limiting participation of the lower classes. Id. at 62. Montezuma was an unidentified author of "strong feelings [with] much talent for inflammatory propaganda" during the ratification debates. Id. 113. 3 THE DEBATES IN THE SEVERAL STATE CONVENTIONS ON THE ADOPTION OF THE FED- ERAL CONSTITUTION AS RECOMMENDED BY THE GENERAL CONVENTION IN PHILADELPHIA, IN 1787, at 485 (Jonathan Elliot ed., 2d ed. 1937) [hereinafter ELLIOT'S DEBATES] (quoting George Mason, June 14, 1788). 114. Id. at 436 (statement of Patrick Henry). 115. It was believed that Congress' power would result in the "security of their reelection...
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