James Madison’s Concurring Opinion, 14 July 1790

James Madison's Concurring Opinion

This reasoning is inforced by the clause (Art. 2. Sect. 1. <cl. 3>) which says the list of votes of the electors shall be transmitted to the seat of Govt. directed to the President of the Senate who in presence of the Senate and H of Reps. shall open the certificates &c. The seat of Congress then must be at the seat of Govt.1 It is admitted that the seat of Govt. can not be where the Ex: part of the Govt. does not sit. The three branches then must sit together and each having a will independent of the others, all must concur in saying where the common seat shall be, that is, a law ought to pass for the purpose.

MS (DLC: TJ Papers, 56: 9611); undated, pencilled memorandum in Madison's hand, attached to Dft of TJ's opinion (see preceding document); addressed “Mr. Madison.” The date of this memorandum is established by the fact that the slip on which it is written, though mutilated, contains 9 of the names of 14 senators who voted for, and 6 of the 11 who voted against, a resolution proposing a loan of $21,000,000 to the United States. Underneath this tally, in the hand of Benjamin Hawkins, is the following: “14 Ays 11 nays. Gunn was absent.” This tabulation and partial identification can only apply to the vote on this resolution, taken on 14 July 1790 ( Annals, i, 1047).

  1. At this point in MS Madison wrote, and then deleted: “otherwise the list of votes would be directed to a.”