Speech by Rep. Samuel Livermore of New Hampshire,
August 31, 1789
(Gazette of the United States, September 9, 1789--Courtesy of the Wisconsin Historical Society)
two senators eventually voted against the Judiciary Bill. In the House, their colleague
Samuel Livermore also opposed it. In this speech he provides the reasons. Originally,
opposition arose in New Hampshire because it was the only state not to have its own
federal district court; it shared a district with Maine, then a part of Massachusetts.
This provision was removed from the bill before the Senate passed it. The House agreed
to the bill on September 17 by a vote of 37-16, but the vote was not recorded in the
House Journal. From the newspapers (Gazette of the United States, September 19, 1789)
we know that most of the opposition came from the Southern States. The three New York
Antifederalists, half of the state's delegation in the House, also voted with the minority.
Opponents were most critical of the expense of the system and the creation of inferior
federal courts instead of relying on the existing state courts.