Saturday, March 14, 2009

"Shall the bill be rejected?"

As I discussed in the last post, on January 15, 1831 John C. Calhoun predicted that the House Judiciary Committee would favorably report on a bill that would repeal Section 25 of the Judiciary Act of 1789. Calhoun further predicted, somewhat more hesitantly, that the House would pass the bill.

The first prediction was correct. Rep. Warren Ransom Davis of South Carolina favorably reported for the Judiciary Committee on January 24, 1831.

Calhoun's second prediction, however, proved woefully misguided. On January 29, 1831, the full House rejected the bill by a lopsided vote of 138 to 51. I'm too lazy to do it, but some poor academic with time on his hands should go through and correlate the members' votes with their subsequent positions on Nullification in 1832-33.

Looking over the names, one vote that shocked me was that of George McDuffie of South Carolina, who voted in favor of killing the bill. What gives?

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