II. Thomas Jefferson’s Notes on Revising the Virginia Constitution
Convention by the people
general suffrage for Delegates
freeholders for Senate
seat of govmt every 10th year.
100. members. both houses older1
pay to be fixed
Govr elected by people.
appt all officers except of legislrs,
judges reappntble 6 years with approbn Senate
opns seriatim entd of record.
division into wards
MS (ViU: Peter Coolidge Deposit); written entirely in TJ’s hand on one side of a small scrap; undated.
opns seriatim (“opinions seriatim”): on more than one occasion TJ roundly condemned the judicial practice “of cooking up a decision in Caucus, & delivering it by one of their members as the opinion of the court, without the possibility of our knowing how many, who, and for what reasons each member concurred. … [justices] would, were they to give their opinions seriatim and publicly, endeavor to justify themselves to the world by explaining the reasons which led to their opinion.” The fact that, under Chief Justice John Marshall, the United States Supreme Court habitually adhered to the caucus model did little to endear it to the former president (TJ to James Pleasants, 26 Dec. 1821 [quote]; TJ to William Johnson, 27 Oct. 1822).
1. Preceding three words interlined in place of “Senators older.”