Thomas Jefferson Papers
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George Washington to the Senate, with Jefferson’s Note to Washington, 28 February 1793

George Washington to the Senate, with Jefferson’s Note to Washington

Gentlemen of the Senate

I was led, by a consideration of the qualifications of  Patterson of New Jersey to nominate him an associate justice of the Supreme court of the US. It has since occurred that he was a member of the Senate when the act creating that office was passed and that the time for which he was elected had1 not yet2 expired. I think it my duty therefore to declare that I deem the nomination to have been null by the constitution.

Feb. 28. 1793.

Th: Jefferson will immediately have letters of summons prepared to convoke the Senate on Monday according to the form used on a former occasion.

PrC of Dft (DLC); with note to Washington subjoined; entirely in TJ’s hand, but partially overwritten by a later hand. Entry in SJPL: “draught of a message to Senate on the nullity of Judge Patterson’s nomination, & on convening Senate. qu. if sent?”

For the background of this document, see Tobias Lear to TJ, 28 Feb. 1793, and note.

1Word interlined in place of “shall not expire till the 3d. of […].”

2Word interlined in place of canceled and illegible word.

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