James Madison Papers

Notes on Debates, 20 March 1787

Notes on Debates

Nothing noted till

Teusday March 20 [1787]

Mr. Jay’s Report on Treaty of peace taken up.1 Mr. Yates objected to the 1st. Resoln. which declares the Treaty to be a law of the land.2 He said the States or at least his State did not admit it to be such till cloathed with legal sanction. At his request he was furnished with a copy of the Resolution for the purpose of consulting such as he might chuse.

Ms (DLC).

2At the close of his long report Jay offered three resolutions, the first of which declared “that the Legislatures of the several States cannot of right pass any Act or Acts for interpreting, explaining or construing a National treaty, or any part or Clause of it; nor for restraining, limiting or in any manner impeding, retarding or counteracting the operation or execution of the same; for that on being constitutionally made, ratified and published, they become, in virtue of the Confederation, part of the law of the land, and are not only independent of the will and power of such Legislatures, but also binding and obligatory on them” (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds., Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (34 vols.; Washington, 1904–37). description ends , XXXI, 869–70).

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