Page:Federalist, Dawson edition, 1863.djvu/693

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549
The Fœderalist.

Judges of the United States "shall at stated times receive for their services a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office."

This, all circumstances considered, is the most eligible provision that could have been devised. It will readily be understood, that the fluctuations in the value of money, and in the state of society, rendered a fixed rate of compensation in the Constitution inadmissible. What might be extravagant to-day, might in half a century become penurious and inadequate. It was therefore necessary to leave it to the discretion of the Legislature to vary its provisions in conformity to the variations in circumstances; yet under such restrictions as to put it out of the power of that body to change the condition of the individual for the worse. A man may then be sure of the ground upon which he stands, and can never be deterred from his duty by the apprehension of being placed in a less eligible situation. The Clause which has been quoted combines both advantages. The salaries of Judicial officers may from time to time be altered, as occasion shall require, yet so as never to lessen the allowance with which any particular Judge comes into office, in respect to him. It will be observed, that a difference has been made by the Convention between the compensation of the President and of the Judges, That of the former can neither be increased nor diminished. That of the latter can only not be diminished. This probably arose from the difference in the duration of the respective offices. As the President is to be elected for no more than four years, it can rarely happen that an adequate salary, fixed at the commencement of that period, will not continue to be such to its end. But with regard to the Judges, who, if they behave properly, will be secured in their places for life, it may well happen, especially in the early stages of the Government, that a stipend, which would be very sufficient at their