first appointment, would become too small in the progress of their service.
This provision for the support of the Judges bears every mark of prudence and efficacy; and it may be safely affirmed, that together with the permanent tenure of their offices, it affords a better prospect of their independence than is discoverable in the Constitutions of any of the States, in regard to their own Judges.
The precautions for their responsibility are comprised in the Article respecting impeachments. They are liable to be impeached for malconduct, by the House of Representatives, and tried by the Senate; and, if convicted, may be dismissed from office, and disqualified for holding any other. This is the only provision on the point, which is consistent with the necessary independence of the Judicial character; and is the only one which we find in our own Constitution in respect to our own Judges.
The want of a provision for removing the Judges on account of inability, has been a subject of complaint. But all considerate men will be sensible, that such a provision would either not be practised upon, or would be more liable to abuse, than calculated to answer any good purpose. The mensuration of the faculties of the mind has, I believe, no place in the catalogue of known arts. An attempt to fix the boundary between the regions of ability and inability, would much oftener give scope to personal and party attachments and enmities, than advance the interests of justice, or the public good. The result, except in the case of insanity, must for the most part be arbitrary; and insanity, without any formal or express provision, may be safely pronounced to be a virtual disqualification.
The Constitution of New York, to avoid investigations that must forever be vague and dangerous, has taken a particular age as the criterion of inability. No