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George Mason's Council

by lchervinsky

Cite as: lchervinsky, ‘George Mason's Council’ in Lindsay Chervinsky, Advising the President, Quill Project at Pembroke College (Oxford, 2016), item 84.

Content

When the Committee of Detail presented its report on August 6, Mason objected to the absence of an advisory council. Mason voted to include a Privy Council on August 31 when the delegates referred proposals to the Committee of Postponed Questions. When that report also came back without a council, Mason proposed a new executive council on September 7. Mason believed that a constitutionally-established council would provide the safest advice for the President. By appointing the council members, the legislature gained an additional check on the executive branch. The legislature could also replace the councilors in the case of bad behavior. Additionally, the public would know who advised the President, rather than risking the formation of a secret cabal. Finally, two councilors from each region ensured that the President heard from northern, middle, and southern interests. Mason drew from the Virginia Council of State as a model for his proposal.

Approved for publication

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