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 of this court and you will find its sure prop and pillar, the life tenure of its judges, is the proposition of your man of Essex. He helped to breathe into it the breath of life and to organize it upon an enduring and impregnable basis of judicial impartiality and independence. You hear much nowadays of ‘civil-service reform,’ and of applying the merit system to all minor and clerical employments of the Federal government. Who was the first man to move in this matter? I answer that one of the first to agitate the subject, the one who made it a hobby from year to year, and who finally formulated a wise and practical measure to effect it, was again your man of Essex—R. M. T. Hunter. It passed in his very words, and thus became the law of the land. It is a sound, sensible, moderate and constitutional measure. If it were the law to-day, and duly enforced, and had never been tampered with by demagogues and ignorant men, it would secure efficient employees for the government, protect their tenure better than your present law, protect also the best interests of the government, and it would be an admirable substitute for the present bastard system of cant and hypocrisy, doubtful in its constitutionality, and almost universally regarded as having sunk into evasion, trickery and fraud, with features that no sensible business man, no president of a bank or manager of a business establishment ever acts upon in private life. I say, therefore, that we are indebted to Mr. Hunter for the only good law ever passed upon this subject.
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