Resolution by Representative John Quincy Adams holding the gag rule unconstitutional, May 26, 1836

National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives

Representative John Quincy Adams’s opposition to the gag rule was based on his view that everyone, slave or free, had the right to petition, and that Congress should receive these petitions even if it intended no action. On May 26, 1836, when Adams’s name was called to vote on the gag rule, he tried to introduce this motion explaining his vote. Ruled out of order, the vote proceeded and the gag rule passed the House 117 to 68.