« AnteriorContinuar »
3. To be a senator, a person must be an inhabitant of the state from which he is chosen. He should not only be familiar with the condition and wants of the state, but should have a personal interest and responsibility in all measures affecting the rights of the states.
As in the case of representatives, so in the case of senators, no religious test or property qualifications are required.
The Vice President of the United States is the President of the Senate. He has no vote, unless there is an equal division, and then he gives the casting vote.
The senate chooses all its other officers, and also a President pro-tempore, in the absence of the Vice President.
The senate has the sole power to try all impeachments.
The house has the sole power of presenting all persons for impeachment, and the senate has the sole power of trying them.
What is the third qualification mentioned ?
The house, like a grand jury, find a bill against a person, in other words, the house is the accuser, and the senate, like a court, try the accused, and pass judgment upon him. This judgment of the senate extends only to removal from office. But, if the senate think proper, they may add a disqualification ever afterwards, to hold any office of honor, profit, or trust, under the United States.
The person impeached, is also liable to be indicted, tried and punished for the same offence, according to law.
The power of trying impeachments, which is a judicial act, we have said is intrusted to the senate, and yet the senate is a legislative body. This, is then a slight intermingling of the legislative and judicial powers. But it is rather advantageous than otherwise.
The senate is the most suitable body in the United States for the trial of such cases. It is composed of men of mature age, of distinguished talents, and of experience. Men, in whose wisdom and integrity the whole union have confidence. It is a body sufficiently large to judge wisely, and sufficiently small to judge coolly.
The senators being elected by the legislatures, are not directly responsible to the people, and, are therefore in a great measure, independent of local influ
How far does the judgment of the senate extend?
They are also political men, acquainted with all the duties and rights of public officers, and the offences for which a person may be impeached ; are offences “committed by public men in violation of public trust and duties."
The house would not be a suitable body for the trial of impeachments, for its numbers are too large. And besides, they are the direct representatives of the people, and, therefore, subject to local influences.
The Supreme Court of the United States is too small a body to be intrusted with the trial of impeachments, and besides, the same person might also come up before that court on an indictment, and thus he might be tried twice for the same offence, by the same tribunal.
The senate, when sitting as a court of impeachment, must be on oath or affirmation, as is customary
with all civil and criminal courts. If the President of the United States should be tried, the Chief Justice of the United States would preside. He is the head of the judicial department, and therefore the most suitable person to preside when the executive of the nation is on trial.
What are the offences for which an officer may be impeached ? Why would not the house be a suitable body to try an impeachNo
ment? Why would not the Supreme Court of the United States be a suit
able body? If the President of the United States were to be tried, who would
person can be impeached without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present.
In England, the House of Lords impeach or acquit by a mere majority.
The President, Vice President, and all other officers of the United States, whether executive or judicial, except officers in the army and navy, are liable to impeachment.
No representative or senator is liable to impeachment.
The time, place, and manner of holding elections for senators and representatives, is prescribed in each state by the legislature thereof, but congress may, at any time, by law; make or alter such regulations, except as to the place of choosing senators.
Congress meets regularly once a year, at Washington, on the first Monday of December, until a different day is appointed.
An extra session of congress may be called on extraordinary occasions, by proclamation of the President of the United States.
How many members must concur in an impeachment ?
for senators and representatives ?
POWERS OF EACH HOUSE. Each house is the judge of the election returns, and qualifications of its own members.
This power must be lodged somewhere, or the halls of congress would be liable to be filled with impostors. If it were lodged in any other body it would be dangerous to the legislative department. A majority of each house constitutes a quorum.
A smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may compel the attendance of absent members.
“Each house determines the rules of its proceedings, punishes its members for disorderly behavior, and by a vote of two-thirds may expel a member.” No assembly of men can transact business with order and deliberation, without the power of making and enforcing its own rules. This is necessary for its own dignity and self-preservation.
JOURNALS OF CONGRESS. Each house keeps a Journal, which is published from time to time, except such parts as the welfare of the country requires should be kept secret.
Who is the judge of elections ?