Imágenes de páginas



$ 30.

(In Continuation.) § 1. Legislature. $ 2. Their qualifications. $ 3. House of representa.

tives. § 4. Senate. 55. President and speaker. 5 6. Powers of congress. 57. Stated meetings. 58. Internal regulations. 59. Revenue bills. $ 10. Form of passing laws, &c. $ 11. Privileges of the members. $ 12. Compensation. § 13. Officers of the legislature. $14. Standing committees. 5.15. Mode of supplying vacancies. $ 16. Judiciary. S 17. General jurisdiction. 5 18. Tenure of office. $ 19. The supreme court. $ 20. Its jurisdiction. 521. Salaries.

$ 22. District courts. $ 23. Their jurisdiction. 524. Salaries of district judges. 5 25. Circuit courts. § 26. Their jurisdiction. § 27. The attorney-general. $ 28. District attorneys.

$ 29. Marshal. Clerks of court. 531. Appointment, &c. of inferior judicial officers. 5 32. Pay of jurors and witnesses.

$1. All the legislative powers of the general government are vested in a congress, which consists of a senate and house of representatives.

$ 2. No person can be a representative who is not 25 years of

age, and has not been seven years a citizen of the United States; a senator must be 30 years of age, and have been nine years a citizen. Both representatives and senators must be inhabitants of the state in which they are chosen.

3. The house of representatives consists of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states, the electors of whom must have the qualifications requisite for the most numerous branch of the state legislature* Representatives are apportioned among the states according to their respective numbers, which are determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to serve for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all

An enumeration or census is taken for this purpose every tenth year, when, if necessary, a new apportionment takes place by congress.

other persons.

* The mode of choosing representatives is regulated by the state legislatures. In some of the states they are chosen by districts, in others by general ticket.

84. The senate is composed of two senators from each state chosen by the respective legislatures for six years. One-third of the senate is chosen every second year, their term of office expiring biennially by rotation.

95. The vice-president of the United States is president of the senate, but has no vote, unless they are equally divided. The senate choose their other officers, and also a president pro tempore, in the absence of the vice-president, or when he exercises the office of president of the United States. The house of representatives choose their speaker and other officers. 96. Congress are authorized by the constitution

1. To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defence and general welfare of the United States : but all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout the United States.

“2. To borrow money on the credit of the United States.

“3. To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes.

“4. To establish an uniform rule of naturalization ; and uniform laws on the subject of bankruptcies, throughout the United States.

“ 5. To coin money ; to regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin ; and fix the standard of weights and measures.

“6. To provide for the punishment of counterfeiting the securities and current coin of the United States.

“7. To establish post-offices and post-roads.

“ 8. To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times, to authors and inventors, the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.

“9. To constitute tribunals inferior to the supreme court.

“10. To define and punish piracies and felonies committed on the high seas, and offences against the law of nations.

“11. To declare war; grant letters of marque and reprisal ; and make rules concerning captures on land and water.

“ 12. To raise and support armies. But no appropriation of money for that use, shall be for a longer term than two years.

“ 13. To provide and maintain a navy.

“14. To make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces.

“ 15. To provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections, and repel invasions.

“ 16. To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the militia, and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States; reserving to the states respectively the appointment of the officers, and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by congress.

“17. To exercise exclusive legislation, in all cases whatsoever, over such district (not exceeding ten miles square) as may, by cession of particular states, and the acceptance of congress, become the seat of the government of the United States; and to exercise like authority over all places purchased by the consent of the legislature of the state in which the same shall be, for the erection of forts, magazines, arsenals, dock-yards, and other needful buildings.

"18. To dispose of, and make all needful rules and regulations respecting the territory or other property belonging to the United States.

“ 19. To make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers, and all other powers vested by this constitution in the government of the United States, or any department or officer thereof."

Congress are specially forbidden to suspend the writ of habeas corpus, unless when, in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it; to pass bills of attainder or ex post facto laws; to lay capitation or other direct taxes in any other manner than by apportioning them among the states as the representatives are (see 9 3, page 35); to lay any duty on exports ; to give any preference, by commercial or revenue regulations, to the ports of one state over those of another; to impose duties on coasting vessels, or oblige them to make entry or clear in passing from one state to another.

07. Congress must assemble at least once in every year. Their day of meeting is the first Monday in December, unless they by law appoint a different day.

$ 8. Each house is the judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members. A majority constitutes a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and is authorised to compel the attendance of absent members. Each house may determine the rules of its proceedings ; punish its members for disorderly behaviour; and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member. The journals of both houses must be published, except such parts as may require secrecy; and the yeas and nays must be entered on them at the request of one-fifth of those present. Neither house, without the consent of the other, can adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which congress is sit


No member of either house can, during the time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil office under the authority of the United States, which has been created, or the emoluments of which has been increased, during such time, and no person holding any office, can be a member of either house during his continuance in office.

09. All bills for raising revenue must originate in the house of representatives ; but the senate may propose or concur with amendments, as in other bills.

§ 10. No law can be passed without the concurrence of both houses. When that is obtained, it is presented to the president, who, if he approves, signs it ; if not, he returns it, with his objections, for the re-consideration of congress, and it cannot in that case become a law without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members. The president must return it within ten days, otherwise it becomes a law without his approbation. Joint orders, resolutions, or votes (except on questions of adjournment) must go through the same forms.

While bills, resolutions, &c. are on their passage between the two houses, they are on paper, and under the signature of the secretary or clerk of each house respectively. After they have passed both houses, they are enrolled on parchment by the clerk of the house of representatives, or the secretary of the senate, as the bill may have originated in the one or the other house, and after enrollment they are examined by a joint committee of one from the senate, and two from the house of representatives, appointed as a standing committee for that purpose, who carefully compare the enrollment with the engrossed bills, &c. as passed in the two houses, and, correcting any errors that may be discovered, make their report forthwith to the respective houses. After examination and report, each bill, &c. is signed in the respective houses, first by the speaker of the house of representatives, then by the president of the senate. After having been thus signed, it is presented by the committee to the president of the United States, for his approbation, it being first endorsed on the back of the roll, certifying in which house it originated; which endorsement is entered on the journal of each house. The committee report the day of presentation to the president, which is also entered on the journal of each house.

When the senate and house of representatives make a joint address to the president, it is presented to him in his audience chamber by the president of the senate, in the presence of the speaker and both houses.

$11. The members of congress are privileged from arrest, except for treason, felony, or breach of the peace, during their attendance at the session of their respective houses. They cannot be questioned, in any other place, for any speech or debate in either house.

$ 12. The compensation allowed to members of congress, which is fixed by law, is six dollars for every day's attendance. They likewise receive at the commencement and at the end of every session, six dollars for every twenty miles of the estimated distance, by the most usual road, from their place of residence to the seat of congress, provided such sum does not amount to more than six dollars per day, from the end of one session to the time of their taking a seat in another. In case of any member being detained by sickness on his journey, or being unable to attend in his seat after his arrival, he is still entitled to receive the daily compensation of six dollars. The speaker of the house of representatives, and the president pro tempore of the senate, are entitled to receive, in addition to their compensation as members of congress, six dollars per day during their attendance.

$ 13. A chaplain is appointed by each house, who is allowed at the rate of $500 per annum during the session.

The officers of the senate are, a secretary, who receives a salary of $2000 per annum ; his principal clerk $1300, and each of his engrossing clerks $1000 per annum. The sergeant at arms, who also performs the duty of door-keeper, $950, and the assistant door-keeper 900 per annum.

The officers of the house of representatives are, the clerk of the house, who receives a salary of $2000, his principal clerk $1300, and each of his engrossing clerks $1000 per annum. The sergeant at arms $950, the door-keeper $950, and the assistant door-keeper $900 per annum.

It is the duty of the sergeant at arms to attend the house during its sitting ; to execute its commands, together with all process issued by its authority.

14. Nine standing committees are appointed at the commencement of each session, in the house of representatives, viz. A committee of elections, A committee of ways


means, A committee of claims, A committee of commerce and manufactures,

To consist of sever. A committee on the public lands,

members each. A committee on the post-office and

post roads, A committee for the District of Co


« AnteriorContinuar »