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4. The Senators and representatives [of the congress of the United States,] and the members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers, both of the United States and of the several states, shall be bound by oath or affirmation, to support the constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office, or public trust under the United States.(1)

Such oath shall be administered in the following form: "I, A. B., do solemnly swear, or affirm [as the case may be] that I will support the constitution of the United States."(2)

5. At the first session of congress after every general election of representatives, such oath or affirmation shall be administered by any one member of the house of representatives to the speaker; and by him to all the members present, and to the clerk, previous to entering on any other business; and to the members who shall afterwards appear, previously to taking their seats. The president of the senate for the time being, shall also administer the said oath or affirmation to each senator, previously to his taking his seat: And in case of a president of the senate, who shall not have taken such oath or affirmation, it shall be administered to him by any one of the members of the senate.(3)

6. The members of the several state legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers of the several states, shall, before they proceed to execute the duties of their respective offices, take such oath or affirmation, which shall be administered by the persons, who, by the law of the state, shall be authorized to administer the oath of office; and such persons shall cause a record or certificate thereof, to be made, in the same manner as, by the law of the state, they shall be directed to record or certify the oath of office.(4)

7. All officers appointed, or hereafter to be appointed, under the authority of the United States, shall, before they act in their respective offices, take the same oath or affirmation, which shall be administered by the person or persons who shall be authorized by law to administer to such officers their respective oaths of office; and such officers shall incur the same penalties in case of failure, as shall be imposed by law in case of failure in taking their respective oaths of office.(5)


ART. 8. The laws of the United States are arranged in this Digest in four distinct codes—the Political, Civil, Military, and Criminal.

(1) Con. Art. 6. clause 3.
(2) Act June 1, 1789.-Sec. 1.
(3) Ib. Sec. 2.

(4) Ib. Sec. 3.

(5) Ib. Sec. 4.

A cotemporary exposition of the constitution, practised and acquiesced under for a period of years, fixes the construction.-Stuart v. Laird, 1 Cranch, 299, 309. And, like every other grant, the constitution is to be construed according to the import of its terms. The words are to be taken in their natural and obvious sense, neither unreasonably restricted nor enlarged.—Martin v. Hunter's lessee, 1 Wheat. 304. Gibbons v. Ogden, 9 Wheat. 187.



ART. 9. The political code includes the laws which establish the government, and determine its relations with the citizens, with the individual states, and with foreign states.

10. To it belong the laws which establish and regulate, 1. The legislative power: 2. The executive power: 3. The judicial power: 4. The admission of new states: 5. The territories of the United States: 6. Relations with foreign powers: 7. Indian relations: 8. The naturalization of foreigners: 9. Commerce, navigation, and revenue: 10. The national domain.

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ART. 11. All legislative power granted by the constitution of the United States, shall be vested in a congress of the United States, which shall consist of a senate and house of representatives.(1)

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ART. 12. The senate of the United States shall be composed of two senators from each state, chosen by the legislature thereof, for six years; and each senator shall have one vote.(2)

13. If vacancies happen by resignation, or otherwise, during the recess of the legislature of any state, the executive thereof may make temporary appointments, until the next meeting of the legislature, which shall then fill such vacancies.(2)*

(1) Con. Art. 1. sec. 1.

(2) Con. Art. 1. sec. 3.

The previous part of this clause of the Constitution is in the following words, and is now rather matter of history than of law. "Immediately after they (the senate,) shall be assembled in consequence of the first election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three classes. The seats of the senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year, of the second class at the expiration of the fourth year, and of the third class at the expiration of the sixth year, so that one-third may be chosen every year."

The executive of a state cannot appoint a senator in anticipation of a vacancy. The vacancy must have actually occurred, before the appointment be made.

Mr. Landman was a senator of the United States from Connecticut: His term of service expired on the third of March, 1825. On the fourth he presented to the

14. No person shall be a senator who shall not have attained the age of thirty years, and been nine years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of the state for which he shall be chosen (1)

15. The vice-president of the United States shall be president of the senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided.(1) The senate shall choose their other officers, and also a president, pro tempore, in the absence of the vice-president, or when he shall exercise the office of president of the United States.(1)

16. The senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that purpose they shall be on oath or affirmation. When the president of the United States is tried, the chief justice shall preside: and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present.(1)

17. Judgment, in cases of impeachment, shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honour, trust, or profit, under the United States: but the party convicted shall, nevertheless, be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment, according to law.(1)

18. The president, vice-president, and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office, on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanours.(2)*

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ART. 19. The house of representatives shall be composed of members chosen every second year by the people of the several states; and the electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislature.(3)

20. No person shall be a representative, who shall not have attained to

(1) Con. Art. 1. sec. 3. (2) Ib. Art. 2. sec. 4.

(3) Ib. Art. 1. sec. 2.

senate a certificate of appointment regularly and properly authenticated from the governor of the state of Connecticut, setting forth that the president of the United States had desired the senate to convene on the fourth of March, and had caused official notices of that fact to be communicated to him. This certificate was dated the ninth of February, subsequently to the notification of the president, and stated that at the time of its execution, the legislature of the state was not in session, and would not convene until the month of May. Upon these facts, the question was raised, whether the appointment of Mr. Landman was constitutional, having been made before a vacancy in the representation of the state of Connecticut in the senate of the United States had occurred. On the resolution offered, to admit Mr. Landman to be qualified and take his seat in the senate, it was determined, 23 to 18, that he was not entitled to a seat.—National Intelligencer, Tuesday, March 8, 1825.

*A member of congress is not a civil officer, within the meaning of the foregoing article, and is, therefore, not liable to impeachment.-Case of W. Blount, before senate, 1797.

the age of twenty-five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen.(1)

21. Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the seve ral states which may be included within this Union, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other persons. The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct. The number of representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand; but each state shall have at least one representative.(1)*

22. From and after the third day of March, one thousand eight hundred and thirty-three, the house of representatives shall be composed of members, elected agreeably to a ratio of one representative for every forty-seven thousand and seven hundred persons in each state, computed according to the rule prescribed by the Constitution of the United States, that is to say, within the State of Maine, eight; within the State of New Hampshire, five; within the State of Massachusetts, twelve; within the State of Rhode Island, two; within the State of Connecticut, six; within the State of Vermont, five; within the State of New York, forty; within the State of New Jersey, six; within the State of Pennsylvania, twenty-eight; within the State of Delaware, one; within the State of Maryland, eight; within the State of Virginia, twenty-one; within the State of North Carolina, thirteen; within the State of South Carolina, nine; within the State of Georgia, nine; within the State of Kentucky, thirteen; within the State of Tennessee, thirteen; within the State of Ohio, nineteen; within the State of Indiana, seven ; within the State of Mississippi, two; within the State of Illinois, three; within the State of Louisiana, three; within the State of Missouri, two; and within the State of Alabama, five.(2)†

23. When vacancies happen in the representation of any state, the executive authority thereof, shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.(1) 24. The house of representatives shall choose their speaker and other officers; and shall have the sole power of impeachment.(1)

25. All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the house of representatives; but the senate may propose or concur with amendments, as on other bills.(3)

26. In every territory of the United States, in which a temporary government has been or shall be established, which, by virtue of the ordinance of congress of the thirteenth of July, 1787, or of any subsequent act of congress, passed or to be passed, has, or hereafter shall have the right to send a delegate to congress, such delegates shall be elected every second year, for the same term of two years, for which members of the house of representatives of the United States are elected; and, in that house, each of such delegates shall have a seat, with the right of debating, but not of voting.(4)

(1) Con. Art. 1. sec. 2. (2) Act May 22d, 1832.

(3) Con. Art. 1. sec. 7.
(4) Act 3d March, 1817.

The ratio of representation was determined by the first congress to be applicable only to the population of each state, separately considered, and not to the total population of the Union. It follows, that all fractions of such ratio are lost in the system of representation.-See 5 Marsh. Wash. 318.

The States of Arkansas and Michigan, admitted since 1832, have each one representative.






Of the Senate and House of Representatives.

Time, place and manner of holding

Time for assembling of congress
In case of contagious sickness, con-
gress may be convened by presi-
dent, at other than the stated

Each house, to judge of elections,
&c. of members-quorum, what,
-attendance how compelled

may make rules, punish and

Compensation to president of senate
and speaker of the house
Compensation-how certified
Restriction on members holding of-

No member to be interested in con

tracts with United States

Penalty in such case

Money advanced on such contract
to be repaid

Special provision in such contract

expel members


Oaths to witnesses, by whom administered

To what contracts prohibitions do
not extend

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Journals to be published-yeas

Penalty on officer of United States
making contracts otherwise than

and nays




how distributed

34, 35

Restriction on adjournment


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Compensation to members-privi

Printer, when and how elected



37, 38

ART. 27. The times, places, and manner of holding elections for senators and representatives, shall be prescribed in each state, by the legislature thereof: But the congress may, at any time, by law, make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing senators.(1)

28. The congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall, by law, appoint a different day.(1)

29. Whenever congress shall be about to convene, and from the prevalence of contagious sickness, or from other circumstances, it would, in the opinion of the president of the United States, be hazardous to the lives or health of the members, to meet at the place to which congress shall then stand adjourned, or at which it shall be next by law to meet, he may, by proclamation, convene the congress at such other place as he may judge proper.(2)

30. Each house shall be the judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members, and a majority of each shall constitute a quorum to do business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members, in such manner, and under such penalties, as each house may provide.(3)

31. Each house may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behaviour, and with the consent of two-thirds, expel a member.(3)*

(1) Con. Art. 1. sec. 4.

(2) Act 3d April, 1794, sec. 1.

(3) Con. Art. 1. sec. 5.

A member may be expelled for a high misdemeanour. The authority of the house to which he belongs, is not confined to an act done in its presence.-Case of William Blount, 1797.-Case of John Smith, 1807.

A previous conviction is not requisite to authorize the expulsion of a member, for a high offence against the United States; nor is the jurisdiction of congress in relation to expulsion, affected by the fifth and sixth articles of the amendments to the constitution, declaratory of the rights of the citizen under criminal prosecu tion, such articles referring only to proceedings at law. In determining on expul sion, adherence to the forms of judicial proceedings, or the rules of judicial evi

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