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§ 4. It sbould be remarked here, that when a new State is admitted into the Union, and it chooses two senators, it is determined by lot which shall serve for the shorter, and which for the longer term.
At the first session of Congress under the Constitution, the division of the senators into three classes was made in the follow ing manner : 1st. The senators present were divided into three classes by name ;
the first consisting of six persons, the second of seven, and the third of six. (Two or three senators had not yet reached the seat of government; and it will be remembered that Rhode Island and North Carolina had not yet ratified the new
Constitution.) 2d. Three papers of an equal size, numbered one, two, and three,
were, by the secretary, rolled up and put into a box, and drawn by a committee of three persons chosen for the purpose in
behalf of the respective classes in which each of them was placed. 3d. The classes were to vacate their seats in the Senate according
to the order of the numbers drawn for them, beginning with
number one. 4th. It was also provided, that, when senators should take their
seats from States which had not then appointed senators, they should be placed by lot in the foregoing classes, but in such a
manner as should keep the classes as nearly equal as possible. 5th. In arranging the original classes, care was taken that both
senators from the same State should not be in the same class, so that there never should be a vacancy, at the same time, of the seats of both senators. 1
ART. VII. - VACANCIES. If vacancies happen by resignation, or otherwise, during the recess of the legislature of any State, 1. The executive thereof may make temporary appointments
until the next meeting of the legislature. 2. The legislature shall then fill such vacancies. 9,
i Story on Const., § 726.
§ 1. If vacancies bappen while the legislature of the State whose seats are thus vacated is in session, the legislature will fill the vacancies without official action on the part of the governor or executive. The governor has no authority in the case while that body is in session, - not even to appoint for a single day. $ 2. He has no appointing power in anticipation of a vacancy
He must wait until it actually bappens. The Senate itself has decided this question. It is also doubtful if the legislature could choose a senator in anticipation of a vacancy.
§ 3. The senator chosen to fill a vacancy does not hold for the term of six years, but until the expiration of his predecessor's term only.
ART. VIII.- VOTE. Each senator shall have one vote. 8.
This clause would seem to be superfluous, unless it be remembered, that, under the Confederation, each State, whatever the number of its members in Congress, had but one vote; and, if less than two members were present, it had no vote. The States were each allowed from two to seven members; and, if their delegation was equally divided, they lost their vote. One member was incapable of voting alone.
It was the intention of the Constitution to give equality of suffrage in the Senate ; with the further advantage, that a senator shall not lose his vote, nor his State go entirely unrepresented, on account of the absence of one of the members from the senate-chamber.
PRESIDING OFFICER. 1. The Vice-President of the United States shall be Presi.
dent of the Senate. 2. He shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided. 11. 3. The Senate shull choose a president pro tempore in the ab
sence of the Vice-President, or when he shall exercise
the office of President of the United States. 12. § 1. There was strong opposition in the Constitutional Convention to creating any such office as the Vice-Presidency; and, when this point was carried, there was considerable opposition to the
proposition making the Vice-President the President of the Senate: though this last met with less hostility than the first ; only two States voting against it.
§ 2. At first, it was intended to allow the Senate to choose their own presiding officer ; but afterwards, when the Convention considered a second feature of the provision, — which was, that in case of the death, removal, or disability of the President of the United States, the President of the Senate, as was proposed, was to perforio the duties of the office thus made vacant, — the Vice-Presidency met with more favor.
§ 3. As presiding officer over the Senate, it was believed that he would be more impartial in his decisions than that officer would were he a member of their own body. He might, in that case, be too much influenced by the interest he would feel in his own State. But how his being Vice-President, instead of senator, would deprive him of this feeling of State interest, was not shown; nor was it shown why the same objection might not apply as against the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who is a member of that body.
It seems more reasonable that the Constitution places that officer over the Senate «
fur want of something else to do ” while there is a President of the United States.
§ 4. The Vice-President has no vote in the Senate unless they are equally divided. It is difficult to understand why he should have a vote even in such cases, since he is not a member of the Senate. A measure that can not be carried affirmatively by a majority of the members of a legislative body, especially after thorough discussion, it is generally presumed, ought to fail.
$ 5. The Vice-President's vote, therefore, is of no utility but to aid the affirmative. When the Senate is equally divided, the proposed bill or measure has failed unless the Vice-President comes to its rescue. An equal division in the other house defeats any proposition in legislative proceedings.
§ 6. The President pro tempore of the Senate is an officer of that body, chosen by its members, from among themselves, in the absence of the Vice-President, or when he shall exercise the duties of the presidential office.
$ 7. Four times in our history, the Vice-President has been called to perform the duties of the President on the death of that officer. Gen. Harrison died April 4, 1841,-just one month after his inauguration as President of the United States.
He was succeeded by John Tyler, the Vice-President. Gen. Taylor was inaugurated March 5, 1849; and died July 9, 1850. He was succeeded by Millard Fillmore. Abraham Lincoln died April 15, 1865, having been inaugurated the second time, March 4, 1865, and, on his death, was succeeded by Andrew Johnson. James A. Garfield died September 19, 1881, and was succeeded by Chester A. Arthur.
§ 8. It is customary, when we have a new Vice-President, for that officer to vacate his chair just before the close of the first session of the Senate, after his inauguration, to give them an opportunity to elect a president pro tempore. This is done, that, in case the Vice-President shall be called to the duties of the President, the Senate will not be left without a presiding officer.
$ 9. The President pro tempore of the Senate is sometimes called the Vice-President of the United States. This is often done, doubtless, by way of courtesy, but sometimes because he is really thought to be in fact such officer. But this is a mistake.
$ 10. In case of the death, removal, or disability of the President, the Vice-President succeeds to the presidential office and duties; but the President pro tempore performs the duties of the Vice-President only during the remainder of his terin as Senator, or until, by reason of his absence or disability, or by preference of the Senate, another Senator is chosen in his place.
In no case does the President pro tempore of the Senate succeed to the presidential duties ; Congress having made other provision for the succession to the Presidency by the act of January 19, 1886.
$ 11. The President pro tempore is not Vice-President of the United States, but if the Vice-President has died, or succeeded to the Presidency, the President pro tempore, whatever Senator may be acting as such for the time being, performs the duties of the Vice-President as presiding officer of the Senate. The VicePresident is an officer of the United States; and no officer of the United States, the Constitution says, shall be a member of either
House of Congress. But the President pro tempore of the Senate is a member of the Senate.
§ 12. The President pro tempore of the Senate must vote on the call of the yeas and nays the same as any other member: on the contrary, the Vice-President never can vote except in cases when the Senate is equally divided.
§ 13. The Vice-President must be at least thirty-five years of age, the same as the President; for the Constitution declares that “no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States :" but a President pro tempore of the Senate need not be over thirty. The Vice-President must be native born, or a citizen of the United States at the adoption of the Constitution : the President pro tempore of the Senate need not be either. Any member of the Senate is eligible to the presidency pro tempore of that body.
§ 14. The Vice-President, in case of the death of the President, serves out the entire balance of the term for which the President and Vice-President were elected : on the contrary, the President pro tempore of the Senate, in case he succeeds to the duties of Vice-President, serves only during the pleasure of the Senate, or at most during the remainder of his term as Senator.
§ 15. The Vice-President can be removed from office by im. peachment only. The President pro tempore of the Senate is not a United States officer, and can not, therefore, be impeached. The Senate has decided that a member of Congress is not impeachable.
§ 16. The Constitution recognizes but two modes of electing a Vice-President:
1st. By electors of President and Vice-President of the United States.
2d. When the electors fail to elect a Vice-President, the Senate shall elect one; but this officer is not the President pro tempore of the Senate.
§ 17. The term of the President pro tempore of the Senate can not continue beyond his senatorial term; as in the case of Senator Foster of Connecticut, President pro tempore of the Senate, whose term expired March 4, 1867; but the Vice-Presidency expires at the end of the presidential term only.