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§ 18. If the President pro tempore of the Senate is Vice-President of the United States, there were two Vice-Presidents for some forty days after Mr. Foster's election to that position ; for he was elected while Andrew Johnson was yet Vice-President, and before President Lincoln's death.
$ 19. These are regarded as conclusive proofs, drawn chiefly from the Constitution itself, that the President pro tempore of the Senate is not Vice-President of the United States, even when the Vice-President proper has succeeded to the Presidency; nor does the Constitution anywhere intimate that this officer of the Senate is to be so regarded.
(List of Presidents of the Senate pro tempore, Chap. XV., Art. IX., Part II.)
ART. X.-SENATE-POWERS. 1. LEGISLATIVE. 1st. Co-ordinate with the House of Representatives in
general legislation. 2. 2d. May propose or concur with amendments to bills
for raising revenue. 23. 2. EXECUTIVE. 1st. To ratify treaties proposed by the President of the
United States, two-thirds of the senators present
concurring. 2d. To confirm the following officers when nominated
by the President of the United States :1st. Ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls, 2d. Judges of the Supreme Court. 3d. All other officers of the United States whose up..
pointments are not otherwise provided for by the Constitution, and which shall be estab
lished by law. 61. 3. ELECTIVE. 1st. Excepting their president, they shall chouse their
officers, and also a president pro tempore. 11, 12. 2d. When the electors of President and Vice-President
of the United States fail to elect a Vice-Presio dent, the Senate shall choose one. 95.
4. JUDICIAL. 1st. The Senate has the sole power to try all impeachments
when sitting for that purpose on oath or affirmation, 20. The Chief Justice shall preside when the President
of the United States is tried. 3d. Without the concurrence of two-thirds of the mem
bers present, no person shall be convicted. 13.
1st. To removal from office ; und,
of honor, trust, or profit under the United
§ 1. The Constitution makes no general distinction between the powers of the two houses in legislation. It vests all legislative power in a Congress of the United States, consisting of a Senate and House of Representatives.
§ 2. But there is one power relating to legislation vested in the House exclusively ; and that is the power to originate bills for raising
Yet, when these bills reach the Senate, that branch of the legislature may treat them in all respects as though they originated there. They can propose amendments, concur with amendments, or reject them, if proposed by the House, at any stage of the proceedings; or they can reject the bills altogether.
$ 3. The Constitution simply requires that this class of legislation shall originate with the House ; beyond which, that branch has no more legislative authority than the Senate. The reasons for this dis tinction are noticed in treating of the house-powers.
§ 4. In reference to the treaty-making power, particularly as to where it should be vested, there were three classes of views aj. vanced in the Convention.
The first proposition was to place it exclusively in the Senate.
$ 5. When it was finally settled to place this prerogative in the hands of the President and Senate, a new question arose, on which there was considerable difference of opinion : Shall it require a bare numerical majority of the senators present to ratify a treaty when proposed by the President ? or shall it require a two-third majority? At length, the plan was adopted requiring a two-third majority.
§ 6. There was then a proposition made to modify the treaty. naking power with regard to treaties of peace. On this subject í here were four parties.
One was for giving the whole power over treaties of peace into the hands of the President.
A second was for vesting it in the Senate, but requiring a twothird majority.
A third, for vesting it in the Senate, requiring only a numerical majority.
A fourth was for placing it with the President and the Senate, requiring a two-third senatorial majority as in all other cases.
This last view was adopted. The ratification of any and all treaties proposed by the Executive requires the votes of two-thirds of all the senators present.
$ 7. A treaty is an agreement or contract between two or more nations, entered into with proper formality and solemnity, defining the rights of the respective parties thereto with regard to trade, commerce, boundaries, or any other subject of interest to the nations concerned.
§ 8. The terms of treaties are usually agreed upon either by com missioners appointed by their respective governments for the specific purpose of arranging the details, or by ambassadors or other public ministers.
§ 9. Treaties are discussed by the Senate in secret session. They can ratify or reject a treaty, or ratify it in part and reject it in part; or they can make additions to it. Every part of a treaty, to be valid, must be ratified by a vote of two-thirds of the senators present. When amendments to or alterations of the treaties have been made by the Senate, the whole document must be re-submitted to the
President, and also to the foreign government with whom negotiations are pending
§ 10. The President must submit the nominations of certain classes of officers to the Senate for their advice and consent. The Senate
confirm or reject a nomination made by the President; though it is usual, in deference to the Executive, to confirm, unless there is a palpable unfitness in the nomination. The Senate's advice and consent are to be asked, on the nomination, by the President, of ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States whose appointments are not otherwise provided for in the Constitution, and which shall be established by law.
§ 11. It will be seen, by reference to the powers of Congress, that the appointment of such inferior officers as they shall think proper may be vested in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments.
$ 12. On the subject of appointments, especially of the judges of the Supreme Court, members of the Constitutional Convention were divided in opinion.
One class of opinions was in favor of giving the appointments to the Executive alone.
A second preferred that they should be vested in the Senate alone.
A third proposed that the nomination should be made by the Senate, allowing the President a negative, but giving the Senate the power to overrule his negative by a two-third majority.
A fourth was (and this prevailed), to give the nomination to the President, and the power of confirmation or rejection by a majority to the Senate; and ambassadors, other public ministers, and consuls, were included with the judges of the Supreme Court.
8. – ELECTIVE.
§ 13. The Senate has the power to elect its officers, except the president thereof, who holds this position by virtue of his being VicePresident of the United States. They are required by the Consti tution to choose a president pro tempore also. Deliberative bodies,
with few exceptions, elect their own officers; and this is necessary to their independence. Here is one of the exceptions to the general rule, however, that the Vice-President is, ex officio, President of the Senate.
$ 14. Besides the president pro tempore, the Senate officers are a secretary, who keeps the record or journal, has charge of the papers, and reads such as he may be called upon by the members to read; a sergeant-at-arms, who sees that orders of the Senate are executed ; a postmaster, who sees to the mailing and distributing letters and papers for the members; and a door-keeper, who has charge of the doors.
§ 15. These officers, except the president pro tempore, are not specified in the Constitution, and are not elected from among the members of the Senate.
$ 16. As a last resort, the Senate elects a Vice-President of the United States. This is not done, however, until an attempt to elect this officer on the part of electors chosen by the people has resulted in a failure. An election of a Vice-President by the Senate has taken place in the history of our government but once : in 1837, Richard M. Johnson was elected by the Senate.
§ 17. The Constitution vests in the Senate the sole power to try all impeachments. To this provision there was very earnest opposition in the Constitutional Convention. Three different classes of views were maintained on this subject :
1st. That, as a trial of impeachment is a judicial proceeding, it ought to be committed to the Supreme Court, or some other tribunal learned in the law.
2d. Others maintained that it was not wholly judicial; and therefore they preferred to have it submitted to the Supreme Court, united with some other tribunal for that purpose appointed.
3d. Still others and for this proposition there was a majority) insisted that the trial of impeachment should be vested exclusively in the Senate.
§ 18. When trying impeachments, the Senate sits as a court; and