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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 may 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 wbich 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.
§ 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 exeputed ; 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
from their decision there is no appeal. They organize anew,
and take a special oath or affirmation applicable to the proceeding.
§ 19. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside. This clause was not debated in the Convention that formed the Constitution ; and therefore the precise reasons for its insertion are not apparent. It has been suggested by able writers, that the Vice-President should not preside on such an occasion, because he has a direct interest in the President's conviction. It has also been maintained by a very learned senator, that. when the President shall be on trial for impeachment, he should be suspended from office for the time being, and until the result shall be declared ; and that this state of things would bring the Vice-President to the presidential chair. In such case, he could not preside over the trial of the President.
§ 20. Perhaps one or even both of the foregoing reasons may have influenced the authors of the Constitution to make this provision. There is still another reason that may have had something to do with its origin. The President of the United States is the highest officer under our government; and it may have been thought in the highest degree proper and befitting, that, if brought to trial op impeachment, the highest judicial officer should preside over the solemn deliberations of such an august proceeding.
$ 21. It requires a majority of two-thirds of the members present to convict a party on impeachment. This was believed to be necessary in order to guard against hasty and inconsiderate decisions, and to prevent convictions from party zeal and political bias and prejudice. So large a majority, moreover, would be more likely to command the respect and peaceable acquiescence of the whole country.
$ 22. The Constitution limits the punishment to be inflicted by the senate on impeachment,
1st. To removal from office ; and,
2d. To disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of hocior, trust, or profit under the United States. But we shall see in ancı her chapter, that the party convicted can not plead his conviction by the senate in bar to further trial, condemnation, and punishmen by the courts of law.
§ 23. As we have seeń, the impeachment is preferred by the House of Representatives, and is in the nature of an indictment, specifically charging the accused with the commission of certain crimes or misdemeanors in office. The articles of impeachment are brought to the notice of the Senate by a committee appointed for that pur. pose by the House of Representatives.
§ 24. The Senate issues a summons, citing the party accused to appear before them on a day and hour therein specified ; which summons is served on the party accused by the sergeant-at-arms of the Senate.
§ 25. When the accused appears at the bar of the Senate, either in person or by counsel, in obedience to the summons, he is informed of the impeachment brought against him by the House, a copy of the charges is given to him, and he is allowed time to prepare his an
$ 26. When he has answered to the charges specified in the impeachment, the House replies to the answer through its committee, and asserts its readiness to prove them. Time is given the accused to prepare for trial, and he is allowed to have the assistance of counsel. The trial proceeds substantially according to the usual forms and method observed in the bigher courts of law.
§ 27. When the evidence in the case and the arguments are concluded, each senator, on the call of his name, and on each article of the impeachment, votes yea or nay on the guilt of the accused. If two-thirds of all the senators present find him guilty of any or all of the charges specified, sentence is pronounced accordingly.
§ 28. In pronouncing sentence, the first question put to each senator, on answering to his name, is, “ Shall the accused be removed from the office which he holds ?” On this question, each senator answers yea or nay.
The second question is, “Shall the accused be disqualified to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust, or profit under the United States ?” On this question, each senator answers yea or nay; and judgment is rendered accordingly, and can extend no further.
PROVISIONS COMMON TO BOTH HOUSES.
ARTICLE I. - MEMBERSHIP. Each house shall be the judge of the elections, returns, and qualifications of its own members. 17.
§ 1. These are powers, which, from the necessity of the case, must be vested in the house where membership is claimed. It is necessary to settle the legality and regularity of the election ; otherwise any person might intrude bimself into either house without the least show of authority. Regularity and legality of election can be determined only by an inquiry into the election through the returns, which opens the whole subject for investigation ; for, in ascertaining the validity of the returns, it may be necessary to go back of them, and inquire into the legality of the election itself.
§ 2. It is quite possible that a person might be legally and regularly elected, and yet be wholly disqualified for a seat in either house. His moral character might be such as to bring a reproach upon the house of which he should become a member. He might be known for treachery and disloyalty to the government, and for the most persistent efforts to betray its trusts and to sacrifice its interests. Or he might lack any or all those qualifications which the Constitution requires to render a person eligible to the membership in question.
$ 3. The power of determining the right to membership belongs not only to each house of Congress by express constitutional provision, but like authority is conceded to the legislative bodies of all the States, and to kindred bodies under all free governments.
ART. II.- QUORUM. 1. A majority of either house is a quorum to do business. 2. A smaller number may adjourn from day to day. 3. A smaller number may be authorized to compel the at
tendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide. 17.