페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

§ 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 term 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.

$ 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 ap..

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 choose 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 memo

bers present, no person shall be convicted. 13.
4th. May render judgment no further than,

1st. To removal from office; and,
2d. Disqualification to hold and enjoy any office

of honor, trust, or profit under the United
States. 14.

1.- LEGISLATIVE.

revenue.

§ 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.

2.- EXECUTIVE.

$ 4. In reference to the treaty-making power, particularly as to where it should be vested, there were three classes of views asi vanced in the Convention.

The first proposition was to place it exclusively in the Senate.
The second, exclusively in the President.
The third (and this prevailed), in the President and 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 treatynaking power with regard to treaties of peace. On this subject there 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

« 이전계속 »