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journment, or dissolution by the efflux of their time. What then constitutes a session with them : A dissolution certainly closes one session, and the meeting of the new congress begins another. The constitution authorises the president “on extraordinary occasions, to convene both houses or either of them.” I. 3. If convened by the president's proclamation, this must begin a new session, and of course determine the preceding one to have been a session. So if it meets under the clause of the constitution which says, “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,” I.4. this must begin a new session. For even if the last adjournment was to this day, the act of adjournment is merged in the higher authority of the constitution, and the meeting will be under that, and not under their adjournment. So far we have fixed landmarks for determining sessions. In other cases, it is declared by the joint vote authorising the president of the senate and the speaker to close the session on a fixed day, which is usually in the following form: “Resolved, by the senate and house of representatives, that the president of the senate and the speaker of the house of representatives be authorised to close the present session by adjourning their respective houses on the day of .” In the state of New-York, the senators are elected for four years; the members of assembly for one only. A session is one year, and commences the first day of January. The legislature separate in three ways. 1. By adjournment. 2. By dissolution by the efflux of the term of the members of the assembly, viz: on the last day of December. 3. By prorogation. The senate shall consist of thirty-two members. The senators shall be chosen for four years, and shall be freeholders. The asssmbly shall consist of one hundred and twenty-eight members, who shall be annually elected, Const. Art. I. Sec. 2. The political year shall begin on the first day of January; and the legislature shall every year assemble on the first Tuesday of January, unless a different day shall be appointed by law. Ib. Art. I. Sec. 14. The governor shall be general and commander in chief of all the militia, and admiral of the navy of the state. He shall have power to convene the legislature (or the senate only) on extraordinary occasions. He shall communicate by message to the legislature at every session, the condition of the state ; and recommend such matters to them as he shall judge expedient. He shall transact all necessary business with the officers of government, civil and military. He shall expedite all such measures as may be resolved upon by the legislature, and shall take care that the laws are faithfully executed. He shall, at stated times, receive for his services a compensation which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the term for which he shall have been elected. Ib. Art. III. Sec. 4. The mode in which the legislature adjourn, is, by adopting a resolution of the following form: viz: Resolved, (if the honorable the senate concur herein) that this legislature will adjourn on the day of When it was said above, that all matters depending before parliament, were discontinued by the determination of the session, it was not meant for judiciary cases, depending before the house of lords, such as impeachments, appeals and writs of error. These stand continued of course to the next session. Rayn. 120,381. Ruffh. Jac. L. D. Parliament. Impeachments stand in like manner continued before the senate of the United States. In like manner the business of the court of errors of this state is continued before the said court. But any legislative business unfinished at the time of the close of the session, goes for none ; and if any of it is to be again acted upon, it must be taken up de novo.
*The house of representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment. Const. of the United States, I. 3.
The U. S. 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. Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, 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. Const. U. S. I, 3. 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 misdemeanors. Ib. II, 4. The trial of crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury. Ib. III, 2. The court for the trial of impeachments, and the correction of errors, shall consist of the president of the senate, the senators, the chancellor, and the justices of the supreme court, or the major part of them; but when an impeachment shall be prosecuted against the chancellor, or any justice of the supreme court, the person so impeached, shall be suspended from exercising his office, until his acquittal; and when an appeal from a decree in chancery shall be heard, the chancellor shall inform the court of the reasons for his decree, but shall have no voice in the final sentence; and when a writ of error shall be brought on a judgment of the supreme court, the justices of that court shall assign the reasons for their judgment, but shall not have a voice for its affirmance or reversal. Comst. N. Y. Art. W. Sec. 1. The assembly shall have the power of impeaching all civil officers of this state for mal and corrupt conduct in office, and for high crimes and misdemeanors; but a majority of all the members elected shall concur in an impeachment. Before the trial of an impeachment, the members of the court shall take an oath or affirmation, truly and impartially to try and determine the charge in question, according to evidence; and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the
members present. Judgment, in cases of impeachment, shall not extend farther than the removal from office, and disqualification to hold, and enjoy, any office of honor, trust, or profit, under this state; but the party convicted shall be liable to indictment, and punishment, according to law. Ib. Sec. 2. No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, (except in cases of impeachment, and in cases of the militia, when in actual service, and the land and naval forces in time of war, or which this state may keep, with the consent of congress, in time of peace, and in cases of petit larceny, under the regulation of the legislature,) unless on presentment or indictment of a grand jury; and in every trial on impeachment or indictment, the party accused shall be allowed counsel as in civil actions. No person shall be subject, for the same offence, to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall he be compelled in any criminal case, to be a witness against himself; nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law : Nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. Ib. Art. VII. Sec. 7. Jurisdiction. The lords cannot impeach any to themselves, nor join in the accusation, because they are the judges. Seld. Judic, in Parl. 12, 63. (A work of doubtful authority.) 4 Hats. 153, 186. Nor can they proceed against a commoner but on complaint of the commons. Ib. 84. The lords may not, by the law, try a commoner for a capital offence, on the information of the king, or a private person; because the accused is entitled to a trial by his peers generally; but on accusation by the house of commons, they may proceed against the delinquent of whatsoever degree, and whatsoever be the nature of the offence; for there they do not assume to themselves trial at common law. The commons are then instead of a jury, and the judgment is given on their demand, which is instead of a verdict. So the lords do only judge, but not try the delinquent. Ib. 6, 7. But Wooddeson denies that a commoner can now be charged capitally before the lords, even by the commons; and cites Fitzharris's case, 1681, impeached of high treason, where the lords remitted the prosecution to the inferior •)
court. 8 Grey's Deb. 325–7. 2 Wooddeson 601. 576. 3 Seld. 1610, 1619, 1641. 4 Blackst. 257. 3 Seld. 1604, 1618, 9, 1656. 4 Hats.200 et passim contra. Accusation. The commons, as the grand inquest of the nation, become suitors for penal justice. 2 Wood. 597. 6 Grey 356. The general course is, to pass a resolution containing a criminal charge against the supposed delinquent, and then to direct some member to impeach him by oral accusation at the bar of the house of lords, in the name of the commons. The person signifies that the articles will be exhibited, and desires that the delinquent may be sequestered from his seat, or be committed, or that the peers will take order for his appearance, Sachev. Trial 325. 2 Wood. 602, 605. Lords' Journ. 3 June, 1701. 1 Wms. 616. 6 Grey 324. Process. If the party do not appear, proclamations are to be issued, giving him a day to appear. On their return they are strictly examined. If any error be found in them, a new proclamation issues, giving a short day. If he appear not, his goods may be arrested, and they may proceed. Seld. Jud. 98, 99. Articles. The accusation (articles) of the commons is . substituted in place of an indictment. Thus, by the usage of parliament, in impeachment for writing or speaking, the particular words need not be specified. Sach. Tr. 325. 2 Wood. 602, 605. Lords’ Journ. 3 June, 1701. 1 Wms. 616. Appearance. If he appears, and the case be capital, he answers in custody; though not if the accusation be general. He is not to be committed but on special accusations. If it be for a misdemeanor only, he answers a lord in his place, a commoner at the bar, and not in custody, unless, on the answer, the lords find cause to commit him, till he finds sureties to attend, and lest he should fly. Seld. Jud. 98, 99. 4 Hats. 176, 185. A copy of the articles is given him, and a day fixed for his answer. T. Ray. 1 Rushw. 268. Fost. 232. 1 Clar. Hist. of the Reb. 379. On a misdemeanor, his appearance may be in person, or he may answer in writing, or by attorney. Seld. Jud. 100. The general rule on accusation for a misdemeanor is, that in such a state of liberty or restraint as the party is when the commons complain of him, in such