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After the year 1876, the President and Vice-Presi- public schools in any State, nor be eligible to ang dent of the United States shall be elected by a direct position of trust or emolument in connection with vote of the people of the several States, and the elec- any institution, public or private, in any State or tors in each State shall have the same qualification under the United States, which shall be supported as the electors of the most numerous branch of the in whole or in part from any public fund. State Legislature. The person receiving the greatest number of votes

On the same day Mr. New, of Indiana, introfor President shall be the President, and the person duced the following joint resolution to amend receiving the greatest number of votes for Vice- the Constitution, which was referred to the President shall be the Vice-President; but if two Judiciary Committee : or more persons shall each receive an equal and the greatest number of votes for President, then the for the President

of the United States the President

ARTICLE XVI. From and after the next election flouse of Representatives shall from such persons shall hold his office during the term of four years, immediately choose the President; and if two or more persons shall each receive an equal and the and, together with the Vice-President chosed for the greatest number of votes for Vice-President, then same term, be elected in the manner now provided by the Senate shall from such persons immediately law, or as may hereafter be provided. But neither choose the Vice-President. In such elections each the President, the Vice-President, nor any other House shall vote viva voce, and cach member shall person in the office of President, as devolved upon have one vote, and the person receiving a majority him by law, shall be eligible to the office of Presiof the votes cast shall be elected ; and

in case of a dent a third time. tie, the presiding officer shall determine it.

On January 18th Mr. Williams, of WisconThe election for President and Vice-President shall be held at the time now provided by law for sin, introduced the following joint resolution choosing the electors of such officers, but Congress to amend the Constitution, which was referred may prescribe a different time, which shall be the to the Judiciary Committee : same in all the States ; and Congress shall prescribe the manner of holding and conducting such elec- specting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting

ARTICLE XVI. No State shall make any law retions, and making the

returns thereof;

and in case the free exercise thereof; and no money raised by taxof failure so to do, that duty shall devolve in the ation in any State for the support of public schools

, order named, first, on the President of the United or derived from any public fund therefor, or any States ; second, on the Legislature of each State public lands devoted thereto, shall ever be under within that State ; and, third, upon the chief Execu- the control of any religious sect; nor shall any tive of each State within that State.

The returns shall be canvassed at the time and in money so raised or lands so devoted be divided bethe manner now provided, or which may be here- money raised by taxation in any State be appropri

tween religious sects or denominations ; neither shall after provided by the joint rules of the two Houses ated for the maintenance of any sectarian school or or by law, by and in the presence of both Houses of

sectarian institution. Congress, who shall be the judges (each House voting separately) of the returns and election ; but in Several other amendments of less interest case the two Houses shall not agree, then the matter were proposed and referred. It is not necesCourt of the United States, which shall forth with sary to notice them here. decide the same; and such decision shall be final. At the same time Mr. Oliver introduced the

In the Senate, on January 10th, Mr. Morton, following joint resolution, which was likewise of Indiana, said: “Mr. President, it has been referred:

suggested to me by several Senators that the The Senate of the United States shall be composed report of the Committee on Privileges and of two members from each State, who shall here- Elections in regard to the tenure of office of after be elected by a direct vote of the people

for six the President pro tempore of the Senate should years; and the electors in each State shall have the same qualifications as the electors of the most nu- properly have been accompanied by a resolumerous branch of the State Legislature; but the tion or resolutions embracing the conclusions

Congress may by law provide for conducting and of the committee. I now, therefore, offer the holding the election and canvassing the vote.

following resolutions: On January 17th, Mr. O'Brien, of Maryland, Resolved, That the tenure of office of the President introduced the following joint resolution to pro tempore of the Senate elected at one session does amend the Constitution, which was referred to not expire at the meeting of Congress after the first the Judiciary Committee

recess, the Vice-President not having appeared to

take the chair, ARTICLE XVI. Section 1. No State shall make any Resolved. That the death of the Vice-President law respecting an establishment of religion or pro- does not have the effect to vacate the office of Presihibiting the free exercise thereof; and no minister dent pro tempore of the Senate. or preacher of the gospel or of any religious creed or Resolved, that the office of President pro tempore denomination shall hold any office of trust or emol- of the Senate is held at the pleasure of the Senate. ument under the United States or under any State; Resolved, That Hon. Thomas W. Ferry, a Senator nor shall any religious test be required as a qualifi- from Michigan, who was elected President pro temcation for any office or public trust in any State, or pore of the Senate at the last session, is now the under the United States.

President pro tempore of the Senate by virtue of said Sec. 2. No money received by taxation in any election. State for the support of public schools, or derived from any public fund therefor, nor any public lands

The Chief Clerk read the resolutions. devoted thereto, sball ever be under the control of Mr. Merrimon, of North Carolina, said: any religious sect; noi shall any money so raised, nor lands so devoted, be divided between religious when the Senate elects a President pro tem

“Mr. President, I entertain the opinion that sects or denominations ; nor shall any minister or preacher of the gospel, or of any religious creed or pore, the Senator so elected may rightfully denomination, hold any office in connection with the continue to hold his office, unless his term as

Senator shall sooner terminate, or he shall be bodies, a temporary presiding officer would be removed for cause, until the Vice-President appointed or elected to supply his place during shall return to preside over the Senate, and in such absence. Such officer would be styled case he shall fail to so return because of death president or presiding officer pro tempore, and or other cause, then until a new Vice-Presi- he would continue to preside until the return dent shall be elected and qualified; and I ask of the regular president, and an adjournment the indulgence of the Senate while I state to a day certain would not displace him unless briefly the reasons that have brought me to he should be removed. The time of the abthis conclusion.

sence of the president in that case is the time, “The Senate is a perpetual body; it is cre- the occasion, the exigency, to be supplied. This ated, its powers are conferred, defined, and rule, as thus stated, applies to all deliberative limited by the Constitution. The general laws bodies governed by general parliamentary law. of parliamentary bodies are applicable to it But the special meaning of the term pro temonly so far as the same are not modified by and pore must be ascertained by its use in a particunot inconsistent with the Constitution. It can- lar case, and so in the case now under considnot rightfully exercise powers not so conferred; eration. it is not a body possessed of arbitrary powers; “The Senate is required to have always a it must be governed in all things by the spirit presiding officer, and the Constitution provides of the Constitution. That it has the physical that in the absence of the Vice-President, or power to remove at will the President pro tem- when he shall exercise the office of President pore I do not deny, because there is no tribunal of the United States,' the Senate shall make to review its action, but whether it has the one which is designated by name as President right without reasonable cause to make such pro tempore—that is, for the time of such abremoval may well be questioned; indeed, I sence. To say that the power conferred to apcannot suppose there could exist any disposi- point pro tempore may be for one sitting of tion to exercise such arbitrary power: It there- the Senate, for one hour, a day, a month, a sesfore appears that the Senate is thus governed sion, or at the will of the Senate, does not meet by the Constitution.

the case provided for: the purpose is to sup“The Vice-President is President of the ply a certain, fixed presiding officer for the Senate, and he is beyond the control of that time the regular officer shall be absent, whether body, because the Constitution makes him so. that be long or short. He may be absent for It provides in terms no less definite and no less a day, for a whole session, or for his whole binding another officer to supply his place in term of office, and that absence is the measure his absence. The clause containing that pro- of time to be supplied by the President pro vision is in these words:


The term of such an officer could The Senate shall choose their other officers, and not be fixed by more definite terms; no other also a President pro tempore in the absence of the words could describe or fix his term' more aptVice-President, or when he shall exercise the office ly; it is as certain as if it had provided for a of President of the United States.

year or four years, and nothing is left to dis* This clause is mandatory; the Senate must cretion. If this view is not correct, then what choose its officers, other than its President, and is the true measure of time? And who shall a President pro tempore as well and as surely determine it? If it is said the Senate, then as any other, when the contingency requiring whence the power? The power is expressly one shall arise. This officer is not at the op. given to elect, and the term is fixed as definitetion of the Senate; he is essential, as absolute- ly as language can make it: no power is given ly so as any other known to our system of gov- to limit the term, either in words or by necesernment. "If the Vice-President shall be ab- sary implication. To say that the Senate can sent, the Senate cannot proceed lawfully with determine the term of office thus fixed by the business for one hour without this officer, and Constitution, and that without cause, is shockplainly because the Constitution commands that ing to the legal mind! If the office were one in that case such officer shall be elected. The created by the Senate, then it may fix the Senate may determine what other officers it term and determine it; but that is not the will have, but this officer it must have; he is case: here the office is fixed, designated, and designated. He may be not improperly styled the term limited by the Constitution itself. an officer provided by the Constitution.

The President pro tempore is an officer in "What, then, is the term of his office? The the sense of the Constitution; he is, in the words "shall choose .... also a President Senate, in the place of the Vice-President. He pro tempore" plainly and necessarily imply exercises the same power. He is clothed with for during the time of the absence of the Vice- important powers; grave duties devolve upon President from the Senate for any cause. The him, and he enjoys privileges which necessarily term or phrase pro tempore, has a very general imply duration; he is amenable to the Senate meaning. It implies, generally, for the time, for the just and proper exercise of these powthe occasion, the exigency; as if the president ers, and great responsibility attaches to him as of the national convention of one of our politi- such officer. The Constitution makes him an cal parties should be temporarily absent, in officer in the full sense of that term; in point that case, by the general law of parliamentary of time, power, opportunity, privilege, and,

indeed, in every respect pertinent and lawful. body; no one could have acted with greater He is not a mere occupant of the chair by the courtesy and urbanity to all; and he has discourtesy or will of the Senate; he is more than played an impartiality and ability that entitle that; he presides not by courtesy, but by right; him to the regard and consideration of every he exercises high powers, not by the toleration member of the Senate. of a majority, but by the sanction of the Con “But, sir, it is not a question affecting pristitution; his official character is recognized vate rights, but a question involving, as I before by the other branch of Congress, by the Execu- said, the rights of the Senatethe right of this tive and Judicial Departments of the Govern- body to change at its pleasure the presiding ment, and his official acts are good to all in- officer of the body. tents and purposes whenever or wherever called " The only provision in the Constitution in question.

which refers to it is found in the fifth clause “The framers of the Constitution well under- of the third section of the first article, which stood that by the general parliamentary law was quoted by the Senator from North Carothe Senate could make a temporary presiding lina. The Senator infers, from the fact that officer, who would be subject to its will and there is a specific authority given to elect a pleasure. Then the significant question pre- President pro tempore, that the Speaker pro sents itself, why the provision in question ? tempore is named, that it was intended thereby Was it mere surplusage-only in affirmance of that he was to be distinguished from other ofthe general parliamentary law? By no rule officers in respect to the tenure of his office and construction can it be so construed, if it can the power and authority of the Senate over have another reasonable meaning; indeed, a such officer. I dissent from that view. The purpose and different meaning must be assigned, reason why he is specifically named in that if this can reasonably be done. Can this be clause is very apparent from the face of the done? It is manifest that it can. The plain clause of the Constitution referred to. purpose was to provide a different officer from “The Constitution had provided in the prethe one allowed by the general parliamentary ceding clause for the Senate a presiding officer, law: one not at the will and pleasure of the the Vice-President of the United States; and Senate, but one like the Vice-President, beyond unless there had been a special provision of its arbitrary control, one free and independent, the Constitution as to who should preside over one not subject to the whim of the hour, or the this body in the absence of the Vice-President caprice and changing intrigues of political par there would have been no authority whatever ties. The manifest object was to provide an in the Senate of the United States to choose officer as nearly independent as might be. The its presiding officer. I hold that but for the same conservative spirit that dictated the na- provision here inserted in the Constitution the ture, character, form, and independence of the death or absence of the Vice-President would Senate suggested the wisdom of making the have left this body entirely without a presiding presiding officer of that body as free and inde- officer, and incapable from any inherent power pendent as possible. It was deemed unwise to in the Senate as a deliberative body to provide make an officer so dignified and important the one. It would have been in the precise con. mere tool of a party or a majority, by making dition that the House of Commons in England him subject to their will and pleasure. This is, which to-day cannot elect a Speaker pro view makes the provision of the Constitution tempore except by the consent and approval of in question operative, and answers a wholesome, the crown. And so, but for this special proindeed, a necessary, purpose, in view of the vision authorizing the Senate of the United nature and purposes of the Senate. Any other States to provide a President pro tempore in makes it nonsensical and nugatory.".

case of the death or absence of the Vice-PresiMr. Saulsbury, of Delaware, said: “Mr. Pres- dent, this body would have had no power to ident, I do not propose to occupy more than select its own presiding officer; and hence it is a few moments of the time of the Senate, but that that clause is specifically inserted delegatI cannot concur entirely in the views which ing authority to the Senate in case of the abhave just been expressed by the Senator from sence or death of the Vice-President, or when North Carolina, and I desire to say in the com- he shall exercise the office of President of the mencement of the remarks which I have to United States, to provide a presiding officer. make that I regard this not as a question ap- For this reason he is specifically named in the pertaining at all to the present incumbent of Constitution, while the other officers' are not the chair, but as a question purely of a legal named. character, involving the rights and powers of “Now, I differ from the conclusions of the this body. It rises above any considerations honorable Senator as to the results which of a private character, because it affects the would follow provided the Senate had not the dignity and powers of the Senate itself. If it power to choose. I cannot concur in the view were a question involving any personal rights, entertained by some, that when we have once I should take it on myself to say that so far as elected a President pro tempore we have exI have observed the action of the present in- hausted the power which is conferred by the cumbent of the office no man could have dis- provision of the Constitution anthorizing the charged the duties more satisfactorily to the selection of a President pro tempore. If that


view is correct, what is the consequence ? a President pro tempore, whose office is entiroThen, if your President pro tempore should ly distinct and separate from his office as Sendie, you have no inherent power to select a ator. It is not to be supposed that in order to successor to bim, and you have no authority reach him in that capacity you would be unjust in the Constitution, and you see at once that and turn him out of the Senate if he had disthe consequence would be that the business of charged his duties as a Senator ; for let it be the Senatē mast stop. Or, to trace that doc- observed that the function of his office as Prestrine out to its logical consequences: suppose ident pro tempore is not a function pertaining you elect a President pro tempore and he fails to his office as a Senator of the State he repto discharge the functions of his office—it is resents." not probable that he would do so, but it is Mr. Merrimon: “I will interrupt my friend within the possibilities—suppose he should re- a moment to explain further my dissent from fuse to receive any communication from the that view, and will do it in aid of the view I House of Representatives; suppose he should submitted a while ago. I insist that a part of refuse to receive any message from the Presi- the duty of a Senator under the Constitution dent of the United States ; suppose he should is that if he shall be designated by the Senate refuse to sign the bills that were passed by to preside as President pro tempore he shall so Congress, you have no power of removal by act; it is one of the duties that devolve upon electing another President pro tempore to super- him as a Senator, and therefore, if any Senator sede him, because according to this doctrine, on this floor were designated to-day to preside having executed the power granted, the power in the chair, and should obstinately refuse to is exhausted and you can go no further." do it, that would be ground for dealing with

Mr. Merrimon: “I beg to interrupt my him as a Senator. The Constitution devolves friend. He misapprehends my position entire- the obligation on him to discharge that duty as ly. I said that the Senate had power to re- much as any other, if the Senate shall assign it move him for causo-lawful cause. The case to him." pat would be a case where there would be Mr. Saulsbury; "I differ entirely from the cause. I maintain that his office as Senator view of the Senator from North Carolina. I while he is a member of the Senate remains in- was proceeding to say that you have no power, tact, and for any act that he might commit he according to the argument of the Senator, might be dealt with as a Senator though he be traced to its logical results, to reach him for the presiding officer."

any cause whatever; for, according to his arguMr. Saulsbury : “My answer to that is that, ment, the Senate having exercised the grant 89 far as I read the Constitution, it was not of power_contained in the Constitution to absolutely necessary that the Senate should choose a President pro tempore, your power have chosen a President from its own body. becomes exhausted, and you cannot again exThere may be a provision of law to that ef- ercise that power in any respect. fect somewhere, but the Constitution is silent "But let us trace this still further in its conas to who may be chosen. It distinctly says sequences. He is an officer of the Senate. He that the Senate may choose a President pro is not a civil officer; and for the proper distempore; but it does not say that it shall select charge of his duties you cannot reach him exhim out of its own body. Suppose the Presi- cept as an officer of the Senate. You cannot dent pro tempore should not be also a Senator, reach him by impeachment. The House of how, then, would you reach him for failure to Representatives has no right to prefer articles perform the duties of his office? But suppose of impeachment against à Senator, and you it to be true that there is a provision which cannot try him, therefore, upon any articles requires that the President pro tempore shall of impeachment. He is, therefore, not a civil be selected from among the Senators; suppose officer of the Government in the ordinary and that the Senator presiding as President pro usual acceptation of that term, but his office is tempore should discharge every duty incumbent one purely as an officer of the Senate, elected on him as a Senator; suppose he votes and dis- by its votes, exercising his functions alone for charges his duties as a Senator, but fails to dis- the orderly transaction of the business of the charge his duties as President pro tempore, how Senate, responsible to the Senate, removable would you reach him? The only manner in at the will and pleasure of the Senate. Being which you could affect him, according to the an officer of the Senate alone, his relation to doetrine that I think is here contended for, is the Senate differs from that of the other offiby his removal from this body as a Senator, by cers of this body only in its greater dignity expelling him, and in that way reaching him as and the nature of the duties it enjoins. President pro tempore.

“Now, sir, in submitting these remarks, ** Well, sir, if he had discharged his duties which have been very hastily thrown out, and faithfully as a Senator, conducted himself with I am sure are very crude, I only want to mainperfect propriety, performed the duties and tain and uphold the authority of the body, so functions pertaining to his office as a Senator, that, when it shall have either an inefficient I see not how you are to reach him, because it officer, or one who fails to discharge properly is not to be presumed that the Senate would the function of his office in the chair, the power act unjustly, and for the purpose of removing may be asserted in this body to provide an

other officer who will discharge his duties; “ If Congress has the right (which no one and I am sure that no one who knows me will will deny) to cast upon the President pro temattribute any remarks which I utter as being pore of the Senate the office of President of intended to apply to the present very efficient the United States when the President and Viceand very able presiding officer of this body. President are dead, and, in order to guard My sole purpose is to maintain what I conceive against doubts and uncertainties in a matter to be indispensably and absolutely necessary: of so much importance, it becomes necessary the right of this body to change its officers that the tenure of office of the President of whenever in its pleasure it becomes proper to the Senate should be fixed, can it be said that do so.”

the right to remove such officer on the part of Mr. Jones, of Florida, said: “Mr. President, I the Senate should supersede the right of Conagree in all that has been said by the commit- gress to designate him as heir-expectant of the tee in the report except what is stated in their presidency? Or, to put the proposition in anlast conclusion, and I concur entirely with the other shape, if Congress under an express

proSenator from North Carolina (Mr.Merrimon) in vision of the Constitution has the right to cast the views he has expressed in regard to this case. upon the President of the Senate duties and

"Whatever might have been the construc- powers, either in presenti or in expectancy, tion of the Constitution before the act of March which are in conflict, or which may come in 1, 1792, was passed, it is very clear that that conflict, with the right of the Senate to remove act must have great weight in the considera- such officer, derived by implication, which tion of the question before us. It is not enough powers shall prevail? The right of this body to show, therefore, by the terms of the Consti- to remove this officer is a right derived by imtution, that the President pro tempore of the plication, while the other right exercised by Senate is an officer of the Senate, and under Congress is in virtue of an express power given those provisions alone would be removable at by the Constitution. The Constitution made the pleasure of the Senate. It is possible that it the duty of Congress to declare by law what such a construction would have been war- officer shall exercise the executive office of the ranted before the act of 1792 was passed; but nation when left vacant by both the President the Constitution gave to Congress the right to and Vice-President. Congress accordingly say, and that body has said, what officers shall has provided that in such a contingency the succeed to the office of President in the event office shall be filled by the President of the of the death of the President and Vice-Presi- Senate or the Speaker of the House for the dent. While it may be true, therefore, that time being. Congress was not invested with the Constitution intended to place the Presi- the general power to fill the office; but the dent of the Senate under the control of this constitution requires that it shall provide by body and make him removable at its pleasure, law what officer shall act as President in such if no legislation was had under the first section an exigency. of the second article of the Constitution, which "The law then designates the President pro empowers Congress to provide for filling the tempore of the Senate as the officer who shall office of President when the first two officers succeed to the presidency in the contingency in the Government are dead or are removed, mentioned. How will this law operate with still, the last provision in the Constitution gives the right asserted in behalf of this body to reCongress the power to change the tenure of move that officer at its pleasure? Remember the office of the President of the Senate when that the law provides that if there be no Presit gives it authority to say that the person who ident pro tempore of the Senate the Speaker fills it in a certain exigency shall be President of the House shall act as President. All exof the United States.

perience teaches us that nothing is more dan“ If the power conferred npon Congress gerous to the peace and security of nations than touching the filling of the office of President those conflicts which arise out of disputes of the United States be in conflict with that about the right to the chief office in the state. which is supposed to exist on the part of this “With the absolute power of removal over body to remove its presiding officer, then rea- the officer who is designated by law to fill the sonable construction must decide the question office of President, if the occasion should arise, at issue. It is not enough to say that the Pres- which I pray it may not, for putting in practice ident pro tempore of the Senate, like the Ser- this part of our Constitution, to what intrigue geant-at-Arms of the Senate, is an officer of and political excitement would not this power this body, and because the Sergeant-at-Arms lead in the Senate when it was within its commay be removed by the Senate, so may the petency to designate the man who should ocPresident pro tempore be removed. This mode cupy the first place in the nation! The power of reasoning would be admissible if Congress given in the Constitution to the Senate to under the Constitution had not pointed out choose its own President would in that event duties beyond the Senate for the one officer in be converted into a power to elect a President a certain contingency which it has not pre- of the United States. But, sir, this is the body scribed for the other.

which has the power to remove from office by “This is the great point, in my opinion, upon impeachment. "A large partisan majority here which this debate must turn.

and in the other House may remove both the

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