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Bill to repeal Sections 55, 56 and 57, Title IV, Chapter CXX, of the Revised Statutes, relating to certain liens on crops;
Bill to require State officers to report promptly to the General Assemibly.
The above Bills received their first reading, were ordered for a second reading and consideration to-morrow, and to be printed.
Mr. JETER introduced the following resolution:
Resolved by the Senate, That a Committee of five be appointed to ascertain and report by what authority, and for what reasons, is the capitol of this State held by armed United States soldiers and State constabulary; and why it is that citizens of the State are debarred entrance to the public offices and halls of legislation in the State House; and why it is that Senators of South Carolina are stopped by armed sentinels while passing between the Supreme Court room and the Senate Chamber and required to show passes; and, also, why Senators are required to show passes at the door of the Senate Chamber before entering; and to report further any other facts connected with the matter which they may think important for the cousideration of the Senate.
Ordered for consideration to-morrow.
Resolved, That the Committee on Privileges and Elections, on the part of the Senate, be, and the same are hereby, authorized and directed to employ a stenographer, to take such testimony as may be necessary in the cases of contest which may come before said Committee during the present session.
Resolved, That the compensation for the said stenographer shall be provided for in the General Appropriation Bill, when it comes before the Senate for consideration.
Ordered for consideration to-morrow.
Resolveil, That the Sergeant-at-Arms be instructed to regulate the clock in this Chamber by the time of the town clock of this city.
The Senate resunied the consideration of Unfinished Business. Resolution (by Mr. Cochran) that a Committee of four be appointed to enquire as to the fact of a legal quorum existing in the House of Representatives.
On motion of Mr. COCHRAN, the resolntion was ordered to lie on the table.
The Senate proceeded to the consideration of General Orders on the Calendar, to wit:
Joint Resolution (by Mr. Cochran) to ratify the amendment to the Constitution of South Carolina, relative to the public school tax levy and a tax on polle.;
Bill (by Mr. Cochran) to prohibit the service of State officers upon Boards, Commissions and public Committees.
The above Bill and Joint Resolution were read by their titles, and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
Report (favorable, with amendments,) of Committee on the Judiciary on Bill relative to the inauguration of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor of the State of South Carolina.
On motion of Mr. MAXWELL, the report and Bill were laid on the table, and House Bill relative to the inauguration of Governor and Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina taken up for a second reading.
Mr. NASH moved that the further consideration of the Bill be indefinitely postponed. • After debate, participated in by Messrs. Nash, Crittenden, Jeter, Whittemore.
On the question of agreeing to the motion of the Senator from Richland, Mr. NASH called for the
and nays. The yeas
and nays were taken, and resulted as follows: Year-Messrs. Bowen, Buck, Butler, Cannon, Cochran, Corwin, Duncan, Evans, Gaillard, Howard, Jeter, Johnston, Livingston, Meetze, Nash, Walker, J. M. Williams, Witherspoon-18.
Nays--Messrs. Bird, Carter, Clinton, Crittenden, Green, Maxwell, Myers, Swails, Taft, Warley, B. H. Williams, Whittemore--12.
Su the further consideration of the Bill was indefinitely postponed.
Resolution (by Mr. Whittemore) to proceed to the election of United States Senator on Tuesday, December 12, 1876, at 12 M.
The question was taken on agreeing to the resolution, and decided in the affirmative.
Bill (by Mr. Whittemore) to repeal an Act entitled “An Act to secure advances for agricultural purposes."
The Bill was read by its title, and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.
At 1 P. M., on motion of Mr. WHITTEMORE, the Senate went into Executive Session.
After the disposal of Executive business, the Senate returned to open session.
Mr. JETER presented the following protest, to be entered on the Journal:
SENATE CHAMBER, December 7, 1876. Relying upon the reasons given in our former protests against the legality and constitutionality of the body presided over by E. W. M. Mackey, Esq., we, members of the South Carolina Senate, in accordance with previous notice given, make this our protest to the action of the Senate, in the matter of counting and publishing the votes for Governor and Lieutenant Governor of the State of South Carolina, for the following reasons, viz.:
The duty of a Speaker of the House of Representatives of the State of South Carolina, in acting upon the returns of the votes for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, is simply ministerial in opening and publishing the result as appears by the returns” delivered to him by the Secretary of State.
Section 4, Article III, of the Constitution of South Carolina says: “ The returns of every election of Governor shall be sealed up by the Managers of election in their respective Counties, and transmitted by mail to the seat of Government, directed to the Secretary of State, who shall deliver them to the Speaker of the House of Representatives at the next ensuing session of the General Assembly.” “The Speaker shall open and publish them in the presence of both Houses.” “ The person having the highest number of votes shall be Governor.”
Section 5 provides that a Lieutenant Governor shall be chosen at the same time, and in the same manner.
Section 10 of Article VIII declares that “ In all elections held by the people, under this Constitution, the person or persons who shall receive the highest number of votes shall be declared elected.”
A majority of the Senate decided yesterday to throw out the vote of Edgefield County, without giving a single reason for their action, or introducing a fact or tittle of testimony. Why not throw out every County in the State that gave Wade Hampton and W. D. Simpson, Esqs., large majorities for Governor and Lieutenant Governor, respectively. There is no reason why it should not be done, if the action of the Sena yesterdav was in accordance with the Constitution, law and justice.
What would be thought of any Court in a civilized country that would decide a cause in favor of one side without hearing a particle of testimony, or giving the opposite party notice, that he might introduce testimony, and be heard in his own cause. And yet the action of a majority of the Senate yesterday, in throwing out the count of the voters
of Edgefield and Laurens Counties, was intended, as far as it could determine, to deprive Wade Hampton and W. D. Simpson of the offices to which they had been elected, as appeared from the returns received by the Secretary of State.
The Constitution, having declared, explicitly, that the person receiving the highest number of votes shall be declared elected Governor, provides for contested elections. The last clause of Section 4, Article III, of the Constitution reads thus: “Contested elections for Governor shall be determined by the General Assembly in such manner as shall be provided by law.”
The General Assembly has “determinned the manner scribed by law the mode of contesting the election of Governor, by the passage of Section 25, Chapter VIII, of the Revised Statutes of South Carolina, which reads as follows: "That in case of a contest of the election of Governor, (if the General Assembly, by concurrent resolution, shall ascertain the same, the Senate and House of Representatives shall each, separately, proceed to hear and determine the facts in the case, so far as they deem necessary, and decide thereon who, according to Section 10 of Article VIII of the Constitution, is entitled to be declared elected.”
It is apparent that there must be two parties to a contest, and there must be a declaration of the election before a contestant can be heard by the General Assembly, which must first entertain the contest by a concurrent resolution. Then each house is to hear and determine the facts in the case, and decide not who is “declared elected,” but who is entitled to be declared elected ; and if the two branches of the General Assembly agree, they, by concurrent resolution, declare who is duly elected Governor. But yesterday the Senate, without hearing the facts in the case, without notification to the party most interested, and without any written specifications being submitted, proceeded as if in case of contest, and threw out the vote of the Counties named.
Believing that the whole proceeding in the premises is a great outrage upon the Constitution and the laws of the State, we submit this our solemn protest.
R. E. BOWEN,
On motion of Mr. SWAILS, at 1:10 P. M., the Senate adjourned.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 9, 1876.
The Senate assembled at 12 M., and was called to order by the PRESIDENT.
The roll was called, and, a quorum answering to their names, the PRESIDENT announced the Senate ready to proceed to business.
On motion of Mr. WARLEY, the reading of the Journal of yesterday was dispensed with.
The Sergeant-at Arms announced
MESSAGE FROM THE GOVERNOR.
Messages Nos. 3 and 4 from His Excellency the Governor were presented to the Senate by Mr. Charles Babbitt, Private Secretary.
The PRESIDENT announced that the Messages related to Executive business.
REPORT OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL AS TO THE
The PRESIDENT laid before the Senate the report of Hon. Wm. Stone, Attorney General, made under the provisions of a Joint Resolution, approved March 20, 1876, requiring the Attorney General to inquire into the title by which the State of South Carolina holds the plantation known as the “O'Hanlon lands;" which was ordered to be printed, and copies laid on the desks of Senators.
REPORTS OF COMMITTEES.
Mr. WHITTEMORE, from the Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred Joint Resolution to ratify the amendment to the Constitution of South Carolina, relative to the public school tax levy and a tax on polls, reported back the same, with the recommendation that the resolution do pass. Ordered for consideration on Monday next.
NOTICES OF BILLS.
Mr. WHITTEMORE gave notice that he will on Monday next, or some subsequent day, ask leave to introduce
Bill to amend the General Statutes of South Carolina relative to elections and their results ;
Bill regulating the manner of contesting elections.
Mr. COCHRAN gave notice that he will on Monday next, or some subsequent day, ask leave to introduce
Bill to prohibit the making of profits out of public funds.