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SENATE ELECTION CASES
1789 to 1885.
GEORGE S. TAFT,
CLERK TO COMMITTEE ON PRIVILEGES AND ELECTIONS, U. S. SENATE.
Two compilations of Senate election cases have been made, one by Messrs. Clarke and Hall, consisting of cases from 1789 to 1834, and one by Mr. D. W. Bartlett, consisting of cases from 1834 to 1865. Each of these compilations made up but a small part of volumes containing in addition the contested-election cases in the House of Representatives for the respective periods. This volume contains the Senate cases from 1789 to December, 1885. I have not made use of the early compilations referred to, for the reason that, inasmuch as this volume is confined to Senate cases and so more limited in its scope, I have been able to take up more cases of minor importance than are reported in the early compilations, and to include in the important cases more of the matter comprising their history than is found in the reports of the same cases in the early compilations.
The volume contains not only contested cases, strictly speaking, but all cases in which the right to a seat of any person who has presented credentials has been questioned in such a manner that the Senate has deemed proper to investigate or to discuss the question.
The general plan in making up the cases has been to give the reports of committees, majority and minority, in all cases in which there were reports; transcripts from the journals of the proceedings of the Senate relating to them; and inserted references to the debates of each day. In those cases in which there were no reports, extracts from debates have usually been given. In a few of the early cases, in which the reported debates are brief, the whole debate is given. Each case is accompanied by a head-note stating the points in question and the action of the Senate.
I have separated into a class by themselves those cases involving the question of the power of governors of States to fill vacancies; and in connection with these cases is given a list, prepared from the credentials on file, of all the appointments of Senators by governors. It was my original purpose to make a separate class of the expulsion cases, and to make certain other divisions into classes, but as certain of the cases involve several different questions, it seemed better to arrange them all, with the exception of the class first referred to, chronologically.
An introduction contains extracts from the debates in the Federal convention of 1787, taken from the Madison Papers, on such parts of the Constitution as relate to the election and qualifications of Senators; extracts from the Constitution relating to the same; and the act of July 25, 1866, relating to the election of Senators.
GEORGE S. TAFT. WASHINGTON, December 1, 1885.