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fill them; and also, that the house of representatives choose their own speaker and other officers, and have the sole power of impeachment. It may also be observed, that it is not necessary for the executive of a state to be first informed by the house itself that a vacancy exists before issuing a writ of election; it is sufficient if he has received the resignation of a member.
Importance of a Senate.
60. Mr. Burke has remarked that a monarchy may exist without a senate; but that it seems to be in the very essence of a republican government. Obviously this was the opinion of the framers of the Constitution of the United States. They constituted a Senate, and constituted it in such manner as to give it, in greater or less measure, a steady control in the action of the government.
61. By the mode of their election, the members of the Senate are likely to be men of known ability and established character. By their term of office, they are in a situation to disregard those gusts of passion or delusion that frequently sweep over all communities, and can await in security the return of reason, of justice, and moderation.
62. The Constitution provides that the Senate shall be composed of two senators from each state, chosen by the legislature thereof for six years, and 63. This equality of representation in the Senate, without reference to the disproportion in the territory, wealth, or population of the several states, was the result of compromise and mutual concession. The small states demanded it as a means of protection against the large, and as being in accordance with the federal principle: the proportional representation in the House being conformable to the national principle, and thus securing the large states against the small.
that each senator shall have one vote.
Mode of Election.
64. The members of the Senate are chosen by the legislatures of the respective states, and generally by a joint vote, that is, both branches of the legislature unite and form one assembly, and the majority elect. The Senate, however, in a recent case, decided that, in order to the validity of such an election, both branches, acting separately, must first have voted to meet as a joint body, and have actually met accordingly. In some of the states each branch gives a separate and independent vote, and a majority of each must concur in the choice of the same candidate or there is no election. This is called a concurrent vote. By the act of July 25, 1866, Congress prescribed the following mode of electing senators:— The legislature of each state which shall be chosen next preceding the expiration of the time for which any Senator was elected to represent said state in Congress, shall, on the second Tuesday after the meeting and organization thereof, proceed to elect a Senator in Congress, in the place of such Senator so going out of office, in the following manner: Each house shall openly, by a viva voce of each member present, name one person for Senator in Congress from said state, and the name of the person so voted for who shall have a majority of the whole number of votes cast in each house shall be entered on the journal of each house, by the clerk or secretary thereof; but if either house shall fail to give such majority to any person on said day, that fact shall be entered on the journal. At twelve o'clock, meridian, of the day following that on which proceedings are required to take place, as aforesaid, the members of the two houses shall
convene in joint assembly, and the journal of each house shall then be read, and if the same person shall have
received a majority of all the votes in each house, such person shall be duly declared elected Senator to represent said state in the Congress of the United States; but if the same person shall not have received a majority of the votes in each house, or if either house shall have failed to take proceedings as required by this act, the joint assembly shall then proceed to choose, by a viva voce vote of each member present, a person for the purpose aforesaid; and the person having a majority of all the votes of the said joint assembly, a majority of all the members of both houses being present and voting, shall be declared duly elected ; and in case no person shall receive such majority on the first day, the joint assembly shall meet at twelve o'clock meridian of each succeeding day, during the session of the legislature, and take at least one vote until a Senator shall be elected.
Elections to fill Vacancies.
Whenever, on the meeting of the legislature of any state, a vacancy shall exist in the representation of such state in the Senate of the United States, said legislature shall proceed, on the second Tuesday after the commencement and organization of its session, to elect a person to fill such vacancy, in the manner hereinbefore provided for the election of a Senator for a full term; and if a vacancy shall happen during the session of the legislature, then, on the second Tuesday after the legislature shall have been organized and shall have notice of such vacancy.
Certificates of Election.
It shall be the duty of the governor of the state from which any Senator shall have been chosen as aforesaid, to certify his election, under the seal of the state, to the President of the United States; which certificate shall be countersigned by the secretary of state of the state.