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one State who cannot on moving to another. The single limitation referred to is found in section 1, Article XV., of Amendments : “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States, or by any State, on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude." By giving the electors of National Representatives the same qualifications as electors of State representatives, the Constitution provides indirectly that State representatives shall be elected by the people.?
Section 2, Clause 2.- No person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the age of twenty-five years, and been seven years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.
269. Original Qualifications of Representatives.Beyond providing that no man should sit more than three years in six, the Articles of Confederation did not fix the qualifications of members of Congress. All other qualifications were left to the State. But the Constitution fixes the three qualifications of age, citizenship, and inhabitancy. The ages fixed, and the period of citizenship in the case of foreign-born citizens, are short enough to qualify men to sit in either House of Congress. Obviously, too, a legislature should consist wholly of citizens of the nation or state. In a great country like the United States, it is important that members of Congress shall be inhabitants of the States that elect them. As a rule, residents of New England could not intelligently represent the people of California. It is not necessary for a Representative to live in the district that he represents, but such is the almost unvarying custom. Again, inhabitancy and residence are different things. “An inhabitant is a bona fide member of the State, subject to all the requisites of law, and entitled
1 In Great Britain it is common for members of the House of Commons not to live within the constituencies that elect them. A resident of London or Edin. burgh inay represent any constituency in England, Scotland, or Wales. Mr. Glaastone, who resides in Wales, has for many years sat for Midlothian, in Scotland. This rule there works well. It brings many able men into Parliament who would otherwise be shut out. A man twenty-one years of age, if otherwise qualified, can sit in Parliament. Such, too, is the rule in most of our State Legislatures.
to all privileges and advantages under the law; actual residence is not essential, as if a person be a minister resident at a foreign port." I
The question has been asked whether a State may add to these qualificatious of the Representative. The better opinion is that it cannot. The phrase "a citizen of the United States" asserts, what has often been denied, that these States are one country, a nation, and not a mere confederacy.
Section 2, Clause 3.--Representatives and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within the Union, according to their respective numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other persons. The actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent term of ten years, in such manner as they shall by law direct. The number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty thousand, but each State shall have at least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to choose three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five, and Georgia three.
270. Apportionment in the Federal Convention.No other clause of the Constitution gave the Convention so much trouble as this one. The principal points of controversy, more fully stated in Chapter VIII., may be again enumerated: (1) The Small-state party contended for an equal representation; the Large-state party for a proportional representation, Population was finally decided upon. (2) The rule for determining the numbers was disputed no less warmly. It was unanimously agreed that all free persons should be counted ; nor was there serious objection to counting persons bound to service and all Indians except those not taxed. But what should be done with the slaves ? It was finally agreed to call them persons, and to count five of them as three in determining the respective numbers of the States. (3) There were also many opinions as to supplying the treasury, but it was agreed, at last, that the apportionment of direct taxes should be brought under the same rule as the apportionment of Representatives.
1 Desty: The Constitution of the V. S., P 45.
271. Ratios and Apportionments.--The Federal Convention at first agreed to put the minimum ratio of representation at 40,000, but reduced it to 30,000 at the very close of the session on a special plea made by Washington. This plea was that the reduction would enlarge the representation, and so tend to relieve the fears of those people who thought the new Government would be a tyranny. No maximum was or could be fixed; the ratios must be determined from time to time with reference to population and the convenient size of the House.1
272. Each State to Have One.-The Constitution wisely stipulates that each State shall have at least one Representative. In 1873 Delaware, Nebraska, Nevada, and Oregon might have been unrepresented in the House had it not been for this stipulation, and at the present time several States fall below the ratio. The Representatives of States coming into the Union after the apportionment is made, are always additional to the number named in the law. Thus, the law of 1882 fixed the size of the House at 325; the admission of six new States added seven to that number.
Congress, by law, authorizes every organized Territory to send a Delegate to the House of Representatives, who is allowed to speak but not to vote. At one time the District of Columbia was similarly represented.
1. The first amendment proposed in 1790, which failed to receive the requisite number of ratifications, was in these words:
After the first enumeration required by the first article of the Constitution, there shall be one Representative for every 30,000, until the number shall amount to 100, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress, that there shall be not less than 100 Representatives, nor less than one Representative for every 40,000 persons, until the number of Representatives shall amount to 200, after which the proportion shall be so regulated by Congress that there shall not be less than 200 Representatives, por more than one Representative for every 50,000 persons."
273. Representation and Suffrage.-This clause relates to representation and not to voting. The Constitution determines the rule of apportionment; the States, subject to the Fifteenth Amendment, determine their own rules of suffrage. The representative population now includes every man, woman, and child, save Indians not taxed, in the States; whereas in only two States are women permitted to vote for Representatives. An average Congressional district now contains 173,901 people, but not more than a fifth of them are voters. Under the three-fifths rule, a Southern slaveholder with 1,000 slaves would count 601 in determining the basis of representation ; he himself was the only voter.
Section 2, Clause 4.—When vacancies happen in the representation from any State, the Executive authority thereof shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies.
274. Vacancies.—These arise from death, resignation, expulsion, and accepting an incompatible office. An executive writ of election is a public proclamation by the Governor of the State where the vacancy exists, announcing the vacancy, and naming the day on which the people of the district will choose a Representative to serve the remainder of the term.
Section 2, Clause 5.—The House of Representatives shall choose their Speaker and other officers, and shall have the sole power of impeachment.
275. The Speaker, Etc.—The other officers of the House are the Clerk, Sergeant-at-arms, Door-keeper, Postmaster, and Chaplain. The Speaker is always a member of the House; the other officers are not members, although it is the custom to elect an ex-member clerk. The clerk holds his office until the Speaker of the succeeding House is elected, and presides on that occasion. Commonly this election is easily effected, but the Thirty-fourth Congress spent two months and voted 133 times before it secured a Speaker, and the contest at the opening of the Thirty-sisch Congress was still more protracted. The Speaker has a right to vote on all questions, and is required to do so when his vote will decide the pending question, or when the vote is by ballot."
276. Amendment XIV.-Section 3 of this Article introducedinto the Constitution a new qualification for Senators and Representatives, and all officers, civil and military, viz.:
No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State Legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may, by a vote of two-thirds of each house, remove such disability.
By an act approved May 22, 1872, the disabilities imposed by this section were removed from all persons whatsoever, except Senators and Representatives of the Thirty-sixth and Thirty-seventh Congresses, former officers in the military and naval service of the United States, heads of departments, and foreign ministers of the United States. Still other persons have been relieved by special acts, and few persons now rest under these disabilities.
277. Origin of the Three-Fifths Rule.-By the year 1783, the plan for supplying the National treasury provided by the Articles of Confederation had thoroughly broken down. To meet this emergency, Congress recommended that the treasury should be supplied by the several States, “in proportion to the whole number of white and other free citizens and inhabitants of every age, sex, and condition, including those bound to service for a term of years, and three-fifths of all other persons not comprehended in the foregoing description, except Indians not paying taxes in each State.” This amendment was not ratified by the States, but it furnished the Convention of 1787 a means of escape from one of its serious embarrassments.
1 The title Speaker comes from England, where it is given to the presiding officers of both Houses of Parliament. The Lord Chancellor is Speaker of the House of Lords ex officio. The Speaker of the House of Commons is chosen by the House, subject to the formal permission and approval of the Crown. The title had been in use in the States from the very beginning.