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number of opportunities to exercise personal power in important matters. Certainly no other Vice-President has had the like, and probably no officer of the United States has ever been able to do so much by positive acts of individual authority.

No less than twenty times during the life of the First Congress he voted for the Federalists.''1

Section 3, Clause 5.—The Senate shall choose their other officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the absence of the Vice-President, or when he shall exercise the office of President of the United States.

294. Officers of the Senate.—The other officers are the Secretary, Chief Clerk, Executive Clerk, Sergeant-atarms, Door-keeper, and Chaplain. The custom is for the Vice-President, as soon as convenient after he takes the oath of office, to absent himself from the chair for a day, or longer, in order that the Senate may elect a President pro tempore. This office is held at the pleasure of the Senate. As the President pro tempore is a member of the Senate, he has a vote on all questions. Accordingly, a tie vote when a Senator is in the chair is always lost.

NOTE. –Within the last few years, the proposition to have the Senators elected directly by the people has been received with much favor, The House of Representatives has twice voted by more than a two-thirds majority to submit to the State Legislatures the following as an amendment to the Constitution, but the Senate has not concurred:

“That in lieu of the first paragraph of section 3 of Article 1. of the Constitution of the United States, and in lieu of so much of paragraph 2 of the same section as relates to the filling of vacancies, and in lieu of all of paragraph 1 of section 4 of said Article I., in so far as the same relates to any authority in Congress to make or alter regulations as to the times or manner of holding elections for Senators, the following be proposed as an amendment to the Constitution, which shall be valid to all intents and purposes as part of the Constitution when ratified by the Legislatures of three-fourths of the States:

“The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, at large, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State Legislature.

“The times, places, and manner of holding elections for Senators shall be as prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof.

“When vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the Executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, that the Legislature of any State may empower the Executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election, as the Legislature may direct.

“This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.”

i Morse: John Adams, pp. 244, 249, 250.



ARTICLE I. Section 4, Clause 1.—The times, places, and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by law make or alter such regulations, except as to the places of choosing Senators.

295. State Control.-The grant to the Legislatures of power to prescribe the times, places, and manner of holding these elections was a concession to the States. It was made partly to take advantage of the existing machinery for conducting elections, but mainly to avoid arousing State jealousy. There is an evident propriety in giving the Legislatures immediate control of the Senatorial elections, since the Senators represent the States. Then the States could manage the elections of Representatives more easily and cheaply than the Nation, and with more satisfaction to the people. A denial to the States of participation in the management of these elections, would have defeated the whole scheme.

296. Limit of State Control.-Still, in a National system it would not do to put these elections in the exclusive control of the States. Mr. Hamilton said at the time : "Every government ought to contain in itself the means of its own preservation; while it is perfectly plain that the States, or a majority of them, by failing to make the necessary regulations, or by making improper ones, could break up or prevent the first election of the Houses of Congress. 1 The Federalist, No. 59.


Hence the provision that Congress may, at any time by law, make or alter such regulations as the States may make, except as to the places of choosing Senators. Obviously, Congress should not name the places for electing Senators, as that would involve the seat of the State government. With this exception, Congress has absolute power over the whole subject. This grant was not seriously objected to in the Federal Convention, but in the State conventions it was attacked with great violence. The use of the power is discretionary with Congress, and it was a full half century before it was used at all. This abstinence was due to regard for State feeling, to a desire to save expense, and to the fact that State control had proved satisfactory. 297

National Legislation.- Previous to the Twenty-eighth Congress, the States exclusively controlled the elections of Representatives. Some chose them by districts, one or more from a district, and some by the State at large; the first being called the district plan, and the second the general-ticket plan. The objection to the general-ticket plan is that it strongly tends to give all the members to one political party; a State majority, no matter how small, commonly determines the political complexion of the whole State delegation. It is clear that the district plan leads to the juster representation of the people. Hence it was provided in the Apportionment Act of 1842: “That in every case where a State is entitled to more than one Representative, the number to which such State shall be entitled under this apportionment shall be elected by districts composed of contiguous territory, equal in number to the number of Representatives to which the said State may be entitled, no one district electing more than one Representative.” This rule, violeatly opposed at the time, has been incorporated in every subsequent apportionment law. Since 1872 Congrsss has prescribed that the districts shall contain, as nearly as practicable, an equal number of inhabitants. In 1871 Congress provided that all votes for Representatives must be by written or printed ballots, and in 1872 that the elections should be held on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November in every even year. Subsequently the States having in their constitutions clauses fixing a different day, were excepted from the operation of this last rule. In Oregon the day is the first Monday in June; in Vermont the first Tuesday, and in Maine the second Monday, in September; in the other States it is the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November.

298. Districting the States.—The division of a State into districts is left to its Legislature. This duty it commonly performs at its first meeting after Congress makes the decennial apportionment. It is subject only to two rules : that the territory of the districts must be contiguous, and that they must contain relatively equal populations. Sometimes it is done in such a way as to give the political party having a majority in the Legislature an undue advantage. This is done by combining counties, townships, etc., so as to give one party small or moderate majorities in as large a number of districts as possible, and to the other party large majorities in as few as possible. This process is known as gerrymandering.? Some States provide in their constitutions for decennial districting ; most, however, do not, and redistricting is not unfrequent. The law in regard to contiguity is held to be satisfied when counties or townships comprising a district touch at the corners, and the law requiring as nearly as practicable an equal number of inhabitants rests lightly on State Legislatures. Considerable discrepancies are common when districts are first formed, and these the growth of population tends to enlarge. It is not uncommon for one district in a State to contain double the population of another district.

1" Gerrymander. In humorous imitation of Salamander, from a fancied resemblance of this animal to a map of one of the districts formed in the redistricting of Massachusetts by the Legislature in 1811, when Elbridge Gerry was Governor. The districting was intended (it was believed, at the instigation of Gerry,) to secure unfairly the election of a majority of Democratic senators. It is now known, however, that he was opposed to the measure."--The Century Dictionary.

299. Representatives-at-Large.--Since 1842 Congress has sometimes allowed States receiving one or more additional Representatives under a new apportionment, to elect them for the whole State when it is impossible or difficult for the Legislature to district the State in time for the ensuing election, or when it is not desirable to do so. These are called Representatives-at-Large. Pennsylvania at one time had three such Representatives. The law of 1882 provided that, in cases where no change was made in the number assigned to a State, and the Legislature did not otherwise provide, the former districting should stand. In case the number was increased, the additional Representative or Representatives might be elected at large, and the former number by districts, as before. It provided also that, If the number hereby provided for shall in any State be less than it ivas before the change hereby made, then the whole number to such State hereby provided for shall be elected at large, unless the Legislatures of said States have provided, or shall otherwise provide, before the time fixed by law for the next election of Representatives therein."

300. The Election of Senators.-The Constitution prescribes that the State Legislatures shall elect the Senators, but is silent as to the manner of electing them. Shall the two houses meet in joint convention, a majority of all electing? Or shall they vote separately, a majority of each house being required to elect? For three-fourths of a century each State answered these questions for itself. Serious disagreements between houses ensued, and Legislatures were sometimes broken up. To put an end to such controversies, Congress, in 1866, passed a law regulating the election of Senators. This law requires the Legislature of each State elected next preceding the expiration of the time for which any Senator was chosen to represent such State, on the second Tuesday after its meeting and organization, to proceed to elect a Senator in conformity with these rules :

I. Each house shall name or propose, by a viva voce vote of each member present, one person for Senator; the next day at 12 o'clock the two houses shall meet in joint assembly, and if it appears from the reading of the journals of the previous day's proceedings, that the same person has received a majority of all the votes in each house, he shall be declared duly elected.

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