2007/02/13

Brushing Up On The Constitution (part 2)

Welcome back to the Constitution. We're going to deal with the Senate this time, primarily, as well as the rules regarding how often congress must meet.

Sect. 3. The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, chosen by the Legislature thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote.

Immediately after they shall be assembled in consequence of the first election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three classes. The seats of the Senators of the first class shall be vacated at the expiration of the second year, of the second class at the expiration of the fourth year, and of the third class at the expiration of the sixth year; so that one third may be chosen every second year; and if vacancies happen, by resignation or otherwise, during the recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary appointments until the next meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such vacancies.

No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the age of thirty years, and been nine years a citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, ae an inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

The Vice-President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no vote, unless they be equally divided. The Senate shall choose their other officers, and also a President pro tempore, in a the absence of the Vice-President, or
when he shall exercise the office of President of the United States.

The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, they shall by on oath or affirmation. When the President of the United State is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside; and no person shall be convicted without the concurence of two thirds of the members present.

Judgement, in cases of impeachment, shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honour, trust or profit, under the United States; but the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgement and punishment, according to law.

A1.S3.C1 - Senators get to serve six years and are elected by the legislators of the state they represent. Each state gets two senators, regardless of size.

A1.S3.C2 - The senators terms will be split up so that approximately a third of the total number of senators is up for reelection every two years. If there is a vacancy in a state's senate representation, and that state's legislature is not in session, the state's governor can appoint a temporary replacement.

A1.S3.C3 - To be a senator, you must be at least 30 years old, a citizen of the United States for nine years, and live in the state which you would be representing.

A1.S3.C4 - The Vice President of the United States will be considered the president of the senate. He has no vote except in the case of a tie. If he is currently fulfilling the duties of the President of the United States, or otherwise absent, the role of president of the senate will be filled by the president pro-tempore of the senate, who is chosen by the senators.

A1.S3.C5 - The senate, like the house, will also choose their other officers as they desire.

A1.S3.C6 - As the house calls impeachment proceedings, the senate tries them. The matter of sitting "by oath or affirmation" is as opposed to, as Wiki has it, "unlike the (house of) lords who voted upon their honor." If the senate is trying the impeachment of the President, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court will preside instead of the Vice President. (But, what happens if they're impeaching the VP?)

A1.S3.C7 - The punishments that the senate may inflict for a party being impeached cannot exceed removal from office, and a further ban against holding another office. However, this does not mean that the person in question cannot then be tried in a conventional court under other charges related to their impeachment.

Sect. 4. 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 place of choosing Senators. The Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.

A1.S4 - Each state can choose when, where, and how they go about electing their senators and representatives, but congress has the power to alter all of those possibilities except where senators are chosen. Congress must meet once a year at a minimum, on the first Monday of December, unless they pass a law changing the date. (Oh, if only they'd only meet one day a year outside of emergencies now...)

Next time, we'll be looking into procedure, and the proscriptions regarding holding public office.

1 comment:

Andrea Shea King & Mark Vance said...

This is great... will refer to your explanations time and again...

Andrea