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No witness is privileged to refuse to testify to any fact, or to produce any paper, respecting which he shall be examined by either house of Congress, or by any committee of either house, upon the ground that his testimony to such fact or his production of such paper may tend to disgrace him or otherwise ren. der him infamous.--R. S., sec. 103.
Whenever a witness summoned as mentioned in section one hundred and two fails to testify, and the facts are reported to either house, the President of the Senate or the Speaker of the House, as the case may be, shall certify the fact, under the seal of the Senate or House, to the district attorney for the District of Columbia, whose duty it shall be to bring the matter before the grand jury for their action.—R. S., sec, 104.
Pending the election of a Speaker or Speaker pro tempore, the Clerk shall preserve order and decorum, and decide all questions of order that may arise, subject to appeal by any member.-RULE III, clause 1.
SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE.
The Speaker shall have the right to name any member to perform the duties of the Chair, but such substitution shall not extend beyond an adjournment: Provided, however, That in case of his illness he may make such appointment for a period not exceeding ten days, with the approval of the House at the time the same is made; and in his absence and omission to make such appointment the House sball proceed to elect a Speaker pro tempore, to act during his absenoe.-Clause 7, RULE I.
It is the practice upon the appointment of a Speaker pro tempore for a period exceeding one day to notify the Senate and President of such appointment.
“ Where the Speaker has been ill, other Speakers pro tempore have been appointed.”—Manual, p. 120; Journals, 1, 5, pp. 266, 310; 1, 30, p. 923; 1, 44, passim. Or where he is removed by the House.—Manual, p. 120, 121.
(See BUSINESS ON SPEAKER'S TABLE.)
No standing rule or order of the House shall be rescinded or changed without one day's notice of the motion therefor, and no rule shall be suspended except by a vote of two-thirds of the members present, except to fix a day for the consideration of a bill or resolution already favorably reported by a committee on motion directed to be made by such committee, which shall require only a majority vote of the House.-RULE XXVIII, clause 1.
Special orders are made under a suspension of the rules — Journal, 1, 31, p. 1176. And of course (unless unanimous consent is given for the parpose-Journal, 30, p. 580) can only be made when a motion to suspend the rules is in order. Most of the “special orders” of late years have been made by unani. mous consent, and are usually made so as “not to interfere with general appropriation or revenue bills." "A special order” may be made by motion or resolution, but is generally fixed by resolution.
The usual form of resolution for making a special order is, “that the (here describe the bill or whatever else it may be) be made the special order for the -- day of , and from day to day till the same is disposed of.”—Journal, 1, 31, p. 1176. In which case after the arrival of the time fixed, or the disposal of a special order previously made, it takes precedence of all other business until disposed of.
Sometimes the words “ Fridays and Saturdays excepted” are inserted.—Journal, 1, 30, p. 692. In which case the consideration of private bills may be proceeded with on those days, but it is otherwise where these words are omitted.—Journals, 1, 32, pp. 401, 433; 2, 48, p. 136. Since that period, Fridays alone are set apart for the consideration of private bills. And sometimes the words “and from day to day until disposed of" are omitted.-Journal, 1, 31, p. 5:22. In which case it is a special order for the day named only, and if the matter made a special order is not taken up, or, if taken up, is left undisposed of on the day fixed, thereafter it loses its specialty.—Journals, 1, 31, pp. 631, 897 ; 2, 43, p. 248.
Per contra, to the last ruling above cited, see ruling of Speaker Reed.-Journal, 1, 51, pp. 588, 589.
Where two special orders are made for the same time, the one first made takes precedence.-Cong. Globe, 1, 26, p. 325. The other, according to the practice, if made for that day, and “ from day to day," will come up as soon as the one first made is disposed of.
A special order assigning and setting apart a day for the consideration of business of a committee takes precedence of a special order making a particular bill a "continuing order.”Journal 1, 49, p. 1598.
A "question of privilege” supersedes a “special order” aud is entitled to precedence. Journal 1, 51, pp. 936, 937.
Pending a special order it is not in order to move a suspension of the rules, the special order having been made under a suspension of the rules - Cong. Globe, 2, 29, p. 430—unless said motion be with reference to the pending special order.
Nor would a motion to go into Committee of the whole House on the state of the Union for the purpose of considering revenue or general appropriation bills be in order as against a special order--Journal, 2, 29, p. 270—unless, of course, such bills were specially excepted in terms by the said special order.
When a bill or resolution is made a special order, the rule requiring its first consideration (if it contain an appropriation) in a Committee of the Whole is thereby waived. - Journals, 3, 45, pp. 241, 242; 2, 47, pp. 162, 163, 168; 2, 49, p. 308; 1, 51, p. 260.
Where a day is specially assigned a committee for the consideration of such business as it may present or indicate, it is in order for such committee to indicate any bill it pleases, whether in committee, on a calendar, or on the Speaker's table.-Jour. nal, 1, 47, p. 1541.
A resolution “rescinding" a special order was held, upon sub. mission to the House, not to be in order as a privileged ques. tion.-Journal, 1, 48, pp. 1051, 1052.
A ruling of Speaker Carlisle, in the second session of the Forty-ninth Congress, on a resolution proposing a certain special order was so important in its relations to the amendment of the rules without reference of the proposition to the Committee on Rules, that it was given in extenso in the Digest for the first session of the Fiftieth Congress, p. 486.
STANDING ORDERS. The system of "standing orders,” which figures so prominently in the proceedings of the English Parliament, has no ex. istence in the legislative assemblies of this country; the nearest approach to it being in the United States Senate, which, being a permanent body, containing always more than a quorum of its members, aud being always duly organized, its rules and orders are not renewed from one Congress to another, as is necessarily the case in the House of Representatives.
The early Congresses followed the English practice of "standing orders,” and adopted but few rules. Gradually, however, the House increased the number of its rules, and the system of standing orders fell into distise, so that at present there are but comparatively few. The line of distinction between “special” and “standing orders” may be said to be that a “special order” applies only to a particular bill or subject, while a “standing order” applies to a class of business, and has really the permanent character of a rule. (See ruling of Speaker Carlisle as to whether a certain order was a “standing" or "special order.”—Journal, 1, 48, pp. 1051, 1052.)
STATE CONSTITUTIONS AND GOVERNMENTS. By the constitutions of all except New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Kansas, and Delaware, the powers of gov. ernment are divided into three distinct departments—the legis. lative, executive, and judicial.
There is in each State and Territory a legislature. In twenty it is called the General Assembly; in Oregon and all the Territories, the Legislative Assembly; and in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, the General Court, consisting of a senate (in the Territories a council) and a house of representatives, called in New York, Wisconsin, California, Nevada, and Flor. ida the Assembly; in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, the House of Delegates; and in New Jersey the General Assembly.
In all the States there is a governor, who is the executive authority, and generally a lieutenant-governor. But when there is no lieutenant governor the president of the sevate succeeds if the governor dies or becomes incapable. His powers in his State are similar to those of the President of the United States. The following are some of the qualifications required in the various States:
No person, in eleven States, can be a governor unless he is a citizen of the United States; in three, he must have been so for two years; in five, for five years; in Florida, nine years; in four, ten years; in one, twelve years; in Georgia, fifteen years; and in New Jersey and Mississippi, twenty years. He must also have been resident for periods varying from one year to ten.
In some States the governor must not be less than twentyfive years of age, in most thirty years, and in two (Kentucky and Missouri), thirty-five.
In Delaware he is not eligible a second time for office. In Tennessee he is not eligible for more than six years in any term of eight. So in Oregon, for not more than eight years in any period of twelve years; in Indiana, for not more than four years in any term of eight.
By the constitutions of seven States, the governor is not eligible for re-election for any two successive terms, unless the office devolved upon him. In Georgia, he is not eligible for four years after the second term.
In Massachusetts, he must be possessed of a freehold estate, in his own right, of the value of £1,000. He is elected directly by the people, and, not like the President, through a college of electors. His term of office varies from four years in sixteen States to three years in three States, two years in eighteen States, and a year in two States (Massachusetts and Rhode Island).
Both the senate and the house are in all States elected at the general election day, and vacancies in either house are generally filled in the same way by a special election; but in New Hampshire and Maine vacancies are so filled by election only in the house; a vacancy in the senate is filled by joint ballot of the legislatures; so in Massachusetts vacancies in the Senate are filled by special election, upon the order of a majority of the senators elected.
A senator, by the constitution of most States, is elected for four years; in New Jersey for three years, in sereral for two years, and in two (Massachusetts and Rhode Island) for ove year.