THE RULES OF PROCEEDINGS FOR THE FIRST
UNITED STATES SENATE.
(From the cover of William Maclay's Journal.)
Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its
members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two thirds, expel
a member — (Second clause, fifth section, first article on the
Constitution of the United States).
Rule 1. The President (of the Senate)should be in the chair within half
an hour of the time to which the Senate stands adjourned; and the Senators
shall immediately take their seats in a circular order; those from New
Hampshire occupying the right of the Chair and those from Georgia the left.
Rule 2. The minutes of the preceding day shall be read before any other
business is entered upon; inaccuracies or inelegancies may be corrected or
amended; but no reconsideration as to matter of substance shall take place on
Rule 3. Every Senator presenting a petition, memorial, or other Writing,
shall briefly state the import of the same; and every such paper after being
read shall be deemed to lie on the table, unless the same is dismissed upon
special motion for impropriety or want of decency.
Rule 4. Every motion made and seconded shall be repeated from the Chair
and then be open to discussion. The motion, if verbal, shall be put in writing
at the request of the President (of the Senate) or any two Senators.
Rule 5. Adoption, rejection, amendment, commitment, or postponement,
shall be considered as proper modes of treating business; and in all cases
(treaties, returned bills, etc., and the expulsion of a member, excepted)
majority of votes shall govern.
Rule 6. Every Senator when speaking shall address himself to the Chair.
No Senator shall be shall be named in debate, but may be referred to by
mentioning the State he represents or by alluding to his place in the
Rule 7. In case of a debate becoming tedious, four Senators may call for
the question; or the same number may at any time move for the previous
question, viz, "Shall the main question now be put?"
Rule 8. Priority of speaking and all questions of order shall be decided
by the President (of the Senate); but either party may appeal to a vote of the
Rule 9. The name of the Senator making and of the one who seconds a
motion shall be entered on the journals of the House.
Rule 10. No Senator shall speak more than twice on the same subject
without leave obtained from the Chair.
Rule 11. Inviolable secrecy shall be observed with respect to all
matters transacted in the Senate while the doors are shut, or as often as the
same is enjoined from the Chair.
Rule 12. Every member of a committee shall attend the same at the time
appointed by the chairman, who shall be the Senator of the most northerly State
of those from whom the committee are taken.
Rule 13.When a commitment is agreed upon, the President (of the Senate)
shall take the sense of the Senate as to the manner of appointing the
committee, whether by motion from the Senators, nomination from the Chair, or
by ballot; which shall take place accordingly.
Rule 14. The files of the House shall remain open for the inspection of
all the Senators, etc., but no original paper shall be removed from the House
without leave obtained for that purpose by the Senate.
Rule 15. The yeas and nays on any question shall be entered on the
journals at the desire of one fifth of the Senators present.
Rule 16. These rules shall be engrossed on parchment and hung up in some
conspicuous part of the Senate chamber. And every Senator who shall neglect
attendance daring a session, absent himself without leave or withdraw for more
than a quarter of an hour without permission after a quorum is formed, shall be
guilty of disorderly behavior, and his name, together with the nature of the
transgression, shall be written on a slip of paper and annexed to the bottom of
the rules; there to remain until the Senate, on his application or otherwise,
shall take order on the same.
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