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FOR TIIE USE OF
THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES.
BY THOMAS, JEFFERSON.
WITH REFERENCES TO THE PRACTICE AND RULES OF THE
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
THE WHOLE BROUGAT DOWN TO THE PRACTICE OF THE
· PRESENT TIME; TO WHICH ARE ADDED
THE RULES AND ORDERS OF BOTH HOUSES
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1834, by HOGAN AND THOMPSON, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court, for the Eastern District of Pennsyl. vania.
MR. JEFFERSON'S PREFACE.
The Constitution of the United States, establishing a legislature for the Union under certain forms, authorizes each branch of it “to determine the rules of its own proceedings.” The Senate have accordingly formed some rules for its own government: but those going only to few cases, they have referred to the decision of their President, without debate and without appeal, all questions of order arising either under their own rules, or, where they have provided none. This places under the discretion of the President a very extensive field of decision, and one which, irregularly exercised, would have a powerful effeet on the proceedings and de. terminations of the House. The President must feel, weightily and seriously, this confidence in his discretion ; and the necessity of recurring, for its government, to some known system of rules, that he may neither leave himself free to indulge caprice or passion, nor open to the imputation of them. But to what system of rules is he to recur, as supplementary to those of the Senate ? To this there can be but one answer: to the systems of regulations adopted for the government of some one of the Parliamentary bodies within these States, or of that which has served as a prototype to most of them. This last is the model which we have all studied; while we are little acquainted with the modifications of it in our several States. It is deposited, too, in publications possessed by many, and open to all. Its rules are probably as wisely constructed for governing the debates of a considerative body, and obtaining its true sense, as any which
can become known to us; and the acquiescence of the Senate hitherto under the references to them, has given them the sanction of their approbation.
Considering, therefore, the law of proceedings in the Senate as composed of the precepts of the Constitution, the regulations of the Senate, and where these are silent, of the rules of Parliament, I have here endeavoured to collect and digest so much of these as is called for in ordinary practice, collating the Parliamentary with the Senatorial rules, both where they agree and where they vary. I have done this as well to have them at hand for my own government, as to deposite with the Senate the standard by which I judge and am willing to be judged. I could not doubt the necessity of quoting the sources of my information ; among which, Mr. Hatsel's most valuable book is preeminent; but as he has only treated some