« PreviousContinue »
of one proposition does not preclude the offering a disferent one. Nor would it change the case were the first motion divided, by putting the question first on striking out, and that negatived. For as putting the whole motion to the question, at once, would not have precluded, the putting the half of it cannot do it.” But if it had been carried affirmatively to strike out the words, and to insert A, it could not afterwards be permitted to strike out A and insert B. The mover of B should have notified while the insertion of A was under debate, that he would move to insert B. In which case, those who preferred it, would join in rejecting A. After A is inserted, however, it may be moved to strike out a portion of the original paragraph, comprehending A, provided the coherence to be struck out, be so substantial as to make this effectively a different proposition. For then it is resolved into the common case of striking out a paragraph after amending it. Nor does any thing forbid a new insertion, instead of A and its coherence. In U. S. senate, Jan. 25, 1798, a motion to postpone until the second Tuesday in February some amendments proposed to the constitution....The words “until the 2d Tuesday in February,” were struck out by way of amendment. Then it was moved to add “until the first day of June.” Objected that it was not in order, as the question should be first put on the longest time; therefore, after a shorter time decided against, a longer cannot be put to question. It was answered, that this rule takes place only in filling blanks for time. But when a specific time stands part of a motion, that may be struck out as well as any other part of the motion; and when struck out, a motion may be received to insert any other. In fact, it is not till they are struck out, and a blank for the time thereby produced, that the rule can begin to operate, by receiving all the propositions for different times, and putting the questions successively on the longest. Otherwise, it would be in the power of the mover, by inserting originally a short time, to preclude the possibility of a longer. For till the short time is struck out, you cannot insert a longer; and if, after it is struck out, you cannot do it, then it cannot be done at all. Suppose the first motion had been to amend by striking out “the 2d Tuesday of February,” and inserting instead thereof, “the 1st of June.” It would have been regular then to divide the question, by proposing first the question to strike out, and then that to insert. Now this is precisely the effect of the present proceeding; only instead of one motion and two questions, there are two motions and two questions, to effect it; the motion being divided as well as the question.
* In the case of a division of the question, and a decision against striking out, I advance doubtingly the opinion here expressed. I find no authority either way; and I know it may be viewed under a different aspect. It may be thought that having decided separately not to strike out the passage, the same question for striking out cannot be o over again, though with a view to a different insertion. Still I think it more reasonable and convenient, to consider the striking out and insertion, as forming one proposition; but should readily yield to any evidence that the contrary is the practice in parliament. -
When the matter contained in two bills, might be better put into one, the manner is to reject the one, and incorporate its matter into another bill by way of amendment. Or, both may be referred to a committee to be made into one bill. 4 Hats. 319. So if the matter of one bill would be better distributed into two, any part may be struck out by way of amendment, and put into a new bill. If a section is to be transposed, a question must be put on striking it out where it stands, and another for inserting it in the place desired.
A bill passed by the one house with blanks. These may be filled up by the other, by way of amendments, returned to the first as such and passed. 3 Hats. 83.
The number prefixed to the section of a bill, being merely a marginal indication, and no part of the text of the bill, the clerk regulates that, the house or committee is only to amend the text.
If a question contain more parts than one, it may be divided into two or more questions. Mem, in Hakew. 29. But not as the right of an individual member, but with the consent of the house. For who is to decide whether a question is complicated or not ? where it is complicated 1 into how many propositions it may be divided ? The fact is, that the only mode of separating a complicated question is, by moving amendments to it; and these must be decided by the house on a question, unless the house orders it to be divided: as on the question, December 2, 1640, making void the election of the knights for Worcester, on a motion, it was resolved, to make two questions of it, to wit, one on each knight. 2 Hats. S5, S6. So wherever there are several names in a question, they may be divided, and put one by one. 9 Grey 444. So 1729, April 17, on an objection that a qestion was complicated, it was separated by amendment. 2 Hats. 79.5.
The soundness of these observations will be evident from the embarrassments produced by the 10th rule of the senate of the United States, which says, “if the question in debate contain several points, any member may have the same divided.”
1798, May 30, the alien bill in quasi-committee. To a section and proviso in the original, had been added two new provisos by way of amendment. On a motion to strike out the section as amended, the question was desired to be divided. To do this, it must be put first on striking out either the former proviso, or some distinct members of the section. But when nothing remains but the last member of the section, and the provisos, they cannot be divided so as to put the last member to question by itself; for the provisos might thus be left standing alone, as exceptions to a rule, when the rule is taken away; or the new provisos might be left to a second question, after having been decided on once before at the same reading ; which is contrary to rule. But the question must be on striking out the last member of the section as amended. This sweeps away the exceptions with the rule, and relieves from inconsistence. A question to be divisible, must comprehend points so distinct and entire, that one of them being taken away, the other may stand entire. But a proviso or exception, without an enacting clause, does not contain an entire point or proposition.
May 31. The same bill being before the senate of the United States....There was a proviso that the bill should not extend, 1. To any foreign minister; nor, 2. to any person to whom the president should give a passport; nor 3. to any alien merchant conforming himself to such regulations as the president shall prescribe, and a division of the question into its simplest elements, was called for. . It was divided into four parts, the 4th taking in the words “conforming himself, &c.” It was objected that the words “any alien merchant,” could not be separated from their modifying words “conforming, &c.” because these words, if left by themselves, contain no substantive idea, will make no sense. But admitting that the divisions of a paragraph into separate questions must be so made as that each part may stand by itself, yet, the house having, on the question, retained the two first divisions, the words “any alien merchant” may be struck out, and their modifying words will then attach themselves to the preceding description of persons, and become a modification of that description.
When a question is divided, after the question on the 1st member, the 2d is open to debate and amendment: because it is a known rule, that a person may rise and speak at any time before the question has been completely decided, by putting the negative, as well as affirmative side. But the question is not completely put, when the vote has been taken on the first member only. One half of the question, both affirmative and negative, remains still to be put. See Execut. Journ. June 25, 1795. The same decision by president Adams.
It may be asked whether the house can be in possession of two motions or propositions at the same time ! So that one of them being decided the other goes to question without being moved anew The answer must be special. When a question is interrupted by a vote of adjournment, it is thereby removed from before the house, and does not stand ipso facto before them at their next meeting: but must come forward in the usual way. So, when it is interrupted by the order of the day. Such other privileged questions also as dispose of the main question, (e.g. the previous question, postponement or commitment,) remove it from before the house. But it is only suspended by a motion to amend, to withdraw, to read papers, or, by a question of order or privilege, and stands again before the house when these are decided. None but the class of privileged questions can be brought forward, while there is another question before the house, the rule being, that when a motion has been made and seconded, no other can be received, except it be a privileged one.
If, on a question for rejection, a bill be retained, it passes of course to its next reading. Hakew. 141. Scob. 42. And a question for a second reading, determined negatively, is a rejection without farther question. 4 Grey 149. And see Elsynge's Memor. 42. in what cases questions are to be taken for rejection.
Where questions are perfectly equivalent, so that the negative of the one amounts to the affirmative of the other, and leaves no other alternative, the decision of the one concludes necessarily the other. 4 Grey 157. Thus the negative of striking out amounts to the affirmative of agreeing ; and therefore, to put a question on agreeing after that on striking out, would be to put the same question in effect twice over. Not so in questions of amendments between the two houses. A motion to recede being negatived, does not amount to a positive vote to insist, because there is another alternative, to wit, to adhere.
A bill originating in one house, is passed by the other with an amendment. A motion in the originating house to agree to the amendment is negatived. Does there result from this a vote of disagreement, or must the question on disagreement be expressly voted 1 The questions