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Where the private interests of a member are concerned in a bill or question he is to withdraw. And where such an interest has appeared, his voice has been disallowed, even after a division. In a case so contrary, not only to the laws of decency, but to the fundamental principle of the social compact, which denies to any man to be a judge in his own cause, it is for the honor of the House that this rule of immemorial observance should be strictly adhered to. 2 Hats., 119, 121; 6 Grey, 368.'

No member is to come into the House with his head covered, nor to remove from one place to another with his hat on, nor is to put on his hat in coming in or removing, until he be set down in his place. Scob., 6.

A question of order may be adjourned to give time to look into precedents. 2 Hats., 118.

In Parliament, all decisions of the Speaker may be controlled by the House. 3 Grey, 319.


Of right, the door of the House ought not to be shut, but to be kept by porters, or Sergeants-at-Arms, assigned for that purpose. Mod ten. Parl., 23. [In the Senate.)

Rule XXXV. On a motion made and seconded to close the doors of the Senate, on the discussion of any business which may, in the opinion of a Senator, requiring secrecy, the Presiding Officer shall direct the galleries to be cleared ; and during the discussion of such motion the doors shall remain closed.

The only case where a member has a right to insist on anything, is where he calls for the execution of a subsisting order of the House. Here, there having been already a resolution, any person has a right to insist that the Speaker, or any other whose duty it is, shall carry it into execution; and no debate or delay can be had on it. Thus any member has a right to have the House or gallery cleared of strangers, an order existing for that purpose; or to have the House told when there is not a quorum present. 2 Hats., 87, 129. How far an order of the House is binding, see Hakew., 392.

But where an order is made that any particular matter be taken up on a particular day, there a question is to be put, when it is called for, whether the House will now proceed to that matter? Where orders of the day are on important or interesting matter, they ought not to be proceeded on till an hour at which the House is usually full (which in Senate is at noon. (In the Senate.)

Rule X. 1. Any subject may, by a vote of two-thirds of the Senators present, be made a special order; and when the time so fixed for its consideration arrives, the Presiding Officer shall lay it before the Senate, unless there be unfinished business of the preceding day; and if it is not finally disposed of on that day, it shall take its place on the Calendar of Special Orders, in the order of time at which it was made special, unless it shail become by adjournment the unfinished business.

2. When two or more special orders have been made for the same time they shall have precedence according to the order in which they were severally assigned, and that order shall only be changed by direction of the Senate.

And all motions to change such order, or to proceed to the consideration of other business, shall be decided without debate.

Orders of the day may be discharged at any time, and a new one made for a different day. 3 Grey, 48, 313.

When a session is drawing to a close, and the important bills are all brought in, the House, in order to prevent interruption by further unimportant bills, sometimes comes to a resolution that no new bill be brought in, except it be sent from the other House. 3 Grey, 156.

All orders of the House determine with the session; and one taken under such an order may, after the session is ended, be discharged on a habeas corpus. Raym., 120; Facob's L. D. by Ruffhead; Parliament, i Lel'., 165, Pitchara's case'.

Where the Constitution authorizes each House to determine the rules of its proceedings, it must mean in those cases (legislative, executive, or judiciary) submitted to them by the Constitution, or in something relating to these, and necessary toward their execution. But orders and resolutions are sometimes entered in the journals having no relation to these, such as acceptances of invitations to attend orations, to take part in procession, &c. These must be understood to be merely conventional among those who are willing to participate in the ceremony, and are therefore, perhaps, improperly placed among the records of the House.


A petition prays something. A remonstrance has no prayer. I Grey, 28.

Petitions must be subscribed by the petitioners, Scob., 87; L. Parl., C. 22; 9 Grey, 362, unless they are attending, i Grey, 401, or unable to sign, and averred by a member, 3 Grey, 418. But a petition not subscribed, but which the member presenting it affirmed to be all in the handwriting of the petitioner, and his name written in the beginning, was on the question (March 14, 1800) received by the Senate. The averment of a member, or of somebody without doors, that they know the handwriting of the petitioners, is necessary, if it be questioned. 6 Grey, 36. It must be presented by a member—not by the petitioners, and must be opened by him holding it in his hand. 10 Grey, 57. in the Senate.)

Rule I'll-Clauses 3, 4. 3. Every petition or memorial shall be referred, without putting the question, unless objections to such reference is made; in which case all motions for the reception or reference of such petition, memorial, or other paper shall be put in the order in which the same shall be made, and shall not be open to amendment, except to add instructions.

4. Before any petition or memorial shall be received, it shall be signed by the petitioner or memorialist, and a brief statement of its contents made by the Presiding Officer or Senator presenting it. But no petition or memorial or other paper signed by citizens or subjects of a foreign power shall be received, unless the same be transmitted to the Senate by the President.

Regularly a motion for receiving it must be made and seconded, and a question put, whether it shall be received ? but a cry from the House of “received,” or even its silence, dispenses with the formality of this question. It is then to be read at the table and disposed of.


When a motion has been made, it is not to be put to the question or debated until it is seconded. Scob., 21.

It is then, and not till then, in possession of the House, and cannot be withdrawn but by leave of the House. It is to be put into writing, if the House or Speaker require it, and must be read to the House by the Speaker as often as any member desires it for his information. 2 Hats., 82. [In the Senate. 1

Rule XXI. 1. All motions shall be reduced to writing, if desired by the Presiding Officer or by any Senator, and shall be read before the same shall be debated.

2. Any motion or resolution may be withdrawn or modified by the mover at any time before a decision, amendment, or ordering of the yeas and nays, except a motion to reconsider, which shall not be withdrawn without lave.

It might be asked whether a motion for adjournment or for the orders of the day can be made by one member while another is speaking? It can not. When two members offer to speak, he who rose first is to be heard, and it is a breach of order in another to interrupt him, unless by calling him to order if he departs from it. And the question of order being decided, he is still to be heard through. A call for adjournment, or for the order of the day, or for the question, by gentlemen from their seats, is not a motion. No motion can be made without rising and addressing the Chair. Such calls are themselves breaches of order, which, though the member who has risen may respect, as an expression of impatience of the House against further debate, yet, if he chooses, he has a right to go on.


When the House commands, it is by an “order.” But fact, principles, and their own opinions and purposes, are expressed in the form of resolutions.

A resolution for an allowance of money to the clerks being moved, it was objected to as not in order, and so ruled by the Chair; but on appeal to the Senate (i. e., a call for their sense by the President, on account of doubt in his mind, according to Rule XX, clause 2), the decision was overruled. Four. Senate, June 1, 1796. I presume the doubt was, whether an allowance of money could be made otherwise than by bill.


[In the Senate.)

Rule XIV-Clause 2. 2. Every bill and joint resolution shall receive three readings previous to its passage ; which readings shall be on three different days, unless the Senate unanimously direct otherwise; and the Presiding Officer shall give notice at each reading whether it be the first, second, or third.


When a member desires to bring in a bill on any subject, he states to the House in general terms the causes for doing it, and concludes by moving for leave to bring in a bill, entitled, &c. Leave being given, on the question, a committee is appointed to prepare and bring in the bill. The mover and seconder are always appointed of this committee, and one or more in addition. Hakew., 132; Scob., 40. It is to be presented fairly written, without any erasure or interlineation, or the Speaker may refuse it. Scob., 41; 1 Grey, 82, 84. [In the Senate.)

Rule XIV-Clause 1. 1. Whenever a bill or joint resolution shall be offered, its introduction shall, if objected to, be postponed for one day.


When a bill is first presented, the Clerk reads it at the table, and hands it to the Speaker, who, rising, states to the House the title of the bill; that this is the first time of reading it; and the question will be, whether it shall be read a second time? then sitting down to give an opening for objections. If none be made, he rises again, and puts the question, whether it sliall be read a second time? Hakew., 137, 141. A bill cannot be amended on the first reading, 6 Grey, 286; nor is it usual for it to be opposed then, but it may be done, and rejected. DEwes, 335, col. 1; 3 Hats., 198.

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