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main in statu quo, and when they meet again, be the term ever so distant, are resumed without any fresh commencement, at the point at which they were left. 1 Lev. 165. Lex. Parl. c. 2. 1 Ro. Rep. 29. 4 Inst. 7, 27, 28. Hutt. 61. 1 Mod, 252. Ruff h. Jac. L. Dict. Parliament. 1 Blackst. 186. Their whole session is considered in law but as one day, and has relation to the first day thereof. Bro. Abr. Parliament, 86.
Committees may be appointed to sit during a recess by adjournment, but not by prorogation. 5 Grey, 374. 9 Grey, 350. i Chandler, 50. Neither House can continue any portion of itself in any parliamentary function, beyond the end of the session, without the consent of the other two branches. When done, it is by a bill constituting them commissioners for the particular purpose.
[Congress separate in two ways only, to wit, by adjournment, or dissolution by the efflux of their time. What then constitutes a session with them? A dissolution closes one session, and the meeting of the new Congress begins another. The Constitution authorises the President, “on extraordinary occasions, to convene both Houses, or either of them." I. 3. If convened by the President's proclamation, this must begin a new session, and of course determine the preceding one to have been a session. So if it meets under the clause of the Constitution, which says, “ the Congress shall assemble at least once in every year, and such meeting shall be on the first Monday in December, unless they shall by law appoint a different day.” I. 4. This must begin a new session. For even if the last adjournment was to this day, the act of adjournment is merged in the higher authority of the Constitution, and the meeting will be under that, and not under their adjournment. So far we have fixed landmarks for determining sessions. In other cases it is declared by the joint vote authorising the President of the Senate and the Speaker to close the session on a fixed day, which is usually in the following form: “Resolved, by the Senate and House of Repre
sentatives, that the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives be authorised to close the present session by adjourning their respective Houses on the
day of —,"] When it was said above that all matters depending before Parliament were discontinued by the determination of the session, it was not meant for judiciary cases, depending before the House of Lords, such as impeachments, appeals and writs of error. These stand continued, of course, to the next session. Raym. 120, 381. Ruffh. Jac. L. D. Parliament.
[Impeachments stand in like manner, continued before the Senate of the United States.]
[The President of the United States has power, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, to make treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur. Const. U. S. II. 2.]
[Resolved, that all confidential communications made by the President of the United States to the Senate, shall be, by the members thereof, kept secret; and that all treaties, which may hereafter be laid before the Senate, shall also be kept secret; until the Senate shall, by their resolution, take off the injunction of secrecy. Rule 38.]
Treaties are legislative acts. A treaty is the law of the land. It differs from other laws only as it must have the consent of a foreign nation, being but a contract with respect to that nation. In all countries, I believe, except England, treaties are made by the legislative power: and there also, if they touch the laws of the land, they must be approved by Parliament. Ware v. Hylton. 3 Dallas Rep. 223. It is acknowledged, for instance, that the King of Great Britain cannot, by a treaty, make a citizen of an alien. Vattel, 6. 1, C. 19, sec. 214. An act of Parliament was necessary to validate the American treaty of 1783. And abundant examples of such
acts can be cited. In the case of the treaty of Utrecht, in 1712, the commercial articles required the concurrence of Parliament. But a bill brought in for that purpose was rejected. France, the other contracting party, suffered these articles, in practice, to be not insisted on, and adhered to the rest of the treaty. 4 Russel's Hist. Mod. Europe, 457. 2 Smollet, 242, 246.
[By the Constitution of the United States, this department of legislation is confided to two branches only of the ordinary legislature ; the President originating, and the Senate having a negative. To what subjects this power extends, has not been defined in detail by the Constitution; nor are we entirely agreed among ourselves. 1. It is admitted that it must concern the foreign nation, party to the contract, or it would be a mere nullity, res inter alios acta. 2. By the general power to make treaties, the Constitution must have intended to comprehend only those subjects which are usually regulated by treaty, and cannot be otherwise regulated. 3. It must have meant to except out of these the rights reserved to the States; for surely the President and Senate cannot do by treaty what the whole Government is interdicted from doing in any way. 4. And also to except those subjects of legislation in which it gave a participation to the House of Representatives. This last exception is denied by some, on the ground that it would leave very little matter for the treaty power to work on.
The less the better, say others. The Constitution thought it wise to restrain the executive and Senate from entangling and embroiling our affairs with those of Europe. Besides, as the negotiations are carried on by the executive alone, the subjecting to the ratification of the representatives, such articles as are within their participation, is no more inconvenient than to the Senate. But the ground of this exception is denied as unfounded. For examine, e. g. the treaty of commerce with France, and it will be found that, out of 31 articles, there are not more than small portions of two or three of them which would not still remain as subjects of treaties, untouched by these exceptions.]
[Treaties being declared, equally with the laws of the United States, to be the supreme law of the land, it is understood that an act of the legislature alone can declare them infringed and rescinded. This was accordingly the process adopted in the case of France in 1798.]
[It has been the usage for the executive, when it communicates a treaty to the Senate for their ratification, to communicate also the correspondence of the negotiators. This having been omitted in case of the Prussian treaty, was asked by a vote of the House, of Feb. 12, 1800, and was obtained. And in Dec. 1800, the convention of that year between the United States and France, with the report of the negotiations by the envoys, but not their instructions, being laid before the Senate, the instructions were asked for and communicated by the President.]
[The mode of voting on questions of ratification is by nominal call.]
[Whenever a treaty shall be laid before the Senate for ratification, it shall be read a first time for information only ; when no motion to reject, ratify, or modify the whole, or any part, shall be received. Its second reading shall be for consideration, and on a subsequent day, when it shall be taken up as in a committee of the whole, and every one shall be free to move a question on any particular article, in this form, “ Will the Senate advise and consent to the ratification of this article ?” or to propose amendments thereto, either by inserting or by leaving out words, in which last case the question shall be, “ Shall the words stand part of the article ?" And in
every of the said cases, the concurrence of two-thirds of the Senators present shall be requisite to decide affirmatively. And, when through the whole, the proceedings shall be stated to the House, and questions be again severally put thereon for confirmation, or new ones proposed, requiring in like manner a concurrence of two-thirds for whatever is retained or inserted.] [The votes so confirmed shall, by the House, or a com
mitee thereof, be reduced into the form of a ratification, with or without modifications, as may have been decided, and shall be proposed on a subsequent day, when every one shall again be free to move amendments, either by inserting or leaving out words; in which last case the question shall be, “Shall the words stand part of the resolution ?" And in both cases the concurrence of two-thirds shall be requisite to carry the affirmative; as well as on the final question to advise and consent to the ratification in the form agreed to.
Rule 37.] [When any question may have been decided by the Senate, in which two-thirds of the members present are necessary to carry the affirmative, any member who voted on that side which prevailed in the question, may be at liberty to move for a reconsideration; and a motion for reconsideration shall be decided by a majority of votes.
[The House of Representatives shall have the sole power of impeachment. Const. U. S. I. 3.]
[The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: and no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the members present. Judgment in cases of impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honour, trust, or profit under the United States. But the party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment, according to law. Const. I. 3.]
[The President, Vice President, and all civil officers of the United States, shall be removed from office on impeachment for, and conviction of, treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanours. Const. II. 4.]