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and may be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members in such manner and under such penalties as each house may provide.

Neither house without the consent of the other shall adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other place than that in which the two houses shall be sitting.

Each house shall keep a journal of its proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such parts as may in their judgments require secrecy, and the yeas and nays of the members of either house shall, at the desire of one-fifth of those present, be entered on the journal.




THE president partakes of the legislative power under wise and cautious qualifications, founded, as the whole frame of our government is founded, on their tendency to promote the interests of the people. He does not originate laws or resolutions; he takes no part in the deliberations on them during their progress; he does not act in relation to them indirectly by advice or interference of any sort, until they have passed both houses: it is only when their operations are concluded that his power begins.

A view of his other functions will belong to other parts of this work, but as preparatory to the whole, it is necessary to set forth the manner of his being elected.

To call an individual from private life in order that he may preside over the interests of millions; to invest him with the various dignified functions, and the extensive patronage which appertain to a station so exalted; to secure as completely as possible, the free exercise of the people's rights; to discourage and prevent the artifices of party, and of individual ambition ; and to accomplish all this by means of a fixed and practicable system which should neither be misunderstood, perverted nor resisted, was a task of no small difficulty.

Hereditary succession has its advocates among the lovers of peace and regularity; and the turbulent elections of Poland have often been quoted by those who did not distinguish between a military aristocracy and a well ordered republic. But we had among ourselves more appropriate examples in the elections of the governors of states, which an experience, short, but satisfactory, pointed out as models that might be carefully consulted.

The immense territory over which this officer was to preside, the population already great, and annually increasing beyond the relative growth of most other countries, the divisions of states, each separate and independent, and the necessity of admitting to some extent the sensations of local identity even in the act of general and consentaneous suffrages, suggested certain combinations of the elective faculty which in a single state would be useless and unwieldy.

To effect these purposes, an excellent theory was adopted. Each state is to appoint in such manner as the legislature may direct, a number of electors equal to the whole number of senators and representatives to which the state may be entitled in congress, and these electors are to choose the President, and Vice President by ballot only.

In thus fixing the proportional number of electors, we perceive a due attention to the preservation of the state character, without impairing the universality of action incident to the election itself.

The people of each state had created their respective legislatures according to the forms of their own constitutions. Those legislatures are to direct in what manner the electors shall be appointed, and there is no restriction upon them in this respect, because it is one of those instances in which it was right to leave a certain free agency to the state.

We have seen that in the appointment of senators, the state acts by the legislature alone. The legislature cannot

divest itself of the duty of choosing senators when the occasion requires it. It cannot devolve the choice upon electors or on the people.

But the duties of the senate though dignified and exalted, are not so various as those of the president. Their participa. tion in the executive business is small and at uncertain intervals. The president comes into daily contact with the people, by his daily executive functions, yet it was conceived that he might feel a greater dependence on the people than the public interests would warrant, if his election sprung immediately from them. On the other hand, if his election depended entirely on the legislatures, it would carry the state character beyond its reasonable bearings, and create a sense of dependency on them alone, instead of a relation to the people at large. Under the old confederation, the president was chosen by the members of the congress, and not by the state legisJatures who appointed those members.

From these coincidences it was found expedient that he should owe his election, neither directly to the people, nor to the legislatures of states, yet that these legislatures should create a select body, to be drawn from the people, who in the most independent and unbiassed manner, should elect the president. As the election would thus in effect become in a certain sense, the combined act of the legislatures and of the people, it was further considered that while the latter were thus brought into action, the state character was further to be maintained, and hence two electors were, at all events, to be secured to each state. Thus as an equal representation in the senate was already secured to each stạte, however small the state might be, a certain degree of respectability and effect was also secured to the smallest state, in the number of electors. This concession to the small states could not, however, be allowed, without allowing it also to the largest, since all are constitutionally equal.

The manner in which these great objects were to be effected is now to be exhibited.

It is directed that the electors shall meet in their respective states. The particular place of meeting is properly to be fixed by the legislature, but it cannot be out of the state: if the legislature should inadvertently or designedly omit to designate the place of meeting, or if any moral or physical cause should render it impossible for the electors to assemble there, nothing appears in the Constitution to prevent them from meeting at a place of their own choice.

The election is to be by ballot, the mode of proceeding best calculated to secure a freedom of choice.

Of the two persons voted for, one at least shall not be an inhabitant of the same state with the electors. The votes being transmitted to the senate were to be opened by its pręsident in the presence of the senate and house of representatives. The person having the greatest number of votes was to be president if such number was a majority of the whole number of electors appointed, and if there was more than one who had such majority and had an equal number of votes, the house of representatives were immediately to choose by ballot one of them for president. If no person had a majority, the house should in like manner choose the president out of the five highest on the list. The votes of the house were to be taken not individually, but by states, the representatives from each state having one vote. A quorum to consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states, and a majority of all the states was necessary for a choice.

The mode of proceeding was somewhat different as to the vice president. After the choice of the president, the person having the greatest number of votes was to be vice president. If there remained two or more who had an equal number of votes, the senate and not the house, were to choose from them by ballot the vice president, and as it is not directed that in this

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