Posted by: schmoffly | March 31, 2010

Article 1, Section 3

Moving on with the Constitution.  Caitlin and I thought there was a lot of wisdom in this article.  For example, the part about the rotating “classes” in the Senate so that only a 1/3 of the Senate would be new every year and there would always be 2/3 left that knew what was going on.  What great foresight our founding fathers had!

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, (chosen by the Legislature thereof,) for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote. Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; (and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.)

This is the part I mentioned in the intro.  The parts in red were changed by the 17th Amendment, Articles 1 and 2, respectively.  I like how you can’t delete anything in The Constitution, but only add.  It really shows how America has evolved over the years.

No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

The minimum age of a Senator is 30 and he has to be live in the state he represents.  This is up 5 years from the House.  Maybe because the Senate has a little more power?  I guess I will find out as I keep going through this.  The average age of a Senator these days is a little over 63 years old.  The spectrum is quite large however as there is one senator that is 92 (Robert Byrd, Democrat from WV) and ten in their fourties with John Sununu, a Republican from New Hampshire being the youngest at 40 on the nose.

The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

So, on a 50/50 vote, the Vice President can break a tie.  Very interesting.

The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.

If the Vice President is unable to be President of the Senate, the Senate can choose someone to be President.

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.

The Senate is the only body capabale of impeaching a President and if they try, it takes a 2/3 vote to make it happen.

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, 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.

An impeachment trial can only impeach and nothing else.  However, a seperate trial may be conducted concerning the events that led to the impeachment trial (whether the impeachment was successful or not, it seems) 

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