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A settled order of business is, however, necessary for the government of the presiding person, and to restrain individual members from calling up favorite measures, or matters under their special patronage, out of their just turn. It is useful also for directing the discretion of the House, when they are moved to take up a particular matter, to the prejudice of others having priority of right to their attention in the general order of business.
In Senate, the bills and other papers which are in possession of the House, and in a state to be acted on, are arranged every morning, and brought on in the following order.
1. Bills ready for a second reading are read, that they may be referred to Committees, and so be put under way. But if, on their being read, no motion is made for commitment, they are then laid on the table in the general file, to be taken up in their just
2. After twelve o'clock, bills ready for it are put on their passage.
3. Reports in possession of the House, which offer grounds for a bill, are to be taken up, that the bill may
be ordered in.
4. Bills, or other matters before the House, and unfinished on the preceding day, whether taken up in turn, or on special order, are entitled to be resumed and passed on through their present stage.
5. These matters being despatched, for preparing and expediting business, the general file of bills and other papers is then taken up, and each article of it is brought on according to its seniority, reckoned by the date of its first introduction to the House. Reports on bills belong to the dates of their bills.
[The arrangement of the business of the Senate is now as follows:
1. Motions previously submitted.
2. Reports of Committees previously made.
3. Bills from the House of Representatives, and those introduced on leave, which have been read the first time, are read the second time; and, if not re
ferred to a Committee, are considered in Committee of the Whole, and proceeded with as in other cases.
4. After twelve o'clock, engrossed bills of the Senate, and bills of the House of Representatives, on third reading, are put on their passage.
5. If the above are finished before one o'clock, the general file of bills, consisting of those reported from Committees on the second reading, and those reported from Committees after having been referred, are taken up in the order in which they were reported to the Senate by the respective Committees.
6. At one o'clock, if no business be pending, or if no motion be made to proceed to other business, the special orders are called, at the head of which stands the unfinished business of the preceding day.]
In this way we do not waste our time in debating what shall be taken up; we do one thing at a time; follow up a subject while it is fresh, and till it is done with; clear the House of business gradatim as it is brought on, and prevent, to a certain degree, its immense accumulation towards the close of the session.
Arrangement, however, can only take hold of matters in possession of the House. New matter may be moved at any time, when no question is before the House. Such are original motions, and reports on bills. Such are bills from the other House, which are received at all times, and receive their first reading as soon as the question then before the House is disposed of; and bills brought in on leave, which are read first whenever presented. So messages from the other House, respecting amendments to bills, are taken up as soon as the House is clear of a question, unless they require to be printed, for better consideration. Orders of the day may be called for, even when another question is before the House.
SEC. XV. ORDER.
Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings; punish its members for disorderly beha
viour; and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member. Const. I. 5.
In Parliament instances make order,' per Speaker Onslow. 2 Hats. 141. But what is done only by one Parliament, cannot be called custom of Parliament, by Prynne. 1 Grey, 52.
SEC. XVI. ORDER RESPECTING PAPERS. The clerk is to let no journals, records, accounts, or papers, be taken from the table, or out of his custody. 2 Hats. 193, 194.
Mr. Prynne having at a committee of the whole amended a mistake in a bill without order or knowledge of the committee, was reprimanded. 1 Chand. 77.
A bill being missing, the house resolved that a protestation should be made and subscribed by the members 'before Almighty God, and this honourable house, that neither myself nor any other to my knowledge, have taken away, or do at this present conceal a bill entitled, &c. 5 Grey, 202.
After a bill is engrossed, it is put into the speaker's hands, and he is not to let any one have it to look into. Town, col. 202.
SEC. XVII. ORDER IN DEBATE.
When the speaker is seated in his chair, every member is to sit in his place. Scob. 6. 3 Grey, 403.
When any member means to speak, he is to stand up in his place, uncovered, and to address himself, not to the house, or any particular member, but to the speaker, who calls him by his name, that the house may take notice who it is that speaks. Scob. 6. D'Ewes,417. Col. 1. 2 Hats. 77. 4 Grey, 66. 8 Grey, 108. But members who are indisposed may be indulged to speak sitting. 2 Hats. 75. 77. 1 Grey, 195.
In Senate every member when he speaks, shall address the chair standing in his place, and when he has finished shall sit down. Rule 3.
When a member stands up to speak, no question is to be put, but he is to be heard, unless the house overrule him. 4 Grey, 390. 5 Grey, 6. 143.
If two or more rise to speak nearly together, the speaker determines who was first up, and calls him by name, whereupon he proceeds, unless he voluntarily sits down and gives way to the other. But sometimes the house does not acquiesce in the speaker's decision, in which case the question is put, which member was first up?' 2 Hats. 76. Scob. 7. D'Ewes, 434. col. 1, 2.
In the Senate of the United States, the President's decision is without appeal. Their rule is in these words: when two members rise at the same time, the President shall name the person to speak; but in all cases the member who shall first rise and address the chair shall speak first. Rule 5.
No man may speak more than once to the same bill on the same day; or even on another day, if the debate be adjourned. But if it be read more than once in the same day, he may speak once at every reading. Co. 12, 115. Hakew. 148. Scob. 58. 2 Hats, 75. Even a change of opinion does not give a right to be heard a second time. Smyth Comw. L.2. c. 3.Arcan. Parl. 17.
The corresponding rule of Senate is in these words: no member shall speak more than twice in any one debate, on the same day, without leave of the Senate. Rule 4.
But he may be permitted to speak again to clear a matter of fact. 3 Grey, 357. 416. Or merely to explain himself, 2 Hats. 73. in some material part of his speech, ib. 75, or to the manner or words of the question, keeping himself to that only, and not travelling into the merits of it; Memorials in Hakew. 29; or to the orders of the house if they be transgressed, keeping within that line, and not falling into the matter itself. Mem. Hakew. 30, 31.
But if the speaker rises to speak, the member standing up ought to sit down, that he may be first heard. Town. col. 205. Hale parl. 133. Mem. in Hakew. 30, 31. Nevertheless, though the speaker may of right speak to matters of order, and be first heard, he is restrained from speaking on any other subject except where the house have occasion for facts within his knowledge; then he may, with their leave, state the matter of fact. 3 Grey, 38.
No one is to speak impertinently or beside the question, superfluously or tediously. Scob. 31. 33. 2 Hats. 166. 168. Hale parl. 134.
No person is to use indecent language against the proceedings of the house, no prior determination of which is to be reflected on by any member, unless he means to conclude with a motion to rescind it. 2 Hats. 169, 170. Rushw. p. 3. v. 1. fol. 42. But while a proposition under consideration, is still in fieri, though it has even been reported by a committee, reflections on it are no reflections on the house. 9 Grey, 508.
No person, in speaking, is to mention a member then present by his name ; but to describe him by his seat in the house, or who spoke last, or on the other side of the question, &c. Mem. in Hakew. 3. Smyth's Comw. L. 2. c. 3. nor to digress from the matter to fall upon the person; Scob. 31. Hale parl. 133. 2 Hats. 166. by speaking, reviling, nipping, or unmannerly words against a particular member. Smyth Comw. L. 2. c. 3. The consequences of a measure may be reprobated in strong terms; but to arraign the motives of those who propose to advocate it, is a personality, and against order. Qui digreditur a materia ad personam, Mr. Speaker ought to suppress. Ord. Com. 1604. Apr. 19.
When a member shall be called to order by the President or a Senator he shall sit down; and every question of order shall be decided by the President without debate subject to an appeal to the Senate and the President may call for the sense of the Senate on any question of order. "Rule 6.
No member shall speak to another, or otherwise interrupt the business of the Senate, or read any printed paper while the journals or public papers are reading, or when any member is speaking in any debate. Rule 2.
No one is to disturb another in his speech by hissing, coughing, spitting, 6 Grey, 332. Scob. 8. D'Eres, 332. col. 1. 640. col. 2. speaking or whispering to another. Scob. 6. D'Erves, 487. col. 1. nor to stand up or interrupt him; Town. col. 205. Mem. in Hakew, 31,