United States Senate

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The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress which, along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol Building, in Washington, D.C. The composition and powers of the Senate are established by Article One of the United States Constitution. The Senate is composed of senators, each of whom represents a single state in its entirety. Each state, regardless of its population size, is equally represented by two senators who serve staggered terms of six years. There being at present 50 states in the Union, there are currently 100 senators. As the upper chamber of Congress, the Senate has several powers of advice and consent which are unique to it. These include the approval of treaties, and the confirmation of Cabinet secretaries, Supreme Court justices, federal judges, flag officers, regulatory officials, ambassadors, other federal executive officials and other federal uniformed officers. In addition to these, in cases wherein no candidate receives a majority of electors for vice president, the duty falls to the Senate to elect one of the top two recipients of electors for that office.



Furthermore, the Senate has the responsibility of conducting the trials of those impeached by the House. House of Representatives due to its longer terms, smaller size, and statewide constituencies, which historically led to a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere. The presiding officer of the Senate is the vice president of the United States, who is president of the Senate. In the vice president's absence, the president pro tempore, who is customarily the senior member of the party holding a majority of seats, presides over the Senate. In the early 20th century, the practice of majority and minority parties electing their floor leaders began, although they are not constitutional officers. First convened in 1789, the Senate of the United States was formed on the example of the ancient Roman Senate. The name is derived from the senatus, Latin for council of elders (from senex meaning old man in Latin). In England, at this day, https://ellisjshaf.blog.wox.cc/ if elections were open to all classes of people, the property of landed proprietors would be insecure. An agrarian law would soon take place.



If these observations be just, our government ought to secure the permanent interests of the country against innovation. Landholders ought to have a share in the government, to support these invaluable interests, and to balance and check the other. They ought to be so constituted as to protect the minority of the opulent against the majority. The Senate, therefore, ought to be this body; and to answer these purposes, the people ought to have permanency and stability. Article Five of the Constitution stipulates that no constitutional amendment may be created to deprive a state of its equal suffrage in the Senate without that state's consent. The District of Columbia and all other territories are not entitled to representation allowed to vote in either house of Congress; though they do have official non-voting delegates in the House of Representatives, they have zero representation in the Senate. The District of Columbia and Puerto Rico each additionally elect two "shadow senators", but they are officials of their respective local governments and not members of the U.S.



The Senate (not the judiciary) is the sole judge of a senator's qualifications. During its early years, however, the Senate did not closely scrutinize the qualifications of its members. In 1934, Rush D. Holt Sr. was elected to the Senate at the age of 29; he waited until he turned 30 (on the next June 19) to take the oath of office. The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution disqualifies from the Senate any federal or state officers who had taken the requisite oath to support the Constitution, but later engaged in rebellion or aided the enemies of the United States. This provision, which came into force soon after the end of the Civil War, was intended to prevent those who had sided with the Confederacy from serving. That Amendment, however, also provides a method to remove that disqualification: a two-thirds vote of both chambers of Congress. Originally, senators were selected by the state legislatures, not by popular elections.