(From the cover of William Maclay's Journal.)

Each House may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two thirds, expel a member — (Second clause, fifth section, first article on the Constitution of the United States).

Rule 1. The President (of the Senate)should be in the chair within half an hour of the time to which the Senate stands adjourned; and the Senators shall immediately take their seats in a circular order; those from New Hampshire occupying the right of the Chair and those from Georgia the left.

Rule 2. The minutes of the preceding day shall be read before any other business is entered upon; inaccuracies or inelegancies may be corrected or amended; but no reconsideration as to matter of substance shall take place on such reading.

Rule 3. Every Senator presenting a petition, memorial, or other Writing, shall briefly state the import of the same; and every such paper after being read shall be deemed to lie on the table, unless the same is dismissed upon special motion for impropriety or want of decency.

Rule 4. Every motion made and seconded shall be repeated from the Chair and then be open to discussion. The motion, if verbal, shall be put in writing at the request of the President (of the Senate) or any two Senators.

Rule 5. Adoption, rejection, amendment, commitment, or postponement, shall be considered as proper modes of treating business; and in all cases (treaties, returned bills, etc., and the expulsion of a member, excepted) majority of votes shall govern.

Rule 6. Every Senator when speaking shall address himself to the Chair. No Senator shall be shall be named in debate, but may be referred to by mentioning the State he represents or by alluding to his place in the House.

Rule 7. In case of a debate becoming tedious, four Senators may call for the question; or the same number may at any time move for the previous question, viz, "Shall the main question now be put?"


Rule 8. Priority of speaking and all questions of order shall be decided by the President (of the Senate); but either party may appeal to a vote of the House.

Rule 9. The name of the Senator making and of the one who seconds a motion shall be entered on the journals of the House.

Rule 10. No Senator shall speak more than twice on the same subject without leave obtained from the Chair.

Rule 11. Inviolable secrecy shall be observed with respect to all matters transacted in the Senate while the doors are shut, or as often as the same is enjoined from the Chair.

Rule 12. Every member of a committee shall attend the same at the time appointed by the chairman, who shall be the Senator of the most northerly State of those from whom the committee are taken.

Rule 13.When a commitment is agreed upon, the President (of the Senate) shall take the sense of the Senate as to the manner of appointing the committee, whether by motion from the Senators, nomination from the Chair, or by ballot; which shall take place accordingly.

Rule 14. The files of the House shall remain open for the inspection of all the Senators, etc., but no original paper shall be removed from the House without leave obtained for that purpose by the Senate.

Rule 15. The yeas and nays on any question shall be entered on the journals at the desire of one fifth of the Senators present.

Rule 16. These rules shall be engrossed on parchment and hung up in some conspicuous part of the Senate chamber. And every Senator who shall neglect attendance daring a session, absent himself without leave or withdraw for more than a quarter of an hour without permission after a quorum is formed, shall be guilty of disorderly behavior, and his name, together with the nature of the transgression, shall be written on a slip of paper and annexed to the bottom of the rules; there to remain until the Senate, on his application or otherwise, shall take order on the same.

Next | Previous | Contents | Text Version