Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Power to Expel

The topic of discussion for this Constitution Monday comes from Article I.5.2: “The House and the Senate shall each have the authority to expel a member for improper behavior by a two-thirds vote.” Each Senator or Representative has the right to keep his seat unless two-thirds of that particular chamber vote to expel him/her.

If either a Senator or Representative shows behavior that is embarrassing to the house, that particular house has the right to expel that person. The ruling was “… the right to expel extends to all cases where the offense is … inconsistent with the trust and duty of a member” according to a decision by the Supreme Court

The Founders thought that a two-thirds vote would provide safety. James Madison wrote that “the right of expulsion was too important to be decided by a bare majority of a quorum.”

If the bad behavior is not considered serious enough for expulsion, the member could be called before the podium for censure or reprimand.

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