Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution established the popular election of United States Senators by the people of the states. The amendment supersedes Article I, §3, Clauses 1 and 2 of the Constitution, under which senators were elected by state legislatures, it alters the procedure for filling vacancies in the Senate, allowing for state legislatures to permit their governors to make temporary appointments until a special election can be held. The amendment was proposed by the 62nd Congress in 1912 and became part of the Constitution on April 8, 1913 on ratification by three-fourths of the state legislatures. Sitting Senators were not affected by the Amendment's provisions until their existing terms expired, so the Amendment took six years to implement; the transition began with two special elections in 1913 and 1914 - the first in Maryland and the second in Alabama. The transition began in earnest with the November 1914 election, was complete on 4 March 1919 when the Senators chosen at the November 1918 election took office.
The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, elected by the people thereof, for six years. The electors in each State shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the State legislatures; when vacancies happen in the representation of any State in the Senate, the executive authority of such State shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, That the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct. This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution. Under Article I, § 3, Clauses 1 and 2 of the Constitution, each state legislature elected its state's senators for a six-year term; each state, regardless of size, is entitled to two senators as part of the Connecticut Compromise between the small and large states.
This contrasted with the House of Representatives, a body elected by popular vote, was described as an uncontroversial decision. There were many advantages to the original method of electing senators. Prior to the Constitution, a federal body was one where states formed nothing more than permanent treaties, with citizens retaining their loyalty to their original state. However, under the new Constitution, the central government was granted more power than before. Additionally, the longer terms and avoidance of popular election turned the Senate into a body that could counter the populism of the House. While the Representatives operated in a two-year direct election cycle, making them accountable to their constituents, the senators could afford to "take a more detached view of issues coming before Congress". State legislatures retained the theoretical right to "instruct" their senators to vote for or against proposals, thus giving the states both direct and indirect representation in the federal government.
The Senate was part of a formal bicameralism, with the members of the Senate and House responsible to distinct constituencies. Members of the Constitutional Convention considered the Senate to be parallel to the British House of Lords as an "upper house", containing the "better men" of society, but improved upon as they would be conscientiously chosen by the upper houses of state republican legislatures for fixed terms, not inherited for life as in the British system, subject to a monarch's arbitrary expansion, it was hoped that they would provide abler deliberation and greater stability than the House of Representatives due to the senators' status. According to Judge Jay Bybee of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, those in favor of popular elections for senators believed that two primary problems were caused by the original provisions: legislative corruption and electoral deadlocks. There was a sense that senatorial elections were "bought and sold", changing hands for favors and sums of money rather than because of the competence of the candidate.
Between 1857 and 1900, the Senate investigated three elections over corruption. In 1900, for example, William A. Clark had his election voided after the Senate concluded that he had bought votes in the Montana legislature, but analysts Bybee and Todd Zywicki believe this concern was unfounded. In more than a century of legislative elections of U. S. senators, only ten cases were contested for allegations of impropriety. Electoral deadlocks were another issue; because state legislatures were charged with deciding whom to appoint as senators, the system relied on their ability to agree. Some states could not, thus delayed sending representatives to Congress. Deadlocks started to become an issue in the 1850s, with a deadlocked Indiana legislature allowing a Senate seat to sit vacant for two years. Between 1891 and 1905, 46 elections were deadlocked across 20 states; the business of holding elections cause
John Davis (Massachusetts governor)
John Davis was an American lawyer and politician from Massachusetts. He spent 25 years in public service, serving in both houses of the United States Congress and for three non-consecutive years as Governor of Massachusetts; because of his reputation for personal integrity he was known as "Honest John" Davis. Born in Northborough, Davis attended Yale College before studying law in Worcester, where he established a successful law practice, he spent 10 years in the United States House of Representatives as a National Republican, where he supported protectionist tariff legislation. He won election as Governor of Massachusetts in a three-way race in 1833, decided by the state legislature. After two terms he was elected to the United States Senate, where he served most of one term, resigning early in 1841 after he was once again elected governor, his second term as governor was undistinguished, but he split with fellow Whig Daniel Webster over a variety of issues, lost the 1843 election to Democrat Marcus Morton.
He was reelected to the Senate in 1845, where he served until 1851. He opposed the Mexican–American War, worked to prevent the extension of slavery to the territories, although he did not take a hard line on the matter, voting for most of the provisions of the Compromise of 1850, he retired from public service in 1853, died the next year. John Davis was born in Massachusetts to Deacon Isaac Davis and Anna Davis, he attended local schools and Leicester Academy before attending Yale College. He graduated in 1812, studied law with Worcester lawyer Francis Blake, gaining admission to the bar three years later, he was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1821. Davis first practiced law in Spencer, but soon returned to Worcester, where he took over Blake's practice, he was in partnership with Levi Lincoln, Jr. before the latter was appointed to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 1824. Davis entered politics in 1824, winning election to the United States Congress, he represented Massachusetts from 1825 to 1833 in the House of Representatives in the 19th, 20th, 21st, 22nd and 23rd Congresses.
He supported John Quincy Adams in his successful bid for the presidency, favored conservative fiscal policies. In keeping with the state's industrial character, he favored protectionist tariff legislation, he opposed the policies of President Andrew Jackson, was politically aligned with Henry Clay, although he was against Clay's proposed compromise tariff of 1833. In 1833 Davis was encouraged by National Republican Party leaders to run for Governor of Massachusetts, against former President John Quincy Adams, running on the Anti-Masonic ticket, Democrat Marcus Morton, his political support came from textile interests and a faction of the National Republicans led by Abbott Lawrence, as well as outgoing Governor Levi Lincoln, Jr. In the election Davis gained a plurality of votes, but not the majority, required; as a result, the state legislature decided the election, choosing Davis when Adams withdrew, preferring him over Morton. The Whig-controlled legislature did nothing to reward the Anti-Masons for Adams's move, breaking up any chance that the two parties would form a working relationship.
Davis was reelected in 1834, aided by a general dislike in Massachusetts for President Jackson's attacks on the Second Bank of the United States. During these two terms, Davis made no particular initiatives of his own, continuing Lincoln's business-friendly fiscal and economic policies; the state continued expanding its transportation infrastructure and industry. Senator Nathaniel Silsbee, whose term ended in 1835, decided not to run for reelection. Davis was approached by Whig leader Daniel Webster about running for the seat in December 1834, as part of a bid to oppose Adams, who had announced his interest in the seat; the idea was that Davis, a strong candidate, would be positioned against Adams in the vote, which would be made by the state legislature, while Edward Everett would have the opportunity to run for governor when Davis vacated that seat. The state house and senate deadlocked on the two choices until a speech by Adams in Congress arguing in favor of Jackson's foreign policies alarmed enough senators to change their votes in favor of Davis.
The deadlock was not resolved until February 1835. Everett went on to win the governor's seat in the next election. Webster, in exchange for his advocacy on behalf of Davis, expected Davis's faction in the Whig Party to support him in a future bid for the presidency. Davis's term in the Senate was unexceptional, except for the notably hard line he took on the question of the nation's northeastern boundary; this dispute with the United Kingdom concerned the boundary between Maine and the British province of New Brunswick, had only been resolved after the 1794 Jay Treaty. In the 1830s both sides pushed development into the disputed area. Massachusetts, which Maine had been a part of prior to 1820, maintained a property interest in some of the disputed land. In 1836 Davis
Whig Party (United States)
The Whig Party was a political party active in the middle of the 19th century in the United States. Four presidents belonged to the party while in office, it emerged in the 1830s as the leading opponent of Jacksonian democracy, pulling together former members of the National Republican and the Anti-Masonic Party. It had some links to the upscale traditions of the long-defunct Federalist Party. Along with the rival Democratic Party, it was central to the Second Party System from the early 1840s to the mid-1860s, it formed in opposition to the policies of President Andrew Jackson and his Democratic Party. It became a formal party within his second term, receded influence after 1854. In particular terms, the Whigs supported the supremacy of Congress over the presidency and favored a program of modernization and economic protectionism to stimulate manufacturing, it appealed to entrepreneurs, planters and the emerging urban middle class, but had little appeal to farmers or unskilled workers. It included many active Protestants and voiced a moralistic opposition to the Jacksonian Indian removal.
Party founders chose the "Whig" name to echo the American Whigs of the 18th century who fought for independence. The political philosophy of the American Whig Party was not related to the British Whig party. Historian Frank Towers has specified a deep ideological divide: The Whig Party nominated several presidential candidates in 1836. General William Henry Harrison of Ohio was nominated in 1840, former Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky in 1844, General Zachary Taylor of Louisiana in 1848, General Winfield Scott of New Jersey in 1852 and the last nominee, former President Millard Fillmore from New York in 1856. In its two decades of existence, the Whig Party had two of its candidates and Taylor, elected president and both died in office. John Tyler succeeded to the presidency after Harrison's death in 1841, but was expelled from the party that year. Millard Fillmore, who became President after Taylor's death in 1850, was the last Whig President; the party fell apart because of internal tension over the expansion of slavery to the territories.
With deep fissures in the party on this question, the anti-slavery faction prevented the nomination for a full term of its own incumbent President Fillmore in the 1852 presidential election—instead, the party nominated General Scott. Most Whig Party leaders quit politics or changed parties; the Northern voter base gravitated to the new Republican Party. In the South, most joined the Know Nothing Party, which unsuccessfully ran Fillmore in the 1856 presidential election, by which time the Whig Party had become defunct having endorsed Millard Fillmore's candidacy; some former Whigs became Democrats. The Constitutional Union Party experienced significant success from conservative former Whigs in the Upper South during the 1860 presidential election. Whig ideology as a policy orientation persisted for decades, played a major role in shaping the modernizing policies of the state governments during Reconstruction; the name "Whig" repeated the term that Patriots used to refer to themselves during the American Revolution.
It indicated hostility to the king. Despite the identical name it did not directly derive from the British Whig Party; the American Whigs were modernizers who saw President Andrew Jackson as "a dangerous man on horseback"—like a king—with a "reactionary opposition" to the forces of social and moral modernization. The Democratic-Republicans who formed the Whig Party, led by Kentucky Senator Henry Clay, drew on a Jeffersonian tradition of compromise, balance in government and territorial expansion combined with national unity and support for a Federal transportation network and domestic manufacturing. Casting their enemy as "King Andrew", they sought to identify themselves as modern-day opponents of governmental overreaching. Despite the apparent unity of Jefferson's Democratic-Republicans from 1800 to 1824, the American people preferred partisan opposition to popular political agreement; as Jackson purged his opponents, vetoed internal improvements and killed the Second Bank of the United States, alarmed local elites fought back.
In 1831, Henry Clay started planning a new party. He defended national rather than sectional interests. Clay's plan for distributing the proceeds from the sale of lands in the public domain among the states was intended to serve the nation by providing the states with funds for building roads and canals, which would stimulate growth and knit the sections together. However, his Jacksonian opponents distrusted the federal government and opposed all federal aid for internal improvements and they again frustrated Clay's plan. Jacksonians promoted opposition to the National Bank and internal improvements and support of egalitarian democracy, state power and hard money; the Tariff of Abominations of 1828 had outraged Southern feelings—the South's leaders held that the high duties on foreign imports gave an advantage to the North. Clay's own high tariff schedule of 1832 further disturbed them as did his stubborn defense of high duties as necessary to his American System. However, Clay moved to pass the Compromise of 1833, which met Southern complaints by a gradual reduction of the rates on imports to a maximum of twenty percent.
Controlling the Senate for a while, Whigs passed a censure motion denouncing Jackson's arrogant assumption of executive power in the face of the true will of the people as represented by Congress. The Whig Party began to take shape in 1833. Clay had run as a National Republican against J
North Carolina General Assembly
The North Carolina General Assembly is the bicameral legislature of the State government of North Carolina. The legislature consists of two chambers: the the House of Representatives; the General Assembly meets in the North Carolina Legislative Building in Raleigh, North Carolina, United States. The General Assembly drafts and legislates the state laws of North Carolina known as the General Statutes; the General Assembly is a bicameral legislature, consisting of the North Carolina House of Representatives and the North Carolina Senate. The House has 120 members, while the Senate has 50. There are no term limits for either chamber; the North Carolina legislature traces its roots to the first assembly for the "County of Albemarle,", convened in 1665 by Governor William Drummond. Albemarle County was the portion of the British colony of Carolina that would become North Carolina. From 1666 to 1697, the Governor, his council, representatives of various precincts and towns, elected by male freeholders, sat together as a unicameral legislature.
By 1697, this evolved into a bicameral body, with the Governor and his council as the upper house, the House of Burgesses as the elected lower house. The House, sometimes known as "the Assembly," could only meet when called by the Governor, but it was allowed to set its own rules and to elect its own Speaker. According to one early compilation of the "Laws of North Carolina", the first "General Biennial Assembly" was held "at the House of Capt. Richard Sanderson, at Little-River begun on the 17th day of November, 1715 and continued by several Adjournments, until the 19th Day of January, 1715." At that session the Assembly adopted many of the laws of England that remained in effect through most of the 20th Century. Notable in this category is the Statute of Elizabeth or the Statute of Frauds, not repealed until the General Assembly adopted the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act in July 1997; the House controlled the salary of the Governor, withheld that salary when the Governor displeased a majority of the House.
Conflicts between the Governor and the legislature were frequent. In 1774 and 1775, the people of the colony elected a provincial Congress, independent of the royal governor, as the American Revolution began. Most of its members were members of what would be the last House of Burgesses. There were five Provincial Congresses; the fifth Congress approved the first constitution. With the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the United States became an independent nation with different legislatures in each part of the colony; because of the history of distrust of the executive, the constitution established the General Assembly, as it was now called, as the most powerful organ of the state. The bicameral legislature, whose members would all be elected by the people, would itself elect all the officers of the executive and judicial branches; as William S. Powell wrote in North Carolina: A History, "The legislative branch henceforth would have the upper hand; the governor would be the creature of the assembly, elected by it and removable by it....
The governor could not take any important step without the advice and consent of the'council of state,' and he had no voice in the appointment or removal of." This constitution was not submitted to a vote of the people. The Congress adopted it and elected Richard Caswell, the last president of the Congress, as acting Governor until the new legislature was elected and seated; the new General Assembly, which first convened in April 1777, consisted of a Senate, which had one member from each county, a House of Commons, which had two members representing each county, plus one each from certain towns. Only land-owning, Protestant men could serve; the constitution provided for free men of color. The 9th Amendment on this constitution states, "That no freeman shall be convicted of any crime, but by the unanimous verdict of a jury of good lawful men, in open court, as heretofore used." In the early 19th century, free men of color with sufficient property were allowed to vote. Following Nat Turner's slave rebellion of 1831, the state legislature passed more restrictive laws, making it illegal to teach a slave how to read or write.
They narrowed rights of free people of color, rescinding their franchise and the right to bear arms, forbidding them from attending school or learning to read and write, as well as forbidding them from preaching in public. In 1835, the constitution was amended to make the Governor elected by the people, but the legislature elected all other officials, including US Senators. Amendments set the number of senators at 50 and the number of commoners at 120. Senators were to be elected from districts representing equal numbers of citizens, rather than by geographic counties. Members of the House were still elected by county, but more populous counties were entitled to more representatives. In 1868, a new constitution was passed by the Reconstruction era legislature, a biracial body dominated by Republicans, it changed the name of the House of Commons to the House of Representatives. It established the office of Lieutenant Governor; the Speaker of the Senate was the constitutional successor to the Governor in case of death or resignation.
Property qualifications for holding office were abolished in order to enlarge opportunity. The legislature made executive officers and judg
William Alexander Graham
William Alexander Graham was a United States Senator from North Carolina from 1840 to 1843, a Senator in the Confederate States Senate from 1864 to 1865, the 30th Governor of North Carolina from 1845 to 1849 and U. S. Secretary of the Navy from 1850 to 1852, under President Millard Fillmore, he was the Whig Party nominee for vice-president in 1852 on a ticket with General Winfield Scott. Graham was born at Vesuvius Furnace near North Carolina, his Scots-Irish grandfather James Graham was born in Drumbo, County Down, Northern Ireland and settled in Chester County in the Province of Pennsylvania. William A. Graham graduated from Pleasant Retreat Academy and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a member of the Dialectic Society, he studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1825, commenced practice in Hillsborough. From 1833 to 1840 Graham was a member of the North Carolina House of Commons from Orange County, serving twice as speaker. In 1840 Graham was elected as a Whig to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Robert Strange, served from November 25, 1840, to March 3, 1843.
In the Twenty-seventh Congress he was chairman of the Senate Committee on Claims. His older brother, James Graham, had been representing North Carolina in the House since 1833. From 1845 to 1849 Graham was Governor of North Carolina. Having declined appointments as ambassador to Spain and Russia in 1849, he was appointed Secretary of the Navy in the cabinet of President Millard Fillmore in 1850, served until 1852. In the 1852 presidential election he was the unsuccessful Whig nominee for vice president, as Winfield Scott's running mate; the ticket only carried 42 electoral votes from the four states of Kentucky, Massachusetts and Vermont. After returning from Washington to North Carolina, he was a member of the state senate from 1854 to 1866, senator in the Confederate Senate from 1864 to 1865. In April 1865, with the Confederacy near defeat, Graham led a delegation that included another former governor, David Swain, to ask Union General William T. Sherman for a truce so that the state's capital, might be spared violence and destruction.
Sherman agreed. In 1866 Graham was once again elected to the United States Senate, but because North Carolina had not yet been readmitted to the Union, he could not present his credentials. From 1867 to 1875 he was a member of the board of trustees of the Peabody Fund, which provided educational assistance to the post-Civil War South. From 1873 to 1875 he was an arbitrator in the boundary line dispute between Maryland, he died in Saratoga Springs, New York, is buried in the Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Hillsborough. The United States Navy ship, USS Graham, the World War II Liberty ship SS William A. Graham, the city of Graham, North Carolina were all named for him, as was Graham County, North Carolina. Montrose Gardens, located in Hillsborough, North Carolina, is one of Graham's former estates and still features some of the structures Graham and his family had built on the property, he lived in the Nash-Hooper House at Hillsborough from 1869 until 1875. The house was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1971.
One of Graham's sons named William A. Graham, became a state legislator and state agriculture commissioner. Two others and John became politicians, while a daughter, married Walter Clark. In 1842, John H. Hewitt dedicated The Old Family Clock, to Mrs. W. A. Graham. United States Congress. "William Alexander Graham". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
Willie Person Mangum
Willie Person Mangum was a U. S. Senator from the state of North Carolina between 1831 and 1836 and between 1840 and 1853, he was one of the founders and leading members of the Whig party, was a candidate for president in 1836 as part of the unsuccessful Whig strategy to defeat Martin Van Buren by running four candidates with local appeal in different regions of the country. He is, as of 2018, the only major-party presidential nominee to have been a North Carolinian at the time of his nomination. Mangum was born in North Carolina, to a family of the planter class, he was the son of William Person Mangum. In his youth, he attended the respected private school in Raleigh run by a free black, they had a long correspondence. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1815. Mangum entered politics, he was elected to the United States House of Representatives, serving from 1823 to 1826. After an interlude as a superior court judge, he was elected by the legislature as a Democrat to the Senate from North Carolina in 1830.
Mangum's stay in the Democratic Party was short. He opposed President Andrew Jackson on most of the major issues of the day, including the protective tariff and the Bank of the United States. In 1834, Mangum declared himself to be a "Whig", two years he resigned his Senate seat. Due to a lack of organizational cohesion in the new Whig Party during the 1836 election, the Whigs put forward four presidential candidates: Daniel Webster in Massachusetts, William Henry Harrison in the remaining Northern and Border States, Hugh White in the middle and lower South, Mangum in South Carolina; some optimistic Whigs foresaw the nomination of several candidates resulting in denying a majority of electoral votes to any one candidate and throwing the election into the House of Representatives, much like what occurred in 1824, where Whig representatives could coalesce around a single candidate. This possibility, did not come to fruition and Democratic candidate Martin Van Buren won the election with an outright majority of electoral votes.
The legislature of South Carolina gave Mangum its 11 electoral votes. After a four-year absence, Mangum served two more terms in the Senate, where he was an important ally of Henry Clay. In 1842, he succeeded Samuel L. Southard as president pro tempore of the Senate, during a vice presidential vacancy. Upon assuming office on May 23, he became next in succession to the presidency, remained so until the swearing in of George M. Dallas on March 4, 1845, a period which included President John Tyler's narrow escape from death in the USS Princeton disaster of 1844. In 1852, he refused an offer to be a candidate for vice president on the Whig national ticket. Realizing that he had little chance of being re-elected as the Whig Party broke up following the 1852 elections, Mangum retired in 1853 at the end of his second term. In 1856 he, like many ex-Whigs, joined the nativist American Party, but a stroke soon afterward ended his political career. Mangum died at his family estate in Red Mountain, an unincorporated area of Durham County, on September 7, 1861.
He was buried in the family cemetery on his estate. Mangum married Charity Alston Cain in 1819, they had five children. Their only son died in July 1861 at the First Battle of a month before his father, his plantation was known as Walnut Hall. A 1931 biography of John Chavis noted that Mangum had allowed his former teacher to be buried on his land; the gravesite was found in 1988 by the John Chavis Historical Society, is now marked as the "Old Cemetery" on maps of Hill Forest. United States Congress. "Willie Person Mangum". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Willie Person Mangum at Find Henry; the Papers of Willie Person Mangum. Raleigh, N. C.: North Carolina Department of Archives and History, 1950-1956. Garraty, John A. and Mark C. Carnes. American National Biography, vol. 14, "Mangum, Willie Person". New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. Schipke, Norman C. Mangum! Man from Red Mountain. North Charleston, South Carolina: CSI Publishing Platform, 2014
State legislature (United States)
A state legislature in the United States is the legislative body of any of the 50 U. S. states. The formal name varies from state to state. In 25 states, the legislature is called the Legislature, or the State Legislature, while in 19 states, the legislature is called the General Assembly. In Massachusetts and New Hampshire, the legislature is called the General Court, while North Dakota and Oregon designate the legislature the Legislative Assembly; every state except Nebraska has a bicameral legislature, meaning that the legislature consists of two separate legislative chambers or houses. In each case the smaller chamber is called the Senate and is referred to as the upper house; this chamber but not always, has the exclusive power to confirm appointments made by the governor and to try articles of impeachment. Members of the smaller chamber represent more citizens and serve for longer terms than members of the larger chamber four years. In 41 states, the larger chamber is called the House of Representatives.
Five states designate the larger chamber the Assembly and three states call it the House of Delegates. Members of the larger chamber serve for terms of two years; the larger chamber customarily has the exclusive power to initiate taxing legislation and articles of impeachment. Prior to United States Supreme Court decisions Reynolds v. Sims and Baker v. Carr in the 1960s, the basis of representation in most state legislatures was modeled on that of the U. S. Congress: the state senators represented geographical units while members of the larger chamber represented population. In 1964, the United States Supreme Court announced the one man, one vote standard and invalidated state legislative representation based on geography. Nebraska had a bicameral legislature like the other states, but the lower house was abolished following a referendum, effective with the 1936 elections; the remaining unicameral legislature is called the Nebraska Legislature, but its members continue to be called senators. As a legislative branch of government, a legislature performs state duties for a state in the same way that the United States Congress performs national duties at the national level.
The same system of checks and balances that exists at the Federal level exists between the state legislature, the state executive officer and the state judiciary, though the degree to which this is so varies from one state to the next. During a legislative session, the legislature considers matters introduced by its members or submitted by the governor. Businesses and other special interest organizations lobby the legislature to obtain beneficial legislation, defeat unfavorably perceived measures, or influence other legislative action. A legislature approves the state's operating and capital budgets, which may begin as a legislative proposal or a submission by the governor. Under the terms of Article V of the U. S. Constitution, state lawmakers retain the power to ratify Constitutional amendments which have been proposed by both houses of Congress and they retain the ability to call for a national convention to propose amendments to the U. S. Constitution. After the convention has concluded its business 75% of the states will be required to ratify what the convention has proposed.
Under Article II, state legislatures choose the manner of appointing the state's presidential electors. State legislatures appointed the U. S. Senators from their respective states until the ratification of the 17th Amendment in 1913 required the direct election of Senators by the state's voters; the legislative bodies and their committees use either Mason's Manual of Legislative Procedure or an amended form thereof. During official meetings, a professional parliamentarian is available to ensure that legislation and accompanying discussion proceed as orderly as possible without bias; the lawmaking process begins with the introduction of a bill in either the House of Representatives or the Senate. Bills may be introduced in either house, sometimes with the exception of bills increasing or decreasing revenue, which must originate in the House of Representatives; the order of business in each house provides a proper time for the introduction of bills. Bills are assigned consecutive numbers, given in the order of their introduction, to facilitate identification.
A bill cannot become enacted until it has been read on a certain number of days in each house. Upon introduction, a bill is read by its title only, constituting the first reading of the bill; because a bill is read by title only, it is important that the title give the members notice of the subject matter contained in the bill. As with other legislative bodies throughout the world, U. S. state legislatures operate through committees when considering proposed bills. Thus, committee action is the most important phase of the legislative process. Most bills cannot be enacted into law until it has been referred to, acted upon by, returned from, a standing committee in each house. Reference to committee follows the first reading of the bill; each committee is set up to consider bills relating to a particular subject. Standing committees are charged with the important responsibility of examining bills and recommending action to the Senate or House. On days when a legislature is not in session, the committees of each house meet and consider the bills that have been referred to them to decide if the assigned bills should be reported f