President of the United States
The president of the United States is the head of state and head of government of the United States of America. The president directs the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces. In contemporary times, the president is looked upon as one of the world's most powerful political figures as the leader of the only remaining global superpower; the role includes responsibility for the world's most expensive military, which has the second largest nuclear arsenal. The president leads the nation with the largest economy by nominal GDP; the president possesses international hard and soft power. Article II of the Constitution establishes the executive branch of the federal government, it vests the executive power of the United States in the president. The power includes the execution and enforcement of federal law, alongside the responsibility of appointing federal executive, diplomatic and judicial officers, concluding treaties with foreign powers with the advice and consent of the Senate.
The president is further empowered to grant federal pardons and reprieves, to convene and adjourn either or both houses of Congress under extraordinary circumstances. The president directs the foreign and domestic policies of the United States, takes an active role in promoting his policy priorities to members of Congress. In addition, as part of the system of checks and balances, Article I, Section 7 of the Constitution gives the president the power to sign or veto federal legislation; the power of the presidency has grown since its formation, as has the power of the federal government as a whole. Through the Electoral College, registered voters indirectly elect the president and vice president to a four-year term; this is the only federal election in the United States, not decided by popular vote. Nine vice presidents became president by virtue of a president's intra-term resignation. Article II, Section 1, Clause 5 sets three qualifications for holding the presidency: natural-born U. S. citizenship.
The Twenty-second Amendment precludes any person from being elected president to a third term. In all, 44 individuals have served 45 presidencies spanning 57 full four-year terms. Grover Cleveland served two non-consecutive terms, so he is counted twice, as both the 22nd and 24th president. Donald Trump of New York is the current president of the United States, he assumed office on January 20, 2017. In July 1776, during the American Revolutionary War, the Thirteen Colonies, acting jointly through the Second Continental Congress, declared themselves to be 13 independent sovereign states, no longer under British rule. Recognizing the necessity of coordinating their efforts against the British, the Continental Congress began the process of drafting a constitution that would bind the states together. There were long debates on a number of issues, including representation and voting, the exact powers to be given the central government. Congress finished work on the Articles of Confederation to establish a perpetual union between the states in November 1777 and sent it to the states for ratification.
Under the Articles, which took effect on March 1, 1781, the Congress of the Confederation was a central political authority without any legislative power. It could make its own resolutions and regulations, but not any laws, could not impose any taxes or enforce local commercial regulations upon its citizens; this institutional design reflected how Americans believed the deposed British system of Crown and Parliament ought to have functioned with respect to the royal dominion: a superintending body for matters that concerned the entire empire. The states were out from under any monarchy and assigned some royal prerogatives to Congress; the members of Congress elected a President of the United States in Congress Assembled to preside over its deliberation as a neutral discussion moderator. Unrelated to and quite dissimilar from the office of President of the United States, it was a ceremonial position without much influence. In 1783, the Treaty of Paris secured independence for each of the former colonies.
With peace at hand, the states each turned toward their own internal affairs. By 1786, Americans found their continental borders besieged and weak and their respective economies in crises as neighboring states agitated trade rivalries with one another, they witnessed their hard currency pouring into foreign markets to pay for imports, their Mediterranean commerce preyed upon by North African pirates, their foreign-financed Revolutionary War debts unpaid and accruing interest. Civil and political unrest loomed. Following the successful resolution of commercial and fishing disputes between Virginia and Maryland at the Mount Vernon Conference in 1785, Virginia called for a trade conference between all the states, set for September 1786 in Annapolis, with an aim toward resolving further-reaching interstate commercial antagonisms; when the convention failed for lack of attendance due to suspicions among most of the other states, Alexander Hamilton led the Annapolis delegates in a call for a convention to offer revisions to the Articles, to be held the next spring in Philadelphia.
Prospects for the next convention appeared bleak until James Madison and Edmund Randolph succeeded in securing George Washington's attendance to Philadelphia as a delegate for Virginia. When the Constitutional Convention convened in May 1787, the 12 state delegations in attendance (Rh
George Alexander Sutherland was an English-born U. S. jurist and politician. One of four appointments to the Supreme Court by President Warren G. Harding, he served as an Associate Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court between 1922 and 1938; as a member of the Republican Party, he represented Utah in both houses of Congress. Born in Buckinghamshire, England and his family moved to Utah Territory in the 1860s. After attending the University of Michigan Law School, Sutherland established a legal practice in Provo and won election to the Utah State Senate. Sutherland won election to the United States House of Representatives in 1900 and to the United States Senate in 1905. In Congress, Sutherland supported several progressive policies but aligned with the party's conservative wing, he was defeated in the 1916 election by Democrat William H. King. Harding nominated Sutherland to the Supreme Court in 1922 to fill the vacancy caused by the retirement of Associate Justice John Hessin Clarke. Sutherland made up part of the "Four Horsemen", a group of conservative justices that voted to strike down New Deal legislation.
He retired from the Supreme Court in 1938, was succeeded by Stanley Forman Reed. Sutherland wrote the Court's majority opinion in cases such as Village of Euclid, Ohio v. Ambler Realty Co. Powell v. Alabama, U. S. v. Curtiss-Wright Export Corp.. Sutherland was born in Stony Stratford, England, to a Scottish father, Alexander George Sutherland, an English mother, Frances, née Slater. A recent convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the latter moved the family to Utah Territory in the summer of 1863 and settled his family in Springville, Utah but moved to Montana and prospected for a few years before moving his family back to Utah Territory in 1869, where he pursued a number of different occupations. In the 1870s, the Sutherland family left the Church, with George remaining unbaptized. At the age of 12, the need to help his family financially forced Sutherland to leave school and take a job, first as a clerk in a clothing store and as an agent of the Wells Fargo Company. However, Sutherland aspired to a higher education, in 1879, he had saved enough to attend Brigham Young Academy.
There, he studied under Karl G. Maeser, who proved an important influence in his intellectual development, most notably by introducing Sutherland to the ideas of Herbert Spencer, which would form an enduring part of Sutherland's philosophy. After graduating in 1881, Sutherland worked for the Rio Grande Western Railroad for a little over a year before moving to Michigan to enroll in the University of Michigan Law School, where he was a student of Thomas M. Cooley. Sutherland left school before earning his law degree. After admission to the Michigan bar, he married Rosamond Lee in 1883. After his marriage, Sutherland moved back to Utah Territory, where he joined his father in a partnership in Provo. In 1886, they dissolved their partnership and Sutherland formed a new one with Samuel Thurman, a future chief justice of the Utah Supreme Court. After running unsuccessfully as the Liberal Party candidate for mayor of Provo, Sutherland moved to Salt Lake City in 1893. There, he joined one of the state's leading law firms, the following year was one of the organizers of the Utah State Bar Association.
In 1896, he was elected as a Republican to the new Utah State Senate, where he served as chairman of the senate's Judiciary Committee and sponsored legislation granting powers of eminent domain to mining and irrigation companies. In 1900, Sutherland received the Republican nomination as the party's candidate for Utah's seat in the United States House of Representatives. In the subsequent election, Sutherland narrowly defeated the Democratic incumbent, William H. King, by 241 votes out of over 90,000 cast, he went on to serve as a Representative in the 57th Congress, where he fought to maintain the tariff on sugar and was active in both Indian affairs and legislation addressing the irrigation of arid lands. Sutherland declined to run for a second term and returned to Utah to campaign for election to the United States Senate. With the state legislature under Republican control, the contest was an intra-party battle with the incumbent, Thomas Kearns. With the backing of Utah's other senator, Reed Smoot, Sutherland secured the unanimous support of the caucus in January 1905.
Sutherland repaid his debt to Smoot in 1907 by speaking on the floor in the Senate in defense of the senior senator during the climax of the Smoot hearings. Sutherland's tenure in the Senate coincided with the Progressive Era in American politics, he voted for much of Theodore Roosevelt's legislative agenda, including the Pure Food and Drug Act, the Hepburn Act, the Federal Employers Liability Act. He was "a longstanding women’s rights advocate, he introduced the Nineteenth Amendment into the Senate... campaigned for the passage of that amendment, helped draft the Equal Rights Amendment, was a friend and adviser of Alice Paul of the National Woman's Party." However, he sided with the "Old Guard" of conservatives who battled with their Progressive counterparts within the party during William Howard Taft's presidency. He was involved with the legal codification of the period and joined Taft in opposing the legislation admitting New Mexico and Arizona into the union because of clauses within their constitutions allowing for the recall of judges.
The election of Woodrow Wilson and the Democratic takeover of Congress in 1912 put Sutherland and the other conservatives on the defensive. By now a national figur
United States Reports
The United States Reports are the official record of the rulings, case tables, in alphabetical order both by the name of the petitioner and by the name of the respondent, other proceedings of the Supreme Court of the United States. United States Reports, once printed and bound, are the final version of court opinions and cannot be changed. Opinions of the court in each case are prepended with a headnote prepared by the Reporter of Decisions, any concurring or dissenting opinions are published sequentially; the Court's Publication Office oversees the binding and publication of the volumes of United States Reports, although the actual printing and publication are performed by private firms under contract with the United States Government Publishing Office. For lawyers, citations to United States Reports are the standard reference for Supreme Court decisions. Following The Bluebook, a accepted citation protocol, the case Brown, et al. v. Board of Education of Topeka, for example, would be cited as: Brown v. Bd. of Educ.
347 U. S. 483. This citation indicates that the decision of the Court in the case entitled Brown v. Board of Education, as abbreviated in Bluebook style, was decided in 1954 and can be found in volume 347 of the United States Reports starting on page 483; the early volumes of the United States Reports were published by the individual Supreme Court Reporters. As was the practice in England, the reports were designated by the names of the reporters who compiled them: Dallas's Reports, Cranch's Reports, etc; the decisions appearing in the entire first volume and most of the second volume of United States Reports are not decisions of the United States Supreme Court. Instead, they are decisions from various Pennsylvania courts, dating from the colonial period and the first decade after Independence. Alexander Dallas, a lawyer and journalist, of Philadelphia, had been in the business of reporting these cases for newspapers and periodicals, he subsequently began compiling his case reports in a bound volume, which he called Reports of cases ruled and adjudged in the courts of Pennsylvania and since the Revolution.
This would come to be known as the first volume of Dallas Reports. When the United States Supreme Court, along with the rest of the new Federal Government moved, in 1791, from New York City to the nation's temporary capital in Philadelphia, Dallas was appointed the Supreme Court's first unofficial, unpaid, Supreme Court Reporter. Dallas continued to publish Pennsylvania decisions in a second volume of his Reports; when the Supreme Court began hearing cases, he added those cases to his reports, starting towards the end of the second volume, 2 Dallas Reports, with West v. Barnes. Dallas went on to publish a total of four volumes of decisions during his tenure as Reporter; when the Supreme Court moved to Washington, D. C. in 1800, Dallas remained in Philadelphia, William Cranch took over as unofficial reporter of decisions. In 1817, Congress made the Reporter of Decisions an official, salaried position, although the publication of the Reports remained a private enterprise for the reporter's personal gain.
The reports themselves were the subject of an early copyright case, Wheaton v. Peters, in which former reporter Henry Wheaton sued current reporter Richard Peters for reprinting cases from Wheaton's Reports in abridged form. In 1874, the U. S. government began creating the United States Reports. The earlier, private reports were retroactively numbered volumes 1–90 of the United States Reports, starting from the first volume of Dallas Reports. Therefore, decisions appearing in these early reports have dual citation forms: one for the volume number of the United States Reports. For example, the complete citation to McCulloch v. Maryland is 17 U. S. 316. Reporter of Decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States Lists of United States Supreme Court cases by volume National Reporter System United States Supreme Court: Information About Opinions United States Supreme Court: Bound Volumes – Lists of PDFs Torrents of United States Reports 502–550
Chief Justice of the United States
The Chief Justice of the United States is the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United States, as such the highest-ranking judge of the federal judiciary. Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution grants plenary power to the President of the United States to nominate, with the advice and consent of the United States Senate, appoint a chief justice, who serves until they resign, are impeached and convicted, retire, or die; the chief justice has significant influence in the selection of cases for review, presides when oral arguments are held, leads the discussion of cases among the justices. Additionally, when the Court renders an opinion, the chief justice, if in the majority, chooses who writes the Court's opinion; when deciding a case, the chief justice's vote counts no more than that of any associate justice. Article I, Section 3, Clause 6 of the Constitution designates the chief justice to preside during presidential impeachment trials in the Senate. While nowhere mandated, the presidential oath of office is administered by the Chief Justice.
Additionally, the chief justice serves as a spokesperson for the federal government's judicial branch and acts as a chief administrative officer for the federal courts. The Chief Justice presides over the Judicial Conference and, in that capacity, appoints the director and deputy director of the Administrative Office; the Chief Justice is an ex officio member of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution and, by custom, is elected chancellor of the board. Since the Supreme Court was established in 1789, 17 people have served as chief justice; the first was John Jay. The current chief justice is John Roberts. John Rutledge, Edward Douglass White, Charles Evans Hughes, Harlan Fiske Stone, William Rehnquist served as associate justice prior to becoming chief justice; the United States Constitution does not explicitly establish an office of Chief Justice, but presupposes its existence with a single reference in Article I, Section 3, Clause 6: "When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside."
Nothing more is said in the Constitution regarding the office. Article III, Section 1, which authorizes the establishment of the Supreme Court, refers to all members of the Court as "judges"; the Judiciary Act of 1789 created the distinctive titles of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. In 1866, at the urging of Salmon P. Chase, Congress restyled the chief justice's title to the current Chief Justice of the United States; the first person whose Supreme Court commission contained the modified title was Melville Fuller in 1888. The associate justices' title was not altered in 1866, remains as created; the chief justice, like all federal judges, is nominated by the President and confirmed to office by the U. S. Senate. Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution specifies that they "shall hold their Offices during good Behavior"; this language means that the appointments are for life, that, once in office, justices' tenure ends only when they die, resign, or are removed from office through the impeachment process.
Since 1789, 15 presidents have made a total of 22 official nominations to the position. The salary of the chief justice is set by Congress; the practice of appointing an individual to serve as chief justice is grounded in tradition. There is no specific constitutional prohibition against using another method to select the chief justice from among those justices properly appointed and confirmed to the Supreme Court. Constitutional law scholar Todd Pettys has proposed that presidential appointment of chief justices should be done away with, replaced by a process that permits the Justices to select their own chief justice. Three incumbent associate justices have been nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate as chief justice: Edward Douglass White in 1910, Harlan Fiske Stone in 1941, William Rehnquist in 1986. A fourth, Abe Fortas, was not confirmed; as an associate justice does not have to resign his or her seat on the Court in order to be nominated as chief justice, Fortas remained an associate justice.
When associate justice William Cushing was nominated and confirmed as chief justice in January 1796, but declined the office, he too remained on the Court. Two former associate justices subsequently returned to service on the Court as chief justice. John Rutledge was the first. President Washington gave him a recess appointment in 1795. However, his subsequent nomination to the office was not confirmed by the Senate, he left office and the Court. In 1933, former associate justice Charles Evans Hughes was confirmed as chief justice. Additionally, in December 1800, former chief justice John Jay was nominated and confirmed to the position a second time, but declined it, opening the way for the appointment of John Marshall. Along with his general responsibilities as a member of the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice has several unique duties to fulfill. Article I, section 3 of the U. S. Constitution stipulates that the Chief Justice shall preside over impeachment trials of the President of the United States in the U.
S. Senate. Two Chief Justices, Salmon P. Chase and William Rehnquist, have presided over the trial in the Senate that follows an impeachment of the president – Chase in 1868 over the proceedings against President Andrew Johnson and Rehnquist in
James Clark McReynolds
James Clark McReynolds was an American lawyer and judge from Tennessee who served as United States Attorney General under President Woodrow Wilson and as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. He served on the Court from October 1914 to his retirement in January 1941, he was best known for his sustained opposition to the domestic programs of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his overt anti-semitism. Born in Elkton, Kentucky, McReynolds practiced law in Tennessee after graduating from the University of Virginia School of Law, he served as the Assistant Attorney General during the administration of President Theodore Roosevelt and became well known for his skill in antitrust cases. After President Wilson took office in 1913, he appointed McReynolds as his administration's first Attorney General. Wilson nominated McReynolds to the Supreme Court in 1914 to fill a vacancy caused by the death of Associate Justice Horace Harmon Lurton. In his twenty-six years on the bench, McReynolds wrote more than 506 majority opinions for the court and 157 dissents, 93 of which were against the New Deal.
McReynolds was part of the "Four Horsemen" bloc of conservative justices who voted to strike down New Deal programs. He was succeeded by James F. Byrnes. During his Supreme Court tenure, McReynolds wrote the majority opinion in cases such as Meyer v. Nebraska, United States v. Miller, Pierce v. Society of Sisters. Born in Elkton, the county seat of Todd County, he was the son of John Oliver and Ellen McReynolds, both members of the Disciples of Christ church. John Oliver McReynolds was active in business ventures and served as a surgeon in the Confederate army during the Civil War; the house in which James Clark McReynolds was born still stands. He graduated from the prestigious Green River Academy and matriculated at Vanderbilt University, Tennessee, graduating with status one year as a valedictorian in 1882. At the University of Virginia School of Law, where he studied under John B. Minor, "a man of stern morality and firm conservative convictions," McReynolds completed his studies in fourteen months.
He again graduated at the head of his class. McReynolds received his law degree in 1884, he was secretary to Senator Howell Edmunds Jackson, who became an associate justice in 1893. McReynolds practiced law in Nashville and served for three years as an Adjunct professor of Commercial Law and Corporations at Vanderbilt University Law School, he became active in politics. As head of the Tennessee delegation to the 1896 Democratic Convention, he wrote the party's "sound money" plank. Under Theodore Roosevelt, McReynolds served as Assistant Attorney General from 1903 to 1907, when he resigned to take up private practice with the noted law firm of Guthrie and Henderson in New York City. While in private practice, McReynolds was retained by the government in matters relating to enforcement of antitrust laws in proceedings against the "Tobacco trust" and the combination of the anthracite coal railroads; the case which brought him to the attention of President Wilson was the government's case against the American Tobacco Company, in which McReynolds presented the government's case, while the company was represented by Clarence Darrow and 17 other attorneys.
On March 15, 1913, following the successful conclusion of this case, with Attorney General Wickersham's recommendation, Wilson appointed McReynolds as the 48th United States Attorney General. During his time in private practice, McReynolds earned a reputation as an ardent'trust buster', he continued working against trusts during his time as the US Attorney General. In spite of his negative views of corporate monopolies, McReynolds was supportive of laissez-faire economic policies. Wilson found him difficult to work with. On August 19, 1914, Wilson appointed McReynolds to the Supreme Court, to a seat vacated by the sudden death of Horace H. Lurton. McReynolds was confirmed by the United States Senate and received his commission the same day, starting with the new term on October 12, 1914; when the Supreme Court Building opened in 1935 during the Great Depression, McReynolds, like most of the other justices, refused to move his office into the new building. He continued to work out of the office.
He said that, with the country in economic turmoil, the government should not have spent so much money on a single building. He ignored the fact. In his 27 years on the bench, McReynolds wrote 506 decisions, an average of just under 19 opinions for each term of the Court during his tenure. In addition, he authored 157 dissents, his fierce opposition to Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal legislation designed to provide relief to citizens and put people to work during the Great Depression resulted in McReynolds being classified as one of the "Four Horsemen", along with George Sutherland, Willis Van Devanter and Pierce Butler. McReynolds voted to strike down the Tennessee Valley Authority in Ashwander v. TVA, the National Industrial Recovery Act in Schechter Poultry Corporation v. United States, the Agricultural Adjustment Act of 1933 in United States v. Butler, the Bituminous Coal Conservation Act of 1935 in Carter v. Carter Coal Co. and the Social Security Act 42 U. S. C. A. § 301 et seq. in Steward Machine Co. v. Davis, 301 U.
S. 548, 57 S. Ct. 883, 81 L. Ed. 1279
Portland is the largest and most populous city in the U. S. state of Oregon and the seat of Multnomah County. It is a major port in the Willamette Valley region of the Pacific Northwest, at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers; as of 2017, Portland had an estimated population of 647,805, making it the 26th-largest city in the United States, the second-most populous in the Pacific Northwest. 2.4 million people live in the Portland metropolitan statistical area, making it the 25th most populous MSA in the United States. Its Combined Statistical Area ranks 18th-largest with a population of around 3.2 million. 60% of Oregon's population resides within the Portland metropolitan area. Named after Portland, the Oregon settlement began to be populated in the 1830s near the end of the Oregon Trail, its water access provided convenient transportation of goods, the timber industry was a major force in the city's early economy. At the turn of the 20th century, the city had a reputation as one of the most dangerous port cities in the world, a hub for organized crime and racketeering.
After the city's economy experienced an industrial boom during World War II, its hard-edged reputation began to dissipate. Beginning in the 1960s, Portland became noted for its growing progressive political values, earning it a reputation as a bastion of counterculture; the city operates with a commission-based government guided by a mayor and four commissioners as well as Metro, the only directly elected metropolitan planning organization in the United States. The city government is notable for its land-use investment in public transportation. Portland is recognized as one of the world's most environmentally conscious cities because of its high walkability, large community of bicyclists, farm-to-table dining, expansive network of public transportation options, over 10,000 acres of public parks, its climate is marked by cool, rainy winters. This climate is ideal for growing roses, Portland has been called the "City of Roses" for over a century. During the prehistoric period, the land that would become Portland was flooded after the collapse of glacial dams from Lake Missoula, in what would become Montana.
These massive floods occurred during the last ice age and filled the Willamette Valley with 300 to 400 feet of water. Before American pioneers began arriving in the 1800s, the land was inhabited for many centuries by two bands of indigenous Chinook people—the Multnomah and the Clackamas; the Chinook people occupying the land were first documented in 1805 by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Before its European settlement, the Portland Basin of the lower Columbia River and Willamette River valleys had been one of the most densely populated regions on the Pacific Coast. Large numbers of pioneer settlers began arriving in the Willamette Valley in the 1830s via the Oregon Trail, though life was centered in nearby Oregon City. In the early 1840s a new settlement emerged ten miles from the mouth of the Willamette River halfway between Oregon City and Fort Vancouver; this community was referred to as "Stumptown" and "The Clearing" because of the many trees cut down to allow for its growth. In 1843 William Overton saw potential in the new settlement but lacked the funds to file an official land claim.
For 25 cents, Overton agreed to share half of the 640-acre site with Asa Lovejoy of Boston. In 1845 Overton sold his remaining half of the claim to Francis W. Pettygrove of Maine. Both Pettygrove and Lovejoy wished to rename "The Clearing" after their respective hometowns; this controversy was settled with a coin toss that Pettygrove won in a series of two out of three tosses, thereby providing Portland with its namesake. The coin used for this decision, now known as the Portland Penny, is on display in the headquarters of the Oregon Historical Society. At the time of its incorporation on February 8, 1851, Portland had over 800 inhabitants, a steam sawmill, a log cabin hotel, a newspaper, the Weekly Oregonian. A major fire swept through downtown in August 1873, destroying twenty blocks on the west side of the Willamette along Yamhill and Morrison Streets, causing $1.3 million in damage. By 1879, the population had grown to 17,500 and by 1890 it had grown to 46,385. In 1888, the city built the first steel bridge built on the West Coast.
Portland's access to the Pacific Ocean via the Willamette and Columbia rivers, as well as its easy access to the agricultural Tualatin Valley via the "Great Plank Road", provided the pioneer city with an advantage over other nearby ports, it grew quickly. Portland remained the major port in the Pacific Northwest for much of the 19th century, until the 1890s, when Seattle's deepwater harbor was connected to the rest of the mainland by rail, affording an inland route without the treacherous navigation of the Columbia River; the city had its own Japantown, for one, the lumber industry became a prominent economic presence, due to the area's large population of Douglas Firs, Western Hemlocks, Red Cedars, Big Leaf Maple trees. Portland developed a reputation early in its history as a gritty port town; some historians have described the city's early establishment as being a "scion of New England. In 1889, The Oregonian called Portland "the most filthy city in the Northern States", due to the unsanitary sewers and gutters, and, at the turn of the 20th century, it was considered one of the most dangerous port cities in the world.
The city housed a large number of saloons
United States Senate
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, 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 state, regardless of its population size, is represented by two senators who serve staggered terms of six years. There being at present 50 states in the Union, there are presently 100 senators. From 1789 until 1913, senators were appointed by legislatures of the states; 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, the confirmation of Cabinet secretaries, Supreme Court justices, federal judges, flag officers, regulatory officials, 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; the Senate is considered both a more deliberative and more prestigious body than the House of Representatives due to its longer terms, smaller size, statewide constituencies, which led to a more collegial and less partisan atmosphere. The presiding officer of the Senate is the Vice President of the United States, President of the Senate. In the Vice President's absence, the President Pro Tempore, 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; the drafters of the Constitution created a bicameral Congress as a compromise between those who felt that each state, since it was sovereign, should be represented, those who felt the legislature must directly represent the people, as the House of Commons did in Great Britain.
This idea of having one chamber represent people while the other gives equal representation to states regardless of population, was known as the Connecticut Compromise. There was a desire to have two Houses that could act as an internal check on each other. One was intended to be a "People's House" directly elected by the people, with short terms obliging the representatives to remain close to their constituents; the other was intended to represent the states to such extent as they retained their sovereignty except for the powers expressly delegated to the national government. The Senate was thus not designed to serve the people of the United States equally; the Constitution provides that the approval of both chambers is necessary for the passage of legislation. 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 Latin for council of elders. James Madison made the following comment about the Senate: In England, at this day, 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, to balance and check the other, they ought to be so constituted. The Senate, ought to be this body. 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 the Congress. The District of Columbia elects two "shadow U. S. Senators", but they are officials of the D. C. City Government and not members of the U. S. Senate; the United States has had 50 states since 1959, thus the Senate has had 100 senators since 1959. The disparity between the most and least populous states has grown since the Connecticut Compromise, which granted each state two members of the Senate and at least one member of the House of Representatives, for a total minimum of three presidential electors, regardless of population.
In 1787, Virginia had ten times the population of Rhode Island, whereas today California has 70 times the population of Wyoming, based on the 1790 and 2000 censuses. This means some citizens are two orders of magnitude better represented in the Senate than those in other states. Seats in the House of Representatives are proportionate to the population of each state, reducing the disparity of representation. Before the adoption of the Seventeenth Amendment in 1913, senators were elected by the individual state legislatures. Problems with repeated vacant seats due to the inability of a legislature to elect senators, intrastate political struggles, bribery and intimidation had led to a growing movement to amend the Constitution to allow for the direct election of senators; the party composition of the Senate during the 116th Congress: Art