Sec.8. Vacancies which happen in the representation of any state in the senate during the recess of its legislature, may be filled by the governor until the next meeting of the legislature. Without this provision, either the legislature must be assembled immediately to fill the vacancy, or the state must remain in part, or perhaps wholly unrepresented in the senate, until the next regular session of the legislature.
Sec.9. But an appointment may not be made by an executive before the vacancy actually happens. In 1825, the term of a senator was about to expire during the recess of the legislature of his state, which had failed at its previous session to appoint a successor. As a special session of the senate was to be held immediately after the expiration of the senator’s term, the governor, a few days before the term expired, in anticipation of the vacancy, reappointed the senator. But the senate decided that, as the appointment had been made before the vacancy happened, the senator was not entitled to a seat.
Sec.10. The next clause prescribes the qualifications of senators. A senator must have attained the age of thirty years, and been nine years a citizen of the United States; and he must, when elected, be an inhabitant of the state for which he is chosen. As many of the duties of a senator require more knowledge, experience, and stability of character than those of a representative, greater age and longer citizenship are required. The nature of these duties will be noticed in subsequent chapters.
Sec.11. The seventh section of the first article provides for the passage of bills negatived, or vetoed, by the president. Bills returned by him with his objections, become laws when passed by majorities of two-thirds of both houses; that is, by two-thirds of the members present. They also become laws if not returned by him within ten days (Sundays excepted) after they have been presented to him, unless their return is prevented by the adjournment of congress.
Sec.12. We have passed over several sections and clauses of this article without remark. Most of them are similar to some in the state constitutions, which we have noticed; and the propriety of others is so readily perceived, that any comment upon them is deemed unnecessary.
Power of Congress to lay Taxes, Duties, &c.; Power to Borrow Money.
Sec.1. Having shown how the legislative department of the general government is constituted, we proceed to consider its powers. It is thought proper, however, first to notice one important characteristic of the general government, in which it differs from the state governments, and the knowledge of which is necessary to a right understanding of the powers of the state and national governments respectively.