Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Various and Sundry Reasons

     I'm reading Jefferson's Manual on parliamentary procedure, along with Robert's Rules of Order, as a necessary part of my work on e-ssembly, and I came across this, now ignored entirely...

It is highly expedient, says Hatsell, for the due preservation of the privileges of the separate branches of the legislature, that neither should encroach on the other, or interfere in any matter depending before them, so as to preclude, or even influence that freedom of debate, which is essential to a free council. They are therefore not to take notice of any bills or other matters depending, or of votes that have been given, or of speeches which have been held, by the members of either of the other branches of the legislature, until the same have been communicated to them in the usual parliamentary manner. 2. Hats. 252. 4. Inst. 15. Seld. Jud. 53. Thus the king's taking notice of the bill for suppressing soldiers, depending before the House, his proposing a provisional clause for a bill before it was presented to him by the two Houses; his expressing displeasure against some persons for matters moved in Parliament during the debate and preparation of a bill, were breaches of privilege. 2. Nalson, 743. and in 1783, December 17, it was declared a breach of fundamental privileges, &c. to report any opinion or pretended opinion of the king on any bill or proceeding depending in either House of Parliament, with a view to influence the votes of the members. 2. Hats. 251, 6.

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