Constitutional Points of Order in the Senate

Description

In general, the Senate's presiding officer does not take the initiative in enforcing Senate rules and precedents. Instead, a Senator may raise a point of order if he or she believes the Senate is taking (or is about to take) an action that violates the rules. In most circumstances, the presiding officer rules on the point of order on advice of the Parliamentarian; that ruling is typically subject to an appeal on which the Senate votes (unless the appeal is tabled or withdrawn). Pursuant to Rule XX, however, in certain circumstances a point of order is not ruled on by ... continued below

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9 pages.

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Heitshusen, Valerie December 17, 2014.

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This report is part of the collection entitled: Congressional Research Service Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. More information about this report can be viewed below.

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Description

In general, the Senate's presiding officer does not take the initiative in enforcing Senate rules and precedents. Instead, a Senator may raise a point of order if he or she believes the Senate is taking (or is about to take) an action that violates the rules. In most circumstances, the presiding officer rules on the point of order on advice of the Parliamentarian; that ruling is typically subject to an appeal on which the Senate votes (unless the appeal is tabled or withdrawn). Pursuant to Rule XX, however, in certain circumstances a point of order is not ruled on by the presiding officer but is instead submitted to the Senate for its decision. A point of order that a pending matter (a bill or amendment, for example) violates the U.S. Constitution presents one such circumstance. This report explains Senate rules, precedents, and practices in regard to these constitutional points of order, including an analysis of recent cases in which such a point of order has been raised, and will be updated as events warrant.

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9 pages.

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Congressional Research Service Reports

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) is the public policy research arm of Congress. This legislative branch agency works exclusively for Members of Congress, their committees and their staff. This collection includes CRS reports from the mid-1970's through the present--covering a variety of topics from agriculture to foreign policy to welfare.

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  • December 17, 2014

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  • March 30, 2015, 10:03 p.m.

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Heitshusen, Valerie. Constitutional Points of Order in the Senate, report, December 17, 2014; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc501515/: accessed October 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.