Page:Statesman's Year-Book 1899 American Edition.djvu/89

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LEGISLATIVE Ixvii Legislative The whole legislative power is vested by the Constitution in a Congress, consisting of a Senate and House of Eepresenta- tives. The Senate consists of two members from each State, chosen by the State Legislatures for six years. Senators must be not less than thirty years of age; must have been citizens of the United States for nine years ; and be residents in the States for which they are chosen. Besides its legislative functions, the Senate is intrusted with the power of ratifying or rejecting all treaties made by the President with foreign powers, a two-thirds majority of senators present being re- quired for ratification. The Senate is also invested with the power of confirming or rejecting all appointments to office made by the President, and its members constitute a High Court of Impeachment. The judgment in the latter case ex- tends only to removal from office and disqualification. The House of Representatives has the sole power of impeachment. The House of Representatives is composed of members elected every second year by the vote of citizens who, according to the laws of their respective States, are qualified to vote. In general such voters are all male citizens over 21 years of age. Xeither race nor color affects the right of citizens. The fran- chise is not absolutely universal ; residence for at least one year in most States (in Rhode Island and Kentucky two years, in ^Michigan and Maine three months) is necessary, in some States the payment of taxes, in others registration. On the other hand, many of the Western States admit to the franchise unnaturalized persons, who have formally declared their in- tention to become citizens. Untaxed Indians are excluded from the franchise, in most States convicts, in some States duellists and fraudulent voters ; in Massachusetts ^'oters are re- quired to be able to read English, and in Mississippi and South Carolina there are also educational restrictions. Colorado, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming admit women to the franchise on equal terms with men. The number of members to which each State is entitled is determined by the census taken every ten years. B3 the Apportionment Act consequent on the census of 1890, the number of representatives Avas 357, distributed as follows :