To Support and Defend: Article 1, Section 5

Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.

Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.

Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

Boy, this is a Quis custodiet ipsos custodies situation if I’ve ever seen one. Who decides if an election is legit? For the House of Representatives, it’s the House. For the Senate, it’s the Senate. They’re allowed force a member to attend, if they’ve been truant and they get to decide on the penalties for not showing up.

The House and the Senate may both establish their own rules for debate, voting and other proceedings, may punish disorderly behavior. If two thirds of them don’t want to keep a member, they can also chuck them out. Yep, they can throw out duly elected reps if they feel like the person isn’t behaving.

They must keep a record of what goes on and publish it. By the way, not only is the Congressional Record public these days, but if you really want to know how your reps vote, you might want to consider signing up for MegaVote. You get emailed about the voting records of your reps.

The Senate has to get permission of the House and the House the Senate if, during a scheduled session of Congress, they want to adjourn for more than three days. They are also forbidden to move their meeting place during a session without the other chamber’s consent.

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