CONGRESS. This word has several significations. 1. An assembly
of the deputies convened from different governments, to treat of
peace or of other political affairs, is called a congress.
2. - 2. Congress is the name of the legislative body of the United
States, composed of the senate and house of representatives. Const.
U. S. art. 1,s. 1.
3. Congress is composed of two independent houses. 1. The senate
and, 2. The house of representatives.
4.- 1. The senate is composed of two senators from each state,
chosen by the legislature thereof for six years, and each senator
has one vote. They represent the states rather than the people,
as each state has its equal voice and equal weight in the senate,
witliout any regard to the disparity of population, wealth or dimensions.
The senate have been, from the first formation of the government,
divided into three classes; and the rotation of the classes was
originally determined by lots, and the seats of one class are vacated
at the end of the second year, and one-third of the senate is chosen
every second year. Const. U. S. art 1, s. 3. This provision was
borrowed from a similar one in some of the state constitutions,
of which Virginia gave the first example.
5. The qualifications which the constitution requires of a senator,
are, that he should be thirty years of age, have been nine years
a citizen of the United States, and, when elected, be an inhabitant
of that state for which he shall be chosen. Art. 1, s. 3.
6.-2. The house of representatives is composed of members chosen
every second year by the people of the several states, who are qualified
electors of the most numerous branch of the legislature of the state
to which they belong.
7. No person can be a representative until he has attained the
age of twenty-five years, and has been seven years a citizen of
the United States, and is, at the time of his election, an inhabitant
of the state in which he is chosen. Const. U. S. art. 1, 2.
8. The constitution requires that the representatives and direct
taxes shall be apportioned among the several states, which may be
included within this Union, according to their respective numbers,
which shall be determined by adding to the whole number of free
persons, including those bound to service for a term of years, and
excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other persons.
Art. 1, s. 1.
9. The number of representatives shall not exceed one for every
thirty thousand, but each state shall have at least one representative.
10. Having shown how congress is constituted, it is proposed here
to consider the privileges and powers of the two houses, both aggregately
11. Each house is made the judge of the election, returns, and
qualifications of its own members. Art. 1, s. 5. As each house acts
in these cases in a judicial character, its decisions, like the
decisions of any other court of justice, ought to be regulated by
known principles of law, and strictly adhered to, for the sake of
uniformity and certainty. A majority of each house 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 may
provide. Each house may determine the rules of its proceedings;
punish its members for disorderly behaviour; and, with the concurrence
of two-thirds, expel a member. Each house is bound to 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 to enter
the yeas and nays on the journal, on any question, at the desire
of one-fifth of the members present. Art. 1, s. 5.
12. The members of both houses are in all cases, except treason,
felony, and breach of the peace, privileged from arrest during their
attendance at the session of their respective houses, and in going
to, and returning from the same. Art. 1, s. 6.
13. These privileges of the two houses are obviously necessary
for their preservation and character; And, what is still more important
to the freedom of deliberation, no member can be questioned in any
other place for any speech or debate in either house. lb.
14. There is no express power given to either house to punish for
contempts, except when committed by their own members, but they
have such an implied power. 6 Wheat. R. 204. This power, however,
extends no further than imprisonment, and that will continue no
farther than the duration of the power that imprisons. The imprisonment
will therefore terminate with the adjournment or dissolution of
15. The house of representatives has the exclusive right of originating
bills for raising revenue, and this is the only privilege that house
enjoys in its legislative character, which is not shared equally
with the other; and even those bills are amendable by the senate
in its discretion. Art. 1, s. 7.
16. The two houses are an entire and perfect check upon each other,
in all business appertaining to legislatiou and one of them cannot
even adjourn, during the session of congress, for more than three
days, without the consent of the either nor to any other place than
that in which the two houses shall be sitting. Art. 1, s. 5.
17. The powers of congress extend generally to all subjects of
a national nature. Congress are authorized to provide for the common
defence and general welfare; and for that purpose, among other express
grants, they have the power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts
and excises; to borrow money on the credit of the United States;
to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several
states, and with the Indians; 1 McLean R. 257; to establish all
uniform rule of naturalization, and uniform laws of bankruptcy throughout
the United States; to establish post offices and post roads; to
promote the progress of science and the useful arts, by securing
for a limited time to authors and inventors, the exclusive right
to their respective writings and discoveries; to constitute tribunals
inferior to the supreme court; to define and punish piracies on
the high seas, and offences against the laws of nations; to declare
war; to raise and support armies; to provide and maintain a navy;
to provide for the calling forth of the militia; to exercise exclusive
legislation over the District of Columbia; and to give full efficacy
to the powers contained in the constitution.
18. The rules of proceeding in each house are substantially the
same; the house of representatives choose their own speaker; the
vice-president of the United States is, ex officio, president of
the senate, and gives the casting vote when the members are equally
divided. The proceedings and discussions in the two houses are generally
19. The ordinary mode of passing laws is briefly this; one day's
notice of a motion for leave to bring in a bill, in cases of a general
nature, is required; every bill must have three readings before
it is passed, and these readings must be on different days; and
no bill can be committed and amended until it has been twice read.
In the house of representatives, bills, after being twice read,
are committed to a committee of the whole house, when a chairman
is appointed by the speaker to preside over the committee, when
the speaker leaves the chair, and takes a part in the debate as
an ordinary member.
20. When a bill has passed one house, it is transmitted, to tho
other, and goes through a similar form, though in the senate there
is less formality, and bills are often committed to a select committee,
chosen by ballot. If a bill be altered or amended in the house to
which it is transmitted, it is then returned to the house in which
it orignated, and if the two houses cannot agree, they appoint a
committee to confer on the subject See Conference.
21. When a bill is engrossed, and has received the sanction of
both houses, it is sent to the president for his approbation. If
he approves of the bill, he signs it. If he does not, it is returned,
with his objections, to the house in which it originated, and that
house enters the objections at large on their journal, and proceeds
to re-consider it. If, after such re-consideration, two-thirds of
the house agree to pass the bill, it is sent, together with the
objections, to the other house, by which it is likewise re-considered,
and if approved by two-thirds of that house, it becomes a law. But
in all such cases, the votes of both houses are determined by yeas
and nays; and the names of the persons voting for and against the
bill, are to be entered on the journal of each house respectively.
22. If any bill shall not be returned by the president within ten
days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him,
the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it,
unless the congress, by their adjournment, prevent its return; in
which case it shall not be a law. Art. 1, s. 7. See House of Representatives;
President; Senate; Veto; Kent, Com. Lecture xi.; Rawle on the Const.
CONGRESS, med. juris. This name was anciently given in France,
England, and other countries, to the-indecent intercourse between
married persons, in the presence of witnesses appointed by the courts,
in cases when the husband or wife was charged by the other with
impotence. Trebuchet, Jurisp. de Med. 101 Dictionnaire des Sciences
Medicales, art. Congres, by Marc.
CONJECTURE. Conjectures are ideas or notions founded on
probabilities without any demonstration of their truth. Mascardus
has defined conjecture: "rationable vestigium latentis veritatis,
unde nascitur opinio sapientis;" or a slight degree of credence
arising from evidence too weak or too remote to produce belief.
De Prob. vol. i. quoest. 14, n. 14. See Dict. de Trevoux, h. v.;
Denisart, h. v.
CONJOINTS. Persons married to each other. Story, Confl.
of L. 71; Wolff. Dr. de la Nat. 858.
CONJUGAL. Matrimonial; belonging, to marriage as, conjugal
rights, or the rights which belong to the husband or wife as such.
CONJUNCTIVE, contracts, wills, instruments. A term in grammar
used to designate particles which connect one word to another, or
one proposition to another proposition.
2. There are many cases in law, where the conjunctive and is used
for the disjunctive or, and vice versa.
3. An obligation is conjunctive when it contains several things
united by a conjunction to indicate that they are all equally the
object of the matter or contract for example, if I promise for a
lawful consideration, to deliver to you my copy of the Life of Washington,
my Encyclopaedia, and my copy of the History of the United States,
I am then bound to deliver all of them and cannot be discharged
by delivering one only. There are, according to Toullier, tom. vi.
n. 686, as many separate obligations Is there are things to be delivered,
and the obligor may discharge himself pro tanto by delivering either
of them, or in case of refusal the tender will be valid. It is presumed,
however, that only one action could be maintained for the whole.
But if the articles in the agreement had not been enumerated; I
could not, according to Toullier, deliver one in discharge of my
contract, without the consent of the creditor; as if, instead of
enumerating the, books above mentioned, I had bound myself to deliver
all my books, the very books in question. Vide Disjunctive, Item,
and the case, there cited; and also, Bac. Ab. Conditious, P; 1 Bos.
& Pull. 242; 4 Bing. N. C. 463 S. C. 33 E. C. L. R. 413; 1 Bouv.
Inst. n. 687-8.
CONJURATION. A swearing together. It signifies a plot, bargain,
or compact made by a number of persons under oath, to do some public
harm. In times of ignorance, this word was used to signify the personal
conference which some persons were supposed to have had with the
devil, or some evil spirit, to know any secret, or effect any purpose.
CONNECTICUT. The name of one of the original states of the
United States of America. It was not until the year 1665 that the
territory now known as the state of Connecticut was united under
one government. The charter was granted by Charles II. in April,
1662, but as it included the whole colony of New Haven, it was not
till 1665 that the latter ceased its resistance, when both the colony
of Connecticut and that of New Haven agreed, and then they were
indissolubly united, and have so remained. This charter, with the
exception of a temporary suspension, continued in force till the
American revolution, and afterwards continued as a fundamental law
of the state till the year 1818, when the present constitution was
adopted. 1 Story on the Const. 86-88.
2. The constitution was adopted on the fifteenth day of September,
1818. The powers of the government are divided into three distinct
departments, and each of them confided to a separate magistracy,
to wit: those which are legislative, to one; those which are executive
to another; and those which are judicial to a third. Art. 2.
3. - 1st. The legislative power is vested in two distinct houses
or branches, the one styled the senate, and the other the house
of representatives, and both together the general assembly. 1. The
senate consists of twelve members, chosen annually by the electors.
2. The house of representatives consists of electorr residing in
towns from which they are elected. The number of representatives
is to be the same as at present practised and allowed; towns which
may be hereafter incorporated are to be entitled to one representative
4. - 2d. The executive power is vested in a governor and lieutenant-governor.
1. The supreme executive power of the state is vested in a governor,
chosen by the electors of the state; he is to hold his office for
one year from the first Wednesday of May, next succeeding his election,
and until his successor be duly qualified. Art. 4, s. 1. The governor
possesses the veto power, art. 4, s. 12. 2. The lieutenant-governor
is elected immediately after the election of governor, in the same
manner as is provided for the election of governor, who continues
in office the same time, and is to possess the same qualifications
as the governor. Art. 4, s. 3. The lieutenant-governor, by virtue
of his office, is president of the senate; and in case of the death,
resignation, refusal to serve, or removal from office of the governor,
or of his impeachment or absence from the state, the lieutenant-governor
exercises all the powers and authority appertaining to the office
of governor, until another be chosen, at the next periodical election
for governor, and be duly qualified; or until the governor, impeached
or absent, shall be acquitted or return. Art. 4, s. 14.
5. - 3d. The judicial, power of the state is vested in a supreme
court of errors, a superior court, and such inferior courts as the
general assembly may, from time to time, ordain and establish; the
powers of which courts shall be defined. A sufficient number of
justices of the peace, with such jurisdiction, civil and criminal,
as the general assembly may prescribe, are to be appointed in each
county. Art. 5.
CONNIVANCE. An agreement or consent, indirectly given, that
something unlawful shall be done by another.
2. The connivance of the husband to his wife's prostitution deprives
him of the right of obtaining a divorce; or of recovering damages
from the seducer. 4 T. R. 657. It may be satisfactorily proved by
3. Connivance differs from condonation, (q. v.) though either may
have the same legal consequences. Connivance necessarily involves
criminality on the part of the individual who connives, condonation
may take place without implying the slightest blame to the party
who forgives the injury.
4. Connivance must be the act of the mind before the offence has
been committed; condonation is the result of a determination to
forgive an injury which was not known until after it was inflicted.
3 Hagg. Eccl. R. 350.
5. Connivance differs, also, from collusion (q. Y.); the former
is generally collusion. for a particular purpose, while the latter
may exist without connivance. 3 Hagg, Eccl. R. 130. Vide Shelf.
on Mar. & Div. 449; 3 Hagg. R. 82; 2 Hagg. R. 376; Id. 278;
3 Hagg. R. 58, 107, 119, 131, 312; 3 Pick. R. 299; 2 Caines, 219;
Anth. N.P. 196.
CONQUEST, feudal law. This term was used by the feudists
to signify purchase.
CONQUEST, international law. The acquisition of the sovereignty
of a country by force of arms, exercised by an independent power
which reduces the vanquished to the submission of its empire.
2. It is a general rule, that where conquered countries have laws
of their own, these laws remain in force after the conquest, until
they are abrogated, unless they are contrary to our religion, or
enact any malum in se. In all such cases the laws of the conquering
country prevail; for it is not to be presumed that laws opposed
to religion or sound morals could be sanctioned. 1 Story, Const.
150, and the cases there cited.
3. The conquest and military occupation of a part of the territory
of the United States by a public enemy, renders such conquered territory,
during such occupation, a foreign country with respect to the revenue
laws of the United States. 4 Wheat. R. 246; 2 Gallis. R. 486. The
people of a conquered territory change theirallegiance, but, by
the modern practice, their relations to each other, and their rights
of property, remain the same. 7 Pet. R. 86.
4. Conquest does not, per se, give the conqueror plenum dominium
et utile, but a temporary right of possession and government. 2
Gallis. R. 486; 3 Wash. C. C. R. 101. See 8 Wheat. R. 591; 2 Bay,
R. 229; 2 Dall. R. 1; 12 Pet. 410.
5. The right which the English government claimed over the territory
now composing the United States, was not founded on conquest, but
discovery. Id. 152, et seq.
CONQUETS, French law. The name given to every acquisition
which the husband and wife, jointly or severally, make during the
conjugal community. Thus, whatever is acquired by the husband and
wife, either by his or her industry or good fortune, enures to the
extent of one-half for the benefit of the other. Merl. Rep. mot
Conquet; Merl. Quest. mot Conquet. In Louisiana, these gains are
called aquets. (q. v.) Civ. Code of Lo. art. 2369.
CONSANGUINITY The relation subsisting among all the different
persons descendiug from the same stock, or common ancestor. Vaughan,
322, 329; 2 Bl. Com. 202 Toull. Dr. Civ.. Fr. liv. 3, t. 1, ch.
n 115 2 Bouv. Inst. n. 1955, et seq.
2. Some portion of the blood of the common ancestor flows through
the veins of all his descendants, and though mixed with the blood
flowing from many other families, yet it constitutes the kindred
or alliance by blood between any two of the individuals. This relation
by blood is of two kinds, lineal and collateral.
3. Lineal consanguinity is that relation which exists among persons,
where one is descended from the other, as between the son and the
father, or the grandfather, and so upwards in a direct ascending
line; and between the father and the son, or the grandson, and so
downwards in a direct descending line. Every generation in this
direct course males a degree, computing either in the ascending
or descending line. This being the natural mode of computing the
degrees of lineal, consanguinity, it has been adopted by the civil,
the canon, and the common law.
4. Collateral consanguinity is the relation subsisting among persons
who descend from the same commnon ancestor, but not from each other.
It is essential to constitute this relation, that they spring from
the same common root or stock, but in different branches. The mode
of computing the degrees is to discover the common ancestor, to
begin with him to reckon downwards, and the degree the two persons,
or the more remote of them, is distant from the ancestor, is the
degree of kindred subsisting between them. For instance, two brothers
are related to each other in the first degree, because from the
father to each of them is one degree. An uncle and a nephew are
related to each other in tho second degree, because the nephew is
two degrees distant from the common ancestor, and the rule of computation
is extended to the remotest degrees of collateral relationship.
This is the mode of computation by the common and canon law. The
method of computing by the civil law, is to begin at either of the
persons in questian and count up to the common ancestor, and then
downwards to the, other person, calling it a degree for each person,
both ascending and descending, and the degrees they stand from each
other is the degree in which they stand related. Thus, from a nephew
to his father, is one degree; to the grandfather, two degrees and
then to the uncle, three; which points out the relationship.
5. The following table, in which the Roman numeral letters express
the degrees by the civil law, and those in Arabic figures at the
bottom, those by the common law, will fully illustrate the subject.