U.S. Constitutional Convention 1787 (2021 Edition)

Grand Convention at Philadelphia, May to September, 1787, Quill Project 2021 Edition.

The Convention

The main chamber of the Constitutional Convention, consisting of all delegates.

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Document introduced in:

Session 6199: 1787-05-28 10:00:00

Report of the Rules Committee accepted. Additional rules proposed.

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Rules and Standing Orders of the Convention

There is 1 proposed amendment related to this document on which a decision has not been taken.

Rules to be Observed as the Standing Orders of the Convention.

A House, to do business, shall consist of the Deputies of not less than seven States; and all questions shall be decided by the greater number of these which shall be fully represented; but a less number than seven may adjourn from day to day.

Immediately after the President shall have taken the Chair, and the members their seats, the minutes of the preceding day shall be read by the Secretary.

Every member, rising to speak, shall address the President; and, whilst he shall be speaking, none shall pass between them, or hold discourse with another, or read a book, pamphlet, or paper, printed or manuscript — and of two members, rising at the same time, the President shall name him who shall be first heard.

A member shall not speak oftner than twice, without special leave, upon the same question; and not the second time, before every other, who had been silent, shall have been heard, if he choose to speak, upon the subject.

A motion made and seconded, shall be repeated and, if written, as it shall be when any member shall so require, read aloud, by the Secretary, before it shall be debated; and may be withdrawn at any time before the vote upon it shall have been declared.

Orders of the day shall be read next after the minutes, and either discussed or postponed before any other business shall be introduced.

When a debate shall arise upon a question, no motion, other than to amend the question, to commit it, or to postpone the debate shall be received.

A question, which is complicated, shall, at the request of any member, be divided, and put separately upon the propositions, of which it is compounded.

The determination of a question, although fully debated, shall be postponed, if the Deputies of any State desire it, until the next day.

A Writing, which contains any matter brought on to be considered, shall be read once throughout, for information, then by paragraphs, to be debated, and again, with the amendments, if any, made on the second reading; and afterwards the question shall be put upon the whole, amended, or approved in it’s original form, as the case shall be.

That Committees shall be appointed by ballot; and that the members who have the greatest number of ballots, although not a majority of the votes present, be the Committee. When two or more Members have an equal number of votes, the Member standing first on the list in the order of taking down the ballots shall be preferred.

A member may be called to order by any other Member, as well as by the President, and may be allowed to explain his conduct or expressions, supposed to be reprehensible — And all questions of order shall be decided by the President without appeal or debate.

That this Convention will meet punctually at 10 o’clock every morning (Sundays excepted) and sit till three o’clock in the afternoon, at which time the President shall adjourn the Convention.

Upon a question to adjourn, for the day, which may be made at any time, if it be seconded, the question shall be put without a debate

When the House shall adjourn every Member shall stand in his place until the President pass him.

That no member be absent from the House so as to interrupt the representation of the State without leave.

That Committees do not sit whilst the House shall be, or ought to be, sitting.

That no copy be taken of any entry on the journal during the sitting of the House without the leave of the House.

That members only be permitted to inspect the journal.

That nothing spoken in the House be printed, or otherwise published, or communicated without leave.

That a motion to reconsider a matter, which had been determined by a majority, may be made, with leave unanimously given,-on-the same day in which the vote passed, but otherwise, not without one days previous notice; in which last case, if the House agree to the reconsideration some future day shall be assigned for that purpose.

Resolved that the said rules be observed as standing Orders of the House.

Decisions yet to be taken