United States v. Smith
Annotate this Case
286 U.S. 6 (1932)
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U.S. Supreme Court
United States v. Smith, 286 U.S. 6 (1932)
United States v. Smith
Argued March 21, 22, 1932
Decided May 2, 1932
286 U.S. 6
1. A question of construction of the Rules of the Senate becomes a judicial question when the right of an appointee to office, challenged in a quo warranto proceeding, depends upon it. P. 286 U. S. 33.
2. In deciding such a question, great weight is to be attached to the present construction of the rules by the Senate itself; but that construction, so far at least, as arrived at after the events in controversy, is not conclusive on the Court. Id.
3. Rules of the Senate provided that, when a nomination to office was confirmed, any Senator voting in the majority might move for reconsideration on the same day on which the vote was taken, or on either of the next two days of actual executive session; that, if notification of the confirmation had been sent to the President before the expiration of the time within which the motion to reconsider might be made, the motion to reconsider should be accompanied by a motion to request the President to return said notification to the Senate, and that nominations confirmed should not be returned by the Secretary of the Senate to the President until the expiration of the time limited for making the motion to reconsider the same, or while the motion to reconsider was pending, "unless otherwise ordered by the Senate." Held that, when the Senate had confirmed a nomination and on the same day had by unanimous consent caused the President to be notified of the confirmation, and the President thereupon had commissioned the nominee and the latter had taken the oath and entered upon the duties of his office, the rules did not contemplate that the Senate thereafter, within two executive sessions following that of the confirmation, might entertain a motion to reconsider the confirmation, request return by the President of the notification, and, upon his refusal to return it, might reconsider and reject the nomination. P. 286 U. S. 32 et seq.
Supreme Ct. D.C. affirmed.
On certification by the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia of a question arising upon an appeal from a judgment dismissing a petition for a writ of quo warranto. This Court ordered up the whole record. *