125

The situation is fairly complex so I'm not surprised it was confusing. Here's the general rundown (partially pulled from this article for brevity) Sometime in July, Ford (Kavanaugh's accuser) wrote a letter to Diane Feinstein (D-CA) with her allegation that Kavanaugh had assaulted her sometime around 1982. The letter purportedly requested anonymity and ...


68

I'm not sure what the standard for evidence is (i.e. for references) on this site. If you want to know, here's what I inferred from following the Twitters of a couple of (anti-Trump) American lawyers. The weren't "sexual assault hearings", they were "senate confirmation hearings" Senate procedure has previously (since 2013 and 2017, as explained in detail ...


66

If a Senator missed a vote (deliberately or not), and all other Senators are present and voting, it would deny the VP the opportunity to break a tie. However, there's no point to deliberately doing this. Senator supports the measure, Senate is 50-49 without them. If the Senator votes, the final vote would be 51-49. The VP is not needed to break a tie. ...


58

Because Senate leadership [which largely shapes these rules] sees the trial's outcome as a forgone conclusion “I’m not an impartial juror. This is a political process,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) told reporters last month. The accelerated schedule (towards that foregone conclusion) goes hand in hand with not calling any [new] ...


53

According to news reports, this has led to "power sharing agreements" needing to be made between the Ds and Rs. Why is this necessary? First, it's important to note that the VP is not a Senator and hence cannot vote unless the Senate is tied. A 50 seats + VP "majority" is not the same as an unequivocal 51 seats majority. This is an ...


50

To pass, a bill needs to pass in the House and Senate and be signed by the President. Since the last election, Democrats took control of the House, so while the Obamacare repeal bills that failed in the Senate in 2017 might pass the Senate today, there's no way they would make it through the Democrat controlled House.


49

Regarding the start time (1p) From my understanding it is due to The Chief Justice's day job (SCOTUS). If true, this could be why on Saturday Jan 25 the trial started earlier as the SCOTUS didn't have any work that day. My answer doesn't included factors such as primetime viewership as I think those were secondary. I am trying to find text that cites ...


44

In the Senate, there is the so-called "Nuclear Option" that permits the rules of the Senate to be changed with a simple majority. These rules include the 60-vote rule to close debate, which functionally ends a filibuster. In recent memory the Nuclear Option was employed to end filibusters of judicial appointments of the Democrat controlled Senate ...


43

Votes have to be taken in the Senate chamber during an offical sitting of the Senate. A senator can't just pass a bill when they are alone in their office. They can't creep into the chamber in the dead of night and start passing laws. All the senators know when a vote is being held, and can attend or not. It is a public debate and a public vote. In the ...


38

The President Pro Tempore of the Senate can do it. In 1969, Vice President Hubert Humphrey did not participate in the count of the electoral college votes. The President Pro Tempore of the Senate took his place instead. Source: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/12/17/pence-trump-election-loss-447326


30

Let's state a few facts establishing the preconditions: The GOP and their senators, by and large, have made their peace with Trump's presidency. They do not want him removed from office, neither by election nor by impeachment. Tolerating this President involves tolerating a person very different from the conservative ideal and tolerating policies, ...


29

As this is the sort of question that would benefit from group research and updating as the Senate changes, here is a wiki answer. Please update this if you find any senators who have been missed, who are no longer in office, or who have political relatives who have been omitted. How to define a "dynasty" is unclear. In the interests of ...


27

With Democrat control of the House such a bill would have no chance of becoming law. Yehuda points out that bills are sometimes introduced for show, even if they have no chance of becoming law, to demonstrate a party's commitment to making something happen, or so that opponents are forced to vote for or against something that can be used against them later. ...


27

And is it true, as this article argues, that the VP could technically choose not to follow certain precedents (not even Senate rules--just certain precedents of practice) and recognize the minority leader instead of the majority leader as the first to take the floor and set the agenda? The Vice President could recognize the minority leader, sure. However, ...


27

Well, the Constitution says (Article II, Section 1) The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. while Article I, Section 3 defines the President of the Senate as the Vice President The Vice President of the United States shall be President of ...


27

Assuming that 60 out of 100 senators will never agree on the same thing... That's a huge assumption, which is to say that it is unrealistic. There are lots of things that will not attract the agreement of 60 or more senators, but there are other things that will, such as bills that enable government to function. And there will be things that don't have ...


26

US Constitution Article 1 Section 5 Clause 2: Rules Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings,... This includes how discussions are held and how votes are brought to the floor. President of the Senate Unlike in the House of Representatives, where the Speaker is both the presiding officer and the leader of the majority party, the presiding ...


26

The precise wording in the Constitution (with emphasis added) is: The Senate shall have the sole power to try all impeachments. When sitting for that purpose, they shall be on oath or affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two thirds of the ...


24

This is a common legislative tactic. Although Sen. McConnell didn't explicitly describe his plan, he was likely planning on gutting the bill (removing all of its current content) and eventually replacing it with new, immigration-related content. This isn't an amendment: it's replacing the current text of the bill with all-new text. This saves time for the ...


22

When thinking about political power and influence it is important to distinguish between formal and informal power. While the law explicitly provides some powers, often times the most significant powers are entirely informal (not defined in law). The Vice Presidency is a position that largely relies on informal power. Who Runs the Senate? According to ...


22

While Azor Ahai's answer is correct in general, that ties are usually resolved in the negative, the Senate power-sharing agreements negotiated for the 107th and 117th (current) Congresses, which were both tied 50-50, contained the following provision: Sec. 1 the Chairman of a full committee may discharge a subcommittee of any Legislative or Executive ...


20

Weakening of the Filibuster was one of the primary reasons this moved faster than previously possible. This weakening of the filibuster began in 2013, by then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). Reid justified his action by saying: "The American people believe Congress is broken. The American people believe the Senate is broken. And I believe ...


19

Between January 20th and January 23rd (inclusive) The Democratic majority in the Senate will only be cemented once Kamala Harris becomes VP, her replacement in the Senate (she was serving as one of California's Senators) is sworn in and seated, and the two new Senators from Georgia are sworn in and seated. If either of the three hasn't occurred, the ...


18

You're talking about "expulsion". Expulsion is the most serious form of disciplinary action that can be taken against a Member of Congress. Article I, Section 5 of the United States Constitution provides that "Each House [of Congress] may determine the Rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-...


18

"Still, if they see it as a forgone conclusion, why wouldn't they take the even quicker route? Just say both sides have 30 minutes to present arguments and reach a verdict in a day, something like that." Responding to a comment in another answer, but there's a lot at play here. While we can only speculate on some of this at least, the argument ...


18

Due process means (put simply) that the government will not punish a citizen for a crime unless it has been demonstrated — within a prescribed set of legal procedures — that the crime was committed by the person in question. Usually this means things like avoiding unnecessary delays, ensuring proper counsel, preventing expropriation of money or property, and ...


17

I'm not sure there any formally mandated consequences for not attending. On the other hand: Here are the guidelines for how senators are to conduct themselves during the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, which is expected to begin Tuesday. They were put out by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. Senators should plan to be in attendance ...


17

The NY Times article talks about the possibility of the confirmation vote on a Supreme Court Justice taking place during a lame-duck session - a Senate session occurring between election day in November and the convening of the new Senate on January 3rd 2021. Even if President Trump loses the November presidential election, he will remain President until ...


17

One thing they will be able to do is repeal regulations that have been finalized by the Trump administration in the last few months (many of which were rushed to completion during the lame-duck period). The Biden administration could put out new regulations to repeal the Trump administration's regulations, but they would have to go through the arduous ...


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