Primary tabs

Rules of Order Reported and Adopted


Tuesday, January 9, 1776.

The House met according to adjournment.

The Committee appointed yesterday to draw up Rules for the order of the House, made report of twelve Rules, following;

Which being distinctly read and considered,

Voted, That the same be accepted, adopted, and made Rules for the order of this House; and are as follows, viz:

First. That whosoever shall, by any misbehaviour in speech or action, justly offend any of the Members of the House, shall, for the first offence, be admonished; and for the second, shall be fined as the House shall see meet.

Second. That no Member speak twice to any matter in debate before the House until every Member have liberty to speak once to the same matter, if he should see cause.

Third. That every Member direct his speech to the Speaker, and not one to another; and when any Member has a mind to speak to any matter in debate, he shall stand up and ask leave, of the Speaker, and not speak without his consent; and shall be silent at his command. But if the Member speaking thinks such command unseasonable, or unreasonable, the Speaker shall take a vote of the House thereon; to which such Member shall submit, on pain of forfeiting such sum as the House shall determine,

Fourth. That, whenever it happens that there are as many votes on one side of a question as on the other, without the Speaker, then the Speaker shall make the casting vote.

Fifth. That if the Speaker be absent, the House may choose a Speaker pro tempore, that the business of the House be carried on without delay.

Sixth. That if any Member, after being qualified and entered, shall absent himself at any time, without leave, from the House, he shall be liable to be fined at the discretion of the House.

Seventh. That if any Member of this House shall, by the major part of the House, be thought unfit, and not qualified for said place, it shall be in the power of the House to dismiss such person, giving notice to the Town or Towns, Parish or Parishes, where he belongs, to choose another to fill up such vacancy.

Eighth. That every Bill, to be passed in this House, be read three times; and that there be two adjournments of this House before any Bill be passed into an Act.

Ninth. That the Speaker and thirty of the Members returned, be a House to do business.

Tenth. That no Vote that is passed in the House shall be reconsidered by a lesser number than were present when passed.

Eleventh. That no Vote shall be valid unless passed by a majority of the Members present.

Twelfth. That no Member make any new motion until that which is under consideration is determined or postponed.