Harper's Weekly 07/28/1866


CONGRESS.

July 10:

In the Senate, Mr. Trumbull called up the House bill
fixing the number of Judges of the Supreme Court and
changing the judicial districts, and moved an amendment,
which was agreed to, reducing the number of associate
judges to six. The bill provides:


Sec. 1. That hereafter the Supreme Court of the United
States shall consist of one Chief Justice and eight Associ-
ate Justices.


Sec. 2. That the First and Second Circuits shall re-
main as now constituted; that the districts of Pennsyl-
vania, New Jersey, and Delaware shall constitute the
Third circuit; that the districts of Maryland, West Vir-
ginia, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina shall
constitute the Fourth circuit; that the districts of Geor-
gia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas
shall constitute the Fifth circuit; that the districts of
Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee shall consti-
tute the Sixth circuit; that the districts of Indiana, Illi-
nois, and Wisconsin shall constitute the Seventh circuit;
that the districts of Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas,
and Arkansas shall constitute the Eighth circuit; and the
districts of California, Oregon, and Nevada shall consti-
tute the Ninth circuit.


The amendment which Mr. Trumbull was instructed
by the Judicial Committee to offer provides: “That no
vacancy in the office of Associate Justice of the Supreme
Court shall be filled by appointment until the number of
associate justices shall be reduced to six, and hereafter the
said Supreme Court shall consist of the Chief Justice of
the United States and six associate justices, any four of
whom shall constitute a quorum, and the said court shall
hold one term annually at the seat of government, and
such adjourned or special terms as they may find neces-
sary for the dispatch of business.” Mr. Trumbull called
up the bill for enlarging the public grounds surrounding
the Capitol, which was passed. Its provisions are as fol-
lows:


That the public grounds surrounding the Capitol shall
be enlarged according to the plan approved by the Com-
mittee on Public Buildings of the Senate and House of
Representatives respectively, which plan is hereby direct-
ed to be deposited in the custody of the Secretary of the
Interior, by extension between First Street East and First
Street West, in the following manner: Northwardly, to
the south side of North B Street, and southwardly to
the north side of South B Street, including, in addition to
so much of the reservations, avenues, and streets as are
necessary for such extension, the two squares designated
on the plan of the City of Washington as Nos. 687 and 688
respectively.


Sec. 2. Provides that it shall be the duty of the Secre-
tary of the Interior to purchase from the owner or owners
thereof, at such price not exceeding its actual cash value
as may be mutually agreed on between the Secretary and
such owner or owners, and not exceeding the appraisal
made by the commission of nine in their report to Robert
Ould, United States District Attorney for the District of
Columbia, on the twenty-first day of January, eighteen
hundred and sixty-one, such private property as may be
necessary for carrying this act into effect, the value of the
property for carrying this act into effect, the value of the
thereof out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise
appropriated, on the requisition of said Secretary. Pro-
vided that before such payment shall be made the owner
or owners of the property purchased shall, by good and
sufficient deed or deeds, in due form of law, and approved
by the Attorney-General of the United States, fully release
and convey to the United States all their and each of their
several and respective rights in said titles to such lands
and property so purchased.


The third section authorizes the appraisement of such
property, if the Secretary of the Interior and the owners
shall be unable to agree as to price.


The seventh section appropriates fifty thousand dollars
for filling up and enlarging the public grounds as pro-
posed.


In the House, the Tariff bill was passed, 94 to 53.

July 11:

In the Senate, the bill regulating the time and manner
of electing United States Senators was passed, 25 to 11.
The bill does away with voting by ballot, and requires an
open or viva voce vote in all cases.—A resolution vesting
the right and privileges and exclusive use of the Atlantic
telegraph cable in the American Atlantic Company of New
York was passed.


July 12:

In the Senate, the Tariff bill was received from the
House, and was referred to the Committee on Finance, to
report next December.


July 13:

In the Senate, the Niagara Ship Canal bill was post-
poned until December next by a vote of 24 against 13.


In the House, the bill making appropriations for the
civil expenses of the government was taken up. Among
other amendments passed was one appropriating $10,000
for additional station-houses and life-boats along the coast
of New Jersey, between Sandy Hook and Little Egg Har-
bor, and $5000 for repairing and lighting the light-house
at Tucker's Beach, on the coast of New Jersey. The bill
was then passed by the House.—Mr. Morrill, from the
Committee on Ways and Means, reported a new tariff
bill, which is a partial revision of the one lately recom-
mitted.—The Pennsylvania contested election case being
under consideration, a resolution retaining Mr. Dawson in
his seat was adopted.


July 14:

In the Senate, the House resolution to appoint a joint
committee on the subject of retrenchment, to sit during
the recess, was adopted with amendments so as to apply
to the military and naval as well as civil service, and
charging the committee to inquire into the expediency of
changing the method of appointment to civil office so that
it can not be used for party purposes.


In the House, the bill authorizing the construction of
bridges across the Mississippi was passed.


July 16:

In both Houses, the President's Message, vetoing the
Freedmen's Bureau Bill, was read, and with most precipi-
tate haste the bill was passed over the veto: in the House
by 104 to 33; in the Senate, 33 to 12.



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