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Expulsion

senate, society, law, rep, am, judicial, offence and rules

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EXPULSION (Lat. expellere, to drive out). The act of depriving a member of a body politic or corporate, or of a society, of his right of membership therein, by the vote of such body or society, for some violation of his duties as such, or for some offence which renders him unworthy of longer re maining a member of the same.

By the constitution of the United States, art. 1, s. 5, § 2, each house may determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member. In the case of John Smith, a sen ator from Ohio, who was expelled from the senate iu 1807, the committee made a report which em braces the following points: First. That the senate may expel a member for a high misdemeanor, such as a conspiracy to com mit treason. Its authbrity is not confined to an act done in its presence.

Second. That a previous conviction is not requi site in order to authorize the senate to expel a mem ber from their body for a high offence against_ the United States.

Third. That although a bill of indictment against a party for treason and misdemeanor has been abandoned, because a previous indictment against the principal party had terminated in an acquittal, owing to the inadmissibility of the evidence upon that indictment, yet the senate may examine the evidence for themselves, and if it be sufficient to satisfy their minds that the party is guilty of a high misdemeanor It is sufficient ground of expulsion. Fourth. That the fifth and sixth articles of the amendments of the constitution of the United States, containing the general rights and privileges of 'the citizens as to criminal prosecutions, refer only to prosecutions at law, and do not affect the jurisdiction of the senate as to expulsion.

Fifth. That before a committee of the senate, appointed to report an opinion relative to the honor and privileges of the senate, and the facts respect ing the conduct of the member implicated, such member is not entitled to be heard in his defenCe by counsel, to have compulsory process for wit nesses, or to be confronted with his accusers. It is before the senate that the member charged is en titled to be heard.

Sixth. In determining on expulsion the senate is not bound by the forms of judicial proceedings or the rules of judicial evidence; nor, it eeems, is the same degree of proof essential which is required to convict of a crime. The power of expulsion must, in its nature, be discretionary, and its exer of a more summary character. 1 Hall, Law Journ. 459, 465 ; Anderson v. Dunn, 6 Wheat. (U. S.) 204, 5 L. Ed. 242; Cooley, Const. Lim. 162.

Corporations have the• right of expulsion in certain cases, as such power is necessary to the good order and government of corpo rate bodies; and the cases in which the in herent power may be exercised are classi fied by Lord Mansfield as follows: 1. When an offence is committed which has no im mediate relation to a member's corporate duty, but is of so infamous a nature as to render him unfit for the society of honest men; such as the offences of perjury, for gery, and the like. But before an expulsion is made for a cause of this kind it is neces sary that there should he a previous convic tion by a jury according to the law of the land. 2. When the offence is against his du ty as a corporator, in which case he may be expelled on trial and conviction before the corporation. 3. The third is of a mixed na rator, and also indictable by the law of the land; 1 Burr. 517; Diligent Fire Co. v. Com., 75 Pa. 291; Evans v. Philadelphia Club, 50 Pa. 107; Gregg v. Medical Society, 111 Mass. 185, 15 Am. Rep. 27.

The decisions of any kind of a voluntary association in admitting, disciplining, sus pending or expelling members are of a quasi judicial character ; the courts will not inter fere in such cases except to ascertain wheth er or not the proceeding was pursuant to the rules of the society, in good faith, and not in violation of the law of the land. If so found, the proceeding is conclusive, like that of a judicial proceeding; Connelly v. Masonic Ass'n, 58 Conn. 552, 20 Atl. 671, 9 L. R. A. 428, 18 Am. St. Rep. 296. Upon questions of doctrine and policy the society is the sole and exclusive judge; Grand Lodge, K. P. v. People, 60 Ill. App. Rules enacted for the government of its members must be conformed to by it in all matters relating to the disciplining of the members; Green v. Board of Trade, 174 Ill. 585, 51 N. E. 599, 49 L. R. A. 365; Lewis v. Wilson, 121 N. Y. 284, 24 N. E. 474 ; Farmer v. Board of Trade, 78 Mo. App. 557. When suspension or expulsion results necessarily in affecting the financial standing of the complainants as well as depriving them of the use of property that is common to all, however insignificant its value, there is no reason to deny relief by injunction; Huston v. Reutlinger, 91 Ky. 333, 15 S. W. 867, 34 Am. St. Rep. 225. So where it appears that the complainant, unless aided by the courts, will be expelled from an association for some cause which under no circumstances can justify his expulsion; Otto v. Tailors' Un ion, 75 Cal. 315, 17 Pac. 217, 7 Am. St. Rep. 156.

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