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Published by Joshua Ryan Collums

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Published by: Joshua Ryan Collums on Mar 02, 2011
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Tolaythenecessaryfoundation,anunderstandingofacoupleofprovisionsoftheWisconsinConstitutionisnecessary.Otherprovisionsofthestateconstitutionarealsoimplicatedbythisissue;however,itisnotnecessarytodiscussthemimmediately.Tobegin,thestateconstitutionprovides:Eachhouseshallbethejudgeoftheelections,returnsandqualificationsofitsownmembers;andamajorityofeachshallconstituteaquorumtodobusiness,butasmallernumbermayadjournfromdaytoday,and
maycompeltheattendanceofabsentmembersinsuchmannerandundersuchpenaltiesaseachhousemayprovide.
Wis.Const.art.IV,
§
7.Becausetheprotestedbillcontainsfiscalprovisions,however,"three-fifthsofallthememberselectedtosuchhouseshallinallsuchcasesberequiredtoconstituteaquorumtherein."
ld.
atart.VIII,
§
8.TheWisconsinSenatehasutilizedtheauthorizationprovidedbyarticleIV,
§
7andestablishedrulesgoverningsituationsinwhichitisnecessaryto"compeltheattendanceofabsentmembers."WisconsinSenateRule81providesforaparliamentaryprocedureknownasa"callofthehouse."Acallofthehouseisdefinedas"Alegislativebody'sordercompellingeachabsentmember'sattendance,usuallyinstructingthatthesergeantatarmsarrestandpresenteachabsentee.
Black'sLawDictionary,
232(9thed.2009)
citing
HenryM.Robert,
Robert'sRules
(if
OrderNewlyRevised
§
40,at339(10thed.2000)("Inlegislativebodiesorotherassembliesthathavepowertocompeltheattendanceoftheirmembers,aprocedurethatcanbeusedtoobtainaquorum,ifnecessaryisthemotionforaCalloftheHouse.Thisisamotionthatunexcusedabsentmembersbebroughttothemeetingunderarrest.").IntheWisconsinSenate,acallofthehouserequiresfivesenatorstoinvoketheprocedureand"therebyrequireabsentmemberstobesentfor...."Wis.Sen.R.81.AseparateSenateRule,Rule84,providesfortheprocessinwhichabsentmembersmaybesentfor,orcompelledintoattendance:Sergeanttobringinabsentees.Thechiefclerkshallimmediatelycalltherollofthemembers,andnotetheabsentees,whosenamesshallberead,andenteredupon
 
thejournalinsuchmannerastoshowwhoareabsentwithleaveandwhoareabsentwithoutleave.Thechiefclerkshallfurnishthesergeantatarmswithalistofthosewhoareabsentwithoutleave,and
thesergeantatarmsshallforthwithproceedtofindandbrinJ<insuchabsentees.
(emphasisadded).Thus,itisthesergeantatanTISwhomayproceedtobringintheabsentmembers.
SeeBurnamv.Davis,
2003WL25301368(Tex.Dist.250th)(declaringthat"theDepartmentofPublicSafety[...]lackslegalauthoritytoarrestmembersoftheTexasHouseofRepresentativesinresponsetoacallforquorum...."),
vacated,
137S.W.3d325(2004).Therulemakesnomentionofeitherthestatepoliceorthesergeantatarm'sauthoritytodelegatehisdutiestothestate
police.'
SomemightcounterthistextualargumentwiththeaccountoftheU.S.Senatesergeantatarms,who,withtheassistanceofU.S.CapitolPolice,carriedSenatorBobPackwoodofOregonintotheU.S.Senatechamberfeetfirstin1988.Senate.gov,TheSenateEnforcesAttendance,http:www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/minute/Compulsory_Attendance.htm(lastvisitedMarch1,2011).Afterall,theU.S.Constitution,liketheWisconsinConstitution,providesforcompellingmembersofCongressintoattendance.U.S.Const.art.1,§5,cl.
1.
TheU.S.Senatehasprovidedthemannerinwhichabsentmembersmaybecompelledintoattendance.U.S.Sen.R.VI.SenateRuleXIprovidesAquorumshallconsistofamajorityoftheSenatorsdulychosenandsworn.2.NoSenatorshallabsenthimselffromtheserviceoftheSenatewithoutleave.3.If,atanytimeduringthedailysessionsoftheSenate,aquestionshallberaisedbyanySenatorastothepresenceofaquorum,thePresidingOfficershallforthwithdirecttheSecretarytocalltherollandshallannouncetheresult,andtheseproceedingsshallbewithoutdebate.4.Wheneveruponsuchrollcallitshallbeascertainedthataquorumisnotpresent,
amajorityoftheSenatorspresentmaydirecttheSerceaniatArmstorequest,and,whennecessary,tocompeltheattendanceoftheabsentSenators,
1
ContrasttheWisconsinsenaterulewiththecomparableAlaskarulesatissuein
Shultzv.Sundbelg,
577F.Supp.1491(D.Alaska1984).In
Shultz;
thedistrictcourtgrantedqualifiedimmunitytotwostatetroopersandtheexecutivedirectoroftheAlaskaStateTroopersfortheirroleincompellingastaterepresentativetoattendajointsessionofthelegislature.Thedistrictcourtstatedthatits"conclusionrestsprimarilyontheapplicationof[...]theUniformRules[ofthe]AlaskaStateLegislature.Rule16(e)providesthatthepresidingofficerofthehousemaydirectthesergeant-at-armsto
obtainassistancefromtheDepartment
(if
PublicSafety
tosecuretheattendanceofanymissingmember."
ld.
at1497(emphasisadded).
2
 
whichordershallbedeterminedwithoutdebate;andpendingitsexecution,anduntilaquorumshallbepresent,nodebatenormotion,excepttoadjourn,ortorecesspursuanttoapreviousorderenteredbyunanimousconsent,shallbeinorder.(emphasisadded).Therefore,onemightbeinclinedtousetheeventssurroundingSenatorPackwood'scompelledattendance,involvingtheu.S.CapitolPolice,tomaketheshortleapfromthefederallegislativerealmtothestatelegislativerealminarguingthattheinvolvementofstatepoliceinWisconsindoesnotcreateanylegalproblems.Butwhilethetwosituationsseemsimilar,thereisonekeydifference:theSergeantatArmsoftheu.S.SenateshareswiththeSergeantatArmsoftheu.S.HouseofRepresentativesandtheArchitectoftheCapitolresponsibilityovertheu.S.CapitolPolice.
See
2
USc.
§
1969;
seealsoThwin;<v.UnitedStates,
16Ct.Cl.13(1880)("ThemembersoftheCapitolpoliceareappointedbytheSergeants-at-ArmsofthetwohouseofCongressandtheArchitectoftheCapitolExtension[and]aresubjecttotheircontrol....");Senate.gov,SergeantatArms,http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/briefing/sergeant_at_arms.htm(lastvisitedMarch1,2011).TheWisconsinstatepolice,however,arenotundertheresponsibilityoftheWisconsinSenatesergeantatarms.Rather,theyareorganizedundertheauthorityoftheWisconsinsecretaryoftransportation.i
See
Wis.Stat.Ann.
§
110.07("Thesecretaryshallemploynotmorethan399trafficofficers.").Therefore,havingsettledtheinitialquestionofwhohastheauthoritytocompeltheattendanceofabsentWisconsinsenators-theSenatesergeantatarmsalone-itremainsunsettledtheboundshisorherauthority.TheWisconsinConstitutionprovidesthattheSenatesergeantatarmsisanelectedofficerofthelegislature.Wis.Const.art.XII,
§
6.Astatuteprovidesforthesergeantatarmssalaryandforthereimbursementofexpenses,butprovidesfewdetailsastothedutiesaccompanyingtheposition,merelystatingthatthesergeantatarms"shallperformallsuch
2
WisconsinCapitolPoliceareorganizedundertheauthorityofdepartmentofadministration.
See
Wis.Stat.Ann.
§
16.84.
3

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