In this case though, with the Supreme Court nomination and confirmation coming up we think this is topical.
Haven't you always wanted to be able go to the Thursday afternoon salon and casually say: "I was just looking at Article 1, Section 5 and..."?
Of course you have.
And now you can. Here's Shmoop:
Bust out your magnifying glass. We're taking an up-close look at Article 1, Section 5 of the US Constitution.
Clause 1. Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller Number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.
This clause has two separate and seemingly unrelated parts. First, the House and the Senate are given the power to judge the qualifications of their own members. In the case of a disputed Senate election, for example, in which both candidates claim to have won the vote, it is ultimately up to the Senate itself to decide which candidate gets the seat. Second, a majority of either chamber's membership is required to be present to constitute a quorum. Congress can continue to conduct business with less than a quorum present, but any member can then issue a "quorum call," requiring either that a majority of the members actually show up or that the house takes a temporary adjournment.
Clause 2. Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member.The House and the Senate have the power to set their own rules of parliamentary procedure. Over the course of 200+ years of American history, those rules have grown quite complex. The House and the Senate also have the power to kick out their own members for bad acts; expulsion requires a two-thirds vote....