GOP leaders advise senators with guide to proper behavior

Impeachment jurors given tips on avoiding rudeness

January 14, 1999|By SUN NATIONAL STAFF

WASHINGTON -- Now comes the real test: Can U.S. senators, used to being masters of their universe, follow guidelines on decorum for President Clinton's impeachment trial that seem more appropriate for schoolchildren?

Senate Republican leaders, perhaps fearing the worst from lawmakers who often conduct themselves like feudal lords, issued yesterday "general guidance for proper behavior as senators sit as impeachment trial jurors."

The tips for avoiding rudeness include:

"Senators should plan to be in attendance at all times during the proceedings."

"Upon the announcement of the arrival of the chief justice, senators should all silently rise at their desks and remain standing until the chief justice takes his seat. Similarly, when the chief justice rises to depart, senators should rise and remain standing in silence until he has exited the chamber.

"Senators will only have the opportunity for limited speech at the trial. We should also refrain from speaking to neighboring senators while the case is being presented."

"Individual reading materials should be confined to only those readings which pertain to the matter before the Senate."

"Before entering the chamber, please remember to turn off cell phones and beepers. Should senators accept a call, the cloakroom will be available for this use."

"Pages will be responsible for relaying the senators' written questions to the chief justice through the staff to the parliamentarian."

"The chief justice may be referred to as `Mr. Chief Justice.' "

"Should votes be required during the proceedings, senators will stand and vote from their seats."

"The well of the Senate will not be accessible to senators during the impeachment trial. Please refrain from walking between the Chief Justice and the managers or witnesses in the well."

Pub Date: 1/14/99

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