Speeches in the senate
May 23, 2005 4:23 PM   Subscribe

What is the origin of addressing all comments in Senate speeches to the President of the Senate? Is this simply tradition or is there some parliamentary reason for this?
posted by trey to Law & Government (4 answers total)
Robert's Rules of Order, the oft-cited rules for parliamentary procedure, says all remarks must be directed to the chair of the body (in the Senate, the President of the Senate).
posted by ALongDecember at 4:44 PM on May 23, 2005

The practice derives, basically, from the fact that to take the floor and speak, a member of the Senate must be recognized by the Senate President. It's generally true in parlimentary bodies that the chair recognizes speakers and permits them to speak.

If you watch Senate committee hearings, you will see senators address the chair of the committee in the same manner that they address the President on the senate floor.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 5:00 PM on May 23, 2005

Short answer: Rule 19.

Slightly longer answer: it's "a rhetorical device to keep floor speech depersonalized."
posted by lewistate at 6:38 PM on May 23, 2005

Lewistate is right. Robert's Rules of Order is usually not used for legislative bodies, and the rules of the Senate predate it.
posted by grouse at 12:33 AM on May 24, 2005

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