Amicus Brief on behalf of Аverroës Nix by Governor Varavour
I would like to humbly submit the following historic contextual evidence, in support of the petitioner, for your consideration. As this case is rather unique- there does not appear to be any historical precedent for a President Pro Tempore attempting to cast a tie-breaking vote. This, by all means, appears to be a legal innovation- and thus unconstitutional and illegal.
First, I submit the following, which deals with Republic of Atlasia's predecessor, the United States of America, and comes from the official website of the United States Senate
The Constitution provides for two officers to preside over the Senate. The Vice President of the United States is designated as the president of the Senate. In this capacity, the vice president was expected to preside at regular sessions of the Senate, casting votes only to break ties. From John Adams in 1789 to Richard Nixon in the 1950s, presiding over the Senate was the chief function of vice presidents, who had an office in the Capitol, received their staff support and office expenses through the legislative appropriations, and rarely were invited to participate in cabinet meetings or other executive activities. In 1961, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson changed the vice presidency by moving his chief office from the Capitol to the White House, by directing his attention to executive functions, and by attending Senate sessions only at critical times when his vote, or ruling from the chair, might be necessary. Vice presidents since Johnson’s time have followed his example.
When we consider that the vice president used to be the Senate's regular presiding officer, we can better understand why the Constitution further provided that in the absence of the vice president the Senate could choose a president pro tempore to perform the duties of the chair. Pro tempore is a Latin term meaning "for the time being"; thus, the occupant of the position was conceived as a temporary presiding officer. Since vice presidents presided routinely in the 18th and 19th centuries, the Senate thought it necessary to choose a president pro tempore only for the limited periods when the vice president might be ill or otherwise absent. As a result, the Senate frequently elected several presidents pro tempore during a single session.
The Constitution is quite unspecific in its definition of the vice president's role as presiding officer, beyond casting tie-breaking votes. John Adams, the first vice president, attempted to influence the Senate’s decisions on legislation during his first term, but eventually came to see the presiding officer as a neutral figure. That role has remained constant since that time. Adams cast more tie-breaking votes (29) than has any vice president who succeeded him. By contrast, during his eight years of service as vice president, George H.W. Bush cast only eight tie-breaking votes, Al Gore broke four ties, and Vice President Dick Cheney voted eight times to break ties. The vice president is not at liberty to address the Senate, except by unanimous consent. Nor should any senator speak while presiding, other than to make necessary rulings and announcements or to maintain order.
As we can see, the vice president, despite it being a rather thankless role, and despite the increase in his executive authority, has always taken on the responsibility of breaking tied votes. The logical inference would be that this task, part of the reason one Vice President called the post "worth less than a warm bucket of piss", can be conducted by the Vice President and the Vice President alone. If an alternative was possible, the Vice President would have instructed the President Pro Tempore to cast the tie-breaking vote.
Further evidence for this view is found from this document
, also the work of the United States Senate. As it shows, no tie breaking vote was cast during a Vice Presidential vacancy. This, again, would strongly suggest that only a Vice President can cast a tie breaking vote.
Other (but still quite reputable) scholarly legal sources provide more concrete concurrence. Gerard N. Magliocca, the Samuel R. Rosen Professor at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, writes that
There have been a few stories recently speculating on how the Senate would function if the November elections resulted in a 50-50 split between Republicans and Democrats. The standard answer is that that Joe Biden would have to spend a lot more time on Capitol Hill to cast his tie-breaking vote. While the practice has always been that a vice-president must cast his Senate vote in person, I wonder if that should be changed.
There are good reasons for not allowing proxy voting by House and Senate members. You might think part of the duty of being a member is to show up and cast votes. Verifying the accuracy of proxy votes could also be a problem, especially if an absent member is ill or in some remote place. Likewise, permitting proxy voting might give party leaders more power than they already possess by effectively delegating votes to them. (In this respect, you might say that voting in Congress is simply non-delegable.)
The Vice President, he says, must
be the one to cast a tie breaking vote. He would like to see this changed, but it is firmly established this is the case.
William Josephson, a retired partner at a Philadelphia law firm, writes for the University of Pennsylvania's
law school in a paper that,
Of course, in those situations when the vice presidency was vacant, that officer would not be available to break any tied Senate vote for Vice President. Nor would the Vice President be available “when he shall exercise the Office of President.”
It is made clear here, again, that the a tied vote would be left tied by the vacancy of the office of Vice-President. And finally, a page by the Indiana University at Bloomington Law School
answers the question of "What happens in the event of a tie vote in Congress? If the tie vote is in the Senate, and the Vice-President is not there to break it — what is the outcome?"
by writing that;
A tie vote means the proposal loses, whether it be in the House, Senate, on the floor, or in committee.
Only the Vice-President has the authority under the Constitution to break a tie vote, and only on the Senate floor. Of course, he would only need to come to the Senate to do that if the Administration favored the proposition. In that case, he would vote aye, tipping the scales from 50-50 to 51-50 [if all Senators were present and voting.]
If the Administration opposed the matter, then his vote would be unnecessary. If the vote were tied at 50-50, the matter would lose automatically.
I am sure there is a great many more examples of this out there in the body of legal scholarship, but I consider this a sufficient selection. I hope my brief helps settle the matter that the action taken by the President Pro Tempore constitutes a gross violation of the constitution and that the "election" of Tyrion as Vice-President did not take place.Governor Varavour