EXPULSION. The act of depriving a member of a body politic, corporate, or of a society, of his right of membership therein, by the vote of such body or society, for some violation of hi's. duties as such, or for some offence which renders him unworthy of longer remaining a member of the same.
2. By the Constitution of the United States, art. 1, s. 5, §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. In the case of John Smith, a senator from Ohio, who was expelled from the senate in 1807, the committee made a report which embraces the following points:
5. - 3. That although a bill of indictment against a party for treason and misdemeanor has been abandoned, because a previous indictment against the principal party had terminated in an acquittal, owing to the inadmissibility of the evidence upon that indictment, yet the senate may examine the evidence for themselves, and if it be sufficient to satisfy their. minds that the party is guilty of a high misdemeanor it is a sufficient ground of expulsion.
6. - 4. That the 6th and 6th articles of the amendments of the Constitution of the United States, containing the general rights and privileges of the citizen, as to criminal prosecutions, refer only to prosecutions at law, and do not affect the jurisdiction of the senate as to expulsion.
7. - 5. That before a committee of the senate, appointed to report an opinion relative to the honor and privileges of the senate, and the facts respecting the conduct of the member implicated, such member is not entitied to be heard in his defence by counsel, to have compulsory process for witnesses, and to be confronted with his accusers. It is before the senate that the member charged is entitled to be heard.
8. - 6. - In determining on expulsion, the senate is not bound by the forms of judicial proceedings, or the rules of judicial evidence; nor, it seems, is the same degree of proof essential which is required to convict of a crime. The power of expulsion must, in its nature, be discretionary, and its exercise of a more summary character. 1 Hall's Law Journ. 459, 465.
9. Corporations have the right of expulsion in certain cases, as such power is necessary to the good order and government of corporate bodies; and the cases in which the inherent power may be exercised are of three kinds. 1. When an offence is committed which has no immediate relation to a member's corporate duty, but is of so infamous a nature as renders him unfit for the, society of honest men; such as the offences of perjury, forgery, and the like. But before an expulsion is made for a cause of this kind, it is necessary that there should be a previous conviction by a jury, according to the law of the land. 2. When the offence is against his duty as a corporator, in which case he may be expelled on trial and conviction before the corporation. 3. The third is of a mixed nature, against the member's duty. as a corporator, and also indictable by the law of the land. 2 Binn.448. See, also, 2 Burr., 536.
10. Members of what are called joint stock incorporated companies, or indeed members of any corporation owning property, cannot, without express authority in the charter, be expelled, and thus deprived of their interest in the general fund. Ang. & Ames on Corp. 238. See; generally, Ang. & Ames on Corp. ch. 11; Willcock, on Mun. Cor . 270; 1 Co. 99; 2 Bing. 293.; 5 Day 329; Sty. 478; 6 Conn. R. 532; 6 Serg. & Rawle, 469; 5 Binn. 486.