Sergeant at Arms of the US Senate
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Sergeant at Arms of the US Senate

The Sergeant at Arms of the US Senate serves the United States government as the chief law enforcement, protocol, and executive officer of the US Senate.

The Office of the Senate Sergeant at Arms was first referred to as the position of "doorkeeper" and was created in April of 1789. The first holder of the position was James T. Mathers, and his job was to ensure that members of the senate stayed in the Senate Chamber long enough for a quorum to be established. The US Senate first met on March 4, 1789, but did not establish a quorum until early April of the same year. This means that members of the senate were officially unable to perform the business of government for nearly an entire month because the newly created governmental body was unable to keep a majority of its members in the Senate Chamber, as required by the constitution, to perform their duties.

Through the years, the position of doorkeeper has been expanded into The Office of the Sergeant at Arms, and the person who is elected by the Senate to hold the office is now responsible for serving the government as the "chief law enforcement officer, protocol officer, and executive officer" of the US Senate. As the chief law enforcement officer, the person appointed as the Sergeant at Arms has the unique authority to compel members of the senate to appear in the Senate Chamber so that a quorum can be established, no matter where in the world an absent senator may be. The Sergeant at Arms may also detain and/or arrest any person in violation of established Senate rules. If necessary, the Sergeant at Arms is even granted the authority to arrest the President of the United States if directed to do so by the Senate, and if the president is in violation of senate rules.

Also, the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate is responsible for providing and overseeing the security of elected senators, buildings where members of the senate conduct official business, and for ensuring that the senate can perform its duties undisturbed.

As the Senate’s chief protocol officer, the Sergeant at Arms coordinates official events and visits, escorts of the president and official guests into the Senate Chamber, escorts of the entire senate body when moving as one (as required for joint sessions of congress), and coordinates ceremonies like presidential inaugurations and funerals of sitting senators.

Lastly, the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate is responsible for overseeing a variety of administrative positions as the executive officer of the Senate. Administrative duties that the Sergeant at Arms is responsible for overseeing include distribution and repair of computer systems, software, and communications equipment. The holder of the office is also responsible for furnishing the Senate wing of the Capitol building in Washington D.C. and ensuring necessary repairs to furnishings are made as quickly as possible. The Sergeant at Arms also holds jurisdiction over the Senate Post Office and ensures that the every piece of mail to come through the Senate arrives at its intended destination as rapidly and safely as possible.

The United States Senate. Sergeant at Arms.

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Comments (1)

Interesting and informative write....thanks