In United States v. Ballin was also raised an interesting' question as to the constitutional validity of a certain rule of procedure adopted by the House of Representatives. As to this the court, in its opinion, say: "The Constitution . . . provides, that 'each House may determine the rules of its proceedings.' It appears that, in pursuance of this authority, the House had, prior to that day, passed this as one of its rules: Rule XV. 'On the demand of any member, or at the suggestion of the Speaker, the names of members sufficient to make a quorum in the hall of the House who do not vote shall be noted by the clerk and recorded in the journal, and reported to the Speaker with the names of the persons voting, and be counted and announced in determining the presence of a quorum to do business.' (House Journal. 230. Feb. 14, 1890.) The action taken was in direct compliance with this rule. The question, therefore, is as to the validity of this rule, and not what methods the Speaker may of his own motion resort to for determining the presence of a quorum, nor what matters the Speaker or clerk of their own volition place upon the journal Neither do the advantages or disadvantages, the wisdom or folly, of such a rule present any matters for judicial consideration. With the courts the question is only one of power. The Constitution empowers each House to determine its- rules of proceedings. It may not by its rules ignore constitutional restraints or violate fundamental rights, and there should be a reasonable relation between the mode or method of proceeding established by the rule and the result which is sought to be attained. But within these limitation- all matters of method are open to the determination of the House, and it is no impeachment of the rule to say that Mine other method would be better, more accurate, or even more just. It is no objection to the validity of a rule that a diiferent one has been prescribed and in force for a length of time. The power to make rules is not one which once exercised is exhausted. It is a continuous power, always subject to be exercised by the House, and within the limitations suggested, absolute and beyond the challenge of any other body or tribunal. The Constitution provides that 'a majority of each [House] shall constitute a quorum to do business.' In other words, when a majority are present, the House is in a position to do business. Its capacity to transact business is then established, created by the mere presence of a majority, and when that majority are present the power of the House arises. But how shall the presence of a majority be determined? The Constitution has prescribed no method of making this determination, and it is therefore within the competence of the House to prescribe any method which shall be reasonably certain to ascertain the fact. It may prescribe answer to roli-cali as the only method of determination; or require the passage of members between tellers, and their count as the sole test; or the count of the Speaker and the clerk, and an announcement from the desk of the names of those who are present. Any one of these methods, it must be conceded, is reasonably certain of ascertaining the fact, and as there is no constitutional method prescribed, and no constitutional inhibition of any of those, and no violation of fundamental rights in any, it follows that the House may adopt either or all, or it may provide for a combination of any two of the methods. That was done by the rule in question; and all that rule attempts to do is to prescribe a method for ascertaining the presence of a majority, and thus establishing the fact that the House is in a condition to transact business. As it appears from the journal, at the time this bill passed the House there was present a majority, a quorum, and the House was authorized to transact any and all business. It was in a condition to act on the bill if it desired. The other branch of the question is, whether, a quorum being present, the bill received a sufficient number of votes; and here the general rule of all parliamentary bodies is that, when a quorum is present, the act of a majority of the quorum is the act of the body."
3 With reference to laws of the States, the Supreme Court in Duncan v. MrCall (139 U. S. 449; 11 Sup. Ct. Rep. 573; 35 L. Mr. 219) say: "It is unnecessary to enter upon an examination of the rulings in the different States upon the question whether a statute duly authenticated, approved and enrolled can be impeached by resort to the journals of the legislature, or other evidence, for the purpose of establishing that it was not passed in the manner prescribed by the state Constitution. The decisions are numerous and the results reached fail of uniformity. The courts of the United States necessarily adopt the adjudication of the state courts on the subject " [citing cases].