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Humor of a Country Lawyer$
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Sam J. Ervin Jr.

Print publication date: 1983

Print ISBN-13: 9780807844649

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807875735_Ervin

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More Humor in the Senate

More Humor in the Senate

(p.172) Chapter 13 More Humor in the Senate
Humor of a Country Lawyer

Sam J. Ervin

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter talks about Watson Fairley, a beloved North Carolina Presbyterian preacher, and how he was not overly fond of reformers. Fairley was accustomed to say that if one of the reformers had been standing at the foot of Mount Sinai and had seen the Prophet Moses descending the mountain with the Tablets of Stone which he had just received from the Lord, he would have dashed halfway up the mountain and said, “Wait a minute, Moses, I've got to amend the Ten Commandments before you deliver them to the children of Israel.” The principal targets of those who were bent on reforming the Senate were Rule 22 of the Standing Rules of the Senate and the seniority system. Rule 22 made the Senate the world's most distinctive legislative body by securing to a minority of its members an opportunity to express their views and convert themselves into a majority.

Keywords:   Watson Fairley, North Carolina, Presbyterian preacher, reformers, Rule 22, Standing Rules, Senate, seniority system

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