Article I, Section 5, Clause 1 of the United States Constitution provides that "Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business..." Therefore, in both the House of Representatives and the Senate a quorum is a simple majority of their respective members. The only exception is that stated in the Twelfth Amendment , which provides that in cases in which no candidate for President of the United States receives a majority in the Electoral College , the election is decided by the House of Representatives, in which case "a quorum for this purpose shall consist of a member or members from two-thirds of the states ," and in cases in which no candidate for Vice President of the United States has been elected, the election is decided by the Senate, in which case "a quorum for the purpose shall consist of two-thirds of the whole number of Senators."
We must not leap to the conclusion that there is a “true democracy” which is a natural amalgam of good government as representative government, political justice, equality, liberty, and human rights. For such volatile ingredients can at times be unstable unless in carefully measured and monitored combinations. Is “good government” or “social justice” unequivocally democratic, even in the nicest liberal senses? Probably not. Tocqueville wrote in the 1830s of the inevitability of democracy, but warned against “the dangers of a tyranny of the majority.” Well, perhaps he cared less for democracy than he did for liberty. But even Thomas Jefferson remarked in the old age that “an elective despotism was not what we fought for”; ... John Stuart Mill whose Essay on Liberty and Considerations on Representative Government are two of the great books of the modern world, came to believe that every adult (yes, women too) should have the vote, but only after compulsory secondary education had been instituted and had time to take effect.