Expunging Resolution

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EXPUNGING RESOLUTION. In March 1834 the United States Senate voted by 26 to 20 to censure President Andrew Jackson for removing federal deposits from the Bank of the United States. Jackson protested the censure as unconstitutional, and Thomas Hart Benton, a Democratic senator from Missouri, moved an expunging resolution to obliterate it from the Senate's official journal of proceedings.

Benton's resolution initially failed, but support for it became a defining test of Democratic Party loyalty. In January 1837, at the close of Jackson's term, Democrats captured the Senate and expunged the censure, drawing black lines around it in the original record. The episode discredited censure as a means of congressional sanction, and no president has undergone it since.


Remini, Robert V. Andrew Jackson and the Course of American Democracy, 1833–1845. New York: Harper and Row, 1984.


See alsoRemoval of Deposits .