If in 1869 he appeared to deviate from this principle by being a candidate at Marseilles for the Corps Legislatif, it was because he yielded to the entreaties of the Imperial government in order to strengthen its goodwill for the Suez Canal.
To the senate, thus chosen "from above," was allotted the important task of supervising the constitution, and of selecting, from among the notabilities of the nation, the members of the Corps Legislatif and the Tribunate.
These two bodies nominally formed the legislature, the Tribunate merely discussing the bills sent to it by an important body, the Council of State; while the Corps Legislatif, sitting in silence, heard them defended by councillors of state and criticized by members of the Tribunate; thereupon it passed or rejected such proposals by secret voting.
It is significant that Bonaparte proposed this bill (drafted in the Council of State) to the Tribunate and the Corps Legislatif on the very day on which it was first certainly known that France had accepted the new constitution.
The bill passed there by 71 votes to 25; and in the Corps Legislatif by 217 to 68.
Nevertheless his proposal met with strong opposition in the Corps Legislatif and Tribunate, where members saw that it portended a revival of the older distinction.
This body received the right of deciding by senatus consulta all questions not provided for by the constitution; the Corps Legislatif and Tribunate might also thenceforth be dissolved at its bidding.
By the decree of the ist of March 1808, reviving titles of nobility, that of count was assigned ex officio to ministers, senators and life councillors of state, to the president of the Corps Legislatif and to archbishops.
In the French Corps Legislatif, also, the vice-president, Forgade la Roquette, referred to his death, and warm expressions of esteem were repeated and applauded on every side.
Thereafter he refused to enter the ministry, but became a member of the council of state and of the Corps Legislatif, where his advice on the state of public opinion was frequently useful.
Olbers was deputed by his fellow-citizens to assist at the baptism of the king of Rome on the 9th of June 1811, and he was a member of the corps legislatif in Paris 1812-1813.
He was perpetual secretary of the Academy of Inscriptions from 1832 onwards; in 1808 he had entered the corps legislatif; he was made a baron in 1813; and in 1832, when quite an old man, be became a peer of France and was regular in the duties of the chamber.
He refused to sit in the Corps Legislatif until 1864, in order not to have to take the oath to the emperor.
He himself proclaimed the fall of the emperor at the corps legislatif, and the establishment of a republic at the hotel de ville.
Elected to the corns legislatif in 1858, he joined the group of Emile 0111vier.
On the establishment of the new constitution, Gregoire was elected to the Council of 500, and after the 18th Brumaire he became a member of the Corps Legislatif, then of the Senate (1801).