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Section 7 provided that, “After the termination subordinate places, clerks and officers; included in of eight months from the expiration of the present the class subject to competitive examination were session of the Legislature, no officer or clerk shall ! the subordinates of the superintendent of public be appointed, and no person shall be admitted to works, and of the superintendent of State prisons, or be promoted, in either of the said classes now and among others, clerkships of the kind to which existing, or that may be arranged hereunder pursu- the relator claims to have been appointed. ant to said rules, until he has passed an examina The power of the Legislature to make laws, and tion or is shown to be specially exempted from such of the governor and civil service commission to examination in conformity herewith.”
make rules and regulations, which should subject That section was amended by chapter 681 of the appointees of the superintendent of public works to Laws of 1894, which amendment provided amongst examinations, and to limit his appointments to those other things as follows: “It shall be the duty of who should pass such examinations and be placed the said commission to certify to the comptroller upon the eligible list of the civil service of the State, the name of every oflicer, clerk or other person in
was challenged in the case of the People, ex rel. the public service of the State, in cither of said Killen, v. Angle, 109 N. Y. 564. classes, appointed or employed therein in pursuance
It was there held that it was the intention of the of law and of the rules and regwations made in Constitution to confer upon the superintendent of pursuance of law, stating in each case the title or public works the power to select and appoint his character of the oflice or employment, and the date subordinates “subject only to his sense of duty and of the commencement of service by virtue thereof; the obligations of his oath of office," and that it and, in like manner to certify to the comptroller, plainly intendeid 10 leave to the superintendent, the name of each officer, clerk, or other person, in exclusively, the determination of the propriety of the public service of the State, in either of the said such appointments, and the sufficiency of the qualiclasses, appointed or employed therein in violation tications possessed by proposed appointees. And of law or of the rules and regulations made in pur. 1833, and of the rules and regulations adopted by
that the provisions of chapter 354 of the Laws of suance of law; and to certify to the comptroller, in like manner, every change occurring in any such
the governor and civil service commission, were
limitations and restrictions upon such power of apoffice or employment forth with, on the occurrence of the change. It shall be unlawful for the comp pointment by the superintendent, which the Legistroller to draw his warrant for the payment of any
lature had no power to impose, and that therefore
his suborclinates did not come under the operation salary or compensation to any officer, clerk or other person in the public service of the State, in cither
of the act creating the civil service commission." of said classes, who is not so certified as having been
The principle of that decision applied as well to appointed or employed in pursuance of law and of subordinates of the superintendent of State prisons, the rules and regulations made in pursuance of
and of the agents and wardens of each prison, and
to the clerks of such prisons to be appointed by the law."
comptroller. It will be observed that the duty of classifying
It will be observed, however, that the civil serthe various officers and employes of the State, and
vice law was not declared unconstitutional as a of making rules and regulations providing for tlie
whole, and it can hardly be said to have been deexamination of candidates, and other details, is de
clared unconstitutional at all, but simply that it did volved upon the governor of the State, and that he
not and could not include within its limits certain is to determine how far it is practicable to include
classes of officers; as to all others, it remained upon in any classification the subordinate places, clerks
the statute book a living and effective law, and so or officers in the public service of the State. That
remained, with these exemptions from its provisthe civil service commission, so-called, is merely to ions, down to the 1st of January, 1895. aid him, as he may request, in the discharge of his
The new Constitution, adopted in 1894, contains duties; he is in law, and in fact, the responsible the same provision is to the appointment of subhead of the civil service of the State: he is not only ordinates by the superintendent of public works, as to see that the laws are executed, but he is in addi- did the old Constitution. (See section 3, article 5.) tion, within the limitations of the Constitution and
It also contains; however, an entirely new section, the acts of the Legislature, to make the laws, that being section 9 of article 5, reading as follows: is the rules and regulations, by which the civil ser “Appointments and promotions in the civil service vice of the State is to be governed.
of the State, and of all the civil divisions thereof, Pursuant to said act of 1883, the governor of the including cities and villages, shall be made accordState promulgated rules and regulations for the gov- ing to merit and fitness, to be ascertained, so far as ernment of the civil service, and a classification of practicable, by examinations, which, so far as prac
ticable, shall be competitive; provideıl, however, the fundamental law. Legislation aims at arrangthat bonorably discharged soldiers and sailors from ing the mechanism of the State for the benefit of its the army and navy of the United States in the late members, and the question of intention, necessarily, civil war, who are citizens and residents of this is often of great importance and must be open to State, shall be entitled to preference in appoint- judicial inquiry; but the Constitution which underment and promotion, without regard to their stand- lies and sustains the social structure of the State, ing on any list from which such appointment or must be beyond being shaken, or affected, by unpromotion may be made. Laws shall be made to necessary construction, or by the refinements of legal provide for the enforcement of this section." reasoning. We may be compelled to have resort to
It is contended by the relator that the same lan- such in the presence of contradictions or of meanguage being used in the present Constitution as in ingless clauses, but not otherwise.” (The People v. the old, that the same interpretation should be Rathbone, 145 N. Y. 4331-338.) given; while, on behalf of the comptroller, it is Let us turn to the language of the Constitution. contended that the power of appointment given by
Appointments and promotions in the civil service section 3 to the superintendent of public works is of the State, and of all the civil divisions thereof, limited by the provisions of section 9 of the same
including cities and villages, shall be made," etc. article.
This language is general, and in itself contains no This conflict makes necessary both an interpreta- limitations or restrictions, and is apt language to tion and a construction of the Constitution as it cover all appointments under the State government now is. Some cliscussion bas been indulged in as without any exception, and “we are not at liberty to whether the present Constitution is a new Consti
to presume that the framers of the Constitution and tution or an amended one. To me it seems to be a
the people who adopted it did not understand the matter of little consequence, whether we consider
force of language." (The People v. Purdy, 2 Hill,
31.) the present constitution as an entirely new instru
Standing alone there would be no question but ment, coming into existence January 1, 1895, or
that, under the language of section I, article 15, just whether we consider it as an amended Constitution ; quoted, was included appointments of the kind in in either event the same rules of construction will question, but we must not lose sight of the rule of govern, for it has been held, “that an amended
construction that all parts of a constitution must be constitution must be real as il whole and as if every
construed together. part had been adopted at the same time," and as one
Section 33 of article ; confers upon the superinlaw, and effect must be given to every part of it,
tendent of public works the power of appointing each clause explained and qualitied by every other
his subordinates, and as we have seen, the court of part.” (People, ex rel. Killeen, v. Angle, 109 N. Y.
last resort in construing the same language in the 564-75.)
old Constitution, held that that was an untrameled The first rule in interpreting and constructing a
and unrestricted power. constitution is to give to it the effect and meaning
The relator has invoked the rule that, Where a by its framers, and by the people who adopted it.
clause of a constitution, which has received a setAnd the first rule for ascertaining what that intent
tied judicial construction is adopted in the same and meaning was, is, that is to be gathered, if posswords by the framers of another constitution, it sible, from the plain and ordinary meaning of the
will be presumed that the construction thereof was words used.
likewise adopted." (Black's ('onst. Law, 68.) “In the construction of constitutional provisions,
Thus these two sections are brought into apparthe language used, if plain and precise, should be
ent conflict and one of the conditions arises, mengiven its full effect, and we are not concerned with tioned in the case of the People v. Rathbone, where the wisdom of their insertion. Is idopted by
we are compelled to resort to construction; and the people, the intent is to be ascertained,
when we are, the same rules apply as in construing not from speculating ipon the subject; but
a statute. from the words in which the will of the
The intent of the law-makers is to be sought people has been expressed. To hold otherwise
for. And when it is discovered it is to prevail over would be dangerous to our political institutions. the literal meaning of the words of any part of the The Constitution is the basis upon which rests that law.
And its intent is to be discovered, not alone complicated social organization called the State. by considering the rords of any part, but by ascerIt must be presumed that its framers understood taining the general purposes of the whole, and by the force of the language used, and, as well, the considering the evil which existed calling for it people who adopted it.
The latitude al
new enactment, and the remedy which was sought lowed in the construction of legislative acts is out to be applieil." (People, es rel. Jackson, v. Potter, of place, and would be unwise, when interpreting I 47 N. Y. 375.)
While it is true as a general proposition, as stated include, subordinates of the superintendent of pubabove, that where a clause from a former constitu- lic works, and of State prisons. tion is adopted in a new constitution, it is to be That the governor of the State so understood the given the same construction as was formerly given intent of that law, and classified the subordinates to it, still I think that rule is subject to limitations and appointees in such departments, and that the and restrictions. All parts of the Constitution are
court of last resort held that under the Constitution to be read together, and a construction given that the Legislature had no power to subject such suborwill harmonize the several parts with each other, dinates and appointees to any such classification, and in construing a clause of it taken from a pre- because the same was a limitation upon and a resexisting Constitution we must see whether there triction of the power of appointment conferred by are any provisions in the new Constitution different the Constitution upon the superintendents of such from those from which the clause in question was departments. Bearing these things in mind, it taken, and which must be read in connection with would seem from a reading of these sections of the it, and whether they in any way enlarge, modify, Constitution, that the framers thereof intended by limit or restrict its meaning.
section 9 to limit or modify the power of appointWhere the new constitution contains some pro- ment conferred by section 3, and that the power of visions of the old, and some that are new, I appre-appointment conferred by section 3 is to be exerhend that in construing such provisions the same
cised, subject to the principles declared in section 9. rules of construction must govern as apply to amend
Il, however, these considerations are not sufficient ments to a constitution.
to render the meaning and intent of the ConstituIn giving construction to the provisions of the
tion entirely clear, there are other methods of arrivConstitution, its history and the conditions and ing at the meaning of its framers and of the people circumstances attending its adoption must be kept who adopted it, to which we may resort, and those in view, and the effect of subsequent amendments
are receding and considering the proceedings and are to be determined by the same rules, applicable debates of the convention which framed the instruto the interpretation of statutes. (Sweet v. City of ment under consideration. Syracuse, 129 N. Y. 316-30.)
The proceedings of a convention are not always We must examine the history of the Constitution
to be relied upon to determine the intent with
which any portion thereof was adopted. Different and the laws as they previously existed, and the
members of such convention may have diverse reaevils, if any, that were intended to be cured by such new provisions.
sons for voting for its adoption; and it is sometimes We have examined somewhat the history of the impossible to find from such proceedings that the
members united upon any single reason, or had a law as it existed prior to January 1, 1895, when the
common interest concerning such clause in the Connew Constitution went into effect. It is to be pre- stitution. (Legal Tender Cases, 110 V. S., 421–43.) sumed that in framing the Constitution the conven
Still the proceeilings of constitutional convention had in view the then existing laws. (People v.
tions have always been resorted to by the courts, Rathbone, 145 N. Y. 435-38.)
not as conclusive and binding upon them, but as Under the old Constitution, subordinate clerks, persuasive aids to assist them in determining the oflicers and employes in the civil service of the
true intent and meaning of the instruments framed State were appointed to, and held their positions by such conventions. under radically different laws, some under a law "One mode of construing the Constitution is to providing for appointments based upon fitness and take the Constitution is we find it, without refermerit to be ascertained by examination, while the ence to the manner in which its different parts subordinates in the great department of public were prepared and adopted; another is to look at works and in the State prisons of the State, em the proceedings of the convention, and endeavor bracing a large proportion of all the appointees in thereby to discover the probable intention of the the civil service of the State, were wholly exempt framers of the Constitution, as we now find them. from any such test. This anomalous condition of In either case we must also look at the actual state the public service under the law, of course, was of things which existed when the Constitution was known to the framers of the Constitution.
framed and adopted.” (Clark v. The People, 26 We must also assume that they knew that the Wend. 599 ; People v. Purdy, 2 Hill, 31.) Legislature had passed a law with the intention of And, where the proceedings point out the purmaking all subordinate clerks, officers and em poses of the provisions, the aid will be valuable and ployes in the civil service, subject to civil service satisfactory." (Cooley's Cons. Lim., 3 Ed., 66.) regulations; that it was the apparent intent of such Turning then to the proceedings of the convenlaw to iuclude, and its language was sufficient to | tion, we find that section I, when first reported from
the committee having it under consideration, read upon a trivial excuse that was presented, we voted as follows :
Appointments and promotions in the t down." (Page 2561). civil service of the State, and of cities, shall be Much discussion was bad in the convention over inade according to merit and fitness, to be as the proposition to amend the section as presented certained by examination, which, so far as practic to the convention, so its to extend its provisions to able, shall be competitive. Laws shall be mule to all the civil divisions of the State, “including cities provide for the enforcement of this section."
and villages," and over that portion thereof which The gentleman baring it more particularly in
was finally adopted referring to honorably discharge for the committee, Mr. Gilbert, in opening charged soldiers and sailors; but now here do I find the debate upon the question of its adoption, after that any opposition was made to extending the discussing the principle of appointments to, and operations of the civil service law to the canals or promotions in the civil service, upon merit to be public works department and the State prisons of ascertained by examination, said: “ This principle the State, or any answer made to the arguments of as the Constitution now stauds cannot be applied to
Mr. Gilbert or Mr. Root in favor of adopting the public works and to state prisons. The Court of proposed section in order that such departments 1 ppeals has so held in respect to one of those de might be subjected to the operations of the civil
service laws. partments, and the principle which applies to one will apply with equal force to the other.
After the convention had adopted the Constitu So that
tion as a whole, it adopted and issued an address to the committee, and a very large number of petitioners of high character,
all concur in
the people explaining its work and the different
new provisions of the proposeul Constitution. Among this, that we want the principle incorporated into
other things, that address contained the following: the ('onstitution, and we want to provide for its application in State prisons and in the public
". 10. We have declared in the Constitution the works, as well as in the other departments of the principle of civil service reform, that appointments State." (Pages 2438-39, Proc. of (on.)
and promotions are to be based upon merit, and as
certained, so far as practicable, by competitive exAnd when the subject was again under lisenssion. Lamination.
We sought by this to secure not merely the same gentleman stated: “ The Court of Appeals the advantage derived from declaring the principle has held that appointments cannot be made in the but the practical benefit of its extension to the State prison service and in the public works wervice under
prisons, canals and other public works of the State', the rules of the civil service. The case come up as
to which, under the existing ('onstitution, the court to one of them, but the same reason that applied to
of last resort has decided that civil service rules that one obtains as to the others. So that I may
cannot be applied." Proceedings of ('ons. ('on., say that under the law is it now stands, and under the Constitution as it now esists, the civil service
1, therefore, take it that the convention had, as to rules cannot be applied to the prison service or to the public works service. I think that is reason
such departments, “a common intent," and in
tended, by adopting the section in question, to bring enough for the passage of the main proposition."
the subordinates of the superintendent of public (Pages 2552-533.)
works :und of the superintendent of State prisons Mr. Root said : “ As the matter stands to-lay, the
witlıin the operation of the civil service law, and court of last resort has ruled that the principle of by the language used intended 10, and supposeul civil service cannot be applied to the important this bach, movlitied the offect of the language used positions in the State prisons and public works de- in sections 3 and 4 of Article 1, in reference tok ippartment, and the effect of this amendment will be
pointments to be made by the superintendents of to extend this reform to State prisons and canals." | public works, and of State prisons, and had nulli(Page 2559.)
fiecl the effect of the decision in the case of The Mr. Lauterbach said: “In behalf of regularity People, ex rel. Killeen, v. Angle. and order in the appointment of the State prison It seems to me, therefore, that in reading section officials and others, as to whom our attention was 3 in connection with section 9, and considering the called during the process of the investigation by the language userl, the history and condition of the charities coinmittee, I think it would be it serious law is it was under the old Coustitution, taken in error on the part of this convention, if, owing to connection with the proceedings in the Constituany flippant spirit in which the matter has been tional Convention, that it was the plain intent of considered, or on account of some local interent that the framers of the Constitution, and of the people might be prejudiced, we go to the people from this who adopted is, ibit all appointment in the civil convention while our party has mnounced itself in service of the Stilte should be made according to favor of civil service reform, that in this contention, I meril, to be ascertained its far is practicable, boy
examination, and that they intended to extend that lature shall make concerning the same; but all principle so as to include the subordinates and parts of the common law, and such of the said acts appointees of the superintendents of public works or parts thereof as are repugnant to this Constituand of State prisons; and that the power of ap- tion, are hereby abrogated.” pointment conferred upon the superintendent of And in construing the Constitution in connection public works by section 3 was intended to be sub- with pre-existing laws, " we must keep in mind ject to the principles and limitations contained in that the Constitution was not framed for a people section 9.
entering into a political society for the first time, The relator contends, however, that section 9 is but for a community already organized, furnished not self-executing, and that there has been no legis- with legal and political institutions, adapted to all lation to enforce it; that the section itself in terms or nearly all the purposes of civil government." recognizes the fact that legislation is needed to put | And that it was not intended to abolish these instiit in force, by the clause, “laws shall be made to tutions, except so far as they were repugnant to the provide for the enforcement of this section," and Constitution then framed. (People v. Draper, 15 that until new laws are made to enforce its pro- | N. Y. 532.) visions, the section in question is of no force and
The members of the Constitutional Convention effect, and that appointments are to be made as be
being assumed to know the nature and effect of fore its adoption.
then existing laws, and having provided for their The same contention was made in the matter of continuance, where, in harmony with the new ConSweeley, 12 Misc. Rep. 174 (affirmed in the Court stitution, we must also assume that they depended of Appeals, not yet reported), and it was there held
upon them to carry into effect the details of the that pre-existing civil service laws were continued, Constitution, being supplemented by such new legis-' and that the then relator was subject to them. This | lation as should be necessary. case perhaps presents the case in a little different
The civil service laws of the State are in harmony aspect. There it was held that the law under which with the present Constitution, they are therefore of the then relator sought appointment had been ab- the same force and effect as if they had been passed rogated by the new Constitution, and that there after the present Constitution took effect, and can being other laws upon the statute books not in con
be used, as far as they go, to enforce its provisions. flict with the new Constitution, which were appli
It is also claimed in behalf of the relator, that cable to the relator's case, that no new legislation
assuming that it was intended by section 9 to was necessary.
bring the appointees of the superintendent of It is said that such a construction renders un- | public works within the provisions of the civil necessary and meaningless the clause, “laws shall service law, and admitting that the civil service be made to provide for the enforcement of this sec
laws are continued in force, that there is still tion.” I think that is a mistaken view, for full necessity for legislation to bring him within their force and effect can be given to that clause without provisions. To support this contention he relies holding that it is necessary to re-enact all the civil
upon that portion of section 9 in question, which service laws of the State. When we consider, as
says that the merit and fitness of appointees "shall before stated, that the framers of the Constitution be ascertained, so far as practicable, by examinaare presumed have known the laws of the State, tion.” And his contention is that it is necessary and if they did, they must have known that they for the legalature to determine whether it is did not extend to “all the civil divisions thereof, practicable to ascertain the merit and fitness of apincluding cities and villages," and that to give full pointees under the superintendent of public works force and effect to that section of the Constitution,
by examination, and that until such determination additional laws would have to be passed extending is made, that there is no means of enforcement as and enlarging the existing civil service laws of the to that department, the principles of section 9. State,
I do not think this contention can prevail. While But enough law is already in existence to enforce probably the Legislature has the power under this the provisions of the Constitution as to the depart- ! section to determine what officers and appointees it ment of public works, to determine this case. As is practicable to classify under the civil service, and before stated, all parts of the Constitution are to be in what cases it is practicable to ascertain the fitread together, and the sections under consideration ness and merits of candidates for positions by exmust be lead in connection with section 16 of amination, still I do not think that it is necessary article 1, which provides, amongst other things, as for the Legislature to act in that respect in order to follows: “Such acts of the Legislature of this State enforce the application of section 9 to the departas are now in force shall be continucd the law of ment of public works, because there was, when the this State, subject to such alterations as the Legis- I Constitution was framed and adopted, a statute in