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result, the careful examination of proposed laws, or at least the affording of opportunity for that purpose; which will not always be done when bills may be introduced up to the very hour of adjournment, and, with the concurrence of the proper majority, put immediately upon their passage.'
For the same reason it is required by the constitutions of several of the States, that no bill shall have the force of law until on three several days it be read in each house, and free discussion allowed thereon; unless, in case of urgency, four-fifths or some other specified majority of the house shall deem it expedient to dispense with this rule. The journals which each house keeps of its proceedings ought to show whether this rule is complied with or not; but in case they do not, the passage in the manner provided by the constitution must be presumed in accordance with the general rule which presumes the proper discharge of official duty.2
1 A practice has sprung up of evading these constitutional provisions by introducing a new bill after the time has expired when it may constitutionally be done, as an amendment to some pending bill, the whole of which, except the enacting clause, is struck out to make way for it. Thus, the member who thinks he may possibly have occasion for the introduction of a new bill after the constitutional period has expired, takes care to introduce sham bills in due season which he can use as stocks to graft upon, and which he uses irrespective of their character or contents. The sham bill is perhaps a bill to incorporate the city of Siam. One of the member's constituents applies to him for legislative permission to construct a dam across the Wild Cat River. Forthwith, by amendment, the bill entitled a bill to incorporate the city of Siam has all after the enacting clause stricken out, and it is made to provide, as its sole object, that John Doe may construct a dam across the Wild Cat. With this title and in this form it is passed; but the house then considerately amends the title to correspond with the purpose of the bill, and the law is passed, and the constitution at the same time saved! This dodge is so transparent, and so clearly in violation of the constitution, and the evidence at the same time is so fully spread upon the record, that it is a matter of surprise to find it so often resorted to.
* Supervisors of Schuyler Co. v. People, 25 Ill. 181; Miller v. State, 3 Ohio, N. s. 480. In People v. Starne, 35 Ill. 121, it is said the courts should not enforce a legislative act unless there is record evidence, from the journals of the two houses, that every material requirement of the constitution has been satisfied. The clause in the Constitution of Ohio is: "Every bill shall be fully and distinctly read on three different days, unless, in case of urgency, three-fourths of the house in which it shall be pending shall dispense with this rule"; and in Miller v. State, 3 Ohio, N. s. 481, and Pim v. Nicholson, 6 Ohio, N. s. 178, this provision was held to be merely directory. The distinctness with which any bill must be read cannot possibly be defined by any law; and it must always, from the necessity of the case, rest with the house to determine finally whether in this
[* 140] * As to what shall constitute a reading of a bill, it seems
to be held sufficient to read the written instrument that is adopted by the two houses; and if any thing else becomes law in consequence of its passage, and by reason of being referred to in it, it is nevertheless not essential that it be read with the reading of the bill. Thus, a statute which incorporated a military company by reference to its constitution and by-laws, was held valid notwithstanding the constitution and by-laws, which would acquire the force of law by its passage, were not read in the two houses as a part of it. But there cannot be many cases, we should suppose, to which this ruling would be applicable.
It is also provided in the constitutions of some of the States that, on the final passage of every bill the yeas and nays shall be entered on the journal. Such a provision is designed to serve an important purpose in compelling each member present to assume as well as to feel his due share of responsibility in legislation ; and also in furnishing definite and conclusive evidence whether the bill has been passed by the requisite majority or not. “ The constitution prescribes this as the test by which to determine whether the requisite number of members vote in the affirmative. The office of the journal is to record the proceedings of the house, and authenticate and preserve the same. It must appear on the face of the journal that the bill passed by a constitutional majority.
These directions are all clearly imperative. They are [* 141] * expressly enjoined by the fundamental law, and cannot
be dispensed with by the legislature.” 3
particular the constitution has been complied with or not; but the rule respecting three several readings on different days is specific, and capable of being precisely complied with, and we do not see how, even under the rules applied to statutes, it can be regarded as directory merely, provided it has a purpose beyond the mere regular and orderly transaction of business. That it has such a purpose, that it is designed to prevent hasty and improvident legislation, and is therefore not a mere rule of order, but one of protection to the public interests and to the citizens at large, is very clear; and independent of the question whether definite constitutional principles can be dispensed with in any case on the ground of their being merely directory, we cannot see how this can be treated as any thing but mandatory. See People v. Campbell, 3 Gilm. 466 ; McCulloch v. State, 11 Ind. 424.
· Dew v. Cunningham, 28 Ala. 466.
Spangler v. Jacoby, 14 III. 297 ; Supervisors of Schuyler Co. v. People, 25 Ill. 183. There have been cases, as we happen to know, in which several bills
For the vote required in the passage of any particular law, the reader is referred to the constitution of his State. A simple majority of a quorum is sufficient, unless the constitution establishes some other rule ; and where, by the constitution, a twothirds or three-fourths vote is made essential to the passage of any particular class of bills, two-thirds or three-fourths of a quorum will be understood, unless the terms employed clearly indicate that this proportion of all the members, or of all those elected, is intended.
The Title of a Statute.
The title of an act was formerly considered no part of it ; and although it might be looked to as a guide to the intent of the lawmakers when the body of the statute appeared to be in any respect ambiguous or doubtful, yet it could not enlarge or restrain the provisions of the act itself, 3 and the latter might therefore be good when that and the title were in conflict. The reason for this was that anciently titles were not prefixed at all, and when afterwards they came to be introduced, they were usually prepared by the clerk of the house in which the bill first passed, and attracted but little attention from the members. They indicated the clerk's understanding of the contents or purpose of the bills, rather than that of the house ; and they therefore were justly regarded as
have been put on their passage together, the yeas and nays being once called for. them all, though the journal is made to state falsely a separate vote on each. We need hardly say that this is a manifest violation of the constitution, which requires separate action in every case, and that when resorted to, it is usually for the purpose of avoiding another provision of the constitution' which seeks to preclude “ log-rolling" legislation, by forbidding the incorporation of distinct measures in one and the same statute.
Southworth v. Palmyra & Jacksonburg Railroad Co., 2 Mich. 287 ; State v. McBride, 4 Mo. 303. By most of the constitutions either all the laws, or laws on some particular subjects, are required to be adopted by a majority vote or some other proportion of “all the members elected," or of “the whole representation.” These and similar phrases require all the members to be taken into account whether present or not. Where a majority of all the members elected is required in the passage of a law, an ineligible person is not on that account to be excluded in the count. Satterlee v. San Francisco, 22 Cal. 314.
· United States v. Palmer, 3 Wheat. 610; Burgett v. Burgett, 1 Ohio, 480; Eastman v. McAlpin, 1 Kelley, 157; Cohen v. Barrett, 5 Call, 195. See Dwarris on Statutes, 502. * Hadden v. The Collector, 5 Wal. 107.
furnishing very little insight into the legislative intention. Titles to legislative acts, however, have recently, in some States, come to possess very great importance, by reason of constitutional provisions, which not only require that they shall correctly indicate the purpose of the law, but which absolutely make the title to control and exclude every thing from effect and operation as law which is incorporated in the body of the act but is not within the purpose indicated by the title. These provisions are given in the note, and it will readily be perceived that they make a very great
change in the law.1 [* 142] * In considering these provisions it is important to re
gard, 1. The evils designed to be remedied. The Constitution of New Jersey refers to these as “the improper influences which may result from intermixing in one and the same act such things as have no proper relation to each other.” In the language of the
1 The Constitutions of Minnesota, Kansas, Maryland, Kentucky, Nebraska, Ohio, and Pennsylvania provide that “no law shall embrace more than one subject, which shall be expressed in its title.” Those of Michigan, New Jersey, Louisiana, and Texas are similar, substituting the word object for subject. The Constitutions of South Carolina, Alabama, Tennessee, Arkansas, and California contain similar provisions. The Constitution of New Jersey provides that, “ to avoid improper influences which may result from intermixing in one and the same act such things as have no proper relation to each other, every law shall embrace but one object, and that shall be expressed in the title.” The Constitution of Missouri contains a similar provision, with the addition, that, “if any subject embraced in an act be not expressed in the title, such act shall be void only as to so much thereof as is not so expressed." The Constitutions of Indiana, Oregon, and Iowa provide that “ every act shall embrace but one subject, and matters properly connected therewith, which subject shall be expressed in the title. But if any subject shall be embraced in an act which shall not be expressed in the title, such act shall be void only as to so much thereof as shall not be expressed in the title.” The Constitution of Nevada provides that “ every law enacted by the legislature shall embrace but one subject, and matters properly connected therewith, which subject shall be briefly expressed in the title.” The Constitutions of New York and Wisconsin provide that “no private or local bill which may be passed by the legislature shall embrace more than one subject, and that shall be expressed in tle title.” The Constitution of Illinois is in this regard nearly identical with that of Missouri. Whether the word object is to have any different construction from the word subject, as used in these provisions, is a question which may some time require discussion; but as it is evidently employed for precisely the same purpose, it would seem that it ought not to bave. Compare Hingle v. State, 24 Ind. 28, and People v. Lawrence, 36 Barb. 192.
Supreme Court of Louisiana, speaking of the former practice : “ The title of an act often afforded no clue to its contents. Important general principles were found placed in acts private or local in their operation ; provisions concerning matters of practice or judicial proceedings were sometimes included in the same statute with matters entirely foreign to them, the result of which was that on many important subjects the statute law had become almost unintelligible, as they whose duty it has been to examine or act under it can well testify. To prevent any further accumulation to this chaotic mass was the object of the constitutional provision under consideration.” 1 The Supreme Court of Michigan say: “ The history and purpose of this constitutional provision are too well understood to require any * elucidation [* 143] at our hands. The practice of bringing together into one bill subjects diverse in their nature and having no necessary connection with a view to combine in their favor the advocates of all, and thus secure the passage of several measures, no one of which could succeed upon its own merits, was one both corruptive of the legislator and dangerous to the State. It was scarcely more so, however, than another practice, also intended to be remedied by this provision, by which, through dexterous management, clauses were inserted in bills of which the titles gave no intimation, and their passage secured through legislative bodies whose members were not generally aware of their intention and effect. There was no design by this clause to embarrass legislation by making laws unnecessarily restrictive in their scope and operation, and thus multiplying their number ; but the framers of the constitution meant to put an end to legislation of the vicious character referred to, which was little less than a fraud upon the public, and to require that in every case the proposed measure should stand upon its own merits, and that the legislature should be fairly satisfied of its design when required to pass upon it.” 2 The Court of Appeals of New York declare the object of this provision to be " that neither the members of the legislature nor the people should be misled by the title.” 8 The Supreme Court of Iowa say: “ The
1 Walker v. Caldwell, 4 La. An. 298. See Fletcher v. Oliver, 25 Ark. 298.
People v. Mahaney, 13 Mich. 494. And see Board of Supervisors v. Heenan, 2 Minn. 336; Davis v. Bank of Fulton, 31 Geo. 69; St. Louis v. Tiefel, 42 Mo. 578. • Sun Mutual Insurance Co. v. Mayor, &c., of New York, 8 N. Y. 253.