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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.
intent of this provision of the constitution was, to prevent the union, in the same act, of incongruous matters, and of objects having no connection, no relation. And with this it was designed to prevent surprise in legislation, by having matter of one nature embraced in a bill whose title expressed another.”i And similar expressions will be found in many other reported cases. It may therefore be assumed as settled that the purpose of these provisions was: first, to prevent hodge podge, or “log-rolling" legislation ; second, to prevent surprise or fraud upon the legislature,
by means of provisions in bills of which the titles [* 144] * gave no intimation, and which might therefore be over
looked and carelessly and unintentionally adopted; and, third, to fairly apprise the people, through such publication of legislative proceedings as is usually made, of the subjects of legislation that are being considered, in order that they may have opportunity of being heard thereon, by petition or otherwise, if they shall so desire.
2. The particularity required in stating the object. The general purpose of these provisions is accomplished: when a law bas but one general object, which is fairly indicated by its title. To require every end and means necessary or convenient for the accomplishment of this general object to be provided for by a separate act relating to that alone, would not only be unreasonable, but would actually render legislation impossible. It has accordingly been held that the title of an act to establish a police government for the city of Detroit," was not objectionable for its generality, and that all matters properly connected with the establishment and efficiency of such a government, including taxation for its support, and courts for the examination and trial of offenders, might constitutionally be included in the bill under this general title. Under any different ruling it was said, “ the police government of a city could not be organized without a distinct act for each specific duty to be devolved upon it, and these could not be passed until a multitude of other statutes had taken
1 State v. County Judge of Davis Co., 2 Iowa, 282.
• See Conner v. Mayor, &c., of New York, 5 N. Y. 293; Davis v. State, 7 Md. 151. The Supreme Court of Indiana also understand the provision in the constitution of that State to be designed, among other things, to assist in the codification of the laws. Indiana Central Railroad Co. v. Potts, 7 Ind. 685; Hingle v. State, 24 Ind. 28.
the same duties from other officers before performing them. And these several statutes, fragmentary as they must necessarily be, would often fail of the intended object, from the inherent difficulty in expressing the legislative will when restricted to such narrow bounds." The generality of a title is therefore no objection to it, so long as it is not made a cover to legislation incongruous in itself, and which by no fair intendment can be considered as having a necessary or proper connection. The legislature must determine for itself how broad and comprehensive shall be the object of a statute, and how much particularity shall be employed in the title in defining it. One thing, however, is very
plain ; that the use of the words “ other purposes,” which [* 145] has heretofore been so common in the title to acts, with a
' People v. Mahaney, 13 Mich. 495. See also Morford v. Unger, 8 Iowa, 82, and Whiting v. Mount Pleasant, 11 Iowa, 482; Bright v. McCulloch, 27 Ind. 223; Mayor, &c., of Annapolis v. State, 30 Md. 112 ; State v. Union, 33 N. J. 354; Humboldt County v. Churchill Co. Commissioners, 6 Nev. 30.
· Indiana Central Railroad Co. v. Potts, 7 Ind. 681 ; People v. Briggs, 50 N. Y. 553.
3 In State v. Powers, 14 Ind. 195, an act came under consideration, the title to wbich was,
“ An act to amend the first section of an act entitled An act concerning licenses to vend foreign merchandise, to exbibit any caravan, menagerie, circus, rope and wire dancing puppet-shows, and legerdemain,' approved June 15, 1852, and for the encouragement of agriculture, and concerning the licensing of stock and exchange brokers.” It was held that the subject of the act was licenses, and that it was not unconstitutional as containing more than one subject. But it was held also that, as the licenses which it author zed and required were specified in the title, the act could embrace no others, and consequently a provision in the act requiring concerts to be licensed was void. In State v. County Judge of Davis County, 2 Iowa, 280, the act in question was entitled “ An act in relation to certain State roads therein named.” It contained sixty-six sections, in which it established some forty-six roads, vacated some, and provided for the re-location of others. The court sustained the act. “ The object of an act may be broader or narrower, more or less extensive; and the broader it is, the more particulars will it embrace. . . . There is undoubtedly great objection to uniting so many particulars in one act, but so long as they are of the same nature, and come legitimately under one general determination or object, we cannot say that the act is unconstitutional.” P. 284. Upon this subject see Indiana Central Railroad Co. v. Potts, 7 Ind. 684, where it is considered at length. Also Brewster v. Syracuse, 19 N. Y. 116; Hall v. Bunte, 20 Ind. 304; People v. McCallum, 1 Neb. 182. An act entitled “ An act fixing the time and mode of electing State printer, defining his duties, fixing compensation, and repealing all laws coming in conflict with this act,” was, sustained in Walker v. Dunham, 17 Ind. 483.