« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
It was a parliamentary rule that a statute should not be repealed at the same session of its enactment, unless a clause permitting it was inserted in the statute itself ;1 but this rule did not apply to repeals by implication, and it is possibly not recognized in this country at all, except where it is incorporated in the State constitution.3
Signing of Bills. When a bill has passed the two houses, it is engrossed for the signatures of the presiding officers. This is a constitutional requirement in most of the States, and therefore cannot be dispensed with ; though, in the absence of any such requirement, it
would seem not to be essential.4 And if, by the consti[* 153] tution of * the State, the governor is a component part of
the legislature, the bill is then presented to him for his approval.
Approval of Laws. The qualified veto power of the governor is regulated by the constitutions of those States which allow it, and little need be said here beyond referring to the constitutional provisions for information concerning them. It has been held that if the governor, by statute, was entitled to one day, previous to the adjournment of the legislature, for the examination and approval of laws, this is to be understood as a full day of twenty-four hours, before the hour of the final adjournment. It has also been held that, in the approval of laws, the governor is a component part of the legislature, and that unless the constitution allows further time for the purpose, he
" Dwarris on Statutes, Vol. I. p. 269; Sedgw. on Stat. and Const. Law, 122; Smith on Stat. and Const. Construction, 908. . lbid. And see Spencer v. State, 5 Ind. 41.
Spencer v. State, 5 Ind. 41 ; Attorney-General v. Brown, 1 Wis. 513; Smith on Stat. and Const. Construction, 908; Mobile & Ohio Railroad Co. v. State, 29 Ala. 573.
Speer v. Plank Road Co., 22 Penn. St. 376. 5 Hyde v. White, 24 Texas, 137. The five days allowed in New Hampshire for the governor to return bills which have not received his assent, include days on which the legislature is not in session, if it has not finally adjourned. Opinions of Judges, 45 N. H, 607. But the day of presenting the bill to the governor should be excluded. Ibid. As to the power of the governor, derived from long
must exercise his power of approval before the two houses adjourn, or his act will be void. But under a provision of the Constitution of Minnesota, that the governor may approve and sign “ within three days of the adjournment of the legislature any act passed during the last three days of the session," it has been held that Sundays were not to be included as a part of the prescribed time;'
2 and under the Constitution of New York, which provided that, “ if any bill shall not be returned by the governor within ten days, Sundays excepted, after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the legislature shall, by their adjournment, prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law," it was held that the governor might sign a bill after the adjournment, at any time within the ten days. The governor's approval is not complete until the bill has passed beyond his control * by the constitutional (* 154] and customary mode of legislation; and at any time prior to that he may reconsider and retract any approval previously
usage, to approve and sign bills after the adjournment of the legislature, see Solomon v. Cartersville, 41 Geo. 157.
Neither house can, without the consent of the other, recall a bill after its transmission to the governor. People v. Devlin, 33 N. Y. 269.
The delivery of a bill passed by the two houses to the secretary of the commonwealth according to custom, is not a presentation to the governor for his approval, within the meaning of the constitutional clause which limits him to a certain number of days after the presentation of the bill to veto it. Opinions of the Justices, 99 Mass. 636.
Fowler v. Peirce, 2 Cal. 165. The court also held in this case that, notwithstanding an act purported to have been approved before the actual adjournment, it was competent to show by parol evidence that the actual approval was not until the next day. In support of this ruling, People v. Purdy, 2 Hill, 31, was cited, where it was held that the court might go behind the statute-book and inquire whether an act to which a two-thirds vote was essential had constitutionally passed. That, however, would not be in direct contradiction of the record, but it would be inquiring into a fact concerning which the statute was silent, and other records supplied the needed information.
? Stinson v. Smith, 8 Minn. 366.
8 People v. Bowen, 30 Barb. 24. Where on the tenth day the governor sent a bill with his objections to the house with which it originated, but the messenger, finding the house had adjourned for the day, returned it to the governor, who retained it, it was held that to prevent the bill becoming a law it should have been left with the proper officer of the house instead of being retained by the governor. Harpending v. Haight, 39 Cal. 189.
made. His disapproval of a bill is communicated to the house in which it originated, with his reasons; and it is there reconsidered, and may be again passed over the veto by such vote as the constitution prescribes.2
People v. Hatch, 19 Ill. 283. An act apportioning the representatives was passed by the legislature and transmitted to the governor, who signed his approval thereon by mistake, supposing at the time that he was subscribing one of several other bills then lying before him, and claiming his official attention; his private secretary thereupon reported the bill to the legislature as approved, not by the special direction of the governor, nor with his knowledge or special assent, but merely in his usual routine of customary duty, the governor not being conscious that he had placed his signature to the bill until after information was brought to him of its having been reported approved; whereupon he sent a message to the speaker of the house to which it was reported, stating that it had been inadvertently signed and not approved, and on the same day completed a veto message of the bill which was partially written at the time of signing his approval, and transmitted it to the house. where the bill originated, having first erased his signature and approval. It was held that the bill had not become a law. It had never passed out of the governor's possession after it was received by him until after he had erased his signature and approval, and the court was of opinion that it did not pass from his control until it had become a law by the lapse of ten days under the constitution, or by his depositing it with his approval in the office of the secretary of state. It had long been the practice of the gov ernor to report, formerly through the secretary of state, but recently through his private secretary, to the house where bills originated, his approval of them; but this was only a matter of formal courtesy, and not a proceeding necessary to the making or imparting vitality to the law. By it no act could become a law which without it would not be a law. Had the governor returned the bill itself to the house, with his message of approval, it would have passed beyond his control, and the approval could not have been retracted, unless the bill had been withdrawn by consent of the house; and the same result would have followed his filing the bill with the secretary of state with his approval subscribed.
The Constitution of Indiana provides, art. 5, § 14, that, "if any bill shall not be returned by the governor within three days, Sundays excepted, after it shall have been presented to him, it shall be a law without his signature, unless the general adjournment shall prevent its return; in which case it shall be a law unless the governor, within five days next after the adjournment, shall file such bill with his objections thereto, in the office of the secretary of state," &c. Under this provision it was held that where the governor, on the day of the final adjournment of the legislature, and after the adjournment, filed a bill received that day, in the office of the secretary of state, without approval or objections thereto, it thereby became a law, and he could not file objections afterwards. Tarlton v. Peggs, 18 Ind. 24.
2 A bill which, as approved and signed, differs in important particulars from the one signed, is no law. Jones v. Hutchinson, 43 Ala. 721.
If the governor sends back a bill which has been submitted to him, stating
* Other Powers of the Governor.
The power of the governor as a branch of the legislative department is almost exclusively confined to the approval of bills. As executive, he communicates to the two houses information concerning the condition of the State, and may recommend measures to their consideration, but he cannot originate or introduce bills. He may convene the legislature in extra session whenever extraordinary occasion seems to have arisen; but their powers when convened are not confined to a consideration of the subjects to which their attention is called by his proclamation or his message, and they may legislate on any subject as at the regular sessions.1 An exception to this statement exists in those States where, by the express terms of the constitution, it is provided that when convened in extra session the legislature shall consider no subject except that for which they were specially called together, or which may
that he cannot act upon it because of some supposed informality in its passage, this is in effect an objection to the bill, and it can only become a law by further action of the legislature, even though the governor may have been mistaken as to the supposed informality. Birdsall v. Carrick, 3 Nev. 154.
In practice the veto power, although very great and exceedingly important in this country, is obsolete in Great Britain, and no king now ventures to resort to it. As the Ministry must at all times be in accord with the House of Commons, -except where the responsibility is taken of dissolving the Parliament and appealing to the people, it must follow that any bill which the two houses have passed must be approved by the monarch. The approval has become a matter of course, and the governing power in Great Britain is substantially in the House of Commons. 1 Bl. Com. 184-5, and notes.
The Constitution of Iowa, art. 4, § 11, provides that the governor "may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the General Assembly by proclamation, and shall state to both houses, when assembled, the purpose for which they have been convened." It was held in Morford v. Unger, 8 Iowa, 82, that the General Assembly, when thus convened, were not confined in their legislation to the purposes specified in the message. When lawfully convened, whether in virtue of the provision in the constitution or the governor's proclamation, it is the General Assembly' of the State, in which the full and exclusive legislative authority of the State is vested. Where its business at such session is not restricted by some constitutional provision, the General Assembly may enact any law at a special or extra session that it might at a regular session. Its powers, not being derived from the governor's proclamation, are not confined to the special purpose for which it may have been convened by him."
have been submitted to them by special message of the governor.1
When Acts are to take Effect. The old rule was that statutes, unless otherwise ordered, took
effect from the first day of the session on which they were (* 156] passed ;2 * but this rule was purely arbitrary, based upon
no good reason, and frequently working very serious injustice. The present rule is that an act takes effect from the time when the formalities of enactment are actually complete under the constitution, unless it is otherwise ordered, or unless there is some constitutional or statutory rule on the subject which prescribes otherwise. By the Constitution of Mississippi,3 “ no law of a general nature, unless otherwise provided, shall be enforced until sixty days after the passage thereof." By the Constitution of Illinois, no act of the General Assembly shall take effect until the first day of July next after its passage, unless in case of emergency (which emergency shall be expressed in the preamble or body of the act) the General Assembly shall, by a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, otherwise direct. By the Constitution of Michigan, no public act shall take effect, or be in force, until the expiration of ninety days from the end of the session at which the same is passed, unless the legislature shall otherwise direct by a two-thirds vote of the members elected to each house. These and similar provisions are designed to secure, as far as possible, the public promulgation of the law before parties are bound to take notice of and act under it, and to obviate the injustice of a rule which should compel parties at their peril to know and obey a law of which, in the nature of things, they could not possibly have heard ; they give to all parties the full constitutional period in which to become acquainted with the terms of the statutes which
| Provisions to this effect will be found in the Constitutions of Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and Nevada; perhaps in some others.
2 1 Lev. 91 ; Latless v. Holmes, 4 T. R. 660. This is changed by 33 Geo. III. c. 13, by which statutes since passed take effect from the day when they receive the royal assent, unless otherwise ordered therein. Where an act is to take effect from and after its passage, it will do so, even though not promulgated in the official journal. Thomas v. Scott, 23 La. An. 689. And its effect covers the whole day of its approval. Wood v. Fort, 42 Ala. 641. 3 Art. 7, § 6. • Art. 3, § 23.
6 Art. 4, § 20.