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our legislative practice under constitutions commenced, and had been for centuries. If the process of enacting laws is not regulated by constitution; or if so regulated, the provisions on that subject are deemed addressed solely to the law-making department, the journals hold the same place in our polity and jurisprudence as is assigned to them by the common law. They cannot be appealed to to impeach the regular record of a statutory enactment. That record whatever it may be imports absolute verity; imports the regular enactment of the statute by the proper forms of legislation; it speaks in its own words the sovereign will. Found in the proper custody it proves and identifies itself; it is a record not to be contradicted by the legislative journals, nor by any other evidence.
$31. States holding statutes conclusive- Missouri.-- If the enrollment or original record of a statute is regular on its face; that is, if the act is framed with no infirmity on its face, is duly promulgated, or properly authenticated and deposited in the proper office, it is conclusively presumed to have been regularly enacted; the record is invulnerable to collateral attack and proves itself. This is the rule in several states having constitutions regulating the legislative procedure and requiring legislative journals to be kept. A leading case on this subject is Pacific Railroad v. The Governor.3
The act under discussion had been vetoed by the governor, and the question was whether it had been subsequently passed by the proceedings required by the constitution."
1 Sherman v. Story, 30 Cal. 253; on the journal, at the desire of any People v. Burt, 43 id. 560; Railroad two members.” Art. 3, sec. 18. Tax Cases, 13 Fed. Rep. 722. See ante, Sec. 21. “Bills may originate in $ 28; post, $ 52.
either house, and may be altered, 2 State Lottery Co. v. Richoux, 23 amended or rejected by the other; La. Ann. 743; S. C. 8 Am. R. 602; and every bill shall be read on three Whited v. Lewis, 25 La. Ann. 568. different days in each house, unless 323 Mo. 353.
two-thirds of the house where the 4 The case arose under the constitu- same is depending shall dispense tion of 1820, which contained these with this rule; and every bill, having provisions: “... They (the houses] passed both houses, shall be signed by shall each, from time to time, publish the speaker of the house of representa journal of their proceedings, except atives and by the president of the such parts as may, in their opinion, senate.” require secrecy; and the yeas and Art. 4, sec. 10. “Every bill which nays on any question shall be entered shall have been passed by both houses
Scott, J., delivering the opinion of the court, used this language: “Whilst the power of the courts to declare a law unconstitutional is admitted on all hands as being necessary to preserve the constitution from violation, yet such power is claimed and exercised in relation to laws which show on their face that the constitutional limit has been transcended. The reason of this principle limits the claim of jurisdiction to such cases. The constitution is designed to limit the powers of the government, and to confine each of the departments to its appropriate sphere. If the legislature exceed its powers in the enactment of a law, the courts being sworn to support the constitution must judge that law by the standard of the constitution and declare its [in]validity. But the question whether a law on its face violates the constitution is very different from that growing out of the non-compliance with the forms required to be observed in its enactment. In the one case a power is exercised, not delegated, or which is prohibited, and the question of the validity of the law is determined from the language of it. In the other, the law is not, in its terms, contrary to the constitution; on its face it is regular, but resort is had to something behind the law itself in order to ascertain whether the general assembly, in making the law, was governed by the rules prescribed for its action by the constitution. This would seem like an inquisition into the conduct of the members of the general assembly, and it must be seen at once that it is a very delicate power, the frequent exercise of which must lead to endless confusion in the administration of the law."
$ 32. Further on in the opinion the learned judge said: “The sense of the words in which the forms to be observed in legisof the general assembly, shall, before to pass the same, it shall be sent toit becomes a law, be presented to the gether with the objections to the governor for his approval. If he ap- other house, by which it shall be in like prove, he shall sign it; if not, he shall manner reconsidered, and if approved return it, with his objections, to the by a majority of all the members house in which it shall have origi- elected to that house, it shall become nated, and the house shall cause the a law. In all such cases the votes of objections to be entered at large on both houses shall be taken by yeas its journal, and shall proceed to re- and nays; the names of the persons consider the bill. If, after such recon- voting for and against the bill shall sideration, a majority of all the mem- be entered on the journal of each bers elected to that house shall agree house respectively.
lation are prescribed may be matter of doubt. Different opinions may be entertained as to the meaning of the language in which they are expressed, as well as to the end or object of them. This very case furnishes an illustration of the truth of this remark. The members of the general assembly may conscientiously believe that they have pursued the constitutional course. But to give the executive and judicial departments a right to revise this exercise of their judgment, would it not be subjecting the legislature to a surveillance which, instead of making it a co-ordinate department, would subject it to a dependence on the others? There is a fitness in making each department the sole judge of the rules prescribed for its conduct; this is necessary to render them co-ordinate, and not dependent on each other.
We do not maintain that
1 In State v. Mead, 71 Mo. 266, the in which it was first signed. If in conditions here deprecated were fully either house any member shall object adopted as a result of subsequent that any substitution, omission or changes in the constitution. The act insertion has occurred, so that the in question was passed under a con- bill proposed to be signed is not the stitution containing the following same in substance and form as when provision:
considered and passed by the house, “No bill shall become a law until or that any particular clause of this the same shall have been signed by article of the constitution has been the presiding officers of each of the violated in its passage, such objectwo houses in open session. And be- tions shall be passed upon by the fore such officer shall affix his signa- house, and, if sustained, the presiding ture to any bill he shall suspend all officer shall withhold his signature, other business, declare that such bill but if such objection shall not be will now be read, and that if no ob- sustained, then any five members jection be made he will sign the may embody the same over their same, to the end that it shall become signatures, in a written protest, under a law. The bill shall then be read at oath, against the signing of the bill. length, and if no objection be made Said protest, when offered in the he shall in the presence of the house, house, shall be noted upon the jourin open session, and before any other nal, and the original shall be annexed business is entertained, affix his sig- to the bill to be considered by the nature, which fact shall be noted on governor in connection therewith.” the journal and the bill immediately The first clause was held mandabe sent to the other house. When it tory, but the others directory, except reaches the other house the presiding that in case of protest they were subofficer thereof shall immediately mitted with the bill to the governor, suspend all other business, announce and to be considered by him,- that the reception of the bill, and the same this was the remedy provided by the proceedings shall thereupon be ob- constitution for any supposed infracserved in every respect as in the house tion of those clauses.
the legislature can prevent a scrutiny into its acts, which the constitution designed should be made, by any mode of authentication it may adopt. We have endeavored to show that the constitution never contemplated that objections of the character urged against the law whose validity is now under consideration should be raised against a bill passed with the approval of the governor. There is no reason why objections of like character should be raised against a bill passed against his will.. Upon the whole, we are of the opinion that the objections taken against the mode of passing this law by the general assembly on its reconsideration are untenable, and the constitution and law preclude an inquiry as to the existence of such objections; the constitution regarding the provisions alleged to have been violated in the passage of this law as merely directory, and, being so, a departure from them, even if there was a departure, would not render the law void.”
$ 33. Statute-record conclusive in Louisiana and Mississippi.- All the constitutions of Louisiana have required each house of the general assembly to keep and publish weekly a journal of its proceedings, and to enter therein the yeas
and nays of the members on any question at the desire of any
two of them. And also has provided that “No bill shall have the force of a law until on three several days it be read in each house of the general assembly, and free discussion be allowed thereon, unless, in case of urgency, four-fifths of the house where the bill shall be depending deem it expedient to dispense with this rule.” In State Lottery Co. v. Richoux,' it was said by the court: “When a legislative act is duly promulgated according to the constitution and laws under which it is passed, we find no authority in the judiciary department to look behind it and determine its validity or invalidity from the proceedings of the general assembly in adopting it. Such a course, it would seem, is not sustainable on the theory of the independent and separate action of the three branches of the state government. Where a legislative act is attacked on the ground that it contains provisions that are unconstitutional, the question of its validity is properly within the scope of judicial action. The courts have power, when a constitu
, 123 La. Ann. 743; S. C. 8 Am. R. CO2. See Whited v. Lewis, 25 La. Ann. 568.
tional question is raised, to examine whether the thing ordered, permitted or forbidden to be done may have effect under the sanction of the constitution. The question should be, is the law itself constitutional as to its provisions and what it declares, and not whether it is constitutional as to the manner of its enactment or the proceedings by which it was enacted."
$ 34. In Mississippi the same subject was thus discussed in Green v. Weller:' “ It may be that legislative acts may be passed without a compliance with the requirements of the constitution. If such defect or violation appear on the face of the act, or by that which constitutes the record, which can be judicially noticed, the power of the court to determine the question is indisputable. But if the proper record shows that the act has received the sanctions required by the constitution as evidence of its having been passed agreeably to the constitution, and its provisions be not repugnant to the constitution, the regularity and stability of government and the peace
of society require that it should have the force of a valid law.” ?
$ 35. Same - In other states. The constitution of Nevada requires particular proceedings in the passage of a legislative act. Each house must keep a journal of its own proceedings which shall be published; that “every bill shall be read by sections on three several days in each house, unless in case of emergency two-thirds of the house where such bill may be pending shall deem it expedient to dispense with this rule; but the reading of a bill by sections on its final passage shall in no case be dispensed with, and the vote on the final passage of any bill or joint resolution shall be taken by yeas and nays to be entered on the journals of each house; and a majority of all the members elected to each house shall be necessary to pass every bill or joint resolution; and all bills or joint resolutions so passed shall be signed by the presiding officers of the respective houses, and by the secretary of the senate and clerk of the assembly.” It is there held that the court, for the purpose of informing itself of the existence and terms of a law, cannot look beyond the enrolled act certified by these officers who are charged by the constitution with the duty of
3 Art. 4, sec. 18.
132 Miss. 690.
2 Const. 1868, art. 4, secs. 14, 23. See Swann v. Buck, 40 Miss. 268.