« PreviousContinue »
Plans for the reformation of the police force along lines suggested by a commission from the Spanish Guardia Civil, which has come to Peru under contract with the Government, are under way.
Simultaneously with the conference for the settlement of the Tacna-Arica controversy, the Government has entered into negotiations with Ecuador for an exact settlement of the boundary between the two countries.
By a vote of Congress, General Juan Vicente Gomez has been elected President for the term extending from 1922 to 1929. General Gomez came into prominence in 1908 when he succeeded Dictator Castro. After serving as President for one year, the general reformed the constitution, and was elected President for the full period. After a lapse of an additional seven years during which Dr. Marquez-Bustillos has been President, General Gomez again returns to the presidential chair.
NEWS AND NOTES
NOTES FROM ARKANSAS
PREPARED BY D. Y. THOMAS
University of Arkansas
VETO POWER.—That the governor has the right to veto a resolution by the legislature submitting an amendment to the constitution has just been denied by the supreme court.
The constitution, as interpreted by the supreme court, limits to three the number of amendments which may be submitted at one time, whether by the legislature, or by initiative. When the last legislature met two amendments had already been initiated. The first one passed by the legislature was the Hartje amendment subjecting personal property to taxation for improvements, such as roads. Governor T. C. McRae vetoed this in order that he might have a different amendment initiated.
I. C. Hopper, secretary of state, declined to recognize the governor's veto, whereupon court proceedings were instituted to restrain him from certifying out the Hartje amendment.
The supporters of the veto based their proceedings on that clause of the constitution which says that “every resolution" having the force of law must be submitted to the governor for approval, and upon an act of the legislature passed in 1879 conferring the veto power in cases of amendment.
So far as concerned the action of the legislature the constitution of 1874 merely said: "Either branch of the General Assembly at a regular session thereof may propose amendments to this constitution, and, if the same be agreed to by a majority of all members elected to each house, such proposed amendment shall be entered on the journal with the years and nays.
The legislature of 1879, which was the first to submit an amendment, elaborated on the procedure of the two houses in passing a resolution for an amendment and directed that it should be submitted to the governor and, if disapproved by him, passed over his veto before it should be submitted to the people.
J. S. Utley, attorney general, and his assistants, in defending the act of Secretary Hopper in refusing to recognize the veto, took the position that the legislative act of 1879 was merely interpretative, void, and of no effect. The fact that it had been followed ever since, even in case of resolutions for adjournment, which are specifically excepted in the constitution, made no difference, for usurpation of power was not rendered legal by long continuance. Besides, a part of the act bearing on the subject, though not affecting the veto, had already been declared void. They also pointed out that Governor Donaghey's veto of the ratification of the income tax amendment had been disregarded by the Federal authorities.
On the other contention counsel for the defense contended that the clause requiring "every order or resolution in which the concurrence of both houses of the General Assembly may be necessary, except on questions of adjournment" to be presented to the governor referred only to matters of a legislative character. Amendments to the constitution were not legislative in character, hence the governor's veto, which is a legislative power, did not apply to them. Numerous court decisions were cited to sustain this contention.
As already indicated the supreme court upheld the secretary of state in his refusal to recognize the veto.
FILLING VACANCIES IN THE LEGISLATURE. —For some time it has been the practice of governors in Arkansas to fill vacancies in the legislature by appointment. The constitution of 1874, still in effect, contains the following provision relating to such vacancies :
The Governor shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies as shall occur in either house of the General Assembly. Art. V, Sec. 6.
In 1836 the legislature passed an act to regulate the details of resignation from, and filling vacancies in, the legislature and this act is incorporated in Crawford and Moses' Digest (1921), Secs. 4962-5, as still in effect. This act says that the governor shall, “without delay, issue a writ of election to fill such vacancy” and directs how it shall be done. This seems to be all that is in the constitution and laws relating directly to the filling of vacancies in the legislature. However, there is a separate provision in the constitution relating to the filling of vacancies in office. This reads:
When any office from any cause becomes vacant, and no mode is provided by the Constitution and laws for filling such vacancy, the Governor shall have the power to fill the same by granting a commission, which shall expire when the person elected to fill said office, at the next general election, shall be duly qualified. Art. 6, Sec. 23.
In 1877 the legislature passed an act regulating the details of procedure in filling such vacancies. This act, which is incorporated in Crawford and Moses' Digest, Secs. 10333-8, quotes the article just given and adds:
In any case wherein a vacancy in any office shall occur, to be filled, under the provisions of the Constitution, by a special election, the Governor shall have the power temporarily to fill the same by granting a commission, which shall expire when the person elected to fill said office, at such special election, shall be duly qualified.
This act was held constitutional in 1907 as affecting the right to fill a vacancy in the office of county judge and again in 1909 in the case of a circuit judge. Also, there are various other legislative provisions for filling certain specified state and local offices.
In consideration of the foregoing facts it is difficult to see where the governor gets any authority to fill a vacancy in the legislature by appointment. Art. 5, Sec. 6, is clear and specific to the effect that he must call a special election. Even the power to fill the vacancy temporarily pending an election is not clear, for the act of 1877 giving such power is designed to supplement Art. VI, Sec. 23, which relates to offices, not to positions in the legislature. Besides, Art. VI, Sec. 23, specifically exempts positions otherwise provided for. Governors making the appointments do not seem to have considered that they were acting under this article and the law of 1877, for they have not called any special elections, considering the appointments final. In the same way were filled several vacancies in the constitutional convention of 1917-18.
NOTES FROM OKLAHOMA
PREPARED BY MIRIAM E. OATMAN
E. B. Howard of Tulsa and Hubert Bolen of Oklahoma City have withdrawn from the race for the Democratic nomination for Governor. This leaves Thos. H. Owen and J. C. Walton of Oklahoma City, R. H. Wilson of Chickasha and Tom O'Bryan of Haskell as candidates for the nomination. The avowed candidates for the Republican nomination are John Fields, Hugh Scott and George Healey. The candidates for minor state offices are unusually numerous this year in both parties.
NOTES FROM TEXAS
BUDGET ESTIMATES CALLED FOR.—The first step in the preparation of the biennial State budget, 1923-25, has been taken by the State Board of Control, which has sent out the budget estimate blanks to the departments and institutions to be returned by July 1. The Board will visit the institutions and departments before making up the budget. The budget law requires estimates to be filed with the Board by September 15 and the printed budget must be ready by De