Pioneer Irr. Dist. v. Bradbury

Decision Date08 March 1902
CourtIdaho Supreme Court

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW-EACH ACT BUT ONE SUBJECT.-Under the provisions of section 16, article 3 of the constitution of Idaho, each act must embrace but one subject and matters properly connected therewith.

SAME-TWO DIVERSE SUBJECTS IN TITLE OF ACT.-Under said provision of the constitution if the title of an act indicates, and the act itself actually embraces, two or more subjects, diverse in their nature and having no necessary connection, such act is unconstitutional and void.

SAME-GENERALITY OF TITLE.-The generality of a title to a bill is no objection to it so long as it is not made a cover to legislation incongruous in itself, and by no fair intendment can be considered as having a necessary or proper connection with it.

PROVISIONS THAT MAY BE UNITED.-If the provisions of an act all relate directly or indirectly to the same subject, have a natural connection therewith, and are not foreign to the subject expressed in the title, they may be united in one act.

CONFLICT MUST BE PALPABLE.-The objection should be grave, and the conflict between the constitution and statute palpable before the judiciary should hold a legislative enactment unconstitutional upon the sole ground that it embraces more than one subject.

NUMEROUS PROVISIONS OF SAME ACT.-However numerous the provisions of an act may be, if they can be, by fair intendment, considered as falling within the subject matter legislated upon in such act or necessary as ends and means to the attainment of such subject, the act will not be in conflict with said constitutional provision.

ENTIRE STATUTORY LAW UPON ONE GENERAL SUBJECT.-Said constitutional provision was not intended to prevent the incorporation into a single act of the entire statutory law upon one general subject.

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW-TITLE AND SUBJECT.-The following title held to contain but one general subject, and also held that the act treats of but one general subject. Said title is as follows: "To amend sections 2, 11, 22 and 26 of an act entitled 'An act to provide for the organization and government of irrigation districts, and to provide for the acquisition of water and other property, and for the distribution of water thereby for irrigation purposes, and for other and similar purposes,' approved March 6, 1899; and to amend section 9 of chapter 1, and section 16 of chapter 2 of an act entitled 'An act to provide for a state engineer, defining his duties, and regulating his compensation, and to provide for the acceptance by the state of Idaho from the United States of certain lands; and to provide for the reclamation occupation and disposal of the same,' approved March 2 1899, and to provide for the acquisition of right of way for the construction of canals or reservoirs or other irrigation works over or upon the lands of the state of Idaho."

SAME-PROVISIONS GERMANE.-Held, that said act has but one general subject object or purpose, and that is the reclamation and irrigation of desert or arid lands in the state, and that all of the provisions of said act are germane to that general subject and have a necessary connection therewith.

TWO ACTS MAY BE AMENDED BY ONE BILL.-If two separate bills are passed by the legislature on the same general subject, and with differently worded titles, said acts may be amended by one bill, with a proper title.

ASSESSMENTS ACCORDING TO BENEFITS.-DUE PROCESS OF LAW.-While the original district irrigation law provides for an assessment, by acreage, and fails to provide a means by which the benefits received may be adjudicated, the amendatory act fully provides the method and means by which such benefits may be adjudicated, and is not in conflict with the provisions of the Fourteenth amendment to the constitution of the United States, which prohibits the taking of private property without due process of law under the guise of taxation or otherwise.

(Syllabus by the court.)

APPEAL from District Court, Canyon County.

Affirmed. Costs awarded to the respondent.

W. E. Borah and J. J. Blake, for Appellant.

If the title to an act actually indicates, and the act itself actually embraces, two different objects, when the constitution says it shall embrace but one, the whole act must be treated as void from the manifest impossibility in the court choosing between the two, and holding the act valid as to one and void as to the other. (Cooley's Constitutional Limitations, sec. 148, p. 178; Antonio v Gould, 34 Tex. 49; State v. McCracken, 42 Tex. 383.) "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 legislature and dangerous to the state." (Cooley's Constitutional Limitations, 172; State v. Silver, 9 Nev. 227; People v. Mahaney, 13 Mich. 481; State v. Hallock, 19 Nev. 384, 12 P. 834; Stewart v. Father Matthew Society, 41 Mich. 72, 1 N.W. 931; Walker v. Caldwell, 4 La. 297; State v. Union, 33 N.J. L. 352; State v. Ransom, 73 Mo. 78; People v. Hills, 35 N.Y. 452; State v. Wright, 14 Or. 365, 12 P. 708.) Almost any legitimate enterprise, whether it is a banking association or an irrigation association, is indirectly a benefit to the public, but this is not the sense in which the term is used in reference to taking private property for public use. (Savings etc. Assn. v. Topeka, 20 Wall. 455; In re Pequest River, 41 N.J.L. 175.) However salutary a law may be considered in its ultimate objects, unless in its enforcement there is a method provided for the assessment according to benefits, it cannot under our laws be considered as constitutional. Unless such a provision is made, it will be considered as taking the property without due process of law. No rule of law is better established than that in making special assessments for any purpose, they must be according to benefits. (Ashberry v. Roanoke 91 Va. 562, 22 S.E. 360, 42 L. R. A. 636; State v. Commissioners, 38 N.J.L. 190, 20 Am. Rep. 380; State v. Newark, 27 N.J.L. 190; Stuart v. Palmer, 74 N.Y. 189, 30 Am. Rep. 289; Hammett v. Philadelphia, 65 Pa. 146, 3 Am. Rep. 615; Detroit v. Chapin, 112 Mich. 588, 71 N.W. 149, 42 L. R. A. 638; Bogert v. City of Elizabeth, 27 N. J. Eq. 568; Norwood v. Baker, 172 U.S. 269, 19 S.Ct. 187; Lyon v. Towanda, 98 F. 361; Charles v. City, 98 F. 166; Wurts v. Hoagland, 114 U.S. 613, 5 S.Ct. 1086.)

John C. Rice and J. M. Thompson, for Respondent.

The constitutional provision is that every act shall embrace but one subject and matters properly connected therewith. In similar provisions of the various state constitutions, the word "subject" is sometimes used, while the word "object" is used in other constitutions. (Fahey v. State, 27 Tex. App. 146, 11 Am. St. Rep. 182, 11 S.W 108; People v. Lawrence, 36 Barb. 192.) The purpose of this constitutional provision according to Judge Cooley is: 1. To prevent hodgepodge or "log-rolling" legislation; 2. To prevent surprise or fraud upon the legislature by means of provisions in bills of which the title gives no intimation, and which might, therefore, be overlooked and carelessly and unintentionally adopted; and 3. 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." (Cooley's Constitutional Limitations, 6th ed., 172.) Again, on the same page, Judge Cooley says: "The generality of a title is therefore no objection to it, so long that 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." (Winters v. City of Duluth, 82 Minn. 127, 84 N.W. 788; State v. Cassidy, 22 Minn. 324, 21 Am. Rep. 765; Clare v. People, 9 Colo. 122, 10 P. 799; State v. Board of Commrs., 21 Nev. 235, 29 P. 974.) If the provisions of a statute all relate, directly or indirectly, to the same subject, have a natural connection, and are not foreign to the subject expressed in the title, it is permissible to unite them in the same act.' (Inhabitants of Montclair v. Ramsdell, 107 U.S. 147, 2 S.Ct. 391; Lewis v. Dunne, 134 Cal. 291, 86 Am. St. Rep. 257, 66 P. 478; People v. Mullender, 132 Cal. 217, 64 P. 299; People v. Parks, 58 Cal. 624; Andrew v. Board of Commrs. of Ada County, 7 Idaho 453, 63 P. 592; State v. Doherty, 3 Idaho 384, 29 P. 855; Northern Counties Investment Trust v. Sears, 30 Or. 388, 41 P. 931; Commonwealth v. Brown, 91 Va. 762, 21 S.E. 357, 28 L. R. A. 110; State v. County Judge of Davis County, 2 Iowa 281.) There are no incongruous matters brought together in the body of the act, or expressed in the title. All the subject matter of the act refers to the general subject of irrigation. The law accepting what is known as the "Carey Act" and the irrigation district act are but different methods of accomplishing the same end. (Golden Canal Co. v. Bright, 8 Colo. 144, 6 P. 142; Clare v. People, 9 Colo. 122, 10 P. 799.) In the following cases the irrigation district law of California, known as the "Wright Law," has been held to be constitutional by the supreme court of California and the supreme court of the United States: Turlock Irr. Dist. v. Williams, 76 Cal. 360, 18 P. 379; Crall v. Poso Irr. Dist., 87 Cal. 140, 26 P. 797; In re Madera Irr. Dist., 92 Cal. 296, 27 Am. St. Rep. 106, 28 P. 272, 675; Board of Directors Irr. District v. Collins, 46 Neb. 411, 64 N.W. 1086; Fallbrook Irr. Dist. v. Bradley, 164...

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