« PreviousContinue »
Commissioners for the Revision and
Reform of the Law.
A. C. FREEMAN, W.C. VAN FLEET, GEORGE J. DENIS.
W. F. HENNING, - - Secretary.
REPORT OF THE COMMISSIONERS FOR THE REVISION
AND REFORM OF THE LAW.
IN GENERAL. The Commissioners for the Revision and Reform of the Law present this report of their acts and proceedings under the statute providing for their appointment and prescribing their duties, and also under Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 23, adopted March 16, 1901, directing them to examine, designate, and report to the next session of the Legislature a complete index of the laws from 1893 to and including the last session, and also to designate and report separately the laws repealed or invalidated from any reason, and so as to indicate, as correctly as possible, those remaining in force.
The validity of the amendments to the codes adopted in 1901, pursuant to the recommendation of this Commission, was, soon after their adoption, assailed in the supreme court of the State in the case of Lewis v. Dunne, reported in 134 Cal. 291, with the result that that court reached and announced the conclusion that those amendments were not constitutionally enacted, on the grounds (1) that each of the codes constituted more than one subject, and that neither could now be validly enacted because of the provisions of our constitution requiring each act to embrace but one subject, which must be expressed in its title, and that neither can be amended in a single act if the amendments involve two or more of these subjects; and (2) that no complete revision of either code can be made without publishing at length the sections not affected by the revision, as well as those revised or amended. It would be fruitless and unbecoming, on our part, to here discuss the correctness of that decision or its accord, or want of accord, with the views heretofore expressed by the courts of this and other States on the same subject. Accepting it, as we must, without question, it remains for us to consider what may be done, notwithstanding, toward the perfecting of our codes. It would be idle, under this decision, to propose a complete code, as recommended by our predecessors, or a complete revision of any code setting out the parts left unchanged as well as the changes made by amendment, addition, or repeal, because, to do so, would present an act which, in the opinion of the judges, excepting the chief justice, must necessarily involve more than one subject; nor, for precisely the same