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vision over all institutions and laws affecting defectives,
delinquents, and dependents.

Department of public safety, with control over health and

police authorities.

However desirable it might be to group the numerous branches of a state administration in this fashion under a few departmental heads appointed by the governor and responsible to him, as a matter of actual fact it can scarcely be said that we have begun the reform. A review of governors' messages for eight years, 1900-1907, reveals currents in the direction of centralization, but it also reveals many counter-currents. Governor Bates of Massachusetts, in his message of January 7, 1904, favored fixing responsibility in the governor by giving him the power of appointing the heads of the principal departments. Governor Garvin of Rhode Island, in the same year, recommended a similar policy. Governor Hughes of New York, in his inaugural of 1909, made a plea for an executive power commensurate with executive responsibility.1


In the South and West, however, we find governors demanding an extension of the limits of the elective principle. Governor Vardaman of Mississippi, in his message of 1904, and Governor Blanchard of Louisiana, in his messages of 1904 and 1906, strongly advised the transformation of many appointive offices into elective offices. Governor Toole of Montana, in his communication to the legislature of January 5, 1903, declared that "the people should elect all important officers of the state government. Under the law as it now stands, the governor of the state appoints the state examiner, state inspector, state coal mine inspector, steam boiler inspector, commissioner of agriculture and labor, state veterinarian, registrar of the state land office, and state land agent and game warden. . . . It is the system that is reprehensible a system which is inconsistent and inharmonious with the genius and spirit of our institutions in its attempt, without reason or necessity, to mingle or fuse together disagreeing elements of a democracy and a monarchy. In short, in my opinion, executive appointments or patronage, if you please, and popular sovereignty are antagonistic elements in our form of government and ought to be abandoned." 2


1 Reprinted in part, Readings, p. 436.


Digest of Governors' Messages, 1903, New York State Library Bulletin, p. 29.

The same diverse tendencies that are shown by the governors' messages are revealed by a careful study of the laws creating the more important state offices during the same period, 1900-1907. They may be summarized as follows:

Appointive offices made elective. Virginia: treasurer, secretary of the commonwealth, superintendent of public instruction (1902). West Virginia: secretary of state (1903). Kansas: state printer (1906). Louisiana: supreme court justices, registrar of the land office, commissioner of agriculture and immigration (1906). Alabama: railroad commission (1907).

Elective offices made appointive. California: state printer (1907). Newly created elective offices.' Alabama: lieutenant-governor, commissioner of agriculture and industry (1901), state fish and game commissioner (1907). Vermont: attorney-general (1905). Mississippi: insurance commissioner (1902), commissioner of agriculture, statistics and immigration (1906). Texas: commissioner of agriculture (1907). Louisiana: state board of equalization (1906). Nebraska: railroad commission (1906). Colorado, Montana, and Oregon: railroad commissions (1907). Maine: state auditor (1907).

Newly created appointive offices. California, Nevada, South Dakota: state engineers (1907). Maryland: state auditor (1902). Nevada: state auditor (1907). Indiana, Washington, Wisconsin, and Ohio: state railroad and public service commissions (1905-1906). Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont: state railroad and public service commissions (1907).

A survey of this table shows that the movement towards a transformation of appointive into elective offices is confined to the southern and western states, where the machine processes of modern life and their institutional results are not so fully developed as in the northern and eastern states. In the South or West are also to be found the greater number (all but two) of the newly created elective offices, while the most important new appointive offices, the public service commissions, have been established in the middle and eastern states.

The Removal Power in State Administration

The governor has no general power of removal like that enjoyed by the President of the United States. Not only do we discover a great variety of practices among the several common

1In some cases, transformation of older offices.

wealths, but in each state we find different methods of removal applied to officers of equal rank as well as officers of different grades. In almost any commonwealth one may find three or more methods of removal.

The first method is that of /impeachment. Many state constitutions provide that any civil officer of the state may be impeached; others make all executive officers liable to impeachment; and still others especially enumerate the officers who may be impeached. The causes of impeachment vary, but crime, misdemeanor, treason, bribery, drunkenness, malfeasance, gross immorality, extortion, neglect of duty, incompetency, and misconduct are among those enumerated in various constitutions. South Carolina, however, assigns no causes for impeachment whatever, but leaves the matter to the legislature.

The process of impeachment, in general, follows that prescribed by the Constitution of the United States: the lower house of the state legislature initiates the proceedings, and the senate acts as a court of trial, sometimes in conjunction with one or more justices of the state supreme court — for example, in New York the judges of the highest court of the state (the court of appeals) are associated with the senate in trying cases of impeachment. Nebraska has a somewhat curious method of impeachment by a joint session of the legislature and trial by the judges of the supreme court. "The senate and house of representatives in joint convention," runs the Nebraska constitution, "shall have the sole power of impeachment, but a majority of the members must concur therein. Upon the entertainment of a resolution to impeach by either house the other house shall at once be notified thereof and the two houses shall meet in joint convention for the purpose of acting upon such resolution within three days of such notification. A notice of an impeachment of any officer other than a justice of the supreme court shall be forthwith served upon the chief justice by the secretary of the senate, who shall thereupon call a session of the supreme court to meet at the capital within ten days after such notice to try the impeachment."

The effect of an impeachment is generally to remove the offender from office and to disqualify him from holding any state office; but any person impeached, whether convicted or

not, is liable to trial and punishment for his offence in the ordinary courts of law.

A second method of removal is by a resolution of the state legislature. This method is often provided for the removal of judges and judicial officers. For example, in New York, judges of the court of appeals (the highest court of the state), and justices of the supreme court may be removed by concurrent resolution of both houses of the legislature, two-thirds of all the members elected to each house concurring therein; and all other judicial officers, excepting certain minor officers, may be removed by the senate on the recommendation of the governor, two-thirds of the members of the senate concurring in the action; but in all cases an opportunity to be heard must be afforded the defendant.

The third method of removal is by the governor and the senate. This is the common practice in New York, where nearly all the chief state officers and members of commissions are appointed by the governor and the senate and removable by their joint action.

The fourth method of removal is by the governor alone; but this power is not very extensively granted by our state constitutions. In several states-for example, Colorado, Maryland, Illinois, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania- he may remove those officers whom he appoints. "The governor shall nominate," runs the Colorado constitution, "and by and with the consent of the senate appoint all officers whose offices are established by this constitution or which may be created by law and whose appointment or election is not otherwise provided for, and may remove any such officer for incompetency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office." In New York, the governor may suspend the state treasurer during a recess of the legislature; he may also remove the superintendents of public works and of prisons, members of the public service commission, and some local officers, including district attorneys, county treasurers, sheriffs, mayors, etc.

The fifth method of removal is by the courts. In a few instances the judges of the higher courts may remove prosecuting attorneys, minor judicial officers, and minor county and town officers. For example, the constitution of Oregon provides that, “public officers shall not be impeached; but incompetency, corruption, malfeasance, or delinquency in office may be tried

in the same manner as criminal offences and judgment may be given of dismissal from office and such further punishment as may have been prescribed by law." 1

A sixth method-recall on petition of 25 per cent. of the voters was authorized by a constitutional amendment adopted in Oregon in 1908.

The State Civil Service

Very early in our history, state offices, like the offices at Washington, fell under the sway of the spoils system. It became the common practice for any party, on defeating its rival, to oust from the state offices even all the employees whose duties were purely clerical. An official investigation in New York into the methods of appointment and removal prevailing in 1884 led to the conclusion that political considerations controlled almost exclusively all appointments; that the partisan service of the appointee, either past or expectant, was the reason for his appointment; that the public welfare was only a nominal factor in selecting employees; that the most meritorious persons were deterred from entering public service; that the character of the service was lowered by the patronage system; that the public officers having the power to make appointments were burdened and embarrassed by the pressure upon them for spoils; and that public officers imperilled their positions by any independent or non-partisan action.

New York led the way in civil service reform by passing, in 1883, a civil service law providing for a commission authorized to coöperate with the governor in preparing rules, classifying the state civil service, and conducting the examinations for the positions to be filled by competition. Other states were slow to follow the example of New York, even in a tentative way. At the present time Massachusetts and Wisconsin are the only commonwealths besides New York that have adopted the merit system on a large scale for state and local officers. In 1907 the civil service reformers were only able to report that the merit system had made the following principal gains: 3 in New York,

The constitutions of many states vest in the legislatures the power of providing the methods by which inferior officers may be removed.

2 This commission made the investigation mentioned above. 3 For municipal civil service, below, p. 597.

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