« ZurückWeiter »
tion as might be necessary to fulfill the policies which he might endeavor to inaugurate.
Your committee further desires to present to the Association a condition of affairs which, in the judgment of many, demands a fundamental change in our state government. The Constitution, Article IV', Section 2, provides: "The supreme executive power of the State shall be rested in the Governor, who shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed”, but the fact remains that the Governor of the State, except as to those appointed by him, has practically no greater authority than a private citizen in his control over subordinate officers. The situation has become partieularly acute during the present administration, and the Governor has, at times, been compelled to appeal to the courts in order to secure the execution of laws by subordinate officers.
As the law at present exists, the Governor, as the chief executive of the State, has no authority to compel the performance of their duties by any of the elective state or county officers, with the possible exception of the assessors.
The result is that the secretary of state, treasurer, auditor or attorney general, partieularly, can, because of lack of sympathy with the executive, or for
, any other motive which may influence them, not only greatly embarrass the administration, but in some instances, actually tie the hands of the executive.
For illustration, let us assume that the Governor of the State is compelled to bring mandamus proceedings against the auditor to compel him to audit the bills incurred by the militia during service in behalf of the State. If the attorney general should be obstinate in the same manner, mandamus proceedings could not be brought and certiorari would be the only remely which the Governor would have to compel that officer to act, and even that with doubtful results. Examples might be given where the secretary of state, by refusing to place the seal of state upon documents, could greatly handicap and embarrass the Governor; and the treasurer, by arbitrary methods, might accomplish the same result.
There is, at present, considerable discussion of a plan known as the short ballot. Briefly, it contemplates a fundamental law providing for the election of a Governor and a lieutenant governor, the other officers of the State to be appointed by the governor. In short, it is the same plan followed in the selection of the executive department of the United States Government.
The matter is one which should receive careful consideration. There is much to be said in favor of it and likewise much against it, but the demand for such a plan is undoubtedly growing and we believe that it should receive the careful consideration of the Bar. It is to be regretted, in our judgment, that the Bar, during the past few years, has followed rather than directed public opin
, ion along governmental lines. The result has been the adoption of many things which are of questionable value and also of poorly prepared legislation in cases where the general idea has been good. We believe that if the Bar had taken the lead, many of the causes which led to the institution of much radical legislation would have been eliminated and many of the new systems which have been adopted would have been more carefully systematized and made effective. We desire to recommend to the Association, if this suggestion appeals to the members, that the question of the so-called short ballot be made the subject of a special paper, be referred to a committee or treated in such other manner as the Association may see fit.
CLYDE C. DAWSON,
REPORT OF DELEGATES
TO MEETING OF
AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION
AT MONTREAL, SEPTEMBER, 1913
July 9, 1914. To the Colorado Bar Association:
The Colorado Bar was represented at the 1913 meeting of the American Bar Association by Messrs. Hartman and Preston of Pueblo; Dean Fleming, of Boulder; Mr. Reginnitter, of Idaho Springs, and Messrs. Dubbs, May and McLean, of Denver. Considering the distance of Montreal from Colorado, and the fact that nearer and more populous States, such as Iowa, had only an equal number of delegates, this seems quite a creditable representation—at least in quantity.
The unusual importance and international character of the meeting are well known from the reports in the public press. It was the first meeting ever held on foreign soil; there were over a thousand lawyers in attendance from all parts of the world, including France, China, Porto Rico and Hawaii, to say nothing of the many distinguished guests from England, Canada and elsewhere.
The central point of interest and attention, after the cordial welcoming speech from Prime Minister Borden, himself a lawyer, was Lord Haldane, Chancellor of Great Britain, and his epochmaking address on "Higher Nationality—a Study in Law and Ethics”. He was very happily introduced by Chief Justice White of the United States Supreme Court, who started to hail him as "the incumbent of the greatest—" then, interrupting himself, said. with a twinkle "pardon me, one of the greatest tribunals on earth."
Of the subject-matter of the Lord Chancellor's exceedingly learned, well delivered and unusual address, there is neither time nor need to speak; it has been the topic of international discussion. Many of our Denver members have also heard the admirable presentation of it by your president, Mr. Dubbs, before the Denver Bar Association, last fall, and Mr. Nagel referred to it in his delightful address last evening. Lord Haldane related, at the outset, how the head of a predecessor of his, Cardinal Wolsey, was in peril because he was so daring as to take the Great Seal, of which the Lord Chancellor is the keeper, across the water to Calais, when he ought instead to have asked his sovereign to put it in commission. Lord Haldane speedily reassured us by saying that on this occasion the seal had been safely put in commission before he left, and that he was privileged to be present with a "comfortable constitutional conscience."
Another unusual and very picturesque event was the conferring of honorary degrees by McGill University. The sight of the long procession in academic gowns, with every variety of brilliant-hued hoods and bands, winding down the campus and into the Royal Victoria College Building, the Lord Chancellor and Chief Justice White leading the way, was one never to be forgotten. Degrees were conferred upon Lord Haldane, Chief Justice White, Prime Minister Borden, Maitre Labori, ex-President Taft, Joseph H. Choate, Senator Root, President Kellogg and others; and the venerable Lord Strathcona, since deceased, presided. The audience, not content with the formal ceremony, conducted in Latin, French and other tongues, insisted on brief speeches from the recipients. Mr. Choate’s was particularly felicitous. M. Labori had sprained his ankle, and Senator Root was kept in Washington; neither could be present, and their degrees were conferred “in absentia.” Mr. Choate, on rising to respond, said he had been assured that his degree was to be conferred "in silentia”; but as he had evidently been misinformed, he proceeded with a bright and witty speech.
It would be impossible, within reasonable limits, even to mention the titles of the various addresses, reports and proceedings. President Taft gave two interesting papers, one on "Tenure of Judges", another on “The Social Importance of Proper Standards for Admission to the Bar.” Judge look of our Circuit Court of Appeals, gave what seemed to me easily the best paper in the symposium on “The Struggle for Simplification of Legal Procedure.” One of the sessions was presided over by Frederick W. Lehmann, who has recently been one of the United States' representatives in the Mexican mediation conference at Niagara Falls. As a presiding officer over an umusually difficult assemblagea large roomful of noisy lawyers—commend me to Mr. Lehmann, who knew the Association's constitution and by-laws by heart, and made his rulings with a promptness and vim that kept things moving.
Dean Thayer, of the IIarvard Law School, is one of the best speakers without notes I have ever heard. Amid the multitude of prepared addresses, more or less badly read, his extemporaneous talk, rapidly and forcefully delivered, on "Law Schools and Bar Examinations," was as an oasis in à desert.
There were, of course, the usual sessions of the Association of American Law Schools, the Section of Legal Education, the Comparative Law Burean, the Commission on Uniform State Law's, the American Institute of Criminal Law, many of which it was a physical impossibility for one person to attend. This is perhaps just as well, as attendance on all of them would certainly have caused mental indigestion, if not a "capital-income" headache, such as Vr. Ilodges gave us all yesterday afternoon.
The banquet was a memorable affair. Presided over by Mr. Choate, probably the best toastmaster extant; it never had a dry moment.
In his introduction, Mr. Choate said that a young woman representative of the Montreal Press, in an interview, spoke of the 2,000 women lawyers in the United States, and asked, “Pray, what do you do with them?” to which he replied, "Madam,