Abbildungen der Seite

Motion, as amended, carried.

The President:

The report of the Executive Committee is the next matter of business.

Charles E. Gast:

Mr. President, the Executive Committee, or a majority of its members, have checked over and audited the accounts of the Treasurer for the past year and find them to be strictly correct, and the proper balance due the Association is in the bank. I move, therefore, that the report of the Treasurer be received by the Association and that we waive the reading of it.

Motion seconded and carried.

(For the report of the Treasurer see the appendix.)

The President:

The report of the Committee on Grievances follows, which will be made by Mr. May, chairman of that committee.

Henry F. May then submitted the following report:
(For report see the appendix.)

Henry T. Rogers:

I move that the report be received and placed on file, and that the thanks of the Association be extended to the committee.

Motion seconded.

Henry F. May:

Is there not something in the by-laws, Mr. President, against thanks?

The President:

The motion is that the report be received and placed on file.
Robert G. Withers:

Is there any objection to the approval of the action of the committee?

The President:

I presume that will be all right. The motion, then, is that the report of the committee be received and approved and placed on file.

Motion carried.

The President:

The Committee on Law Reform is now expected to make its report.

Horace G. Lunt:

The Committee on Law Reform reports as follows:

(For report see the appendix.)

The President:

Gentlemen, what shall we do with this report?
Ed. T. Taylor:

Mr. Chairman, I do not know whether it is in order at this time to make any explanatory remarks about this constitutional. amendment. I rather guess I am the only member of the legislature here. I understand-I was not at your last annual meeting

that there was some little stricture placed upon the action of the legislature by reason of their having failed to pass that constitutional amendment. I do not want to oppose any recommendation that is made by the Committee on Law Reform. But, as a member of the Judiciary Committee of the Senate for the past four sessions, I know how the legislature feels about these constitutional amendments. I am the author of three of them, I believe, myself. There is practically a unanimous opinion in the legislature of this State, and has been all the time, that the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court should be consolidated, and that kind of a bill can go through the legislature all right enough. But the stumbling block, and the block on which we have always split, has been the term of office of the court. I am in favor of having seven judges, and transferring the present Court of Appeals, whoever they may be, over to the Supreme Court. I had a bill similar to the one that was presented by Mr. Hoyt, our Secretary. I

We had to extend the some of them, I think,

figured it out on both an eight and ten-year basis, so that their terms of office would come out all right. term of nearly all of the judges one year two years, as you will remember. But the legislature absolutely refused to pass a bill that made the term of the Supreme Court fourteen years. Now, I say to you, gentlemen, in all kindness, that you cannot pass that bill through the legislature, if it is composed of anything like the members that it was composed of last time. They are opposed to having a fourteen-year term of the Supreme Court, and, no matter how much the lawyers talk to them or how much respect they have for the weight and judgment of the State Bar Association, that would not carry weight with the members of the legislature, other than a few of them. Personally, I was opposed to it. I think ten years is long enough. Judge Hallett said in his address a year ago, I think, that I was to be blamed more than any one else for the failure of the bill. I was willing to make some concessions, and I think we could have gotten the legislature, probably, to come up beyond the eight-year limit, Some of them wanted a six-year term, some an eight-year term, and some of them did not want any change very much. Nevertheless, we could have passed the bill-it takes two-thirds, you know -making the term of office eight years, and possibly ten, but it is out of the question to make it fourteen years. Now, another thing: we feel confident that the people of this State would not adopt that constitutional amendment if it was submitted to them, and that it would be a useless waste of time and money to submit it. There are some of us, possibly, that are in the legislature, who come nearer to coming in contact with the mass of the people that do the voting than some of the more eminent members of the bar do; and we feel that when we have had the experience which we had several years ago of trying to increase the Supreme Court from three to five, and the people voted it down, and some other matters that have been submitted later, we feel that the temper of the people of this State is such that they will not adopt a constitutional amendment making our Supreme Court terms fourteen years. Whether that is a reflection upon the people or a reflection

upon our judgment, I cannot say; but that is the sentiment of the Colorado Legislature. Now, as I say, I do not oppose this recommendation at all, if it is the sentiment of the Colorado Bar Association that you present this same bill again to the Fourteenth General Assembly. I am a hold-over Senator, and will be there, and I shall try to see that the judgment of this Association is fairly presented. I will say frankly that I do not feel that fourteen years will carry in this State, but, nevertheless, this Association's judgment should certainly have a fair hearing before the legislature. I expect to reintroduce the same bill at the opening of the next session. I do not know that I shall have any particular influence in that matter. I have been chairman of the Judiciary Committee in two sessions of the legislature, and undoubtedly will be a member of it again. I simply bring these facts to your attention as an explanation, which I think is only proper, of the reason why these bills have failed. Of course it is true, as suggested by Judge Voorhees, that there are a great many constitutional amendments--something like thirty, I think-introduced at every session of the legislature. The last time they were pared down and ruled out and choked off in one way or another until they were reduced to six; those six were passed, and, of course, are before the people at the present time. Now, I am making these statements purely as an explanation, and am not criticising nor attempting in any manner to shape the action of this Association. I would like to hear expressions from the lawyers present, especially the lawyers from the country-us rural, Country Jake attorneys to see whether or not the people of your counties will vote for a Supreme Court of seven members and a fourteen-year term. I would like to have a full and frank expression. There is no use of passing something that is impracticable; and at the same time, if the majority so decides, the Association should stand by its former action.

The President:

We are all glad to have heard from Mr. Taylor on the views entertained by the legislature. These are always practical questions and not entirely theoretical.

The question is, what shall be done with this report?

Caldwell Yeaman:

What committee has this matter in charge, Mr. President, some regular committee or a special committee?

Lucius W. Hoyt:

The Committee on Law Reform, with the following membership: Joel F. Vaile, Harvey Riddell, Henry A. Dubbs, W. H. Bryant, Calvin E. Reed, John R. Smith and Horace G. Lunt.

I would say that several of this committee were on the old committee that had the matter in charge when the bill was presented before. I do not remember any of them now, however, excepting Mr. Riddell, who will be here this afternoon, and possibly this matter should be deferred until we can hear from him. Horace G. Lunt:

I will say that Mr. Vaile wrote and telephoned to me saying he had consulted with all of the committee-those in Denverexcepting one; that they had taken the matter under advisement there, and he told me what the committee thought best to do. He said it would be impossible for him to be here at this time and asked me to present it, but the committee was unanimous in this report as it has been presented. I do not know that they were aware of Mr. Taylor's objection; I do not know whether all the objections had been brought to their notice or not, but they evidently considered the advisability of either the next standing committee or a special committee presenting this matter to the legislature. It seems to me, considering the suggestions of Mr. Taylor, that a special committee should be appointed to meet and adjust any objections that may be made to the passage of the act. Harry N. Haynes:

I move the adoption of the report.

Motion seconded.

Caldwell Yeaman:

In order to get it before the Association, I move an amendment, that the report be accepted and approved, and that a special

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »