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Chapter 110 confers upon that officer of a municipal corporation who is charged with the trial of criminal cases the power to issue execution upon his judgments for fine and costs.

Chapter 114 makes it a misdemeanorto carry on the business of barbering on Sunday.” This act avoids the objection upon which a former statute upon the same subject was declared unconstitutional. As there is no statute in this State making it a misdemeanor to engage in one's ordinary vocation on Sunday, this statute might, with propriety, have been made general.

Chapter 122 admits into the State all foreign corporations desiring to engage in “any kind of business” upon the terms and conditions prescribed by Chapter 31, Acts 1877, for the admission of “foreign corporations organized for mining and manufacturing purposes.” This act demands more than a passing notice. It adopts the provisions of act of 1877 without change, except that it imposes a penalty for non-compliance with its terms, and subjects the property of foreign corporations to attachment where process cannot be served upon them. Although foreign corporations were engaged extensively in business within the State, there had been no general statute regulating their admission prior to the passage of the act under consideration. There were a very few special acts which, like that of 1877, were applicable to some particular class of corporations. It happened not unfrequently, in this state of the law, that foreign corporations could do business within the State upon terms more advantageous than domestic corporations of the same class. Hence, charters have sometimes been taken in other States with the sole purpose of holding property and doing business in this State; in some instances to evade payment of taxes. Whether the present act improves the situation admits of question. Under its provisions, all classes of foreign corporations are admitted upon the same terms and conditions. Perhaps there should have been distinctions. Besides, the terms and conditions prescribed are those which were granted to the most favored class of corporations “to secure the opening and development of the mineral resources of the State, and to facilitate the introduction of foreign capital.” And it has been seriously contended by lawyers of ability and reputation that the act of 1877 confers upon foreign corporations rights and powers which are not possessed by domestic corporations. An examination of the statute discloses much reason for this contention. There ought to be no doubt that a citizen or corporation of this State has within the State rights equal at least to those enjoyed by foreign corporations.

Chapter 166 cures a defect in the law relating to public schools by authorizing county courts to create new schooldistricts.

Chapter 184 requires creditors to present their claims under a general assignment upon notice by the assignee.

Chapter 218 is a well-loaded: statute leveled at trusts and other like unlawful combinations. It is the counterpart of congressional legislation upon the same subject. Neither Congress nor the State Legislature seem disposed to concede that trusts are too large or too powerful to be suppressed.

Chapter 221 affords an instance of inequality of the sexes before the law. Male citizens are denied the right-s0 essential to the pursuit of happiness, and to the enjoyment of life, liberty, and property—the right to prosecute suit upon the pauper

oath, to dissolve an unsatisfactory matrimonial partnership. I pause to inquire, Is this not class legislation? The act contains this unusual clause, indicating unseemly haste: “ This act to take effect from and after its passage, the public welfare requiring it."

The election laws, so ably reviewed by my predecessor, have since that date received the attention both of the courts and of the Legislature. The Supreme Court, by unanimous opinion, delivered at the last term at Jackson, but not yet reported, in the case of Cook v. State, declared the new “Dortch law” constitutional and valid. Cook had been convicted, upon his own confession, of a violation of this statute by aiding a voter at a congressional election. IIis defense was rested wholly upon the unconstitutionality of the law. The court determined (1) that the new “Dortch law” does not require of voters, as a condition to their exercise of the right of suffrage, any qualification, educational or otherwise, in violation of the Constitution; (2) that commissioners of registration are State, not county, officers, and that their appointment may be lawfully made by the Governor; (3) that the system of election laws, though of partial or limited application, is not vicious class

legislation. The statute construed in this case was that passed at the extra session of 1890. The subsequent statutes, which have wrought many changes and some confusion, were not involved. They are as follows:

Chapter 161 repeals the act that requires two ballot-boxes and two sets of election officers where State and national elections occur on same date. This repeal proceeds upon the theory

that the law should cease when the reason for it has ceased. Chapter 222 cures some palpable defects in the act requiring payment of poll-tax as a condition to the exercise of the elective franchise. As evidence of his payment of poll-tax, the voter is required to produce either the original receipt or a duly certified copy thereof, or to make and file affidavit of its loss. Voters are declared to be “ assessed” within the meaning of the law, if liable for poll-tax, although their names may not appear upon the assessor's list. It is declared a misde- . meanor for any one to vote, or for any judge of election to permit any one to vote, in violation of the provisions of this act.

Chapter 223 amends the registration act passed at the extra session (1890). It has been the subject of much discussion and diversity of opinion. The purpose distinctly stated in the caption is to “ extend the provisions” of the original act. This declared purpose is in harmony with the other legislation upon this subject. Nevertheless, it has been supposed by some that this statute has had the effect to annul the act whose operation should have been extended. This result would destroy the entire system of election laws. It must be confessed that this amendatory act is not a happy performance, either in its conception or execution. What extension of the provisions of the original act was contemplated by this amendatory act? The obvious purpose of this act, though somewhat obscured by the inadvertent use of terms, was to extend the original act in two directions :

(1) The original act applied to the counties of 70,000 inhabitants or more, and to none others. It was intended by this act to make the registration law applicable to counties of 50,000 inhabitants or more. But the amendatory act requires 50,000 “ voting population.” No county in the State has that number. Doubtless the use of the phrase“ voting population” was


inadvertent. Possibly this phrase might, under well-settled rules of construction, be rejected altogether. In that event, the amendatory act would be effective. But, should it be otherwise, it can hardly be conceived that the court would permit this palpable lapsus pennae to destroy the entire system of election laws, contrary not only to the expressed purpose of the act itself, but to the oft expressed legislative intent upon this subject, and contrary to the provision of the act of the same date contained in the succeeding chapter.

(2) In another respect this amendatory act sought to extend the provisions of the original act. The latter applied to all towns, cities, and civil districts having 2,500 inhabitants, outside counties of 70,000 inhabitants.

The amendatory act, proceeding upon the mistaken theory that only such “ towns, cities, and civil districts," situated within counties of 70,000 inhabitants, as had 2,500 inhabitants were embraced in the original act, undertook to remedy this supposed defect by making the application of the registration laws wuiversal in the counties having the required population.

This was an unnecessary provision. The original act applied to the entire county if it had the requisite population.

Chapter 224, like the last chapter (223), amends the registration law passed at the extra session (1890). Its first section makes the registration law applicable to all counties having a population of 50,000 inhabitants, and thereby effects the precise extension of the registration laws intended by the enactment of the preceding chapter (223). If there be conflict between the two acts, there can be little doubt that the statute which is clearly expressed, and is in harmony with the history and the spirit of legislation on this subject, and is last in publication, will prevail. The second section of this act provides for appointment of judges and clerks of election-one of each by the commissioner of registration, and the others in the usual way, but from the two political parties.

Chapter 225 amends the “ Dortch law,” making it applicable to counties of 50,000 inhabitants or over.

Chapters 6 and 7 make the election laws applicable to city and county elections for issuance of improvement bonds.


FIRST SESSION. Few statutes of general interest, available for comment in an address of this character, are found among those passed at the first session of the Fifty-first Congress. The statutes of most importance passed at this session are, the acts admitting Idaho and Wyoming as States; the acts increasing the pension lists; the anti-trust law; the “silver act;" the " tariff act;" and the act to overcome the recent decisions of the Supreme Court in the original package cases.

The act providing for the “ World's Columbian Exposition" might be added to the list but for the expressed opinion of the Tennessee Legislature that it is in this State of local importance only, and a suitable subject for the county courts. Nothing will be added to the remarks of my predecessor upon this field of comment. His judgment, though expressed in advance of the printing of the record, is entirely. satisfactory.

SECOND SESSION. The statutes of general interest passed at the second session of the Fifty-first Congress, are the following: The act making apportionment of representatives in Congress among the States; the act increasing the salaries of the district judges to $5,000 per annum; the act refunding the direct tax; the act establishing circuit courts of appeals; the act establishing the court of private land claims; the act regulating immigration; and the copyright law. Some of these will be given special consideration.

IMMIGRATION. The statute regulating immigration of aliens is a vigorous and necessary measure. It seems adequate, if rigidly enforced, to repel the undesirable classes of immigrants. Events of recent date have vindicated the wisdom of this legislation. Our country, the boasted asylum of the oppressed, has well-nigh been degraded to a mere receptacle of the crime and ignorance and pauperism of Europe. No menace to the safety of the republic and to the stability of our free institutions has given to thoughtful men so much solicitude as the presence in our midst of the lawless masses who left their native land for their country's good.

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