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CARTER COUNTY v. SINTON.

decided: March 7, 1887.

CARTER COUNTY
v.
SINTON.



ERROR TO THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE UNITED STATES FOR THE DISTRICT OF KENTUCKY.

Author: Waite

[ 120 U.S. Page 521]

 MR. CHIEF JUSTICE WAITE, after stating the facts reported above, delivered the opinion of the court.

The principal points presented by the argument of the plaintiff arise on the demurrer to the petition, and they may be stated thus:

[ 120 U.S. Page 5221]

     . The act of January 30, 1878, is void by the constitution of Kentucky, because the subject to which it relates is not clearly expressed in its title.

2. The act is also unconstitutional and void because it vests in the county court of Carter County the power to bind the parts of Elliott and Boyd counties which had been set off from Carter.

3. The act gave no authority to the county court of Carter County to issue negotiable securities which pass by delivery and in the hands of innocent holders are free from defences which would be good as between the original parties.

4. There is a defect of parties defendant, because Carter County is sued alone without joining "those parts of Boyd and Elliott counties taken from Carter."

1. As to the title of the act.

The provision of the constitution of Kentucky relied on is Art. II, ยง 37, as follows:

"No law enacted by the General Assembly shall relate to more than one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title."

Undoubtedly the design of this provision was, as is said in Pennington v. Woolfolk, 79 Ky. 20, "to prevent the use of deceptive titles as a cover for vicious legislation, by enabling members of the General Assembly to form such opinion of the nature of a bill by merely hearing it read by its title;" but as early as 1859 the Court of Appeals said in Phillips v. Covington & Cincinnati Bridge Company, 2 Met. (Ky.) 219, 221: "This prohibition should receive a reasonable and not a technical construction; and looking to the evil intended to be remedied, it should be applied to such acts of the legislature alone as are obviously within its spirit and meaning. None of the provisions of a statute should be regarded as unconstitutional where they all relate directly or indirectly to the same subject, have a natural connection, and are not foreign to the subject expressed in its ...


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