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H. W. DODDS, Ph.D.,
Copyright, 1918, by
ENGLAND: P.S. King & Son, Ltd., 2 Great Smith St., Westminster, London, S.W.
CHAPTER 1—THE LEGISLATURE'S INHERENT POWERS IN
The Power to Determine the Qualifications of Members is Exclusive.
The Power to Punish for Contempt is a Prerogative.
The Attitude of the New York Courts.
Parliamentary Procedure not Subject to Judicial Review .
Journals Presumed Favorable to the Act..
Constitutional Provisions Sometimes Directory..
Parol Evidence Inadmissible to Overthrow Journals.
The Validity of Parliamentary Rules . .
The Authority of Statutes Regulating Procedure.
CHAPTER II—THE ORGANIZATION OF THE HOUSES....
CHAPTER III-INTRODUCTION OF BILLS.
Early Methods of Introduction..
Personal Responsibility of Members for Introducing Measures.
Restrictions upon the Free Introduction of Measures.
Early Function of Standing Committees .
· Number and Size of Committees.
CHAPTER VI-LEGISLATIVE LEADERSHIP.
Closing Days of the Session.
The Floor Leader.
This study is a hopeful beginning of researches which will help greatly to solve some of the problems of legislative procedure. Such studies are necessary preliminaries to the popularization of the problems as well as the solution and nothing is more needed in governmental research than the basic facts underlying the legislative process, for it is undeniable that the legislative machinery does not function properly in the states or in the Congress of the United States.
Mr. Dodds has done well to go below the surface of things and tell how the legislatures actually do some of their important work. In doing so he has been plowing virgin soil a good deal of the time and the way has not been smooth. He has had to find his facts in obscure sources and to weigh and sift a vast amount of scattered material.
There are plenty of articles and books descriptive of legislative bodies but there is a dearth of descriptions of the way legislatures are organized and how they work. Everyone intimately in touch with a legislative body knows that there is a vast difference between theory and practice. Mere analyses of constitutional forms and limitations tell very little; in fact they mislead grossly. Take, for example, the provision that every bill shall be read in full on three separate days. If that were followed literally, the legislature would spend its entire time listening to the reading of bills. The actual practice is not followed anywhere and, of course, could not be, yet every general treatise on legislatures treats it as a part of the actual practice of legislatures. Many constitutional forms are merely paper provisions and that fact lends importance to Mr. Dodds' study. New light is thrown on many subjects which writers have heretofore been content to pass over in general terms because of the difficulties of detailed research.
One of the most interesting phases of Mr. Dodds' work is his discussion of the powers of a legislative body and of the separate houses. Strangely enough, no one has considered this subject sufficiently important for careful study and yet in 1913 in one of