Reports of Contested Election Cases in the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for the Years 1886-1902

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General Books LLC, 2009 - 180 pages
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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1902. Excerpt: ... Except for the fact that several acts have been passed by the Legislature which relate, amongst other things, to political committees, no one would contend, we presume, that the members of a political committee belonging to one of the political parties hold public office by reason of their being members of such committee. We do not think that the effect of these statutes has been or is to make that a public office which was not one before their enactment. Without attempting an exhaustive definition of what constitutes a public office, we think that it is one whose duties are in their nature public, that is, involving in their performance the exercise of some portion of the sovereign power, whether great or small, and in whose proper performance all citizens, irrespective of party, are interested, either as members of the entire body politic or of some duly established division of it. Brown v. Russell, 166 Mass. 14; United States v. Hartwell, 6 Wall. 385; People v. Nostrand, 46 N. Y. 375; People v. Brooklyn, 77 N. Y. 503; Opinion of the Justices, 3 Greenl. 481. A distinction has been taken between public office and public employment to which it is not necessary now to do more than to refer. Brown v. Russell, ubi supra. Manifestly, membership in a political committee belonging to one party or another does not come within the above description of what constitutes public office. The fact that the Legislature has deemed it expedient to regulate by statute the election and conduct of political committees does. not make the office a public one. The members of them continue to be, as before, the officers of the party which elects them, and their duties are confined to matters pertaining to the party to which they belong, and which alone is interested in their pro...

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