Cases argued and decided in the Supreme Court of Texas, during the latter part of the Tyler term, 1874, and the first part of the Galveston term, 1875. Volume 42. Page: 385
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1875.] THE STATE V. MCCRACKEN. 385
Opinion of the Court.
The defendant was indicted for seriously threatening to take
the life of one Diances ]ieaty, alleged to be a human being,
and the indictment was filed on the 11th of May, 1874, since
the enactment referred to of the 18th of October, 1871. The
indictment is in regular form. An exception was filed to set
it aside, on the ground that " there was no law to support said
" indictment," which being sustained, an appeal was taken by
the District Attorney to this court.
No brief has been filed pointing out any objection to the indictment
or to the law. We are informed that the exception was
sustained on account of the mistake in the title to the Act of
the 18th of October, 1871, in which it is recited that the Act
amended was "approved August 26th, 1871," instead of "ap"
proved August 26th, 1856," as it should have been; and that
thereby the amendatory Act of 18th of October, 1871, was rendered
void for want of compliance with Section 17 of the
General Provisions of the Constitution of the State of Texas,
which prescribes that, " Every law enacted by the Legislature
" shall embrace but one object, and that shall be expressed in
"the title." (Paschal's Digest, page 1127.)
As to whether this provision is mandatory or only directory
to the Legislature, has been decided differently by different
States in which it has been adopted. (Cooley's Con. Limn., 141,
Sedgwick Stat. and Con. Law, 53-568.)
In the case of Cannon v. Hemphill, Chief Justice Hemphill
says, speaking of this Section, "It would be irrational to sup"
pose that this provision of the Constitution is merely a direc"
tory one, which may be obeyed or disregarded at the will
"and caprice of the Legislature." (7 Texas R., 208. Also see
San Antonio v. Gould, 34 Texas R., 49.)
One of the leading objects of this provision, as shown by all
of the authorities, is to prevent surprise, misapprehension, or
deception upon the Legislature, and upon the Xpublic, by the
insertion in the Act of something that would not be indicated
by the title of the Act. That was one of the principal evils
that led to its adoption. (Tadlock v. Eccles, 20 Texas R., 782.)
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Texas. Supreme Court. Cases argued and decided in the Supreme Court of Texas, during the latter part of the Tyler term, 1874, and the first part of the Galveston term, 1875. Volume 42., book, 1881; St. Louis, Mo.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth28531/m1/393/: accessed May 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .