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In re Petition of Daniel

Supreme Court of New York, Appellate Division

March 18, 1912

In the Matter of the Petition of HUGH A. DANIEL to Review the Proceedings of the Congressional Committee of the Twenty-sixth Congressional District of the State of New York, etc.

APPEAL by the petitioner, Hugh A. Daniel, from an order of the Supreme Court, made at Special Term and entered in the office of the clerk of the county of Orange on the 11th day of March, 1912.

COUNSEL

Graham Witschief, for the appellant.

William F. Cassedy, for the respondent.

RICH, J.:

This proceeding was instituted to review the proceedings of the Republican congressional committee of the twenty-sixth

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congressional district in designating persons to be voted for as delegates to the Republican National convention. It appears that the congressional committee whose proceeding is attacked was appointed prior to the enactment of chapter 891 of the Laws of 1911; and under section 55 of the Election Law (Consol. Laws, chap. 17 [[Laws of 1909, chap. 22], as added by Laws of 1911, chap. 891) this committee continues an existing committee with the power and right to make designations. Section 55 was amended after the enactment of the statute by providing that where there was no such committee for a district in and for which designations were to be made 'a committee designation may be made as shall have been provided by the State committee of the party, by resolution, of which a certified copy shall be filed in the office of the Secretary of State.' (Election Law, ยง 55, as amd. by Laws of 1912, chap. 4.)

A resolution was adopted by the Republican State committee before these designations were made, and a certified copy of the same was duly filed in the office of the Secretary of State, providing that 'The Committees of the party for designation purposes for the spring primary of 1912 shall be constituted as follows: Congressional Committees for the 25th, 26th * * * Districts, inclusive * * * the Congressional District Committee already chosen resident in those Districts.'

It seems that the existing congressional committee of the twenty-sixth district was composed of Joseph M. Dickey, William B. Royce, Frank A. Hotchkiss, George Esselstyn and Emerson W. Addis, and that a meeting of this committee was called for March 4, 1912, for the purpose of designating candidates, and was attended by Mr. Dickey, the chairman of the committee, in person. Each of the other members of the committee was represented by a proxy duly executed and filed, conferring the power to act. The committee organized and united in the designations which are sought to be nullified in this proceeding.

The learned court at the Special Term has held that the proceedings of the committee are valid, and from the order accordingly entered this appeal is taken.

It is contended that the meetings and the procedure of the party committees assembled to designate persons to be voted

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for at the primaries are governed by the provisions of section 112 of the Election Law, as renumbered from section 67 and amended by chapter 891 of the Laws of 1911. That section is included in an article entitled 'Conventions,' and its language is limited to such a body.

The term 'convention' as used in the statute is defined to be 'an assemblage of delegates elected in accordance with the provisions of this chapter representing a political party, duly convened for the purpose of nominating candidates for public office, electing delegates to other conventions, electing officers for party organizations, or for the transaction of any other business relating to the affairs or ...


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