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Message to the House of Representatives Returning Without Approval "An Act to Prescribe the Number of District Attorneys and Marshals in the Judicial Districts of the State of Alabama"

February 27, 1893

To the House of Representatives:

I return herewith without my approval an act (H.R. 9612) entitled "An act to prescribe the number of district attorneys and marshals in the judicial districts of the State of Alabama."

Under the present law there is a district attorney for the southern district of Alabama, a district attorney for the northern and middle districts, a marshal for the northern district, and a marshal for the southern and middle districts.

An examination of the records of the Attorney-General's office as to the amount of business in the courts in these districts leads me to believe that two districts would provide amply for the disposition of all public and private cases. The law creates two new officers, whose aggregate compensation may be $12,000 per annum, without, it seems to me, a justifying necessity. But the most serious objection to the legislation is that it creates at once upon the taking effect of the law the offices of district attorney and marshal for each of the three districts, and the effect, it seems to me, must be to abolish the offices as they now exist.

No provision is made for a continued discharge of the duties of marshal and district attorney by the present incumbents. A serious question would be raised as to whether these officers were not at once legislated out of office and vacancies created. As these vacancies could not be filled immediately, the business of the courts would seriously suffer. The law should at least have contained a provision for the continued discharge of their duties by the incumbents until the new officers were appointed and qualified.

BENJ. HARRISON

APP Note: Title devised by Gerhard Peters

Benjamin Harrison, Message to the House of Representatives Returning Without Approval "An Act to Prescribe the Number of District Attorneys and Marshals in the Judicial Districts of the State of Alabama" Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/205438

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