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other districts are being organized or already exist, the boards of super-
visors of the counties concerned hold a joint meeting to determine to
what extent the districts shall be consolidated or boundaries adjusted,
thus somewhat modifying the existing tendency to create separate

^ California Session Laws^ 1919, ch. 332, p. 559.
> California Session Laws, 1919, ch. 341, p. 671.
• Nevada Session Laws, 1919, ch. 64, p. 84.
« Utah Session Laws, 1919, ch. 68, p. 204.
'Wisconsin Session Laws, 1919, ch. 557.



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LEGISLATIVE NOTES AND REVIEWS 287

districts without regard to what is best for the larger areas. Under
the California Irrigation Act, the state irrigation board has power
(originally given in 1917, ch. 346) to consolidate into single districts,
irrigation, reclamation, and drainage districts and other political sub-
divisions organized to provide irrigation, reclamation and drainage.
The consolidated district is known as a conservancy district, and the
chairmen of irrigation, reclamation, drainage, conservancy and other
districts constitute an advisory board to consult with the state board.
Irrigation bonds when authorized and issued are deUvered to the state
treasurer and sold by him. They are signed by the president of the
state irrigation board on behalf of the irrigation or conservancy dis-
trict, and are obUgations of the district. Rates established by con-
servancy districts for supplying water are subject to approval of the
state railroad commission. Regulation of ditches by districts is sub-
ject to the approval of local or state health officers.

In Washington, in the case of irrigation districts,^ at the hearing
on the question of organizing a district, the state hydraulic engineer
sits with the board of county commissioners. In Wisconsin the rail-
road commission may approve or amend drainage district plans for
work in navigable waters and streams, and may hold a hearing on the
question.' In Utah, for irrigation districts, the state engineer is
required to make the preliminary survey before a district is organized.®
He reports to the board of county commissioners, which has charge of
the proceedings.

A few new purposes for which these districts may be created are
found in the legislation of the past year. Kansas authorizes the forma-
tion of railroad aid benefit districts,^ consisting of townships or part
of townships or the whole of a county, for the purpose of making sub-
scriptions to railroad stock to aid in the construction of railroads in
and through such districts, in case it is not practicable to issue town-
ship bonds therefor. The district is incorporated, and may issue
bonds for the purpose up to twenty per cent of its assessed valuation,
when authorized at a special election. A similar act applies to town-
ships without this special form of organization.

Nebraska has provided for the organization of light, heat and power
districts^® for the purpose of distributing light, heat and power by the

* Washington Session Laws, 1919, ch. 180, p. 527.
^ Wisconsin Session LawSf 1919, ch. 557.

* Utah Session Laws, 1919, ch. 68, p. 204.

* Kansas Session Laws, 1919, ch. 240, p. 317.
»• Nebraska Session Laws, 1919, ch. 217, p. 929.



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288 THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW

use of electric current. The district is a special municipal corporation^
formed on affirmative vote of the electors of the district, which may
lie in one or more coxmties. A governing board of directors is elected
at the annual district meeting. The district provides merely the
distributing system, securing its current from private producers.

Arizona, although having provided for electrical districts in any
county, in 1915, has now authorized the creation of power districts^
to consist of agricultural lands which are susceptible of cultivation
by the same general system or by individual systems of works for the
generation or distribution of power.

Nevada authorized the creation of special assessment districts which
are not corporations. The state reclamation and settlement board,
created by the act, may establish reclamation and settlement dis-
tricts" for the purpose of providing, improving and equipping rural
homes for soldiers, sailors, marines, and others who have served with
the armed forces of the United States in the European war and other
wars of the United States, and for other loyal citizens. The state
board may contract with the national government or with irrigation
or drainage districts for the reclamation of the land; may acquire land
in the name of the state; may dedicate land for schools, churches,
roads, and other public purposes, and may open such town sites as
may be deemed desirable or authorized by contract with the United
States. Land in the district pays a special assessment for reclama*
tion and settlement purposes, but no mention is made of any local
autonomy.

Florida authorized the creation of a stump and land clearing dis-
trict in Clay county; inlet districts, to connect the waters of certain
rivers with the Atlantic Ocean; special navigable canal districts; and
created the Winter Haven Lake Region Boat Course District."

Texas authorized the formation of a new kind of conservation
district, or fresh water supply district, for the purpose of conserving
and distributing fresh water from lakes, reservoirs, wells, springs and
rivers for domestic or commercial purposes."

In some of the details of organization and government of these
special municipal corporations there are several amendments of interest.
California in connection with irrigation districts and conservancy

" Arizona Session Laws, 1915, ch. 49, p. 97; 1919, ch. 173, p. 312.
" Nevada Session Laws, 1919, ch. 191, p. 343.
" Florida Special Session Laws, 1919, pp. 146, 157, 173, 249, 1492.
" Texas Session Laws, 1919, ch. 48.



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LBGI8LATIVB NOTES AND REVIEWS 289

districts provides that for elections on the question of organizing a
district, choosing directors or authorizing bond issues, land owners
may vote by proxy. In irrigation districts each owner has one vote
for each acre of land owned in the district; in drainage districts, one
vote for each one cent of assessment against his land." In Nevada
a corporation is a person under the election law of irrigation districts,
and may vote through its authorized agent under the same conditions
as real persons."

Two other provisions are new. Hitherto it has usually been required
that the territory of which a district may be formed must be con-
tiguous and compact. For conservancy districts and irrigation dis-
tricts in Califomia*^ and drainage districts in Wisconsin^® territory
in a district need not be contiguous or all in one body, provided that it
be so situated that public health and welfare will be promoted by the
irrigation or drainage of each separate body of land by individual
systems.

Hitherto a district has not been permitted to include territory of
any other districts of similar name and similar purpose. The conserv-
ancy law of California, however, provides that territory may be in-
cluded in more than one conservancy district.^® Since these districts
are combinations of irrigation, reclamation and drainage districts, or
possess these combined purposes, it is probable that territory would
not be included in two districts for identically the same limited purpose.

Irrigation districts^® in California are authorized to provide for the
development of electrical power, and to sell the power to municipalities,
corporations, public utility districts or individuals, thus acquiring a
purpose similar to that of the electrical and power ^districts of Arizona.

In California, conservancy districts may be formed for forestation
or reforestation of lands when that is necessary and incidental to the
conservation and control of flood waters.'^ In addition to more than
700 reclamation districts established in California under general laws,
thirteen larger districts have been created by special laws and given

" California Session Laws, 1919, ch. 332, pp. 559, 565; ch. 341, sec. 10; ch. 520^
p. 1092, ch. 341, p. 671.

" Nevada Session Laws, 1919, ch. 64, p. 84.

" California Session Laws, 1919, ch. 332, pp. 559, 561; ch. 341, p. 671, sec. 6b;
ch. 344, p. 714, sec. 1.

" Wisconsin Session Laws, 1919,. ch. 557.

»• California Session Laws, 1919, ch. 332, pp. 559, 593, sec. 61.

»• California Session Laws, 1919, ch. 370, p. 778.

" California Session Laws, 1919, ch. 332, pp. 659, 596, sec. 67.



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290 THE AMEBICAN POIilTICAL SCIENCE BEVIEW

arbitrary niimberSi one such district established in 1919 being No*
2031«

The Metropolitan Park District of Washington is given, among
other powers, that of establishing and maintaining aviation landings.*

In the legislation of 1919, there were no less than 83 different names
given to the various types of districts. In Califomia there were 16
classes of districts, each with a different name; and in Arizona, Illinois^
Nebraska, New York and Washington, there were from five to seven
different kinds of these special districts in each state.

To some extent the large nmnber of names is due to variations in
the t^rms for districts with similar or closely related fimctions; and
most of the numerous titles may be classified in a few main groups.
But there are frequently a number of specialized terms for different
districts of the same group in the same state; and the functions of
other kinds of districts frequently overlap.

Thus there are 17 varieties of school districts'^ (in 24 states),* as
many as 4 or 5 varieties in the same state. There are drainage dis-
tricts in 13 states,^ and irrigation districts in 11 states^ (6 states having
both kinds); and also diking districts in Washington, drainage im-
provement districts and mosquito abatement districts in Califomia,
levee districts in Califomia and Tennessee, reclamation districts in
Califomia, Indiana and Washington, reclamation and settlement

>< California Session Laws, 1919, ch. 338, p. S58.

s* Washington SeMxan Laws, 1919, ch. 135, p. 382.

*^ The names by which school districts are designated in the 1919 legislation
are as follows : — community high school district, community consolidated school
district, consolidated rural school district, consolidated school district, county
school district, educational districts, high school district, independent school
district, joint high school and elementary school district, metropolitan school
district, public school district, rural agricultural school district, rural school
district, special independent or conmion school district, special school district,
union free school district, and union school district. The use of the term "com-
munity" in designating school districts is new. The particular purpose of each
district is sufficiently indicated by its name.

** Alabama, Arizona, Califomia, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho,
Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri,
Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Tennessee, Washing-
ton, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

** Califomia, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nevada,
Oregon, Wyoming, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin.

*^ Arizona, Califomia, Colorada, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Ore-
gon, Utah, Wyoming and Washington.



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LEQISLATIYS NOTES AND BEVISWS 291

districts in Nevada^ sanitary districts in Califomia and Illinois, sani-
tary drainage districts in Nebraska, and inlet districts, navigable canal
districts and a boat course district in Florida.

Water districts are provided for in five states (Arizona, Colorado,
Illinois, Maine and New York), and also conservancy and county
water districts, mimicipal water districts and storm water districts
in Califomia, water improvement districts and fresh water supply
districts in Texas, and a metropolitan water district in Nevada.

Road districts are found in Florida, Illinois, Missouri and Nebraska;
bridge districts in Florida, Maine, Missouri and Oklahoma; boulevard
districts in Califomia, good roads districts in Michigan, highway dis-
tricts in Idaho and Wisconsin, and independent highway districts in
Washington.

Park districts are established in Illinois and Indiana; also a forestry
preserve district in Illinois, a forest fire district in Califomia, and a
metropolitan park district in Washington.

Other special districts deal largely with other public improvements
and public utilities. There are electrical districts and power districts
in Arizona, fire districts in Connecticut and New York, lamp and
lighting districts in New York; light, heat and power districts in
Nebraska; special municipal tax districts, municipal improvement
districts, protection districts and public utilities districts id Califomia;
municipal districts in Connecticut and Montana, health districts in
Michigan and New York, paving districts in Nevada, sewer districts in
four states (Califomia, Connecticut, Maine and New York), port
districts in Oregon, and railroad aid benefit districts in Kansas.

Fr£]>ebic H. Guild.

Indiana Legislative Reference Bureau.

Anti-Syndicalist Legislation. Recent state criminal syndicalist legis-
lation appears in the two general forms of anti-red flag laws and laws
defining the crime of criminal syndicalism or of sedition. Many
states have a flag law, often of war time origin, ''to prevent the dese-
cration of the flag of the United States" or to forbid carrying any flag
in a parade imless the American flag is carried ahead of it, or display-
ing any flag imless the America flag is displayed above it. A Massa-
chusetts law of 1913 is of dual character. Section one allowed the
carrying in parade only of the national flag, a state flag, or the flag of a
friendly foreign nation. This section, though now common in other
flag legislation, was repealed within one month. Section two is still in



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292 THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW

force and is typical of sjmdicalist flag legislation: "No red or black
flag, and no banner, ensign, or sign, having upon it any inscription
opposed to organized government, or which is sacrilegious, or which
may be derogatory to public morals" shall be carried in parade. In
1914 Rhode Island enacted that no flag shall be carried in any parade
unless accompanied by the flag of the United States; and followed this
with the substance of the Massachusetts section two, omitting only
the sacrilegious item.

During 1919 twenty-four states passed S3mdicalist legislation in the
form of flag laws or flag sections of other laws. The southern line of
such legislation includes South Carolina, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana,
Illinois, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Arizona and Washington.
Along the Atlantic are Rhode Island (with further flag legislation in her
new sedition law), Connecticut, Vermont, New York, New Jersey and
Delaware. The others are Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa,
South Dakota, Kansas and the mountain states of Montana and Idaho.
The laws of Colorado, Michigan and New York apply to red flags only.
The laws of Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Oklahoma
and Wisconsin apply to red flags or other emblems. Montana's statute
reads **red flag, red banner, or red emblem, commonly accepted as
symbolic of social or industrial revolution, or any flag, banner, or
emblem bearing words, inscriptions, or representations opposed to
organized government . . ." The Kansas title is *' An act relating
to the flag, standard, or banner of Bolshevism, anarchy, or radical
socialism . . ."

While some of the laws merely state reasons for prohibition of the
display of the flag, others limit the prohibition to display for a given
purpose. Thus the Wisconsin law forbids display of the red flag or
any other emblem symbolizing or intended to symbolize "a purpose to
overthrow, by force or violence" or by injury to property, the govern-
ment of the United States, or of the state of Wisconsin, or all govern-
ment. Oklahoma describes (or limits) the banners forbidden as those
* 'indicating disloyalty or a belief in anarchy or other political doc-
trines'' whose objects are disruption of organized government or defiance
of the laws. The Connecticut law forbids display '*as a sjrmbol cal-
culated to, or which may, incite people to disorder or breaches of law."
The Yale Law Journal comments on this: *'And the Harvard game
approaches in New Haven — if not this year, then next!"

Minnesota forbids all display of "any red or black flag," except for
use by a railroad as a signal, or on a public highway as a warning.



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LEGISLATIVE NOTES AND REVIEWS 293

Other states that specify ''any red or black iSag" and add "or any
flag or emblem or sign" are Arizona, Delaware, Massachusetts, New
Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina, Vermont and West Virginia. Illinois
covers the ground briefly with a paragraph in her sedition law forbid-
ding the display of any flag or emblem to symbolize a purpose to over-
throw the representative form of government by force, violence, or
injury to person or property. Indiana had used nearly the same
words in section one of her combined flag and sedition law, but included
also among the forbidden purposes the overthrow of government by
the general strike. The Vermont law forbids displaying a red flag
except as a danger signal, a black flag except as a weather signal, or any
banner or sign opposed to organized government or pubUc morals, or
sacrilegious. The flag clause in Rhode Island's new sedition law sa3rs
"wilfully display" as "symboUc or emblematic" of a form of govern-
ment proposed as preferable to that prescribed by the constitution.
The Arkansas statute declares it to be unlawful to wear or display any
symbol or flag to encourage or calculated to aid anyone in injuring life
or property, or in the overthrow of government without due process
of law. The Kansas statute makes it felony to display any flag, stand-
ard, or banner, of any color or design that is now or may hereafter be
designated as the flag, standard, or banner of Bolshevism, anarchy, or
radical socialism.

Colorado, by a separate section, makes it the duty of all peace
officers to see that her flag law is "strictly enforced." Iowa changes
the crime from a misdemeanor to a felony if the party canning a for-
bidden flag is found to be armed. Massachusetts and Ohio specifically
authorize the arrest of flag law violators without a warrant. Ohio
exempts college pennants from the application of the law.

The flag law of Washington is broader in scope and has more sec-
tions (five) than any other. It forbids display, ownership, or posses-
sion of any "flag, banner, standard, insignia, badge, emblem, sign, or
device of, or suggestive of, any organized or unorganized group of
persons who, by their laws, rules, declarations, doctrines, creeds, pur-
poses, practices, or effects, espouse, propose or advocate any theory,
principle, or form of government antagonistic to, or subversive of, the
constitution, its mandates, or laws of the United States or of this
state." Violation is felony; and every article kept or owned in viola-
tion of this act is declared to be pernicious and dangerous to the public
welfare, and subject to be searched for and destroyed. It is not to
apply to flags or emblems of nations with accredited representatives in
the United States, nor to historical museums of recognized character.



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294 THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE REVIEW

Violation of the flag law is a misdemeanor in the following states,
which ar6 arranged nearly in the order of increasing severity of penalty :
Ohio, South Carolina, Wisconsin and South Dakota; Massachusetts
and Rhode Island; Connecticut and Vermont; New York, Arizona,
Arkansas and Iowa. In West Virginia the first offense is a misde-
meanor and the second is a felony. Indiana, Illinois, Oklahoma,
California, Washington, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana and Idaho
make the offense a felony. Fines range from SIOOO to $5000. Prison
terms range from one to five or ten years. New Jersey and Delaware
call the crime a high misdemeanor, and in both the penalty is a fine up
to $2000, or imprisonment up to fifteen years, or both.

The federal sedition law of 1798 provided penalties for conspiring to
oppose the government, intimidate any official, or advise rioting; and
for ''false, scandalous, and malicious writing against the government
with intent to defame it or bring it into contempt." An act of the
Philippine Commission in 1901 defined the crimes of treason, insurrec*
tion, and sedition. It was amended in 1907 by an act "to prevent the
utterance of speeches or the use of language violative of good order or
tending to disturb the public peace."

New York made the advocacy of criminal anarchy a felony in 1902;
and defined it as the doctrine that organized government should be
overthrown by force or violence, or by assassination, or by unlawful
means. In Alaska a statute of 1913 makes it a misdemeanor to incite
another to commit a crime. These facts are presented as introductory
to a discussion of the recent sedition laws, often styled criminal syndi-
calism legislation.

''An Act defining the crime of criminal syndicalism and prescribing
the pimishment thereof," is the title of a bill vetoed by the governor
of Washington on March 2, 1917, and passed over the veto early in the
next legislative session (Januaiy 14, 19197. Idaho (March 14, 1917)
and Minnesota (April 13, 1917) passed measures with title and con-
tents nearly identical with that of Washington. They all. followed
very closely the model of the New York criminal anarchy bill, but dealt
with criminal acts as means of accomplishing industrial as well as polit-
ical ends. In 1918 the governor of Arizona vetoed a sabotage bill;
and South Carolina, South Dakota and Montana passed measures
"relating to criminal syndicalism" that are similar to the three earlier
laws. "Social, economic, industrial, or political ends," are those now
specified in the South Carolina law. Montana also passed a war time
sedition act, which she reenacted in 1919 without the war time limita-



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LBGISLATIYE NOTES AND REVIEWS 295

tion. Nebraska in 1918 passed a lengthy sedition act, appl3ring to
oases ''with intent" to hinder the war; and a war time sabotage act.

During 1919, laws of this general natiu^e were passed by twenty other
states and by Hawaii. Also Washington passed a new law, slightly
varied in outline but with new title and changed phraseology, a section
of which repealed the once vetoed statute. North Dakota had a
war time sabotage act, passed by the special session of 1918. In De-
cember, 1919, the legislature, by a two to one vote defeated a criminal
syndicalism bill.

Twenty-five states have sedition laws that are primarily aimed at,
or that are adapted to, the emergency of syndicalist activity, as follows:
Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Vermont; New York
and Pennsylvania; South Carolina, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New
Mexico; West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Minne-
sota and South Dakota; Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Idaho; Wash-
ington, Oregon and California.

The general character of this legislation may be seen in the titles of
the acts. Two groups of titles show a tendency towards simplicity
and imiformity of phrasing. In one of these the term used is ''criminal
syndicalism;" in the other it is "sedition." Then there is a miscella-
neous group where the titles are varied and more wordy. The New
York law was " An act to amend the code relative to criminal anarchy."
The first Washington title was "An act defining the crime of criminal
syndicalism." This is also the title used by Idaho, Ohio, Iowa, Hawaii,
and Michigan. Minnesota and South Dakota have "An act relating to
criminal syndicalism." Montana has "An act defining criminal
syndicalism and the word sabotage." This title has been copied by
Oregon, Utah, Oklahoma and California. Montana first used for this
class of legislation the title "An act defining the crime of sedition."
Connecticut has "An act concerning sedition," and also "An act con-
cerning seditious utterances." Pennsylvania makes it "An act defin-
ing sedition," and New Hampshire, "to prevent the overthrow of
government by force." Other forms of title are: "to protect the.
government of the state of Rhode Island and the government of the
United States;" "to prevent the promotion of anarchy" (Vermont);



Online LibraryWestel Woodbury WilloughbyThe American political science review → online text (page 29 of 77)