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(Laughter in the galleries.)

The Chairman: I will ask the galleries and those present to refrain from applauding. Let us proceed here with dignity.

Senator Randolph: I rise to a point of order. The senator is out of order. The motion has been carried that we proceed under the resolution, and now he is protesting.

Senator Burke: I claim, Mr. President, I have a right to protest every step of this proceeding.

The Chairman: The point of order by the senator from the 15th is well taken. The senate will proceed under the resolution. The first thing, Mr. Clerk, is

Chief Clerk: Documents forwarded to the clerk under resolution No. 9, S., by the secretary of state.

First document: The appointment of the Honorable Herman L. Ekern to the office of commissioner of insurance.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA--THE STATE OF WISCONSIN.

Executive Department.

To All to Whom These Presents Shall Come, Greeting:

KNOW YE, That reposing special trust and confidence in the integrity and ability of Herman L. Ekern of Whitehall, I, Francis E. McGovern, governor of the state of Wisconsin, have appointed and by these presents do constitute and appoint him "Commissioner of Insurance,

And do hereby authorize and empower him to execute and fulfill the duties of that trust according to his best discretion, for the term ending on the thirtieth day of June, 1915, unless the Governor of this State for the time being shall think proper sooner to revoke and determine this Commission.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Wisconsin to be affixed. Done at the City of Madison, this thirtieth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and eleven.

FRANCIS E. MCGOVERN.

By the Governor: in J. A. FREAR, ..

Secretary of State. Received for Record 6/30/11.

A communication from the governor through his private secretary:

JANUARY 10, 1913. Hon. Joun S. DONALD, Secretary of State,

City. My Dear Sir: This is formally to notify you that on the 8th day of January, A. D. 1913, at 11:50 a. m., Governor McGovern sustained certain charges that had been preferred against the Hon. Herman L. Ekern, Commissioner of Insurance of the State of Wisconsin, and thereupon issued an order, the original of which is on file in this office, removing forthwith the said Herman L. Ekern from the office of Commissioner of Insurance of Wisconsin. And the said order was served upon the said Herman L. Ekern, in person, at 11:59 o'clock a. m. on the 8th day of January, A. D. 1913.

Very truly yours,
DUNCAN MCGREGOR,

Private Secretary. A communication from Mr. Ekern:

JANUARY 10, 1913. To Hon. JOHN S. DONALD, Secretary of State,

Madison, Wisconsin. My Dear Sir: Please take notice that I am advised by counse and believe that an order purporting to be made by the governo on the eighth day of January, 1913, purporting to remove m from the office of commissioner of insurance, is unauthorized and void, and that no papers should be filed or other action taken by you with respect to any such order, or based thereon, or upou any supposed vacancy in the office of commissioner of insuran resulting therefrom.

Very truly yours,
HERMAN L. EKERN,

Commissioner. The appointment of the Hon. Lewis A. Anderson, as Commissioner of Insurance:

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA--THE STATE OF WISCONSIN.

Executive Department.

To All to Whom these Presents shall Come, Greeting :

Know YE, That reposing special trust and confidence in the integrity and ability of Lewis A. Anderson of Madison, I, Francis E. McGovern, Governor of the State of Wisconsin, have appointed and by these presents do constitute and appoint him ‘Commissioner of Insurance' vice Herman L. Ekern, removed.

And I do hereby authorize and empower him to execute and fulfill the duties of that trust according to his best discretion for the term ending on the thirtieth day of June, 1915, unless the Governor of this State for the time being shall think proper sooner to revoke and determine this Commission.

IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of Wisconsin to be affixed. Done at the City of Madison, this fourteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and thirteen.

FRANCIS E. McGOVERN. By the Governor: J. S. DONALD,

Secretary of State. Received for Record

1/14/13.

A request for an opinion of the Attorney General regarding the course to be pursued by the Secretary of State:

JANUARY 15TH, 1913. Hon. W. C. OWEN, Attorney General, State of Wisconsin,

Madison, Wisconsin. My Dear Sir: Will you please advise this department what action to take or procedure to follow in the matter of the order of the Governor in the removal of Herman L. Ekern, Commissioner of Insurance, from office on the 8th day of January, 1913, and the appointment in his stead of Lewis A. Anderson on Jan. uary 14, 1913.

Attached hereto please find copy of a formal notification to this office of the removal of Commissioner Ekern received on the 10th of January, 1913. Attached also is a copy of a notice to this office received on January 10th, 1913, from Commissioner Ekern that no papers should be filed or other action taken with respect to any such order by this department.

On this day a certificate of appointment of Mr. Lewis A. Anderson as Commissioner of Insurance vice Herman L. Ekern, signed by the governor, is presented to this office for the signature and seal of the Secretary of State.

Your opinion at your earliest convenience will be appreciated.

Very truly yours,

J. S. DONALD. JSD_MEII Enclosure.

A letter to the Governor advising him that the Secretary's signature to the order of appointment of Mr. Anderson was being withheld pending the opinion of the Attorney General:

JANUARY 15th. 1913. Hon. Francis E. McGOVERN,

Madison, Wisconsin. Dear Sir: Owing to the controversy in the discharge of Commissioner of Insurance Ilerman L. Ekern, and the appointment of a successor, I feel constrained to withhold my signature as Secretary of State to the certificate of appointment presented by you to this Department, pending an opinion by the Attorney General. The matter has been submitted to him. A copy of my request for his opinion is enclosed.

Very truly yours,

J. S. DONALD.

The opinion of the Attorney General:

JANUARY 17, 1913. Hon. J. S. Donald, Secretary of State,

Madison, Wisconsin. Dear Sir: This department is in receipt of your communication under date of the 15th inst. wherein you officially request an opinion as to what action you should take in reference to the notification received by you from the governor advising you of the removal of Herman L. Ekern as commis

sioner of insurance, and also in reference to the certification of the governor certifying to the appointment of Mr. Louis A. Anderson as commissioner of insurance.

In reply thereto I will say that in my opinion a casual consideration of the duties of your office will point quite plainly to the answer to your question. Your office is that of secretary of state. You are the secretary of the state. The name of your office is in itself suggestive of your duties. The duties of a secretary of any organization are quite generally understood and it is in keeping with our general scheme of government that the duties of the secretary of state are not unlike those of the secretary of any other organization. It is almost universal that among other duties the secretary is required to keep the records of his organization and so the statute of our state, section 141, subdivision 1, provides that the secretary of state shall “keep a record of the official acts of the executive department of the state.” Plainly this duty is purely ministerial and clerical. It matters not whether the act on the part of the executive be legal or illegal. So long as it is his act it is the duty of the secretary of state to keep a record thereof so that evidence of the same may be preserved in permanent form to the end that it may be given such potentiality and force as the law may ascribe thereto. It is no part of the functions of a secretary to pass upon the legality or illegality of the acts of the executive, nor is it within his prerogative to pass upon the acts of the governor which may or may not be given recognition upon the records of the state. Subdivision 2 of section 141 also provides that the secretary of state shall “keep the great seal and affix the same to and countersign all commissions and other official acts issued or done by the gov. ernor.” This is simply in furtherance of the general idea that the secretary shall keep a record of the official acts of the executive and provide for their authenticity. The word "countersign” is defined by Webster to mean: “To sign on the oppo. site side of an instrument in writing, hence to sign in addition to the signature of another in order to test the authenticity.” Hence you are not required to countersign the commissions or other official acts issued or done by the governor to signify that you either approve or disapprove of such act, but merely for the purpose of attesting to the genuineness of his signature and the great seal of the state is used for the same purpose.

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