CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS.
Taft, Holmes, Van Devanter, McReynolds, Brandeis, Sutherland, Butler, Sanford, Stone
MR. CHIEF JUSTICE TAFT prepared the opinion of the Court.*fn1
This cause was brought here by certiorari under § 5 of the Act of September 6, 1916, to amend the Judicial Code,
c. 448, 39 Stat. 726. That Act repealed § 248 of the Judicial Code, re-enacted by § 27 of the so-called Philippine Autonomy Act, c. 416, 39 Stat. 545, 555, which gave jurisdiction to this Court to examine by writ of error the final judgments and decrees of the Supreme Court of the Islands in all cases in which the Constitution or any statute, treaty, title or privilege of the United States, was involved, or in cases in which the value in controversy exceeded $25,000; and a review of such judgments by writ of certiorari was substituted. The certiorari here was granted because a statute of the United States, to wit, the Autonomy Act, was involved.
This proceeding was an original action in the Supreme Court of the Philippines, brought by Jose Alejandrino, a Senator appointed by the Governor General, seeking a mandamus and an injunction against the twenty-two elected members of the Senate, including its President, its Secretary, its Sergeant at Arms, and its Paymaster. The occasion for the proceeding was a resolution of the Senate, passed February 5, 1924, and reading as follows:
"Resolved: That the Honorable Jose Alejandrino, Senator from the Twelfth District, be, and he is hereby, declared guilty of disorderly conduct and flagrant violation of the privileges of the Senate for having treacherously assaulted the Honorable Vicente de Vera, Senator for the Sixth District, on the occasion of certain phrases being uttered by the latter in the course of the debate regarding the credentials of said Mr. Alejandrino.
"Resolved further: That the Honorable Jose Alejandrino be, and he is hereby, deprived of all of his prerogatives, privileges and emoluments as such Senator during one year from the first of January, nineteen hundred and twenty-four;
"And resolved, lastly: That the said Honorable Jose Alejandrino being a Senator appointed by the Governor General of these Islands, a copy of this resolution be furnished said Governor-General for his information."
The petitioner charged that this resolution was unconstitutional and of no effect and asked a preliminary injunction against the respondents enjoining them from executing the resolution, a judicial declaration that it was null and void, and a final order of mandamus against the respondents, ordering them to recognize the rights of the petitioner and his office as Senator, and all of his prerogatives, privileges and emoluments, and prohibiting them from carrying the order of suspension into effect. The respondents made a special appearance through the Attorney General and objected on demurrer to the court's jurisdiction. The court held that it was without jurisdiction, sustained the demurrer, and, as it did not appear that the petition could be amended so as to state a cause of action, it was dismissed without costs.
Jose Alejandrino was appointed under the Philippine Autonomy Act, by the Governor-General, a Senator to represent the Twelfth District -- a district composed of non-Christian tribes in the northern part of Luzon and the Moros in the Department of Mindanao and Sulu. At the time he took his seat in the Senate, another Senator, Vicente de Vera, made a speech on the credentials of Senator Alejandrino in which he said some things which Alejandrino resented. At night, and after the session of the Senate concluded, and away from the Senate ...