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in regard to the duty of courts has been used. In Twitchell v. Bloodgett, 13 Mich. 152, COOLEY, C. J., said: "It is conceded to be the settled doctrine of this state that every enactment of the state legislature is presumed to be constitutional and valid; that before we can pronounce it otherwise, we must be able to point out the precise clause in the constitution which it violates, and that the conflict between the two must be clear, or free from reasonable doubt, since it is only from constitutional provisions, limiting the legislative power and controlling the legislative will, that we derive authority to declare void any legislative enactment."

$138. We might multiply extracts from the opinions of the ablest courts to the same effect. Enough has been cited to show the firm position of the judiciary, that the courts ought not, and in justice to the rights of a co-ordinate department of the state government, cannot declare a law to be void without a strong and earnest conviction, divested of all reasonable doubt, of its invalidity.

§ 139. An objection to this law is urged, which has been made since the origin of the character of legislation now under consideration. It is assumed that the taxes levied are to be appropriated to a private, and not a public, purpose; that the benefits resulting to the public, the people at large, from the construction of railroads, are merely incidental; that the profits arising from their operation enrich the individuals who form the private corporation; and, therefore, all laws imposing taxes to aid in the building of railroads, to be owned and operated by private corporations, are unconstitutional. If the premises are

correct that the corporations are strictly private, and the benefits to the public purely incidental, the conclusion might logically follow. The argument assumes as unquestionable the point to be determined, as true the fact to be ascertained. In the enactment of laws the legislature must exercise its judgment and discretion. As to questions of pure policy and expediency, no express or necessarily implied constitutional provisions intervening, it is the sole judge. It has also the undoubted right to take a comprehensive view in determining the necessity of a law, and the character of the purpose to be accomplished by it. A court, with any propriety, cannot arrogate to itself all power and wisdom in such matters; and if there be grave doubt as to the nature of the purpose, the doubt must always be solved in favor of the action of the legislature. Concede that taxation for a mere private enterprise is wrong and invalid, is the construction of the road, to which the aid is proposed to be given, of that character? It is a road from Lake Michigan to a point opposite Vincennes, in the state of Indiana, traversing nearly the entire length of the state. The road was completed before the payment of any money was asked, though it was built upon the faith of it.

§ 140. Are the advantages which accrue to the public from the construction and operation of railroads merely incidental, in the sense of the term as commonly used? We are inclined to think that they rather resemble the incident in law, and appertain to and follow the principal thing. The benefits resulting to the people of the state from our system of railroads are untold and incalculable. The mind can scarcely grasp them. Railroads have almost superseded all

other modes of intercommunication between the several parts of our extensive and growing states. They have become an absolute necessity, indispensable to our increased growth and to the removal of our immense surplus. They have added millions to our taxable property; given augmented facilities to every department of trade; enriched the mass of the people; largely enhanced the value of our lands; built up manufactories, and brought us into close proximity with the best markets of the country. All share in the blessings flowing from them.

§ 141. Railroads are, in truth, the people's highways for pleasure, and business, and commerce. Without them our internal trade would languish and die, and our corn and wheat rot in our granaries. For more than a quarter of a century the courts have recognized and referred to them as public improvements, made for the public good, and to subserve the public interests. Johnson v. The County of Stark, 24 Ill. 75; Cin., Wil. and Janesville R. R. Co. v. The Commissioners, 21 Ohio (1 McCook), 77; Sharpless v. The Mayor, etc., 21 Penn. (9 Harris), 149; Nichol v. Mayor and Aldermen, 9 Humph. 252; Gaddin v. Crump, 8 Leigh, 120; Enfield Toll Bridge Co. v. Hart. and N. II. R. R. Co., 17 Conn. 40; Beekman v. Saratoga and Schenectady R. R. Co., 3 Paige, 45; Bloodgood v. Mohawk and H. R. R. Co., 10 Wend. 9; Newbury Turnpike Co. v. Eastern R. R. Co., 23 Peck, 326.

$142. The courts, while ready and willing to protect these corporations in all their rights, have uniformly asserted, and seem determined to maintain, their obligations to the public. The principles of

common law and their charters, accepted by them, and which clothe them with a portion of the sovereignty of the state, impose duties on them to the public which they must discharge. They can be compelled, by the mandates of the courts, to a full performance of them, and parties seeking redress need not resort to the imperfect action at common law, but may apply for the more effectual remedy by mandamus. Railways are improved public highways, and the courts have uniformly held that they are of such public use as to justify the exercise of the right of eminent domain, in taking all real estate that may be necessary for the construction and maintenance of the road, its depots, side tracks, stations, machine shops, and other necessary appendages; disfiguring and rendering unfit for cultivation farms, and even in destroying dwellings. The necessity and expediency for the exercise of this right, in making public improvements, either for the benefit of all the people of the state, or of a particular municipality, must be determined by the legislature. Mere convenience is not sufficient to justify the exercise of the right. The public use must be necessary and pressing. In referring to the urgency of the public use, WOODBURY, J., in the case of West River Bridge Co. v. Dix, 6 How. 546, said: "So, as to a road, if really demanded in particular forms and places, to accommodate a growing and changing community, and to keep up with the wants and improvements of the age, such as its pressing demands for easier and social intercourse, quicker political communication, or better internal trade, and advancing with the public necessities from blazed trees to bridle paths, and thence to wheel roads, turnpikes, and railroads."

$143. Though the distinction between the right of eminent domain and the power of taxation may be manifest, yet when the public use, necessary for the exercise of the former, has been settled by both the legislative and judicial departments, and a particular enterprise has thus been fixed as of public importance, the position is very much strenghtened that taxation for such an enterprise is for a public purpose. This court has decided that such corporations are created for the public good; to increase the facilities and conveniences, and promote the great ends of commerce; and that they cannot organize monopolies and make contracts injurious to the public interests. Vincent v. C. and A. R. R. Co., 49 Ill. 33; C. and N. W. R. R. Co. v. The People, ex rel. Hempsted. In view of the past history of railroads; the impossibility of dispensing with them; the necessity of an increase of the number, to open more outlets for the products of our fertile and inexhaustible soil, all of which were wellknown to the legislature, and sustained by numerous authorities, we must hold that, even if the appropriation in this case was not for a public purpose, in the broadest sense, the character of the purpose is involved in such doubt that we cannot declare void the action of the legislature.

$144. Is the law, under consideration, in violation of the fifth section of the ninth article of the constitution of 1848? That section provides that "the corporate authorities of counties, townships, school districts, cities, towns and villages, may be vested with power to assess and collect taxes for corporate purposes; such taxes to be uniform in respect to person and property within the jurisdiction of the body imposing

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