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[Constitution, article 6, section 2.) § 2. The Supreme Court shall consist of a chief justice and six associate justices. The court may sit in departments and in Bank, and shall always be open for the transaction of business. There shall be two departments, denominated, respectively, Department One and Department Two. The chief justice shall assign three of the associate justices to each department, and such assignment may be changed by him from time to time. The associate justices shall be competent to sit in either department, and may interchange with each other by agreement among themselves, or as ordered by the chief justice. Each of the departments shall have the power to hear and determine causes and all questions arising therein, subject to the provisions hereinafter contained in relation to the court in Bank. The presence of three justices shall be necessary to transact any business in either of the departments, except such as may be done at chambers, and the concurrence of three justices shall be necessary to pronounce a judgment. The chief justice shall , apportion the business to the departments, and may, in his discretion, order any cause pending before the court to be heard and decided by the court in Bank. The order may be made before or after judgment pronounced by a department; but where a cause has been allotted to one of the departments, and judgment pronounced thereon, the order must be made within thirty days after such judgment, and concurred in by two associate justices, and if so made it shall have the effect to vacate and set aside the judgment. Any
four justices may, either before or after judgment by a department, order a case to be heard in Bank. If the order be not made within the time above limited, the judgment shall be final. No judgment by a department shall become final until the expiration of the period of thirty days aforesaid, unless approved by the chief justice, in writing, with the concurrence of two associate justices. The chief justice may convene the court in Bank at any time, and shall be the presiding justice of the court when so convened. The concurrence of four justices present at the argument shall be necessary to pronounce a judgment in Bank; but if four justices, so present, do not concur in a judgment, then all the justices qualified to sit in the cause shall hear the argument; but to render a judgment, a concurrence of four judges shall be necessary.
In the determination of causes, all decisions of the court in Bank or in departments shall be given in writing, and the grounds of the decision shall be stated. The chief justice may sit in either department, and shall preside when so sitting, but the justices assigned to each department shall select one of their number as presiding justice. In case of the absence of the chief justice from the place at which the court is held, or his inability to act, the associate justices shall select one of their own number to perform the duties and exercise the powers of the chief justice during such absence or inability to act.
SUPREME COURT COMMISSIONERS.
[Statutes 1889, page 13.) SECTION 1. The Supreme Court of the State of California shall immediately upon the expiration of the term of office of the present Supreme Court Commissioners appoint five persons of legal learning and personal worth as Commissioners of said Court. It shall be the duty of said Commissioners under such rules and regulations as said Court may adopt, to assist in the performance of its duties and in the disposition of the numerous causes now pending in said Court undetermined. The said Commissioners shall hold office for the term of four years from and after their appointment, during which time they shall not engage in the practice of the law. They shall each receive a salary equal to the salary of a Judge of said Court, payable at the same time and in the same manner. Before entering upon the discharge of their duties they shall each take an oath to support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of California, and to faithfully discharge the duties of the office of Commissioner of the Supreme Court to the best of their ability. The said Court shall have power to remove any and all members of said Commission at any time by an order entered on the minutes of said Court, and all vacancies in said Commission shall be filled in like manner.