15 Wn.2d 147, THE STATE OF WASHINGTON on the Relation of James L. Boze, Plaintiff, v. ThE SUPERIOR COURT FOR PIERCE COUNTY, E. D. Hodge, Judge, Respondent

[No. 28907. Department One.      Supreme Court      October 16, 1942.]

THE STATE OF WASHINGTON on the Relation of James L.
           Boze, Plaintiff, v. ThE SUPERIOR COURT FOR PIERCE
                COUNTY, E. D. Hodge, Judge, Respondent.1

[1] ELECTIONS - NOMINATIONS - ELIGIBILITY OF CANDIDATES. The determination of the eligibility of candidates for elective office constitutes the exercise of judicial power.

[2] STATES - LEGISLATURE - DETERMINATION OF QUALIFICATION OF MEMBERS. Under Const. Art. II, 8, each house of the legislature is the judge of the qualifications of its own members, and, in exercising such power to judge, each house acts as a judicial tribunal; hence, mandamus will not lie to compel a county election canvassing board to disregard the filing of a declaration of candidacy by a candidate for the office of state senator on the ground that he held a military office under the United States and was therefore ineligible to be a member of the legislature under Const. Art. II, 14.

Certiorari to review a judgment of the superior court for Pierce county, Hedge, J., entered September 18, 1942, upon sustaining a demurrer to the complaint, dismissing an action in mandamus. Affirmed.

Burton W. Lyon, Jr., and Leo Teats, for relator.

Metzger, Blair & Gardner, and G. E. Peterson, for respondent.

PER CURIAM. -

Relator, a duly registered voter within the district in question, instituted a proceeding in the superior court for Pierce county to compel the officials constituting the election canvassing board for that county to disregard the filing of the declaration of candidacy by David L. Stone, a retired major general of the United States army, for the office of state senator for the twenty-sixth senatorial district on the Democratic ticket, the placing of his name on the primary


1 Reported in 129 P. (2d) 776.

[2] See 107 A. L. R. 209, 216; 25 R. C. L. 378.

 148    STATE EX REL. BOZE v. SUPERIOR COURT.
                Opinion Per Curiam. [15 Wn. (2d)

election ballot, and any votes received by that candidate in the primary election; and to refrain from certifying General Stone as the nominee for the office for which he had filed and from placing his name on the general election ballot as a candidate for that office. The proceeding was brought on the theory that General Stone is ineligible, under 14, Art. II, of the state constitution, reading, so far as material, as follows:

"No parson . . . holding any civil or military office under the United States . . . shall be eligible to be a member of the legislature; . . . "

Demurrer to the petition, on the ground that the court did not have jurisdiction of the subject matter of the proceeding, was sustained, and the petition dismissed on authority of 8, Art. II, of the state constitution reading as follows:

"Each house shall be the judge of the election, returns, and qualifications of its own members,

The cause is before us on application of the relator for review of the judgment of dismissal of the action.

[1, 2] The determination of the eligibility of candidates for elective office, under the provisions of our constitution, constitutes the exercise of judicial power. State ex rel. McAulay v. Reeves, 196 Wash. 1, 81 P. (2d) 860. In exercising the power to judge of the qualifications of its members, each body of the state legislature acts as a judicial tribunal. See Barry v. United States, 279 U. S. 597, 616, 73 L. Ed. 867, 49 S. Ct. 452. The people, through the constitution, granted this particular judicial power exclusively in that house of the legislature to which the candidate is an aspirant.

The judgment is affirmed.