system of government, each of the three departments isdistinct and not directly subject to the control of anotherdepartment. The power to control is the power to abrogateand the power to abrogate is the power to usurp. Eachdepartment may, nevertheless, indirectly restrain the others.It is peculiarly the duty of the judiciary to say what the law is,to enforce the Constitution, and to decide whether the properconstitutional sphere of a department has been transcended.The courts must determine the validity of legislativeenactments as well as the legality of all private and officialacts. To this extent, do the courts restrain the otherdepartments.
With these sound premises in mind, we are not at all surprised to findthe general rule of mandamus to be, that the writ will not lie from onebranch of the government to a coordinate branch, for the very obviousreason that neither is inferior to the other. Mandamus will not lieagainst the legislative body, its members, or its officers, to compel theperformance of duties purely legislative in their character whichtherefore pertain to their legislative, functions and over which theyhave exclusive control. The courts cannot dictate action in this respectwithout a gross usurpation of power. So it has been held that therewhere a member has been expelled by the legislative body, the courtshave no power, irrespective of whether the expulsion was right orwrong, to issue a mandate to compel his reinstatement. (Code of CivilProcedure, secs. 222, 515; 18 R. C. L., 186, 187; Cooley, ConstitutionalLimitations, 190; French vs. Senate , 146 Cal., 604; Hiss vs.Bartlett , 69 Mass., 468; Ex parte Echols , 39 Ala., 698;State vs. Bolte , 151 Mo., 362; De Diego vs. House of Delegates, 5 Porto Rico, 235; Greenwood Cemetery Land Co. vs. Routt, 17 Colo., 156; State ex rel. Cranmer vs. Thorson , 33 L.R. A., 582; People ex rel. Billings vs. Bissell , 19 Ill., 229; Peopleex rel. Bruce vs. Dunne , 258 Ill., 441; People ex rel. La Chicotevs. Best , 187 N. Y., 1; Abueva vs. Wood , 45 Phil., 612.) The authorities which support the doctrines above announced arenumerous and instructive. They are found among the decisions of ourown court, of the United States Supreme Court, and of other jurisdictions. If some of these cases relate to the chief executiverather than to the legislature, it is only necessary to explain that the