A Wisconsin statute authorized the appropriation of state funds to the American Legion 1941 Convention Corporation of Milwaukee, for the purpose of paying the expenses attendant upon obtaining and holding the national convention in Milwaukee during 1941. The national organization of the American Legion was allowed to decide whether a deposit should be made with them to secure the payment of the expenses, and if so, how much the deposit should be. The Legion required that the city extending an invitation tender to the national organization a certified check for $27,050 to insure payment of estimated expenses. At the request of the Convention Corporation of Milwaukee the secretary of state issued his warrant to the state treasurer. The treasurer refused to honor the warrant on the ground that the act appropriating the money was unconstitutional. The corporation sought a writ of mandamus to compel the treasurer to comply with the warrant. Held, that the writ should be denied on the ground that, although the statute was constitutional as an appropriation of funds for a public purpose in so far as it provided for paying the expenses of the convention, it was unconstitutional (1) in allowing the expenditure of public funds to induce the Legion to hold its convention in Milwaukee, and (2) in permitting the national organization to exercise discretion in determining the necessity for an extent of a deposit to secure payment of expenses. State ex rel. American Legion 1941 Convention Corporation of Milwaukee v. Smith, 235 Wis. 443, 293 N. W. 161 (1940).
Michigan Law Review,
CONSTITUTIONAL LAW-APPROPRIATION FOR A PUBLIC PURPOSE,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol39/iss6/13