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STATE BOARD CHIROPRACTIC EXAMINERS v. LIFE FELLOWSHIP PENNSYLVANIA (01/07/71)

decided: January 7, 1971.

STATE BOARD OF CHIROPRACTIC EXAMINERS
v.
LIFE FELLOWSHIP OF PENNSYLVANIA, APPELLANT



Appeal from order of Superior Court, No. 44, March T., 1969, affirming order of Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, No. 186 Commonwealth Docket, 1968, in case of State Board of Chiropractic Examiners v. Life Fellowship of Pennsylvania.

COUNSEL

Smith B. Gephart, with him Killian, Gephart & Snyder, for appellant.

Victor L. Schwartz, Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.

Bell, C. J., Jones, Cohen, Eagen, O'Brien, Roberts and Pomeroy, JJ. Opinion by Mr. Justice Roberts. Mr. Chief Justice Bell and Mr. Justice Eagen concur in the result. Mr. Justice Cohen took no part in the decision of this case. Concurring and Dissenting Opinion by Mr. Justice Pomeroy. Mr. Justice Jones joins in this concurring and dissenting opinion.

Author: Roberts

[ 441 Pa. Page 294]

At issue in this appeal is the constitutionality of Section 15 of the Chiropractic Registration Act, which requires that chiropractors, to be eligible for renewal of their annual registration and license, must demonstrate that they have attended one two-day educational conference held by the Pennsylvania Chiropractic Society, or an equivalent educational conference. We agree with the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin

[ 441 Pa. Page 295]

County (Commonwealth Docket) that Section 15 as enacted, violates Article III, Section 32 and Article II, Section 1 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. However, we disagree with that court's holding that the offending words of Section 15 were severable from the statute.

This case arose out of the following circumstances. In 1968, the Life Fellowship of Pennsylvania, a professional association of chiropractors, applied to the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners for approval of a two-day educational conference, which Life Fellowship proposed to hold. The reason for conducting the conference was to satisfy the requirements of Section 15 of the Act. Section 15 provides in pertinent part: "No applicant for registration shall be granted a registration for the ensuing license year unless the applicant shall furnish to the board satisfactory evidence that he has attended not less than one two-day educational conference by the Pennsylvania Chiropractic Society, Inc., during the current license year, or that he has attended an equivalent educational conference during the same period. An equivalent educational conference shall be one approved or ratified by the board as meeting the educational and professional requirements of the profession." Act of August 10, 1951, P. L. 1182, § 15, 63 P.S. § 615.

The Board dismissed the application. Life Fellowship appealed to the Dauphin County Court sitting as the Commonwealth Court, which held that the references to the Society made the statute a special law in violation of Art. III, Section 32, and also that the automatic approval of conferences held by the Society was an unlawful delegation of legislative power under Article II, Section 1. The Commonwealth Court, however, concluded that the statute would be valid if all references to the Society were stricken. It therefore dismissed the appeal, but observed that the Board must now promulgate additional rules relative to the approval

[ 441 Pa. Page 296]

    or disapproval of conferences so as to comply with Section 15 after severance of the offending language.

Thereafter, Life Fellowship appealed to the Superior Court, which affirmed per curiam. This Court granted a petition for allowance of appeal.

I. Constitutionality

Article III, Section 32 of the Pennsylvania Constitution provides in part: "The General Assembly shall pass no local or special law in any case which has been or ...


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