The petitioner, Paul B. de'Sha, Foreman of the 1977 Statutory Denver County Grand Jury, filed a petition for a writ of mandamus against the District Court in and for the Second Judicial District and the Honorable Harold D. Reed, District Judge, to direct the judge to disclose the grand jury's report. We issued a rule to show cause and now discharge the rule.
In July of 1977, the grand jury issued a report. On July 14, 1977, Dale Tooley, District Attorney in and for the Second Judicial District and legal advisor to the grand jury, filed in the respondent district court a motion for release of this report. Among other findings, the district court found that "(i)n the absence of the recent legislation this report would be proper for release and would be ordered released by this Court, as it is in accord with Rule 6.7, C.R.Crim.P." The trial court then entered the following order:
To provide a framework for the disposition of this case, it is necessary to set forth the following provisions of law which are at issue here:
Colorado Constitution, Article II:
Colorado Constitution, Article VI:
Section 16-5-205, C.R.S.1973, Senate Bill 186, 1977 First Regular Session:
Petitioner avers that the grand jury is entitled as a matter of law to have the report made public pursuant to Crim.P. 6.7, which governs the report's issuance and which is a lawful exercise of the court's rule-making power as set forth in Article VI, Section 21 of the Colorado Constitution. Petitioner's position is based on the assertion that, to the extent of any conflict, the power delegated to the court by Article VI, Section 21, Colorado Constitution, prevails over the power delegated to the legislature by Article II, Section 23, Colorado Constitution, because of the later effective date of the judicial article.
It is an established axiom of constitutional law that where there are both general and specific constitutional provisions relating to the same subject, the specific provision will control. Associated Students of University of Colorado v. Regents of University of Colorado, Colo., 543 P.2d 59 (1975); People ex rel. Boatright v. Newlon, 77 Colo. 516, 238 P. 44 (1925); People v. Field, 66 Colo. 367, 181 P. 526 (1919). Article VI, Section 21 is of a completely general nature dealing with civil and criminal procedure as a whole. Thus, Article II, Section 23 must be regarded as determinative here since it specifically grants the power to the legislature to "change, regulate, or abolish the grand jury system."
The Constitution must be construed as a whole, including the amendments, giving to each word its proper effect, and so far as possible harmonizing each provision with every other. Repeal by implication applies only where a later enactment conflicts with an earlier one. We find no such conflict here, Dixon v. People, 53 Colo. 527, 127 P. 930 (1912); People v. Field, supra.
Petitioner further argues that to hold that the statute supersedes the rule would be to violate the doctrine of separation of powers. We disagree.
Petitioner overlooks in his argument that the doctrine of separation of powers is not an abstract principle which may contradict the express language of the Constitution itself. In re Interrogatories Propounded by Senate Concerning House Bill 1078, Colo., 536 P.2d 308 (1975). This is the import of Article III of the Colorado Constitution which reads as follows:
In the instant case, whether or not the power to regulate the grand jury would ordinarily be considered a judicial or a legislative function is not controlling, since this power is expressly delegated to the legislature pursuant to Article II, Section 23. Section 16-5-205(4), C.R.S.1973, is a valid exercise by the legislature of this power.
This court promulgated Crim.P. 6.7 at a time when there was no statute regulating the release of grand jury reports. Now that the legislature has acted pursuant to its constitutional power, its enactment will control the release of the report in question in this case.
Arguments have been made concerning the emerging political philosophy dealing with the openness of governmental proceedings. Those philosophical views, specifically as concerns their application to grand
Accordingly, the rule to show cause is discharged.
ERICKSON, J., does not participate.