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FOREWORD

A desire to present something more than a bare index of authorities has animated the production of this annotation. An effort has been made to evolve a logical and comprehensive exposition, intelligible without reference to the reported cases, of the construction that has been given the constitution. In furtherance of that aim the holdings of the courts have been stated in some detail and apposite quotations and illustrations have been inserted to clarify difficult points.

The sole design of the preliminary article on interpretation, however, is briefly to present the general considerations of weight in determining the meaning of the constitution or the relation of a statute thereto. No attempt has been made to elaborate the treatment with detailed accounts of instances wherein the rules stated have been applied, such instances being treated in the annotations of those sections of the constitution to which they relate.

K. R. E.
G. V. 8.

CONSTITUTIONAL INTERPRETATION

I. RULES OF INTERPRETATION
II. AIDS TO INTERPRETATION.
(II. PRESENTATION OF CONSTITUTIONAL QUESTION
IV. CONSTITUTIONALITY OF STATUTES

I. Rules of Interpretation 1. Intent 2. Prospective or retrospective operation 3. Result 4. Practical construction 5. Constitution as entire instrument 6. Rules of statutory construction 7. Interpretation of words 8. Amendment and revision 9. Redeclaration 10. Change of policy

II. Aids to Interpretation 11. Proceedings of convention 12. Historical foundation and existing law 13. Objectionable consequences

III. Presentation of Constitutional Question 14. Persons entitled, to raise question 15. Presentation, waiver, and estoppel

IV. Constitutionality of Statutes 16. Favorable intendment and construction 17. Statutes violative of spirit of constitution, equity, and justice 18. Effect on existing statutes 19. Operation as determining or raising question 20. Partial unconstitutionality

1. Rules of Interpretation 1. Intent.— It is a fundamental rule of constitutional interpretation that the real intent of the provisions of the constitution, when ascertained, controls over the literal sense of the words

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Rules of Interpretation

and terms used.' « No constitution was ever drawn so as to be an effective foundation for the government of a state without applying thereto the doctrine of implication. It is well established that whatever is necessary to render effective any provision of a constitution, whether it is a grant, restriction or prohibition, 'must be deemed implied and intended in the provision itself.'» And a statute which is opposed to the spirit, intent, and purpose of the constitution is as much within the condemnation of the

1. Sherrill v. O'Brien, (1907) 188 N. Y. 185, 81 N. E. 124, 117 A. 8. R. 841, reversing 114 App. Div. 890, 101 N. Y. S. 858; In re Burns, (1898) 155 N. Y. 23, 49 N. E. 246, reversing 16 App. Div. 507, 44 N. Y. S. 950; People v. Lorillard, (1892) 135 N. Y. 285, 31 N. E. 1011; Mangam v. Brooklyn, (1885) 98 N. Y. 585, 50 Am. Rep. 705; People v. Albertson, (1873) 55 N. Y. 50; People v. Fancher, (1872) 50 N. Y. 288; Settle v. Von Evrea, (1872) 49 N. Y. 280; People v. Potter, (1872) 47 N. Y. 375; People v. Gardner, (1871) 45 N. Y. 812, affirming 59 Barb. 198, 5 Lans. 1; Goodere v. Jackson, (1823) 20 Johns. 693; Matter of Markland, (1911) 146 App. Div. 350, 131 N. Y. 8. 364; Matter of Silkman, (1903) 88 App. Div. 102, 84 N. Y. S. 1025; Chrystal v. New York, (1901) 63 App. Div. 93, 71 N. Y. S. 352; People v. Mosher, (1889) 45 App. Div. 68, 61 N. Y. S. 452, affirmed (1900) 163 N. Y. 32, 57 N. E. 88, 79 A. S. R. 552; Goedel v. Palmer, (1897) 15 App. Div. 86, 44 N. Y. S. 301, affirmed (1897) 152 N. Y. 412, 46 N. E. 851; Rathbone v. Wirth, (1896) 6 App. Div. 277, 40 N. Y. S. 535, affirmed (1896) 150 N. Y. 459, 45 N. E. 15, 34 L. R. A. 408; People v. Roberts, (1895) 91 Hun 101, 34 N. Y. S. 641, 36 N. Y. S. 677, affirmed (1896) 148 N. Y. 360, 42 N. E. 1082, 31 L. R. A. 399; Adams v. East River Sav. Inst., (1892) 65 Hun 145, 20 N. Y. S. 12, affirmed 136 N. Y. 52, 32 N. E. 622; People v. Angle, (1888) 47 Hun 183, 14 N. Y. St. Rep. 199; In re New York Dist. R. Co., (1886) 42 Hun 621, 4 N. Y. St. Rep. 739, affirmed (1887) 107 N. Y. 42, 14 N. E. 187; Admiral Realty Co. v. New York, (1912) 76 Misc. 345, 135 N. Y. S. 384, affirmed (1912) 206 N. Y. 110, 99 N. E. 241, Ann. Cas. 1914A 1054; Matter of Sweeley, (1895) 12 Misc. 174, 33 N. Y. S. 369, affirmed (1895) 146 N. Y. 401, 42 N. E. 543. See also Williams v. Port Chester, (1904) 97 App. Div. 84, 89 N. Y. S. 671, affirmed (1905) 183 N. Y. 550, 76 N. E. 1116.

Thus, the words “ in session,” as used in section four of article six of the state constitution, which authorizes the governor, when the senate is not in session, to fill temporarily, by appointment, a vacancy in the office of justice of the Supreme Court, indicate a present action or being of the senate as a body. When the sittings are terminated by a long adjournment, and the actual meetings of the body are thus interrupted, although the session is continued, the senate is not " in session" within the intent and meaning of that section, and an appointment made by the governor during such an adjournment is valid. People v. Fancher, (1872) 50 N. Y. 288.

2. Fraser v. Brown, (1911) 203 N. Y. 136, 96 N. E. 365, Ann. Cas. 1913B 14, 146 App. Div. 898, 131 N. Y. S. 1115.

Thus, when the constitution provides (Art. 2, § 4) that certain voters “shall not be required to apply in person for registration at the first meeting of the " inspectors, it is implied that the legislature is prohibited from passing any statute to the contrary, because that implication is necessary to render the provision effective. Fraser v. Brown, (1911) 203 N. Y. 136, 96 N. E. 365, Ann. Cas. 1913B 14, reversing 146 App. Div. 898, 131 N. Y. & 1116

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organic law as though the intention to violate the constitution were written in bold characters on the face of the statute itself.' Furthermore, an important key to the correct construction of the

8. Gautier v. Ditmar, (1912) 204 N. Y. 20, 97 N. E. 464, Ann. Cas. 1913C 960, affirming 144 App. Div. 721, 129 N. Y. S. 834; Hopper v. Britt, (1911) 203 N. Y. 144, 96 N. E. 371, Ann. Cas. 1913B 172, 37 L. R. A. (N. S.) 825, reversing 146 App. Div. 363, 131 N. Y. S. 135; People v. Coler, (1903) 173 N. Y. 103, 65 N. E. 956, affirming 71 App. Div. 584, 76 N. Y. S. 205; People v. Howland, (1898) 155 N. Y. 270, 49 N. E. 775, 41 L. R. A. 838, affirming 17 App. Div. 165, 45 N. Y. S. 347; Rathbone v. Wirth, (1896) 150 N. Y. 459, 45 N. E. 15, 34 L. R. A. 408, affirming 6 App. Div. 277, 40 N. Y. S. 535; Peoplo v. Angle, (1888) 109 N. Y. 564; People v. Albertson, (1873) 55 N. Y. 50; De Leyer v. Britt, (1913) 157 App. Div. 586, 142 N. Y. S. 752; Williams V. Port

(1904) 97 App. Div. 84, 89 N. Y. S. 671, affirmed (1905) 183 N. Y. 550, mem., 76 N. E. 1116; Ziegler v. Corwin, (1896) 12 App. Div. 60. See also People v. Luce, (1912) 204 N. Y. 478, 97 N. E. 850, Ann. Cas. 1913C 1151, affirming 148 App. Div. 933, 132 N. Y. S. 1143; Wynehamer v. People, (1856) 13 N. Y. 378; Leach v. Auwell, (1912) 154 App. Div. 170, 138 N. Y. 8. 975. Compare People v. City Prison, (1894) 81 Hun 434, 30 N. Y. 8. 1095, affirmed (1895) 144 N. Y. 529, 39 N. E. 686, 27 L. R. A. 718. And see infra, this article, p. 29, IV. Constitutionality of Statutes.

In People v. Howland, (1898) 155 N. Y. 270, 49 N. E. 775, 41 L. R. A. 838, affirming 17 App. Div. 165, 45 N. Y. S. 347, the court said: “ When the main purpose of a statute, or of part of a statute, is to evade the constitution by effecting indirectly that which cannot be done directly, the act is to that extent void, because it violates the spirit of the fundamental law. Otherwise the constitution would furnish frail protection to the citizen, for it would be at the mercy of ingenious efforts to circumvent its object and to defeat its commands." In Rathbone v. Wirth, (1896) 150 N. Y. 459, 45 N. E. 15, 34 L. R. A. 408, affirming 6 App. Div. 277, 40 N. Y. S. 535, this was said: “The implied restraints of the constitution upon legislative power may be as effectual for its condemnation as the written words, and such restraints may be found either in the language employed, or in the evident purpose which was in view and the circumstances and historical events which led to the enactment of the particular provision as a part of the organic law. A written constitution must be interpreted as the paramount law of the land according to its spirit and the intent of its framers, as indicated by ity terms. In this sense it is just as obligatory upon the legislature as lisin other departmerite of the government or upon individual citizens."' In People v. Albertson, (1873) 55 N. Y. 50, it was said: “A written constitution must be interpreted and effect given to it as the paramount law of the land, equally obligatory upon the legislature as upon other departments of government and individual citizens, according to its spirit and the intent of its framers, as indicated by its terms. An act violating the true intent and meaning of the instrument, although not within the letter, is as much within the purview and effect of a prohibition as if within the strict letter; and an act in evasion of the terms of the constitution, as properly interpreted and understood, and frustrating its general and clearly expressed or necessarily implied purpose, is as clearly void as if in express terms for. bidden. A thing within the intent of a constitution or statutory enactment is, for all purposes, to be regarded as within the words and terms of the law. A written constitution would be of little avail as a practical and useful restraint upon the different departments of government, if a literal reading only was to be given it, to the exclusion of all necessary implication, and the clear intent ignored, and slight evasions of acts, palpably in evasion of its spirit, should be sustained as not repugnant to it."

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