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interpretation and meaning of the statute, on a view of the enacting clause, saving clause and proviso, taken and construed together, are to prevail.”1 Now, following these views, and considering the particular natures of saving clauses and provisos, we shall practically find that, since a saving clause “is only an exemption of a special thing out of the general things mentioned ” in the purview, if it stands, and the purview is rejected, the whole statute is destroyed, not even the saving clause itself being of any effect. Hence, necessarily it must yield to the purview. But a proviso is somewhat different;. and, under various circumstances, it may prevail over the purview without working the destruction of the entire enactment. When this is so, the question of precedence cannot be one of rule, but it must depend on considerations special to the individual case.
V. THE DIVISION OF A STATUTE INTO SECTIONS.
$ 66. Origin of sections.— There are no sections in the parliamentary rolls either of the ancient or of the comparatively modern English enactments. But it is provided by 13 and 14 Vict., ch. 21, § 2, “that all acts shall be divided into sections,” etc. Before this, the English sectioning seems to have been simply the work of editors. Generally, with us, bills of sufficient length have been drawn in sections, and in this form enacted. Still,
$ 67. Effect.— While plainly, where the division is only made by an editor, it can have no effect on the interpretation, it is believed not to be greatly different where it is the work of the draughtsman, and is retained in the statute as passed. In other connections and from various cases? we see that, while our courts sometimes speak of the sections as though the distinction had something to do with the interpretation, at other times nothing is perceptible from which such inference could be drawn. On the whole, little depends on this matter, beyond mere convenience of citation.
11 Kent, Com. 463, and note.
6 Post, $ 251; Crim. Pro., L, $ 639, 2 Ante, $ 59.
and note. : Ante, $ 57.
7 As, see Long v. Culp, 14 Kan. 412; * Wells v. Iggulden, 3 B. & C. 186, Thompson v. Bulson, 78 Ill. 277; S. 189; Rex v. Threlkeld, 4 B. & Ad. 229, v. Williams, 8 Tex. 255; Gibbons v. 235, 236.
Brittenum, 56 Miss. 232; S. v. WalRex v. Threlkeld, 4 B. & Ad. 229, ters, 64 Ind. 226; Fowler u Pirkins, 235, 236; Rex v. Newark-upon-Trent, 77 III, 271. 3 B. & C. 59, 63.
THE INTERPRETATION OF WRITTEN LAWS ABSO
LUTE AND WITH THE UNWRITTEN.
THE PURPOSE AND MEANS OF INTERPRETATION.
$ 68, 69. Introduction.
70-73. What interpretation seeks.
$ 68. Scope of this series of chapters.- In the chapters constituting the present Book, we shall call to mind those universal doctrines of interpretation which it is necessary for every lawyer to understand, whatever may be his special department. If some of them appear more particularly applicable to civil causes and others to criminal, still all to be here given of each class are essential to a proper apprehension of those of the other class.
$69. How this chapter divided. We shall consider, I. What it is that interpretation seeks; II. Into what, besides the written words, the interpreter looks.
I. WHAT IT IS THAT INTERPRETATION SEEKS.
$ 70. Meaning of maker.- Laws are expounded and enforced, not made, by the courts. The makers are entitled to have their real meaning, if it can be ascertained, carried out. Hence the primary object of all rules for interpreting statutes is to ascertain the legislative intent;' or, exactly, the meaning
I Wilkinson v. Leland, 2 Pet. 627, 11 Cl. & F. 85, 143; Bidwell v. Whit662; Brown v. Thorndike, 15 Pick. aker, 1 Mich. 469; Ogden v. Strong, 388, 402; Winslow v. Kimball, 25 Me. 2 Paine, 584; Crocker v. Crane, 21 493; Riddick v. Governor, 1 Mo. 147; Wend. 211, [34 Am. D. 228;] Kilby Beall v. Harwood, 2 Har. & J. 167, Bank, Petitioner, 23 Pick. 93; Opin. (3 Am. D. 532;] The Sussex Peerage, ion of the Justices, 22 Pick. 571; Si
which the subject is authorized to understand the legislature intended. Hence, also,
Personal views of judges.- If the courts can ascertain the legislative meaning, their duty is to give it effect, whatever may be the personal opinions of the incumbents of the bench on the policy of the law.?
§ 71. Interpretation indispensable.- Were the courts not to interpret the laws, they could not administer them. For, in the words of Lord Chief Justice Eyre, “let the proposition in an act of parliament be what it may, more or less distinct, it is always a question of law what is the meaning and the true import of that act of parliament, and whether any case of fact that can be stated is a case that comes within the meaning of that act of parliament.
No distinction can be taken in this case, because it happens that the description of the offense in the statute
is comprised in two or three words; the law may be clearer upon that account; but the rule of construcmonds v. Powers, 28 Vt. 354; McIn- iams v. Com., 78 Ky. 93; Wheeler v. tyre v. Ingraham, 35 Miss. 25; Rid- Wheeler, 134 Ill. 530, 25 N. E. R. 588; dick v. Walsh, 15 Mo. 519; Ingraham Soby v. P., 134 Ill. 71, 25 N. E. R. v. Speed, 30 Miss. 410; P. v. Dana, 22 109; P. v. Blackwelder, 21 Ill. Ap. Cal. 11; Parkinson v. S., 14 Md. 184, 254; Hogg v. P., 15 Ill. Ap. 288; Shonk[74 Am. D. 522;] P. 2. Potter, 47 N. Y. weiler v. Stewart, 104 Iowa, 67.] 375; Smith v. P., 47 N. Y. 330; P. v. 1 And see Manuel V. Manuel, 13 Weston, 3 Neb. 312; Jones v. S., 1 Ohio St. 458; Johnson v. Hudson Kan. 273; U. S. v. Athens Armory, 2 River R. R. Co., 49 N. Y. 455; P. v. Abb. (U. S.) 129, 137; Albrecht v. S., Schoonmaker, 63 Barb. 44, 49; Barker 8 Tex. Ap. 313; S. v. Blair, 32 Ind. v. Esty, 19 Vt. 131; S. v. King, 44 Mo. 313; George v. Board of Education, 283; Cearfoss v. S., 42 Md. 403; Max. 33 Ga. 344; Emporia v. Norton, 16 well v. S., 40 Md. 273; Horton v. MoKan. 236; Dwar. Stat. (2d ed.) 556; bile, 43 Ala. 598, 604. [Reynolds v. Holland, 35 Ark. 56; S. ? Post, $ 235; 1 Bishop, Mar., Div. & v. Mack, 23 Nev. 367; In re Salisbury, S., SS 45, 46; S. v. Clarke, 54 Mo. 17, 44 N. Y. Sup. 291; Edwards v. Mor- [14 Am. R. 471;) Horton v. Mobile, 43 ton (Tex.), 46 S. W. R. 792; Rose v. Ala. 598, 604. In Pray v. Edie, 1 T. R. Wortham, 95 Tenn, 505, 32 S. W. R. 313, 314, Lord Mansfield said: “What458; Turcott v. R. R. Co., 101 Tenn. 106; ever doubts I may have in my own Bonds v. Greer, 56 Miss. 710; S. v. breast with respect to the policy and Hostetter, 137 Mo. 636; S. v. Slover, expedience of this law, yet, as long 126 Mo. 652, 29 S. W. R. 718; Lamb as it continues in force, I am bound v. Dunwoody, 94 Ga. 58, 20 S. E. R. to see it executed according to its 637; S. v. Ross, 20 Nev. 61, 14 Pac. R. meaning.” (Com. v. Shopp, 1 Woodw. 827; Roland Park v. S., 80 Md. 448, 31 129; Aultman 2. Daggs, 50 Mo. Ap. Atl. R. 298; Bixby v. Mayor, 61 Hun, 280; S. v. Willott, 54 Mo. Ap. 310; 496, 16 N. Y. Sup. 364: In re Board, Smith v. Bowman, 41 Ohio St. 37; 62 Hun, 499, 16 N. Y. Sup. 894; Will. Thompson v. Buckley, 1 Tex. 85.]
tion, with reference to the question whether it should be taken to be the construction of law, a mere matter of fact, is exactly
Still,$ 72. Limit of interpretation — (Meaning plain).— Like everything else, interpretation has its limits, beyond which it cannot legitimately go.? Where the legislative meaning is plain, there is not only no occasion for rules to aid the interpretation, but it is contrary to the rules to employ them. The judges have simply to enforce the statute according to its obvious terms.' Yet
873. Importance of rules. There are large classes of cases dependent even upon technical rules of interpretation. And there are others, not quite like these, wherein still the rules are very helpful. Every statute is presumed to have been penned and enacted by persons familiar with them;' so that, without a
Horne Tooke's Case, 25 How. St. N. Y. 394, 24 N. E. R. 799; Brown v. Tr. 1, 726; post, $ 116.
R. R. Co., 44 L R. A. 579, 102 Wis. 137; 2 Post, $ 81.
Ayers v. Commission, 37 Kan. 240; *Douglass v. Chosen Freeholders, 9 W. U. Tel Co. v. Hewitt, 4 Mackey Vroom, 214; Hyatt v. Taylor, 42 N. Y. (D. C.), 424; Smith v. S., 66 Md. 215, 7 258, 260; Sussex Peerage Case, 11 Cl. Atl R. 49. A verbis legis non est re& F. 85, 143; Benton v. Wickwire, 54 cedendum. Macon R. R. Co. v. R. R. N. Y. 226; Rosenplaenter v. Roessle, Co., 86 Ga. 85. The duty of the court 54 N. Y. 262; Woodbury v. Berry, 18 in such cases is to say "ita lex scripta,” Ohio St. 456; Burgett v. Burgett, 1 and obey it. Miller v. Childress, 2 Ohio, 469, 477, [13 Am. D. 634); Pro Humph. (Tenn.) 320. It is not allowcureur v. Bruneau, Law Rep. 1 P. C. able to interpret that which has no 169, 191; Bosley v. Mattingly, 14 B. need of interpretation. Vattel, 8 263. Monr. 89; Ezekiel v. Dixon, 3 Kelly, In recent times courts are less dis146; Farrel Foundry v. Dart, 26 Conn. posed than formerly to depart from 376; Swift v. Luce, 27 Me. 285; U. S. or qualify the plain words of a statv. Ragsdale, Hemp. 497; (Reese v. S., ute in favor of what is termed 73 Ala. 19; Bartlett v. Morris, 9 Port. an equitable construction. Karst v. (Ala.) 266; McGowan v. Insurance Gane, 136 N. Y. 316, 32 N. E. R. Co.
, 60 N. J. L. 200; Whiting v. Mas- 1073. Cf. also Selden v. Hall, 21 Mo. tin, 62 Mo. Ap. 647; Rex v. Banbury, Ap. 452; Smith v. S., 66 Md. 215, 7 1 A. & E. 142; Case v. Wildridge, 4 Atl. R. 49; Ayers v. Trego, 37 Kan. Ind. 51; S. v. Liedtke, 9 Neb. 469, 4 N. 240, 15 Pac. R. 229; Ohio R. R. Co. v. W. R. 61; Fitzpatrick v. Gebhart, 7 P., 123 Ill. 467, 14 N. E. R. 874; MarKan. 35; Lake Co. v. Rollins, 130 U. S. tiu v. Swift, 120 Ill. 488, 12 N. E. R. 871, 32 L ed. 1060; U. S. v. Fisher, 2 201. A departure from the language Cranch, 358; Bate Co. v. Sulzburger, of an ambiguous statute is an exer157 U. S. 1, 39 Led, 601; Choctaw cise of legislative power. Newell v. R.R. Co. v. Alexander (Okl.), 54 Pac. Muxlow, 115 N. Y.170, 21 N. E. R. 1048.] R. 421; In re Manning, 71 Hun, 236, 24 4 Post, 8 74 N. Y. Sup. 1039; Bank v. Colgate, 120