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Posted by KatNip on October 01, 1998 at 19:07:27:

In Reply to: We the People posted by Paul Andrew Mitchell, B.A., M.S. on October 01, 1998 at 18:45:14:

“But a preamble is not a part of an act, in the sense that its language controls that used in the body of the act.” Sutherland v. De Leon, 1 Tex. 250, 303, 46 Am. Dec. 100. 39 Tex Jur (1936), Statutes, § 23, p. 48.

Preamble. The preamble usually contains the motives and inducements to the making of the act, and resort to the preamble may therefore be useful in ascertaining the cause which led to the passage of the act or the mischiefs intended to be remedied thereby. It may be resorted to, to aid in the construction of the enacting clause, when any ambiguity exists, and is especially helpful when the ambiguity is not simply that arising from the meaning of particular words, but such as may arise in respect to the general scope and meaning of a statute. As sometimes expressed, it is the key to open the mind of the makers of the law. The preamble is, however, not an essential part of the act, and cannot enlarge or confer powers, nor control the words of the act unless they are doubtful or ambiguous. Hence it has been held that the necessity of resorting to it in order to ascertain the true intent and meaning of the legislature is fatal to any claim which by ordinary rules of interpretation can be sustained only by clear and unambiguous language. It has been stated by some courts as the general rule that if there is a broader proposition expressed in the act than is suggested in the preamble, the body or enacting part of the law will prevail over the preamble. But if the body of the act can be given a construction that is consistent with the purpose as declared in the preamble, it will be so construed. 25 R.C.L., Statutes, § 266, pp. 1030-1031.

: I disagree with all cases which have held
: that the Preamble has no legal effect.

: On the contrary, the legislative intent
: of any law is always pertinent to its
: construction, and to its enforcement.

: The Preamble in the U.S. Constitution
: provides undeniable evidence of the
: Framers' intent, as expressed therein.

: Moreover, the various state legislators
: who were asked to ratify this Constitution,
: and under whose authority it became Law,
: must have known the Preamble was referring
: to them, and their Posterity, because
: to make a more perfect Union means that
: we are to be one nation, under God, indivisible,
: to ensure the blessings of liberty for all time.

: And to achieve this end, we must "establish"
: justice. That means to institutionalize
: justice, not merely to seek after it in some
: vainglorious fox hunt, never quote seeming
: to catch up with it, or devouring it when we do.

: These are the great, overriding principles
: which the Constitution was written to guarantee.

: Obsta principiis. Let us stand on principles,
: first and foremost. It is the highest principles
: which will surely endure the rugged test of time.

: /s/ Paul Andrew Mitchell, B.A., M.S.

: Counselor at Law, Federal Witness,
: and Private Attorney General


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