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an interpretation of something not totally clear. To determine construction of a statute or constitution is to decide the meaning of an ambiguous part of it.
LIBERAL [EQUITABLE] CONSTRUCTION a liberal construction expands the meaning of a statute or provision to give broad effect to its purposes so as to encompass circumstances clearly within the spirit if not the letter of the statute. Statutes which are intended to be remedial in purpose are generally accorded a liberal construction so as to meet the evils which the statute was intended to remedy
STRICT [LITERAL] CONSTRUCTION a conservative or literal interpretation of statutes, stressing rigid adherence to terms specified.
Source: Barron's Dictionary of Legal Terms, Steven H. Gifis, 5th Edition; © 2016
"We believe it fundamental that a section of a statute should not be read in isolation from the context of the whole Act, and that in fulfilling our responsibility in interpreting legislation, "we must not be guided by a single sentence or member of a sentence, but [should] look to the provisions of the whole law, and to its object and policy." We should not assume that Congress intended to set the courts completely adrift from state law with regard to questions for which it has not provided a specific and definite answer in an act such as the one before us which, as we have indicated, is so intimately related to state law. Thus, we conclude that a reading of the statute as a whole, with due regard to its purpose, requires application of the whole law of the State where the act or omission occurred."
- Richards v United States, 369 U.S. 1 (1962)
""A fundamental canon of statutory construction is that, unless otherwise defined, words will be interpreted as taking their ordinary, contemporary, common meaning." Perrin v. United States, 444 U.S. 37, 42, 100 S.Ct. 311, 62 L.Ed.2d 199 (1979) (citing Burns v. Alcala, 420 U.S. 575, 580-81, 95 S.Ct. 1180, 43 L.Ed.2d 469 (1975)). When construing the meaning of a statute, "the beginning point must be the language of the statute, and when a statute speaks with clarity to an issue judicial inquiry into the statute's meaning, in all but the most extraordinary circumstance, is finished.""
- Garfield v. NDC Health Corp., 466 F.3d 1255, 1260 (11th Cir. 2006)
"It is axiomatic that all parts of a statute are to be read together "to facilitate the achievement of their goals in accordance with reason and common sense." Alderman v. Unemployment Appeals Comm'n, 664 So.2d 1160, 1161 (Fla. 5th DCA 1995). "Where possible, courts must give full effect to all statutory provisions and construe related statutory provisions in harmony with one another." Forsythe v. Longboat Key Beach Erosion Control District, 604 So.2d 452, 455 (Fla. 1992). Construing all these subsections of the Act together, Appellee argued that, as a matter of law, 1) once the Commission failed to make a "reasonable cause" determination within 180 days of the filing of Appellant's complaint, Appellant had the option, under subsection (8) of the Act, of proceeding under subsection (4) as if the Commission had made a determination; 2) under subsection (4), Appellant the option to bring a civil action or request an administrative hearing; and 3) Appellant was time-bound by the one-year deadline set forth in subsection (5) for commencing a civil action. "
- Joshua v City of Gainesville, 734 So.2d 1068, 1071 (Fla. 1st DCA 1995)