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"shall" may mean "may"

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  • Frog Farmer
    ... I didn t go check these citations, but I did notice that the ones about shall and may all involve a constitutional doubt . The last citation merely
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 24, 2009
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      Al Cintra-Leite kindly provided:

      > "The word 'shall' in a statute may be construed to mean 'may',
      > particularly in order to avoid a constitutional doubt." Fort Howard
      > Paper Co. v Fox River Heights Sanitary Dist., 26 NW 2d 661
      > "If necessary, to avoid unconstitutionality of a statute, 'shall' will
      > be deemed equivalent to 'may.'" Gow v Consolidated Copper Mines Corp.,
      > 165 Atl 136.
      > "'Shall' in a statute may be construed to mean 'may' in order to avoid
      > constitutional doubt." Grover Williams College v Village of Williams
      > Bay, 7 NW 2d 891.
      > "Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many
      > citizens, because of their respect for what only appears to be law,
      > are cunningly coerced into waiving their rights due to ignorance."
      > U.S. vs. Minker, 350 U.S. 179 at 187

      I didn't go check these citations, but I did notice that the ones about
      "shall" and "may" all involve a "constitutional doubt". The last
      citation merely points out the obvious, which again illustrates that in
      any court case, usually one person can see and understand the obvious,
      and the other party needs the machinery of government to spin and
      educate him and make record of it. Big cost to society, little benefit
      if you ask me.

      About the constitutional doubt: it has to arise in the initial moment
      of confrontation. I don't a have a citation on that. To me, it is
      obvious. It has to be brought up in the formal docketed administrative
      hearing on the record, doesn't it? Bear, please correct me if I'm

      Moderator/Bear: Whoa! Me do the correcting? That brings to mind the maxim, "Justice does not reside in the mind of one man." I just try to keep posts confined to the purpose of the group and attempt to cause people to continue subscribing to the group. I love it when someone who never or seldom post tell me, 'I am a member of your group and I am really learning a lot.' or, 'I use your group to do research.' or, 'I haven't received any email from your group, is something wrong?' Some of the recent posts have been stretching my mind too.

      The person exercising the right has to be able to articulate the
      logic that shows that the "officer" is infringing upon that right, and
      that where the officer is relying upon the word "shall" to be mandatory,
      for the protection of the rights of the people who defend those rights,
      it will mean "may" in THAT case. That's my interpretation of the whole
      issue (but not my full explanation of it all).


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