American Tobacco Co. v. Werckmeister

In American Tobacco Co. v. Werckmeister, 207 U.S. 284, 293 (1907), Mr. Justice Day said: "But in construing a statute we are not always confined to a literal reading, and may consider its object and purpose, the things with which it is dealing, and the condition of affairs which led to its enactment so as to effectuate rather than destroy the spirit and force of the law which the legislature intended to enact. "It is true, and the plaintiff in error cites authorities to the proposition, that where the words of an act are clear and unambiguous they will control. But while seeking to gain the legislative intent primarily from the language used we must remember the objects and purposes sought to be attained."