Does a section of the California Civil Code have to be interpreted as "policy" rather than as "law"?

California, United States of America


The following excerpt is from People v. Smith, C079842 (Cal. App. 2016):

"But no legislation pursues its purposes at all costs. Deciding what competing values will or will not be sacrificed to the achievement of a particular objective is the very essence of legislative choice--and it frustrates rather than effectuates legislative intent simplistically to assume that whatever furthers the statute's primary objective must be the law. Where, as here, 'the language of a provision . . . is sufficiently clear in its context and not at odds with the legislative history, . . . "[there is no occasion] to examine the additional considerations of 'policy' . . . that may have influenced the lawmakers in their formulation of the statute." ' [Citations.]" (Rodriguez v. United States (1987) 480 U.S. 522, 525-526 [94 L.Ed.2d 533, 538]; accord County of Sonoma v. Cohen (2015)

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