Antecedent

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ANTECEDENT. Something that goes before. In the construction of laws, agreements, and the like, reference is always to be made to the last antecedent; ad proximun antecedens fiat relatio. But not only the antecedents but the subsequent clauses of the instrument must be considered: Ex antecedentibus et consequentibus fit optima interpretatio.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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