Governments > State & Territorial Governments > Claims By & Against
[HN9] A quasi-sovereign interest must be sufficiently concrete to create an actual controversy between the State and the defendant. Sufficient quasi-sovereign interests include a state's interests in its citizens' health, safety, and welfare as well as in a healthful environment. Rhode Island recognizes the parens patriae doctrine. R.I. Gen. Laws § § 6-36-12, 40-8.2-6, 46-12.3-5 (1956).
[HN11] It is well-settled that it is the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is. Accordingly, when the language of a legislative enactment is clear and unambiguous, the court will interpret the statute literally and accord the words of the statute their plain and ordinary meanings. Furthermore, in examining an unambiguous statute, there is no room for statutory construction; it must be applied as written. The Rhode Island General Assembly's inclusion of the liberal-interpretation clause supports the state's argument.