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Declaration of Unconstitutionality
Variable Name
Spaeth Name
4 [ view ]

An entry in this variable indicates that the Cour
t either declared unconstitutional an act of Congress; a state or territorial statute, regulation, or constitutional provision; or a municipal or other local ordinance.

Note that the Court need not necessarily specify in so many that a law has been deckared unconstitutional. That commonly occurred in legacy decisions (pre-1946); e.g., Wllcox v. Consolidted Gas Co. of New York, 53 L Ed 382 (1909).

An entry or its equivalent in the case that indicates unconstitutionality should also disclose the constitutional provision that served as the basis for the declaration of unconstitutionality. Legacy decisions again are somewhat cavalier in this regard. None, however, will appear when the Court merely cites a previous decision that has already been used to void the provision at issue; e.g., Grisham v. Hagan, 361 U.S. 278, 4 L Ed 2d 279, and McElroy v. Guagliardo, 361 U.S. 281, 4 L Ed 2d 282 (1960).

The summary frequently, though not invariably, will indicate such action in its statement of the Court's holdings. Hence, where such action may have occurred, it may be necessary to read carefully the opinion of the Court to determine whether an entry should be made in this variable.

Where federal law pre-empts a state statute or a local ordinance, unconstitutionality does not result unless the Court's opinion so states. Nor are administrative regulations the subject of declarations of unconstitutionality unless the declaration also applies to the law on which it is based. Also excluded are federal or state court-made rules; e.g., Virginia Supreme Court v. Friedman, 487 U.S. 59 (1988).
1 no declaration of unconstitutionality
2 act of congress declared unconstitutional
3 state or territorial law, reg, or const provision unconstitutional
4 municipal or other local ordinance unconstitutional
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