desuetude


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Related to desuetude: desuetudo

Desuetude

The state of being unused; legally, the doctrine by which a law or treaty is rendered obsolete because of disuse. The concept encompasses situations in which a court refuses to enforce an unused law even if the law has not been repealed.

Desuetude saw use as a defense during the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 2003 decision in Lawrence v. Texas, which dealt with Texas' Sodomy law. Lawrence successfully argued that since statutes prohibiting sodomy had either fallen into obscurity or been overturned in most states, Texas' statute was similarly invalid.

desuetude

noun abandonment, abeyance, absence, abstention, archaism, arrest, cancellation, cessation, desistance, desuetudo, discarding, disusage, disuse, dormancy, failure to use, halt, impotence, inaction, inactivity, inanimation, inertia, inusitation, inutility, neglect, nonavailability, nonretention, nonuse, obsolescence, obsoleteness, omission, relinquishment, stagnation, standstill, state of being unused, stop, stoppage, stoppage of use, surrender, suspension, termination
See also: abolition, disuse, nonuse

DESUETUDE. This term is applied to laws which have become obsolete. (q.v.)

References in periodicals archive ?
19) Prior to 1958, the United States Supreme Court's decisions concerning the scope of the Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause also relied on desuetude to determine which punishments were actually cruel and unusual.
Apres que le writ of attaint soit tombe en desuetude, cet autre moyen, le writ of error, se developpe a partir du debut du XVIIIeme siecle, vers 1705126, et il sera longtemps utilise par les tribunaux de common law pour corriger un certain type d'erreur.
Although a federal court may not be able to invoke desuetude as an independent basis for refusing to enforce a criminal statute, (290) the doctrine may be a relevant factor in statutory interpretation, especially in conjunction with the rule of lenity.
78) But the desuetude reading might similarly be criticized as insufficiently responsive to the remainder of the opinion.
Sunstein, What Did Lawrence Hold: Of Autonomy, Desuetude, Sexuality and Marriage, 2003 SUP.
Encore plus etrange, la loi 2005 relative aux huiles alimentaires n'a pas ete depoussieree, demeurant toujours en vigueur en depit du bon sens tout d'ailleurs comme la celebre loi Offictec datant de l'epoque coloniale et qui coule encore des jours heureux alors qu'elle aurait du tomber en desuetude depuis belle lurette.
Tombes en desuetude, nombre d'entre eux font aujourd'hui l'objet d'un interet particulier du ministere de la Culture.
Desuetude is the idea that if a law is left unenforced for a long time despite numerous enforcement opportunities, it may lose all legal force because a negative custom has grown up against it.
When my brother-in-law in West Virginia heard that I had decided to go back on track-or rather, back on the treadmill, the only machine I know-and that the Nikes he had sent five years ago had come apart from desuetude, he sent me a new pair pronto.
On ne peut que regretter ici l'absence d'une discussion de l'esthetique de la grand-mere du narrateur de la Recherche qui, bien qu'eloignee du pur esthetisme, n'est pas sans rappeler ce principe d'inutilite: "Meme quand elle avait a faire a quelqu'un un cadeau dit utile, quand elle avait a donner un fauteuil, des couverts, une canne, elle les cherchait 'anciens,' comme si leur longue desuetude ayant efface leur caractere d'utilite, ils paraissaient plutot disposes pour nous raconter la vie des hommes d'autrefois que pour servir aux besoins de la notre" Quant aux consequences esthetiques et philosophiques du mensonge, tel qu'il se trouve defini dans Le Declin du mensonge d'Oscar Wilde, voila qui meriterait peut-etre un peu plus d'attention.
Selon moi, les outils et les methodes que le gouvernement utilise pour demander des fonds et ceux dont les deputes se servent pour examiner et approuver ces demandes sont dans un etat de desuetude avancee.
It speaks of the banalities and degradations that underlie porn but also--through repetition and the gaping void at its center--creates a link between those quotations and the vast desuetude of image flows into which such numbingly utilitarian pictures vanish once they have been used.