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adj. referring to a statute, governmental conduct, court decision or private contract (such as a covenant which purports to limit transfer of real property only to Caucasians) which violate one or more provisions of the U. S. Constitution. The ultimate determination of constitutionality is the United States Supreme Court. Unconstitutional can also refer to violations of a state constitution. (See: constitution, supreme court)

See: illegal, illicit, impermissible, unauthorized, unlawful

UNCONSTITUTIONAL. That which is contrary to the constitution.
     2. When an act of the legislature is repugnant or contrary to the constitution, it is, ipso facto, void. 2 Pet. R. 522; 12 Wheat. 270; 3 Dall. 286; 4 Dall. 18.
     3. The courts have the power, and it is their duty, when an act is unconstitutional, to declare it to be so; but this will not be done except in a clear case and, as an additional guard against error, the supreme court of the United States refuses to take up a case involving constitutional questions, when the court is not full. 9 Pet. 85. Vide 6 Cranch, 128; 1 Binn. 419; 5 Binn. 355; 2 Penna 184; 3 S. & R. 169; 7 Pick. 466; 13 Pick. 60; 2 Yeates, 493; 1 Virg. Cas. 20; 1 Blackf. 206 6 Rand. 245 1 Murph. 58; Harper, 385 1 Breese, 209 Pr. Dee. 64, 89; 1 Rep. Cons. Ct. 267 1 Car. Law Repos. 246 4 Munr. 43; 5 Hayw. 271; 1 Cowen, 550; 1 South. 192; 2 South. 466; 7 N H. Rep. 65, 66; 1 Chip, 237, 257; 10 Conn. 522; 7 Gill & John. 7; 2 Litt. 90; 3 Desaus. 476.

References in periodicals archive ?
Thirdly, on 3rd November, 2007 at Rawalpindi as President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, he issued an unconstitutional and unlawful "Oath of Office (Judges) Order, 2007" whereby an oath was, unconstitutionally and unlawfully, introduced in the Schedule which required a judge to abide by the provisions of the Proclamation of Emergency dated 03.
She upheld the Bar in finding advertising rules which prohibit attorneys from promising results or characterizing the quality of their legal services are not unconstitutionally vague.
In November, the QC reported to the council it acted unconstitutionally in the way it handled a number of decisions to "cull" senior officers.
An inmate filed a [section] 1983 action against librarians employed by a state corrections department, claiming he was unconstitutionally denied access to court.
A July court decision found such situations unconstitutionally cross the line between church and state.
In November 2002, the state Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that said Arkansas' education system was unconstitutionally inadequate and inequitable.
The lawsuit accuses them of unconstitutionally and illegally seeking to block a longstanding mixed-use development project under review for the past 15 years, until the town changes the zoning, which would render the project economically unfeasible.
Paul law unconstitutionally limited speech based on its content--in that case, racist content.
ICLTC also asserted that the standards in the published regulations for assessing scope and severity are unconstitutionally vague, and that numerous blockades and pitfalls to obtaining meaningful review under the administrative appeals system deny nursing homes due process of law in violation of the 14th Amendment to the U.
Ms Beaumont supports the scrapping of Clause 28 and believes the SSBA have acted unconstitutionally because they didn't take a vote before backing the Keep the Clause campaign.
An Illinois court invalidated the ordinance, ending its enforcement and beginning years of litigation that culminated in the Supreme Court's deciding that the ordinance is unconstitutionally vague.
United Reporting filed suit in federal court, arguing that its First and Fourteenth Amendment rights had been unconstitutionally abridged.