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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)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

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.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
'Furthermore, passing such a law in Selangor will cause unnecessary uncertainty as it may result in the application of a law which has been declared unconstitutional and of no effect,' said the Bukit Gelugor MP.
If it is illegal or unconstitutional then why it was being endorsed since 1991, senator Mushtaq questioned.
In late June, the lawyer submitted a claim to the Constitutional Chamber saying the establishment of a special temporary parliamentary commission on Atambayev's ex-president status stripping is unconstitutional as well.
A high court ruled on Thursday that the cap on commercial bank interest rates was unconstitutional. Judges suspended the ruling for 12 months and has asked the parliament to review the law.
The supreme courts said the laws were unconstitutional since they increased government expenditure and neither were the result of harmonisation with the EU aquis.
In a hard-hitting mail to CoA head Vinod Rai before the coach's appointment, Edulji termed the entire selection process for appointing women's coach as "unconstitutional" and "sham." The former women's team captain said that such "unilateral" steps are not going to help the women's cricket in any way.
Justices Isaac Lenaola, Mumbi Ngugi and David Majanja declared the entire Act unconstitutional and directed Parliament to rectify the unlawful sections within 12 months.
Stop-and-frisk was deemed unconstitutional in 2013 by U.S.
In such context, the words of the Constitution mean nothing and it is these accoutrements in context that make capital punishment unconstitutional by violating the Eighth Amendment against cruel and unusual punishment.
We will make sure that all unconstitutional provisions are removed," he said in a phone interview after Quevedo issued an open letter to the Senate and House of Representatives, underscoring the need to "refine and attune" the BBL to the Constitution.
"If we were told after that definitively it is unconstitutional then we wouldn't have been able to vote for it.