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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 ?
High courts have ruled in 12 cases that the election results were unconstitutional but valid, while two other rulings said results were in a state of unconstitutionality and two others invalidated results as unconstitutional for the first time.
Egypt's Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) on Sunday announced that itwould not present its anticipated report on the alleged unconstitutionality of Egypt's current Parliament for another month.
MATSUE, Japan - The Matsue branch of the Hiroshima High Court ruled Wednesday the fivefold disparity in the weight of votes in last year's upper house election constitutes a ''state of unconstitutionality.''
Furthermore, the process by which the Oil Ministry has negotiated contracts following the two rounds of auctions in 2009 was so centralised that it has drawn wide accusations of unconstitutionality.
In all cases concerning high-level defendants, exceptions of unconstitutionality were raised at least once.
"There are options to eliminate the state of unconstitutionality, such as the city making a lease contract with the shrine or to sell the facility to the shrine besides ordering the shrine to move out," the court majority declared.
Writing in an 1854 veto statement of a bill to authorize the giving away of federal lands for the erection of State-funded mental hospitals, Pierce penned a timeless warning against the unconstitutionality of federal involvement in healthcare:
This unconstitutionality does not however invalidate.
This ruling is the response to an accusation of unconstitutionality filed by the Comision Nacional de los Derechos Humanos (Nation Commission on Human Rights) and the Office of the Attorney General, after the federal legislature in Mexico City decriminalized abortion during the first three month of pregnancy in April 2007.
The court upheld the NES decision on the unconstitutionality of the fee but did not find that a refund of the entire amount was required either by the Due Process Clause of the U.S.
The 26-year-old Dubliner was initially charged with unlawful carnal knowledge but this was struck out after the "Mr C" case highlighted the unconstitutionality of the law.