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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 ?
Nazarian questioned ifthat was enough to make the ban unconstitutionally vague.
The king has not only been unconstitutionally dislodged, but the politicization of the monarchy's religious significance has already defeated the principle of secularism and an apolitical monarchy.
Flanked by Akbar Khan, Muzamil, Gohar, Azam Khan Afridi and others, they said that they would move to court against the governor KP and raise it at every platform that he (governor) had illegally and unconstitutionally two slots of to be governor of the province and secretary general of the party (PML-N).
Shurhozelie still pending recognition in the Speaker's Court, went on alleging that since the present Government was allowed to function "unconstitutionally and illegally," their Minister, out of frustration, started assaulting even Naga officer physically.
According to Rohini resident Naresh Kadyan, several government advertisements, functions and even press releases unconstitutionally added ' Bharat Ratna' along with Ambedkar's name.
It warns that the UK Government would be "acting unconstitutionally" if it pressed ahead without AMs' agreement.
The gun dealers argue that California Penal Code section 26820--first enacted in 1923--prevents them from displaying any "handgun or imitation handgun, or [a] placard advertising the sale or other transfer thereof" anywhere that can be seen outside their stores and "unconstitutionally prevents firearms dealers from advertising even the most basic commercial information--'Handguns for Sale'--at their places of business."
He said by Wednesday midnight, the term of office of the president and that of the national legislature shall have expired according to the provisions of the transitional constitution, 2011, warning that any decision to extend it unconstitutionally without a mandate from the people would not be recognized.
Yet earlier Kamal said: "The main reason for my resignation is that I can't work with those who can act unconstitutionally and unlawfully." He also threatened to reveal details of "mischievous things" within the ICC.
Fatfat accused former army general Michel Aoun of adopting an escapist attitude by unconstitutionally carving up Lebanese citizens into two categories.
District Judge Candy Dale said the law unconstitutionally denied gay and lesbian residents their fundamental right to marry.