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Old March 20, 2020, 11:24 AM   #1
Wyosmith
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Join Date: December 29, 2010
Location: Shoshoni Wyoming
Posts: 2,714
a Reminder of the actualy laws and precidents

Norton vs. Shelby County 118 US 425, page 442 held:

"An unconstitutional act is not law; it imposes no duties; affords no protection; it creates no office; it is in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though it had never been passed."

“No state shall convert a liberty into a license, and charge a fee therefore.” (Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105)

"It is not the function of our government to keep the citizen from falling into
error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling
into error."

-- United States Supreme Court - American Communications Association v. Douds
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Old March 20, 2020, 01:16 PM   #2
Frank Ettin
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Join Date: November 23, 2005
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A pointless drive-by post, and therefore closed.

But I will point out that, among other things, the post is pointless because it's misleading and therefore inaccurate. Just saying an unconstitutional law is void is pretty much meaningless.

Chief Justice Marshall said, writing for the Supreme Court in Marbury v. Madison (5 U.S. 137, 2 L. Ed. 60, 1 Cranch 137 (1803)), said (Marbury at 177):

"...It is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say
what the law is....

And while a law repugnant to the Constitution may be void, that still leaves these questions open: (1) who decides that a law enacted by a legislature is unconstitutional; (2) if people disagree about whether a law is unconstitutional, who resolves the disagreement; and (3) if people disagree about what the Constitution means and how it applies, who resolves the disagreement. Here's a hint: it's not you.

The Founding Fathers in the Constitution assigned the authority to decide questions regarding the meaning and application of the Constitution to the federal courts (Article III, Sections 1 and 2):

"Section 1. The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish....

Section 2. The Judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution,..."

Many of the Founding Fathers were lawyers, and several had been judges, so they understood what the exercise of judicial power entailed and what the deciding of cases involved. In fact, of the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence, 25 were lawyers: and of the 55 framers of the Constitution, 32 were lawyers.

The Supreme Court has also ruled (see Brown v. State of Maryland, 25 U.S. 419 (1827) and U.S. v Morrison, 529 U.S. 598 (2000)) that a statute is presumed constitutional and is valid and enforceable unless/until it is found unconstitutional by a proper court.

So one's opinion about whether or not something is constitutional is irrelevant.

And with regard to Murdock v. Pennsylvania, 319 U.S. 105, the sentence, “No state shall convert a liberty into a license, and charge a fee therefore.” appears nowhere in the opinion. The Court did not say that.
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