How many laws has the US Supreme Court declared unconstitutional?

already exists.

Would you like to merge this question into it?

already exists as an alternate of this question.

Would you like to make it the primary and merge this question into it?

exists and is an alternate of .

The list would be too long for this format. The US Supreme Court has declared a total of 1,315 laws (as of 2002, the most recent year for which statistics are available; the database may be updated in 2012) unconstitutional using the process of judicial review.

The first time the Court declared a federal law unconstitutional was in Chief Justice John Marshall's opinion for Marbury v. Madison, 5 US 137 (1803), in which he asserted Section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789 was unconstitutional because it extended to the Supreme Court an act of original jurisdiction not explicitly granted by the Constitution.

Unconstitutional and Preempted Laws 1789-2002
According to the GPO (Government Printing Office Database):

1789-2002 Acts of Congress Held as Unconstitutional..............................158

1789-2002 State Statutes held unconstitutional......................................935

1789-2002 City Ordinances held unconstitutional....................................222

1789-2002 State and City laws preempted by Federal laws.......................224

Total State, Local and Federal Laws Declared Unconstitutional................1,315

Total State and Local Law Preempted by Federal Laws..............................224

Total Laws Overturned, all governments..............................................1,539


You can find a list of federal laws held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court; state and local laws held unconstitutional or preempted by federal laws; and Supreme Court decisions overruled by subsequent decision, at the end of the congressional publication The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation (popularly known as the Constitution Annotated, or CONAN).

This publication is prepared by the Congressional Research Service and issued as a U.S. Senate document every 10 years and is updated by a cumulative supplement every two years. The latest edition and supplement are available online to the general public at the Government Printing Office's Federal Digital System (FDsys) Web site: (See Related Links, below. It will be listed in the "Featured Collections" menu on the right.) Your congressman has access to a more frequently updated version of the Constitution Annotated in XML format, but this version is not currently available to the public.


Here is a table of the total numbers for each category taken from the June 2002 edition and the 2010 cumulative supplement:

1789 - 2002

Acts of Congress held unconstitutional.......................................158
State laws held unconstitutional...................................................935
Ordinances held unconstitutional.................................................122
State and local laws held preempted by federal laws…...............224
Supreme Court decisions overruled by subsequent decision.......220

1789 - 2010

Acts of Congress held unconstitutional........................................165
State Laws held unconstitutional..................................................948
Ordinances held unconstitutional..................................................124
State and local laws held preempted by federal laws....................234
Supreme Court decisions overruled by subsequent decision........233
18 people found this useful

What can Congress do if the US Supreme Court declares a law unconstitutional?

Congress can attempt to rewrite the law so that it conforms withthe Supreme Court's interpretation of the Constitution; or, theycan abandon an ill-conceived law; or, they can attempt to work withthe states to amend the Constitution (the least likely and mosttime-consuming solution). Congress cannot ( Full Answer )

What is the power of the US Supreme Court law to declare a law unconstitutional?

Judicial Review The Court doesn't review federal legislation unless and until the law is challenged in the judicial system and reaches the appellate level. A party has standing to challenge a law if he or she has experienced unfair and legitimately damaging negative consequences as a direct re ( Full Answer )

What New Deal legislation did the US Supreme Court declare unconstitutional?

Federal New Deal Legislation The Supreme Court found six of Roosevelt's eight major New Deal statutes unconstitutional, most often due to instances where Congress attempted to exercise the Interstate Commerce Clause in a manner not compatible with the Constitution. In Panama Refining Co. v. Rya ( Full Answer )

Is it a common or an uncommon occurrence for the US Supreme Court to declare as unconstitutional a bill passed by the US Congress and signed into law by the President of the US?

It is very uncommon, in fact extremely rare when one compares the total number of cases the Supreme Court has heard with the number of cases the Court has declared a law unconstitutional. Courts will give a certain amount of deference to laws and consider them constitutional unless proved to be unco ( Full Answer )

Can the US Supreme Court declare an act of the President unconstitutional?

Yes, but.... The Supreme Court can declare both acts of Congress and the Executive branch unconstitutional, but only if the act, executive order or law is properly challenged. The justices cannot declare anything unconstitutional on their own initiative; they can only exercise judicial review if th ( Full Answer )

Can the US Supreme Court declare a law unconstitutional?

Yes. Actually, any Article III federal court (or state equivalent) can declare a law unconstitutional under the doctrine of judicial review, if the law is relevant to a case before the Court and legitimately infringes on a person or entity's constitutional rights. The US Supreme Court is the ult ( Full Answer )

On what grounds did the US Supreme Court declare the legislative veto unconstitutional?

The Supreme Court held Congress can't delegate its constitutional authority to the President (or anyone else) because it violates the "separation of powers" doctrine and gives the President too much power . In Clinton v. City of New York, (1998), the Supreme Court determined the President co ( Full Answer )

Can just the Supreme Court declare a law unconstitutional?

No, EVERY court is required by Oath to the US Constitution (taken by the judges, US Constitution Article 6) to pass judgment upon any law contrary to the constitution that is brought before it, whether challenged or not. And failure, or refusal of that action, is a crime (Treason: violation of oath ( Full Answer )

What was the first law the US Supreme Court declared unconstitutional?

Section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789 Marbury vs. Madison, 5 US 137 (1803), was the first case in which the Supreme Court declared an Act of Congress unconstitutional. The Court, under the leadership of Chief Justice John Marshall, ruled that Congress overstepped its authority by giving the C ( Full Answer )

In what case did the US Supreme Court declare the death penalty unconstitutional?

The Supreme Court has never declared that the death penalty is unconstitutional. In the 1972 case of Furman v. Georgia , the Court ruled that the death penalty was unconstitutional as applied in three specific cases. This effectively put a moratorium on the death penalty as lower courts struggled t ( Full Answer )

Did the boycott of buses continue in other places after 1956 when Alabama's segregation laws were declared unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court?

Yes. While the US Supreme Court has responsibility for interpreting the Constitution and judging laws or policies, it doesn't have the authority to enforce its decisions. This power belongs to the Executive and Legislative branches, which didn't act to end Jim Crow laws in a timely manner. Unfortuna ( Full Answer )

What law did the US Supreme Court declare unconstitutional in Marbury v. Madison?

In the case of Marbury v. Madison, (1803), the Marshall Court declared Section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789 unconstitutional. The Judiciary Act of 1789, which extended to the Supreme Court original jurisdiction over issuing writs of mandamus (a court order requiring an official to take - o ( Full Answer )

What may the US Supreme Court declare unconstitutional using the power of judicial review?

The US Supreme Court can use the power of judicial review to declare Acts of Congress (laws) and Executive Orders unconstitutional, but only if the constitutionality of a law or order is challenged in a case the Court has under review. The petitioner (plaintiff) must submit one or more questions t ( Full Answer )

How many federal laws did the US Supreme Court declare unconstitutional in 1789?

None. The US Supreme Court didn't convene for the first time until February 2, 1790, and didn't challenge Congress for more than a decade. In 1803, the Supreme Court held that Section 13 of the Judiciary Act of 1789, which authorized the US Supreme Court to issue any and all writs of mandamus, wa ( Full Answer )

Can the US Supreme Court declare that all laws are unconstitutional?

Not really. Although the US Supreme Court has the power of judicial review , which means they can analyze any particular law in terms of its constitutionality and nullify those that are unconstitutional. But that doesn't mean they can go willy-nilly through the US Code, deleting stuff at random. ( Full Answer )

What 1996 law did the US Supreme Court declare unconstitutional because it gave the President inappropriate power?

Clinton v. City of New York, 524 US 417 (1998) The US Supreme Court held that The Line Item Veto Bill of 1996 , unilaterally authorizing the President to strike new, direct spending provisions from appropriation bills (bills that required the federal government to fund a new program or activit ( Full Answer )

What can the US Supreme Court do if a law is unconstitutional?

If a law is challenged in court or is relevant to a case appealed to the US Supreme Court, and the US Supreme Court declares the law unconstitutional, it will be nullified, or overturned. Unconstitutional laws are unenforceable.

Can US Appeals Courts declare laws unconstitutional?

No, an Appeals Court cannot 'find' a law unconstitutional. They might declare a law to be unconstitutional IN THEIR BELIEF, but they can only overturn the decision of the lower court and/or return it to them for further action or consideration. Only the U.S. Supreme Court can find a law unconstituti ( Full Answer )

Who wrote the decision giving the Supreme Court the right to review and declare laws unconstitutional?

Fourth Chief Justice John Marshal wrote the opinion of Marbury v. Madison, (1803), the case most often cited as affirming the US Supreme Court's right of judicial review. Marbury was not the first time the Court used judicial review to evaluate legislation; however, it is the first time an Act ( Full Answer )

What Article of the US Constitution gave the Supreme Court the right to declare laws unconstitutional?

None. Judicial Review is an implied power not explicitly stated in the US Constitution, but derived from the Supreme Court's role as head of the Judicial branch of government and the final arbiter of the constitutional interpretation. Marbury v. Madison, (1803) is often cited as the first insta ( Full Answer )

What case gave the supreme court the power to declare laws unconstitutional?

Marbury v. Madison was the first case. Justice Marshall stated in his opinion that the Court had the power to review actions taken by the Executive and Legislative branches. The power is derived from the Constitution but Justice Marshall asserted that power starting in this case.

What can the US Supreme Court declare unconstitutional?

The Supreme Court can declare a number of things unconstitutional, as long as the it involves an issue relevant to a case before the Court: . Federal law . State or municipal law . State constitutional provisions . A particular application of an otherwise constitutional federal law . A part ( Full Answer )

Does the US Supreme Court have the power to declare a law passed by Congress unconstitutional?

Yes, if the Supreme Court accepts a case that raises a federal question about the constitutionality of a law, they can exercise the power of " judicial review " to evaluate the law in relation to constitutional principles. If the justices decide Congress passed legislation that is unconstitutional, ( Full Answer )

What 1923 US Supreme Court case declared minimum wage laws unconstitutional?

Adkins v. Children's Hospital of DC, 261 US 525 (1923) The Supreme Court held that minimum wage laws artificially restricted the bargaining rights of the corporation, and raised the possibility that Congress could pair minimum wage laws with maximum wage laws, thereby removing the right of emp ( Full Answer )

What did the US Supreme Court declare unconstitutional in November 1956?

The US Supreme Court held segregation in public transportation is unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause its decision for Gayle v. Browder, (1956). The Browder case specifically arose from policies of the City Lines Bus company in Montgomery, Alabama, where Af ( Full Answer )

What can the President do if the US Supreme Court declares a law unconstitutional?

The President cannot veto Supreme Court decisions, and has no official recourse to change decisions he (or she) dislikes. The President may exhort Congress to rewrite a nullified law to address whatever has been deemed unconstitutional. Sometimes the Executive branch ignores a Supreme Court decis ( Full Answer )

Where in the Constitution does it say the US Supreme Court can declare laws passed by Congress unconstitutional?

Answer Judicial review is not explicitly mentioned in the Constitution, and is not directly promoted or prohibited. Reasoning and Constitutional Support for the Doctrine of Judicial Review While not specifically mentioned in the Constitution, judicial review was standard practice in Bri ( Full Answer )

Is the implied power of the US Supreme Court to declare laws unconstitutional?

Judicial Review is an implied -- not enumerated -- power of the Judicial Branch, not just the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court is head of the Judicial Branch, however, and has final authority over constitutional questions. Some people consider judicial review to be unconstitutional because it's n ( Full Answer )

How can a law be reinstated after the US Supreme Court declares it unconstitutional?

If the US Supreme Court declares a law unconstitutional, it is nullified and rendered unenforceable. It can not be reinstated. Congress may rewrite the law so that the new version complies with constitutional principles. The bill would be subject to the same legislative process as new Acts of Con ( Full Answer )

How can the courts declare a law Unconstitutional?

The only court that can declare a law unconstitutional is the Supreme Court of the United States. This in done by the court reviewing a law and determining whether it agrees or disagrees with the U.S. Constitution.

Can the US Supreme Court declare war unconstitutional?

No, the US Supreme Court cannot declare that war is unconstitutional. The Constitution specifically places the power to declare war in the Congress of the United States. With such a specific constitutional provision, it would be impossible to assert that exercising it was contrary to the Constitutio ( Full Answer )

How many supreme court judges does it to declare a law unconstitutional?

A majority of those voting. In the case of a tie, the lower court's ruling stands, so if the lower court said it *was* constitutional, then it still is, but if the lower court struck down the law, then a tie at the Supreme Court means the law gets struck down. Actual ties are very rare.

Can the Supreme court declare a treaty unconstitutional?

A treaty is an international agreement. Obviously the us supreme court has no juristiction over treaty between two other countries. The president has the explict power to sign treaties, providing they have a 2/3 majority in the senate. However most treaties the US enters into are less formal "agree ( Full Answer )