US Constitution
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US Supreme Court

Which branch can declare legislation unconstitutional?

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September 17, 2012 6:01AM

The Judicial Branch. Sometimes, the President as Chief Executive

will "declare" a law "unconstitutional"; however, this is a

political distinction, and if a true executive refusal to execute

or enforce were apprehended by the Court, a writ of mandamus

could issue, ordering the execution or enforcement of a law.

Similarly, as bills proceed through committee consideration in

the House and Senate, the Congressional Research Service is

sometimes used to research whether or not a particular provision

would likely be deemed unconstitutional, although this need not and

does not function as a bar to Congress enacting legislation parts

of which or the entirety of which are later found unconstitutional

by the Court.

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