An Act Declaring a Law is an act that declares a law to be constitutional or illegal if it violates the Constitution of the United States. The framers of the U.S. Constitution gave Congress, not the courts, the power to declare laws to be constitutional or illegal. The courts do not “merely review” the constitutionality of a law. Rather, they determine whether there was a manifest purpose to impose the law, whether a substantial effect on rights and interests have been achieved by the law, and whether the law violates the Constitutional guarantee of the right to trial by impartial judges. In interpreting the constitutionality of a law, the Supreme Court has held that: (1) A law may be constitutional if it is necessary to prevent serious miscarriages of justice; (2) A law may be constitutional if it is necessary for the protection of persons or other property; (3) A law may be constitutional if it is necessary for the effective administration of the government; (4) A law may be constitutional if it is essential to protect individual rights; (5) A law may be constitutional if it is essential for the orderly operation of a government. The Court has further clarified that it is not always necessary that a law make sense from a moral or ethical point of view or that it benefit the public generally or fairly.
The Court has further clarified that in order for a law to be declared constitutionally invalid, it must have a bad purpose or result. A law must have no reasonable justification by being passed in order to accomplish some unlawful or undesirable purpose. This means that a law could be declared invalid if it is passed with ulterior motives or to benefit some person, institution, or group. However, a law can be found to be constitutional even if it may have a bad theoretical result. For example, a law declaring it mandatory for corporations to register with the state or the government would likely be declared invalid if it had no practical application.
Even a law that seems to be constitutional on its face may nonetheless be found to be in violation of the Constitution if it is applied in a way that violates the principles of majority rule, discrimination, or equal protection. In order for a law to be declared invalid under this requirement, a significant number of people must benefit from the infringing action. If a law is found to discriminate against certain classes of people, then it is found to be unconstitutional and may no longer be in effect. A law that requires the consent of a large number of people before giving some degree of political power to a political party or some other entity cannot be deemed constitutionally Constitutional.
In addition to the above requirement that a law should benefit the public, a law is declared unconstitutional if it constitutes a Taking of Power. Taking of power refers to an abuse of power. The framers of the U.S. Constitution did not intend for a President to have unchecked power to do whatever she deemed fit with her newfound power. They included in the Constitution a guarantee that every citizen would have the right to a fair trial before the law. This guarantee to a fair trial is one of the bulwarks of our constitutional system against tyranny.
A law is declared invalid if it singles out a specific group or classification of individuals and makes them ineligible to stand for office. The framers never intended for a President to be able to legally strip anyone of their citizenship just because they might not vote a certain way or for a certain candidate. A law that makes someone ineligible to stand for elective office is declared null and void. Thus, a law that bars a person from standing for elective office because they might be a member of a protected class is declared unconstitutionally unfair. A law that makes someone ineligible to hold a specified office is unenforceable because no one can be deprived of their citizenship for reasons like race, color, religion, gender, or descent.
A person cannot be deprived of their civil rights just because they might be a member of a protected class. A law that makes someone ineligible to hold elective office is declared unconstitutionally unjustifiable. A law that makes someone ineligible to be a judge is declared invalid because it singles out a specific class for discrimination. If a person can prove that they are a member of a protected class and that they have been unfairly denied of equal rights based on factors like race, color, religion, national origin, or sex, they may have a case. If a law makes someone ineligible to stand for elective office based on any of those categories, they may have a case.