The Law of the Land vs. the Unconstitutional Acts of Legislatures

Is there a difference between a “law” and an “unconstitutional act”?

The Supreme Court says there is.  In the case of Norton vs. Shelby County, they said this:

“An unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no rights; 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.” Norton v. Shelby County, 118 U.S. 425 (1886)

In perhaps the most famous case of all time, Marbury v. Madison, the Supreme Court, very directly, said this:

“All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void.”  Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803)

The recent enactments by the Maryland legislature, which clearly infringe on the right of the people to keep and bear arms, contradict both the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 2 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights.

Therefore they are unconstitutional acts, which, in the words of the Declaration of Independence are not law, but only “pretended legislation.”

They are, “…in legal contemplation, as inoperative as though they had never been passed.”

It logically follows that it would be unlawful to enforce them.

Therefore we suggest that all citizens call upon their local law enforcement officials to declare these unconstitutional acts to be void.  In the case of Anne Arundel County, Maryland, where I live, we call upon our Sheriff Ronald S. Bateman, and our Chief of Police, Larry Tolliver, to publicly renounce the actions of the legislature and to assure the citizenry that they will uphold the oath that they took to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and the State of Maryland.

Michael Anthony Peroutka
Michael Anthony Peroutka
A Christian and an attorney, Michael Anthony Peroutka is co-founder of Institute on the Constitution (IOTC), headquartered in Pasadena, Maryland. He is a graduate of Loyola College (now University) in Maryland and the University of Baltimore School of Law. The Constitution Party’s candidate for President in 2004, Michael had a platform which sought to honor God, protect the family, and restore the Republic. The platform came to be known as “The American View of Law and Government,” and inspired the name of his website, Michael travels around the country, graduating classes from IOTC’s course on the United States Constitution, in addition to teaching classes in IOTC’s Pasadena, Maryland classroom.