Interposition and Unconstitutional Law

Unconstitutional laws do not supersede valid laws. They are not enforceable, and no one is bound to obey them. They are also not binding on courts. Therefore, if a court rules a law is unconstitutional, it will not be enforced. This can be very frustrating for people.


Political expediency trumps constitutional principle

It’s often the case that congressional leaders are pushed by political expediency to pass laws that don’t conform to constitutional principles. But when the courts come into play, they’re able to override the popular will and uphold constitutional principles. While political expediency can be a good thing in some cases, it’s not always the right choice.


Interposition is the legal right of a state to prevent the federal government from enforcing a certain law or regulation. It is closely related to the theory of nullification, which holds that states have the power to nullify or prevent federal laws. In this case, a state can nullify a federal law, but it cannot prevent it from being enforced in the state where it was passed.

The doctrine of interposition has a long history in American law. It was originally used by southern segregationists to resist federal desegregation, but the Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education rendered the practice of segregated schools illegal. Nevertheless, many southerners opposed this decision and tried to use interposition as a means of preventing integration. James J. Kilpatrick resurrected the idea in his editorials, encouraging southerners to fight integration.