Must I obey an unconstitutional law? Illinois

This is a discussion on Must I obey an unconstitutional law? Illinois within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; When I Google that question, this is at the top of the list: Unconstitutional Official Acts It pops up all the time, and it seems ...

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Thread: Must I obey an unconstitutional law? Illinois

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    Member Array GerryS's Avatar
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    Must I obey an unconstitutional law? Illinois

    When I Google that question, this is at the top of the list:
    Unconstitutional Official Acts

    It pops up all the time, and it seems reasonable.

    Just for the sake of discussion:

    Reading that document leads me to believe that I would be breaking no laws if I were to carry a loaded weapon in Illinois right now.
    It would seem that no judge could convict you of breaking a law that is really no law at all, in fact, the judge would be in trouble if he/she did.
    The 180 day stay is pretty much meaningless. Unconstitutional is unconstitutional from when the "law" was enacted, not when it was deemed
    unconstitutional.

    Someone in Chicago is going try to use that defense:
    Concealed carry ban at center of Chicago man's weapons case - chicagotribune.com


    Gerry

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    Senior Member Array VBVAGUY's Avatar
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    My take is that for now even though it is uncontitutional, yes you would have to obey it for now, because not all LEO's will know the *current* laws and will probably arrest you. Then even though *technically* you are correct in that it is unconsitutional, you would still have to pay up the ying yang to hire a lawyer to defend yourself. Again just my opinion and please remember I am not a lawyer nor do I play one on TV. God Bless

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    Unconstitutional crap happens all the time. You can choose not to do what you're told and face the consequences (jail, fine, probation, lawyer/court fees) or you can go along and get along. That's the current predicament we all find ourselves in. Makes me sick. Is it just me or does it seem that the only people in this country concerned with the Constitution are We the People?
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    Distinguished Member Array phreddy's Avatar
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    It all depends on how hard you are willing to fight. Are you willing to accept the short term consequences of breaking the law? Do you have the funds to fight the consequences as far as the legal case might go? If not you are better fighting the law through your legislators and not from inside the jail.

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    Senior Member Array Gaius's Avatar
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    I would not do this right now. Remember that only a fool or the government wants a court case named after them.
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    A criminal court judge is going to rule on the law "as it is written," not on his opinion of whether it is constitutional or not. That is left to the higher courts on appeal.

    Too many like to holler "That's unconstitutional!" but until it's ruled upon at a higher court, it is legal.
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    As the others have said. If everyone were only held accountable for laws that they personally believed to be constitutional, we would have total anarchy.

    Laws are the rule of the land. Change them or live by them.
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    Senior Member Array CanuckQue's Avatar
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    The Constitution is interpreted using the Common Law, which sets precedents and allows a society to evolve and adapt to new situations and novel crises.
    Your understanding of what the Constitution says is not necessarily the same as what the law actually is, so it's important to be wise and then educated before digging in your heels too deeply.
    ymmv; some laws need to be fought, and fought hard. But, wisdom needs to temper bull-headedness
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    VIP Member Array oakchas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanuckQue View Post
    The Constitution is interpreted using the Common Law, which sets precedents and allows a society to evolve and adapt to new situations and novel crises.
    Your understanding of what the Constitution says is not necessarily the same as what the law actually is, so it's important to be wise and then educated before digging in your heels too deeply.
    ymmv; some laws need to be fought, and fought hard. But, wisdom needs to temper bull-headedness

    Not so sure of that Canuck... the "interpreted using the common law" sounds a bit British or perhaps Canadian to me...

    In Britain, there is no constitution. And any law passed by Parliament is, by it's nature of passage alone, "legal." Don't know how it is in Canada...

    Here, the Constitution seems to act as a "buffer" between legislated laws and the common law. That's a poor description of what it does...

    Let's try this....
    1. County enacts a law. It's unconstitutional (we know this because we're prescient in this case).
    2. Person breaks the law.
    3. Person is adjudicated.
    4. Person appeals the first adjudication and so on... all the way to...
    5. The Supreme Court of the United States Who search back into the laws of the land and into the constitution itself. In the Constitution they find basis that the law is contrary to an amendment... it is therefore unconstitutional. They look no further down to the roots of all law, the common law.
    6. If the Supremes can find no constitutional basis against the law, or for it... they could (but won't because in America, the Constitution is our foundation (and there is no "basement" i.e. the common law), delve further into the common law.



    I don't know how precisely accurate that is, but I think it's a fair description.
    It could be worse.
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    Member Array GerryS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    A criminal court judge is going to rule on the law "as it is written," not on his opinion of whether it is constitutional or not. That is left to the higher courts on appeal.

    Too many like to holler "That's unconstitutional!" but until it's ruled upon at a higher court, it is legal.
    Exactly my point! It already has been ruled unconstitutional. Therefore it is not legal right now.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm just discussing this. I'm not going to test the waters.

    Gerry

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    Distinguished Member Array phreddy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GerryS View Post
    Exactly my point! It already has been ruled unconstitutional. Therefore it is not legal right now.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm just discussing this. I'm not going to test the waters.

    Gerry
    Didn't the court grant the state 180 days to remedy the situation? Depending on the way the court ruling was written, it is very likely that the law stands until the 180 days have passed.
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    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    I guess you should go arrest the person that passed the unconstutional law.
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    Senior Member Array stanislaskasava's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanuckQue View Post
    The Constitution is interpreted using the Common Law, which sets precedents and allows a society to evolve and adapt to new situations and novel crises.
    Your understanding of what the Constitution says is not necessarily the same as what the law actually is, so it's important to be wise and then educated before digging in your heels too deeply.
    ymmv; some laws need to be fought, and fought hard. But, wisdom needs to temper bull-headedness
    Is this what they taught you in Canadian constitution class?

    The Constitution means what it means, and all the precedent in the world can't change it.
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    It doesn't matter if a law has been DECLARED UNCONSTITUTIONAL if it hasn't yet been replaced. They very seldom just toss 'em out and leave an anything-goes void. Illinois has been instructed by the Federal Court to amend/replace them. Until the replacement statues are in-place, you are still breaking the law to ignore the old ones. Remember, the wheels of justice grind v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Must I obey an unconstitutional law? Illinois
    IMO, each citizen has a moral duty to resist such unconstitutional laws. But history's rarely kind to those who rush it.

    We've got tens of millions of citizens who believe these many weapons-related laws are an absolute breach of the 2nd and 10th Amendments of the U.S. Constitution. But there's an equally energetic and vehement force for enforcement in place, one in which the penalties for refusing to comply are severe, including the permanent loss of one's right to keep or bear arms, fines, incarceration.

    In the meantime, those charged with enforcing the current statutes will, whether you choose to recognize them or not, enforce them irrespective of how much harm comes to you because of that enforcement ... constitutional or not. Until such time as the new statutes replace the old, ostensibly unconstitutional ones, in practice you're going to be held to the "old" standard.

    It's just the way it is.

    I guess you should go arrest the person that passed the unconstutional law.
    Yes, we should. Not that the staff would allow such a thing. At least, not in the political climate we find ourselves. Not in this lifetime, sadly. Too bad proposed statutes fooling with the primary civil rights aren't first vetted six ways from Sunday PRIOR to be implemented. Though that would take much of the whip from the hand of those who'd get cranky at the loss of control over those who've hired them.

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