Monday, March 28, 2011

Can the AG Certify the Law as "Constitutional?"

Remember this article?

http://www.scribd.com/doc/35535049/Intervention-Challenge-the-Law-by-Demanding-Certification

I hope you never forget this as a "big deal."  When someone asks the AG to certify a CRIMINAL (or other dangerous law) as "constitutional," the question becomes  a political hot potato, and no matter what the AG decides, it might cause the AG trouble.  So the AG will typically avoid it, and the plaintiff might (in a criminal matter) dismiss the case, especially with the media nearby.

So this can become quite a cute hammer.

Remember that it fits in the area of "Declaratory Judgment,"  a very powerful, innocuous weapon, as in this Florida Statute:

86.091  Parties.—When declaratory relief is sought, all persons may be made parties who have or claim any interest which would be affected by the declaration. No declaration shall prejudice the rights of persons not parties to the proceedings. In any proceeding concerning the validity of a county or municipal charter, ordinance, or franchise, such county or municipality shall be made a party and shall be entitled to be heard. If the statute, charter, ordinance, or franchise is alleged to be unconstitutional, the Attorney General or the state attorney of the judicial circuit in which the action is pending shall be served with a copy of the complaint and be entitled to be heard.
History.—s. 10, ch. 21820, 1943; s. 1, ch. 59-440; s. 38, ch. 67-254.
Note.—Former s. 87.10.
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