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Unconstitutional Enactments are not Law
This interesting letter from Rick Costello of Goshen, New Hampshire,
outlines the basic argument underlying Rick's legal defense to the
charge leveled against him by the City and County of Denver:
city ordinance 38-117.5(b) is an unconsitutional
enactment, and therefore it never was a law.

To: Rick Stanley
From: Rick Costello
Date: 19 December 2001
Subject: 2nd Amendment & Contribution

I received an emailed copy of a speech you gave on 15 December regarding the 2nd Amendment after which, according to the email, you were arrested for a gun violation. I subsequently reviewed your web site and, for a change, I agree with everything a politician is espousing.

As such, while I cannot vote for you in November, I enclose a check in support of your candidacy.

Since, according to the email, you intend to push the 2nd Amendment issue in the courts, you may wish to utilize the following cites which, to my knowledge, have never been overturned and are quite germane to the case.

Marbury vs Madison [5 US (2 Cranch) 137, 174, 176, (1803)] wherein the Supreme Court stated that "All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution are null and void."

The court clarified their position in Miranda vs Arizona [384 US 436 p. 491] wherein they stated: "Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them."

And in Norton vs Shelby County [118 US 425 p. 442] the justices stated: "An unconstitutional act is not law; it confers no right; 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."

Note may be made of the legal reference 16th American Jurisprudence 2d, Section 177 late 2nd, Section 256 stating: "No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it." [emphasis added]

"The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and the name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment, and not merely frrom the date of the decision so branding it."

Finally, when they say the State has the 'authority' and power to 'regulate,' you might mention Schick vs United States [(1904) 195 US 65, 49 L.Ed. 99, 24 S. Ct. 826] which clearly says otherwise:

"If there is any conflict between the provisions of the Constitution [enumerated powers to make law] and the provisions of the Amendments [Bill of Rights], the Amendments must control."

Best of luck -- let me know how you make out.

/ss/ Rick Costello,
Goshen, New Hampshire

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