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TexLaw, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  Lead trial/International commercial attorney licensed 11 yrs
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Greetings: I would like to know how Congress can pass a

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I would like to know how Congress can pass a law that violates or even eliminates our Constitutional rights. I thought no one could take away our Constitutional rights. I realize that the Supreme Court decides how to interpret the Constitution, but I am still confused about this. I am most concerned with the Patriot Act and similar legislation. Thankyou very much!

Thank you for your question.

Congress cannot pass a law which violates or eliminates your Constitutional rights without actually amending the Constitution. If you believe that Congress has passed a law which violates the Constitution, you may violate the law and then challenge it in Court to assert that it is unconstitutional, or you may show that you will be imminently harmed by the law (i.e., it will have a direct effect on you) and challenge the law this way.

Whether the law actually violates the Constitution is decided by the federal courts (not just the US Supreme Court). If a federal court finds that the law does violate a Constitutional provision, the law is considered struck down and is no longer applicable in the federal circuit where that Court sits.

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