Act - defined
Unconstitutional Act - defined
These two cases exemplify the resulting
action in law with unconstitutional acts and acts of usurpation:
An unconstitutional act is not a law.
It confers no rights. It imposes no duties. It affords no protection.
It creates no office. It is in legal contemplation as inoperative
as though it had never been passed. Therefore an unconstitutional
act purporting to create an office gives no validity to the acts
of a person acting under color of its authority. -Norton v.
Shelby County, 6 S.Ct. 1121
An "unconstitutional act" constitutes
a protection to no one who has acted under it. and no one can be
punished for having refused obedience to it before the decision
was made. A legislative act in conflict with the Constitution is
not only illegal or voidable, but absolutely void. It is as if never
enacted, and no subsequent change of the Constitution removing the
restriction could validate it or breathe into it the breath of life.
-In re Rahrer, 43 F. 556, 558, 10 L.R.A.444 (View
v. Shelby County, 6 S.Ct. 1121
re Rahrer, Federal Reporter Volume 43, 556 & 558