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July 03, 2007

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One Who Knows

We learn new things on this blog every day.

I thought the "enrolled bill doctrine" meant that a court would not inquire as to whether the Legislature acted properly in passing a piece of legislation. That is to say, once a bill is enrolled, the "doctrine" proscribes that any procedural deficiencies in its passage are irrelevant.

For example, it is my understanding that many bills are passed after Constitutional or statutory deadlines by "stopping the clock" or other such tricks. The enrolled bill doctrine protects the sanctity of the legislation because one could not defeat its implementation by claiming it was passed after midnight.

But we now learn that the doctrine has far greater import with wide ranging applicability to consent decrees and the "standing" of legislators to challenge previous court rulings.

Is there any authority for such a position? I would be curious to read about it.

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