Constitutional Law: Protection of Individual Rights: Retroactive Legislation

  • Retroactive Legislation: Includes discussion of Contracts Clause, Ex Post Facto Clause and Bills of Attainder.
    • Contracts Clause: Only applies to the states. Article I, Sec. 10. It does not apply to the federal government. It prohibits the states from impairing contract obligations of both public and private contracts unless there is a significant public need.
      • ON MBE it can only be correct in obligations of bond holders.
        • EX: L.A. gets a new NFL team who wants a new stadium. City of L.A. sells revenue bonds to finance the stadium. To repay the debt, the minimum admission price is $20. However, the mayor decides that seniors should be allowed to go for $10. This is unconstitutional because it violates the obligations of the bond holders.
    • Ex Post Facto Law: is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. Such a law is a criminal law which: (1) makes criminal conduct that was not a crime when committed; (2) increases punishment for a crime; (3) decreases amount of evidence needed to convict.
    • Bill of Attainder: is UNCONSTITUTIONAL. It is legislative punishment of a named group or individual without judicial trial.