Enrolled Bill doctrine

The Enrolled Bill doctrine, also known as the enrolled bill rule, is a principle of judicial interpretation of rules of procedure in legislative bodies. It holds that, once a bill passes a legislative body and is signed into law, the courts should assume that all rules of procedure in the enactment process were properly followed. That is, "[i]f a legislative document is authenticated in regular form by the appropriate officials, the court treats that document as properly adopted.

Enrolled bill

In the United States Federal Government, an “Enrolled Bill” is the final text of the bill or resolution as approved by both the Senate and House, as it is sent to the President in the case of a bill .

Variations on the Doctrine

A number of courts have questioned a rigid application of this doctrine and have suggested other approaches.

The Supreme Court of Kentucky, for example, has held that "there is a prima facie presumption that an enrolled bill is valid, but such presumption may be overcome by clear, satisfactory and convincing evidence establishing that constitutional requirements have not been met."

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, has also limited the application of the Doctrine. Although they held that "When a law has been passed and approved and certified in due form, it is no part of the duty of the judiciary to go behind the law as duly certified to inquire into the observance of form in its passage," the court also noted that "it would be a serious dereliction . . . to deliberately ignore a clear constitutional violation."

When a court strikes a bill down on procedural grounds, the action may result in the legislative body considering a resubmitted version of the bill, a process that gives opponents another opportunity to try to defeat it.

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