Journal of Law and Policy


Annie Melton


This Note argues that the single subject rule, a procedural restriction, can be used to facially challenge certain insidious laws. By giving courts an opening to review a law in its most elemental form—a deliberated-over means of adequately implementing a new, or remedying an existing, policy—the single subject rule tests it for characteristics like clarity, practicality, and predictability. The rule is rarely litigated in many states, but doing so draws attention to a fundamental philosophy of the legislative process, which is especially compelling in light of the ideological battles that are dominating statehouses across the country and giving rise to problematic laws. While not an apolitical or evenhanded solution, bringing more single subject challenges could help prevent frenzied lawmaking and give advocates another opportunity to invalidate dangerous legislation.