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{{#invoke:Sidebar|sidebar}} In U.S. constitutional law, a facial challenge is a challenge to a statute in which the plaintiff alleges that the legislation is always unconstitutional, and therefore void. It is contrasted with an as-applied challenge, which alleges that a particular application of a statute is unconstitutional.

If a facial challenge is successful, a court will declare the statute in question facially invalid, which has the effect of striking it down entirely. This contrasts with a successful as-applied challenge, which will result in a court narrowing the circumstances in which the statute may constitutionally be applied without striking it down. In some cases—e.g., Gonzales v. Carhart or Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, a facial challenge has been rejected with either the court or concurring Justices intimating that the upheld statute might be vulnerable to an as-applied challenge.

In First Amendment cases, another type of facial challenge is enunciated in the overbreadth doctrine. If a statute reaches to include substantially protected conduct and speech in relation to the legitimate reach of the statute, then it is overbroad and thus void on its face.


Facial challenge sections
Intro  Facial versus as-applied challenges  Contrary position  First Amendment context  References  External links  

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Facial versus as-applied challenges
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{{#invoke:Sidebar|sidebar}} In U.S. constitutional law, a facial challenge is a challenge to a statute in which the plaintiff alleges that the legislation is always unconstitutional, and therefore void. It is contrasted with an as-applied challenge, which alleges that a particular application of a statute is unconstitutional.

If a facial challenge is successful, a court will declare the statute in question facially invalid, which has the effect of striking it down entirely. This contrasts with a successful as-applied challenge, which will result in a court narrowing the circumstances in which the statute may constitutionally be applied without striking it down. In some cases—e.g., Gonzales v. Carhart or Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, a facial challenge has been rejected with either the court or concurring Justices intimating that the upheld statute might be vulnerable to an as-applied challenge.

In First Amendment cases, another type of facial challenge is enunciated in the overbreadth doctrine. If a statute reaches to include substantially protected conduct and speech in relation to the legitimate reach of the statute, then it is overbroad and thus void on its face.


Facial challenge sections
Intro  Facial versus as-applied challenges  Contrary position  First Amendment context  References  External links  

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Facial versus as-applied challenges
<<>>