bill of attainder
Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- (law) A legislative determination imposing punishment without trial.
1920, Francis Charles Montague, The History of England, from the Accession of James I to the Restoration, page 1663:
- They resolved to copy a Tudor precedent and to proceed against him by bill of attainder. Doubts of law and defects of evidence would thus be cured
1998, Daniel E. Troy, Retroactive Legislation, page 56:
- Coupled with the Constitution's proscription of ex post facto laws is a similar prohibition against bills of attainder.
2009 March 21, Jim McTague, “Would a Tax on Bonuses Be Constitutional?”, in Barron's:
- That the tax would take effect after some of the payments were made also raises issues. Says former Attorney General Richard Thornburg, also in an e-mail: "Such legislation could well run afoul of constitutional restrictions on bills of attainder, ex post facto laws, laws impairing the obligations of contract, unauthorized takings of property and the like.