Without the SUBSTANCE of this power, the whole Constitution would be a dead letter
The Northwest Company were now in complete occupation of the Columbia River, and its chief tributary streams, holding the posts which he had established, and carrying on a trade throughout the neighboring region, in defiance of the prohibitory law of Congress, which, in effect, was a dead letter
beyond the mountains.
Laws are a dead letter
without courts to expound and define their true meaning and operation.
It has had a name to live in some dogmatic theology, but each man's innocence and his real liking of his neighbor have kept it a dead letter
In the question how the trusts under that will are to be administered, the fortune left by the will is squandered away; the legatees under the will are reduced to such a miserable condition that they would be sufficiently punished if they had committed an enormous crime in having money left them, and the will itself is made a dead letter
Without the mosque, the mere teaching of the brotherhood of man would have remained a dead letter
The amendment, having been rendered a dead letter
by the courts and the Legislature, was dropped from the charter in a 2001 rewrite of the document.
In the words of James Madison, the new Constitution, as it came out of the convention in Independence Hall, "was nothing more than the draft of a plan, nothing but a dead letter
, until life and validity were breathed into it by the voice of the people speaking through the several State Conventions.
I've been training for the secret services for many years, since I was a child, in fact, making drops to dead letter
boxes in the back garden, writing messages to my sister in lemon juice and concocting ciphers based on the page numbers in my favourite Enid Blyton books.
That it has been fraught with internal contradictions cannot be denied, and the nuclear tests conducted by India and Pakistan threaten to further relegate it to the status of a dead letter
New York school officials and Catholic school patrons opposed to Aguilar asked that the 1985 decision be declared a dead letter
, citing an obscure provision in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and the court majority agreed.
That year, a comprehensive package of spending and contribution limits with public financing was approved by voters, but wound up a dead letter
when a competing initiative--bankrolled by legislators--got more votes.