Definition of a statutory provision

Written by stephanie schnur
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Definition of a statutory provision
Statutory provisions are part of laws written by Congress. (us capitol image by Ritu Jethani from Fotolia.com)

When you hear the phrase statutory provision, you may assume it is an obscure legal term not worth learning. In reality, statutory provisions have often played prominent roles in controversial political debates and in American history.

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Statutes

In order to define statutory provisions, it is first necessary to understand statutes. A statute is a piece of legislation enacted by the legislature, as opposed to laws that were created by court cases or executive orders. An example of a statute is Articles 1191-1194 of the Texas State Penal Code, which made abortions illegal and came under scrutiny in Roe v. Wade in 1973.

Statutory Provisions

A statutory provision, according to TransLegal Legal Dictionary, is a “clause in a statute providing for a particular manner.” An example of a statutory provision is the provision in the Texas Penal Code which provides an exception if an abortion is necessary to save a mother’s life.

Historical Context

In 1996, the Line Item Veto Act gave the president the power to approve bills while removing only certain statutory provisions from them, instead of passing or vetoing the acts as a whole. The Supreme Court found this law unconstitutional and struck it down in 1998, although many state governments still have line item veto legislation.

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