What options do ‘the people’ in US have to oppose laws?


EU resident wondering how the US legislative process works. For example the recent Texas abortion law, in the hypothetical situation that the majority of Texans don’t agree with the new law, what recourse do they have? What would the possibilities for repealing this law look like?

In: 24

Some states have direct initiatives, where a law can be placed on the ballot directly.

Otherwise it’s a matter of electing different representatives, or pressuring sitting ones to change their positions.

Either new representatives will have to elected to overturn the law or private citizens will have to sue the state and get the case pushed through the courts until it hits the Supreme Court where they hear the case and determine if a law like this can exist

Social pressure. Write to your representative, encourage them to repeal it. Protest. Speak out.

Political pressure. Vote for a candidate who promises to try and repeal it. Vote out candidates who refuse to repeal it.

If it is thought to be an unconstitutional law, like the one in Texas is believed to be, you can break it and appeal the case till it is heard by the Supreme Court, who will rule on its constitutionality.

One way laws are overturned, is to have someone get arrested for violating the law, get tried & convicted then have lawyers appeal the conviction on the grounds the law is unconstitutional. The appeals go from state courts to federal courts then to the Supreme Court. It is a long process. Meanwhile, the convicted person is sitting in prison. Not a good system to overturn horrible laws.

Another way is for Congress to pass a law that invalidates the state law. If Congress passed a law saying abortion is legal under all circumstances at anytime, all state laws restricting abortion would be invalidated. The chances of this happening are very slim.

Locally, at the state level, the state legislature could rescind the law. Not likely.

So, the most assured way is the first option.

Off the top of my head:

* write your current representatives, try to convince them to support new legislation
* elect new representatives
* convince the executive branch not to enforce it (Bush and later Obama did this with marijuana for instance)
* sue the government; get the judicial branch to declare the law invalid somehow
* conceal your noncompliance (we have privacy laws in part because we see disobeying the law as a legitimate political
* fight your own conviction in court with good lawyers
* refuse to comply openly, securing your ability to do so with weapons