The title of this Blog sounds like a contradiction. But it is not, and I am afraid to say, it happens more often than it should. Here is how:
The presiding officer of a body typically wants something enacted into law–badly, very badly. That member will usually look for a bill nearing final passage, and ask for a supporter to file an amendment. Now here is where it gets tricky. The amendment cannot stick out, so it typically is vague, short, confusing, buried with other equally confusing language, offered when the body is either tired or absent, and it might even be part of a trade with the other body. So, if done correctly, it is typically adopted without objection, and can become law…illegally, mind you. It is illegal because the rules of each house required a bill to be heard a certain number of times in a certain number of committees, and in the public eye. All legislators take an oath to uphold the laws of the state and rules of the body. For a law to be enacted properly, it cannot happen in violation of the rules of the enacting body. So there it is, and if challenged in court, a number of these laws would be declared illegal, if proven.