Desuetude Law and Legal Definition

Desuetude means a state of being no longer in use or practiced. The term is derived from the Latin term desuetude which means outdated. In law the term Desuetude refers to a principle that renders a law invalid through its long and continued non-use. This principle applies to cases of statutes, similar legislations or legal principles. This principle is not applicable to any violation of the U.S. Constitution. In Walz v. Tax Com. of New York, 397 U.S. 664, 678 (U.S. 1970), the U.S. Supreme Court held that “no one acquires a vested or protected right in violation of the Constitution by long use, even when that span of time covers our entire national existence and indeed predates it”.