A trigger law is a nickname for a law that is unenforceable and irrelevant in the present, but may achieve relevance and enforceability if a key change in circumstances occurs.
Although it has never been achieved, many nations have trigger laws banning human cloning, on the assumption that the technology will one day exist.
In the United States, some states have trigger laws on abortion to make the practice automatically illegal if the landmark case Roe v. Wade is overturned, giving abortion regulation powers back to the states.
Some states have enacted the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, a trigger law that would force presidential elections to be decided by popular vote. Only when a sufficient number of states have passed this law to achieve a majority of electoral votes would each state pledge their electors to the popular vote winner.
- "Mississippi Gov Barbour Signs Abortion Trigger Law, Ultrasound Requirement". LifeNews.com. 2007-03-22.