This section is from the book "The Law Of Contracts", by William Herbert Page. Also available from Amazon: Commercial Contracts: A Practical Guide to Deals, Contracts, Agreements and Promises.
The principles discussed in this chapter are of the utmost importance as affecting the doctrine of illegality. A contract to perform an act forbidden by statute is illegal.1 This implies, however, that the written law is a valid one; that it is within the powers of the legislative body which enacted it. Accordingly, if a statute exists which appears to make the subject-matter of the contract either void or illegal, the further question remains for consideration whether it is within the power of the legislature to withdraw from the sphere of contract that subject-matter concerning which it has attempted to forbid the parties to contract.
89 Am. St. Rep. 17; 30 So. 403; (citing Ex parte King. 102 Ala. 132; 15 So. 524; and distinguishing Carr v. State, 106 Ala. 35; 54 Am. St. Rep. 17; 34 L. R. A. 634; 17 So. 350) ; State v. Kingsley, 108 Mo. 135; 18 S. W. 994. 1 See Ch. XXVII.
2 See Ch. XXVIII.
3 Youngblood v. Savings Co., 95 Ala. 521; 36 Am. St. Rep. 245; 20 L. R. A. 58; 12 So. 579.
4 See Sec. 332.
5 Reeves v. Corning, 51 Fed. 774. 1 See Sec. 329 et seq.