Re: @ dan1980 AC @ 23:44
I'm pretty sure you are agreeing with me - your post says:
"Nonetheless, once a law is once-and-for-all ruled as unconstitutional, no one can "break" that law anymore."
I might be jumping on your choice of words (I have no other indication of your thought or intent) but you say that no one can break that law anymore.
Does that not imply that, prior to the ruling, one could break that law?
After the ruling, the law would be stricken and be considered never to have existed. That's great from a legal perspective, and prevents lawyers using precedent from cases hinging on that law, but it doesn't undo any damage done to an individual under the now non-existent law. A person denied employment due to their skin color might be able to get a job after such a ruling, but would he get back-pay as if he had been employed? If he was injured while unemployed would he get his medical expenses paid for, after the fact, as if he did have health care under that employer?
Should the prospective employer be punished after the law is ruled unconstitutional?
If unconstitutional is the same as illegal then yes, the employer should be punished, retroactively, for the discrimination. But that's not the way it works because the two terms are not equivalent.
I don't know if you were trying to or not, but you have not explained how unconstitutional is the same as illegal. If they differ in even a single regard, then they are not the same.