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INS v. Chadha, 462 U.S. 919 (1983) p.375


separation of powers


Congress passed the Immigration and Nationality Act which would allow the Attorney General to suspend deportation of a deportable alien if the alien met specified conditions and would suffer "extreme hardship" if deported. If AG suspended deportaiton it must be reported to Congress. The House gets a veto power and can express its will by passing a resolution (majority vote); it does NOT go to the President for approval.


Whether the House has a veto power (without Senate or Executive approval).


The house does not have a veto power on its own.


8. The congressional veto provision in 244(c)(2) is unconstitutional. Pp. 944-959. (a) The prescription for legislative action in Art. I, 1 - requiring all legislative powers to be vested in a Congress consisting of a Senate and a House of Representatives - and 7 - requiring every bill passed by the House and Senate, before becoming law, to be presented to the President, and, if he disapproves, to be repassed by two-thirds of the Senate and House - represents the Framers' decision that the legislative power of the Federal Government be exercised in accord with a single, finely wrought and exhaustively considered procedure. This procedure is an integral part of the constitutional design for the separation of powers. Pp. 944-951. (b) Here, the action taken by the House pursuant to 244(c)(2) was essentially legislative in purpose and effect and thus was subject to the procedural requirements of Art. I, 7, for legislative action: passage by a majority of both Houses and presentation to the President. The one-House veto operated to overrule the Attorney General and mandate Chadha's deportation. The veto's legislative character is confirmed by the character of the congressional action it supplants; i. e., absent the veto provision of 244(c)(2), neither the House nor the Senate, or both acting together, could effectively require the Attorney General to deport an alien once the Attorney General, in the exercise of legislatively [462 U.S. 919, 922] delegated authority, had determined that the alien should remain in the United States. Without the veto provision, this could have been achieved only by legislation requiring deportation. A veto by one House under 244(c)(2) cannot be justified as an attempt at amending the standards set out in 244(a)(1), or as a repeal of 244 as applied to Chadha. The nature of the decision implemented by the one-House veto further manifests its legislative character. Congress must abide by its delegation of authority to the Attorney General until that delegation is legislatively altered or revoked. Finally, the veto's legislative character is confirmed by the fact that when the Framers intended to authorize either House of Congress to act alone and outside of its prescribed bicameral legislative role, they narrowly and precisely defined the procedure for such action in the Constitution. Pp. 951-959.


The fact that a given law or procedure is efficient, convenient and useful in facilitating functions of a government, standing alone, will not save it if it is contrary to the COnstitution. The Constitution has finely wrought procedures, and you must follow section 7 when passing legislation. Must follow the Constitution. This law does not match Section 7.


Burger is the formalist view.

Created on: Monday, October 04, 1999 at 16:26:12 (PDT)

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