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Raines v. Byrd

Supreme Court of the United States

May 27, 1997, Argued ; June 26, 1997, Decided

No. 96-1671

Opinion

 [***854]  [*813]  [**2315]    CHIEF JUSTICE REHNQUIST delivered the opinion of the Court. 1 

 [****7]   The District Court for the District of Columbia declared the Line Item Veto Act unconstitutional. On this direct appeal, we hold that  [***855]  appellees lack standing to bring this suit,  [*814]  and therefore direct that the judgment of the District Court be vacated and the complaint dismissed.

The appellees are six Members of Congress, four of whom served as Senators and two of whom served as Congressmen in the 104th Congress (1995-1996). 2 On March 27, 1996, the Senate passed a bill entitled the Line Item Veto Act by a vote of 69-31. All four appellee Senators voted "nay." 142 Cong. Rec. S2995. The next day, the House of Representatives passed the identical bill by a vote of 232-177. Both appellee Congressmen voted "nay." Id., at H2986. On April 4, 1996, the President signed the Line Item Veto Act (Act) into law. Pub. L. 104-130, 110 Stat. 1200, codified at 2 U.S.C. A. § 691 et seq. (Supp. 1997). The Act went into effect on January 1, 1997. See Pub. L. 104-130, § 5. The next day, appellees filed a complaint in the District Court for the District of Columbia against the two appellants,  [****8]  the Secretary of the Treasury and the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, alleging that the Act was unconstitutional.

The provisions of the Line Item Veto Act do not use the term "veto." Instead, the President is given the authority to "cancel" certain spending and tax benefit measures after he has signed them into law. Specifically, the Act provides:

"The President may, with respect to any bill or joint resolution that has been signed into law pursuant to Article I, section 7, of the Constitution of the United States, cancel in whole--(1) any dollar amount of discretionary budget authority; (2) any item of new direct spending; or (3) any limited tax benefit; if the President--  [*815]  

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521 U.S. 811 *; 117 S. Ct. 2312 **; 138 L. Ed. 2d 849 ***; 1997 U.S. LEXIS 4040 ****; 65 U.S.L.W. 4705; 97-2 U.S. Tax Cas. (CCH) P50,500; 97 Cal. Daily Op. Service 4991; 97 Daily Journal DAR 8177; 11 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 182

FREDERICK D. RAINES, DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET, ET AL., APPELLANTS v. ROBERT C. BYRD ET AL.

Prior History:  [****1]  ON APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Reported at: 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4397.

Disposition: 956 F. Supp. 25, vacated and remanded.

CORE TERMS

cancellation, Veto, concrete, deprivation, ratified, lawmaking, cast, cognizable, message, defeat, budget

Civil Procedure, Justiciability, Standing, General Overview, Declaratory Judgments, Federal Declaratory Judgments, Judgments, Relief From Judgments, Constitutional Law, Case or Controversy, Jurisdiction, Jurisdictional Sources, Constitutional Sources, The Judiciary, Case & Controversy Requirements, Elements, Preliminary Considerations