Law School Case Brief
Clinton v. New York - 524 U.S. 417, 118 S. Ct. 2091 (1998)
The Line Item Veto Act (Act), 2 U.S.C.S. § 692, which authorizes expedited review, evidences an unmistakable congressional interest in a prompt and authoritative judicial determination of the constitutionality of the Act. Subsection 692(a)(2) requires that copies of any complaint filed under subsection 692(a)(1) "shall be promptly delivered" to both Houses of Congress, and that each House shall have a right to intervene.
The Line Item Veto Act, which gave the President of the United States authority to cancel certain spending and tax benefit measures after the President had signed such measures into law, contained an expedited-review provision which authorized any individual" adversely affected by the Line Item Veto Act to bring a declaratory judgment action alleging that any provision of the Line Item Veto Act. After the President exercised his authority under the Line Item Veto Act to cancel certain measures, several actions that sought declaratory judgment that the Line Item Veto Act was unconstitutional and thus that a particular cancellation was invalid were brought against the President and other federal officials .The United States District Court for the District of Columbia determined that the Line Item Veto Act violated the Constitution's presentment clause, Art I, 7, cl 2, and the doctrine of separation of powers.
Is the Line Item Veto Act, particularly the cancellation procedures set forth therein, constitutional?
The United States Supreme Court affirmed that the cancellation procedures set forth in the Act violated the Presentment Clause of the Constitution,U.S. Const. art. I, § 7, cl. 2. The Court held that constitutional silence on the subject of unilateral Presidential action that either repeals or amends parts of duly enacted statutes is equivalent to an express prohibition. Thus, cancellations pursuant to the Act had no legal force or effect and failed to satisfy the procedures set out in Article I, § 7.
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