Constitutional Law Keyed to Cohen
Raines v. Byrd
The Line Item Veto Act of 1996 made provision for the possible cancellation of certain items of expenditure in any bill or joint resolution, by presidential veto, after the president had signed them into law. Once both houses of Congress received a special message from the President notifying them of the cancellation with specific reference to the canceled item, his action would take effect. This could be undone only by a two-thirds majority of each House re-enacting the Act over the president’s veto or by passing a disapproval bill signed by the president. The act also made provision for any member of Congress to challenge the constitutionality of the Act by law. Following this, four senators (P) and two congressmen (P) brought a suit challenging the Act as unconstitutional. The district court gave summary judgment against the Act as unconstitutionally handing over the power of the executive to the president, and also violating the Presentment Clause. It justified the members’ standing in challenging the validity of the Act since their voting rights had been severely infringed upon by the Act. The Supreme Court reviewed the case.
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