Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha 462 U.S. 919 (1983)
IMMIGRATION AND NATURALIZATION SERVICE v. CHADHA 462 U.S. 919 (1983)
Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha cast serious doubt on the use of the legislative veto, a device by which Congress seeks to retain control over the use of delegated powers. Chadha involved a provision in the immigration and nationality act that permitted either house of Congress, by resolution, to overturn orders of the attorney general suspending deportation of aliens.
The Supreme Court held, 7–2, that congressional review of such cases was legislative in character, and was therefore subject to the provisions of Article I requiring the concurrence of both houses and an opportunity for the President to exercise his veto power before the resolution can have the force of law. The majority opinion, by Chief Justice warren e. burger, declared that the one-house legislative veto violated the constitutional principles of separation of powers and bicameralism.
Justice byron r. white, dissenting, ascribed to the decision much greater scope than did the majority. White asserted that the Chadha decision effectively invalidated every legislative veto provision in federal law. A majority in future cases, however, may choose not to apply the Chadha rationale to two-house legislative vetoes or to legislative vetoes of agency actions that are clearly legislative rather than executive or quasi-judicial. It would be curious indeed if administrative agencies promulgating regulations with the force of law were freed from congressional oversight by a Court intent on preserving the separation of powers and bicameralism.
Dennis J. Mahoney