INS v. Chadha

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In INS v. Chadha, 462 U.S. 919 (1983), the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated a federal statute based on violation of separation of powers. Specifically, the Court held that the enactment of legislation can be accomplished only through the procedures specified in Article I, Section 7, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution, and a law that established a modified procedure was unconstitutional. Id. at 944-951.

The Court held that the legislative veto, though enshrined in perhaps hundreds of federal statutes, most of which were enacted in the 1970s and the earliest of which was enacted in 1932, see id. at 967-975 (White, J., dissenting), is unconstitutional.

This decision is often cited for the principle that Congress may not intrude on the Executive's express powers and duties, in this case with respect to an attempt to impose a "legislative veto" on the Presentment Clause.[1]

This decision reaffirmed federal power over laws concerning aliens. "The plenary authority of Congress over aliens under Art. I, § 8, cl. 4, is not open to question." 462 U.S. at 940.


  1. See also United States v. Klein, 80 U.S. (13 Wall.) 128, 148 (1871) ("It is clear that the legislature cannot change the effect of ... a pardon."); Public Citizen, 491 U.S. at 482 (Kennedy, J., concurring) (Congress cannot "encroach[] upon a power that the text of the Constitution commits in explicit terms to the President.").