Line-Item Veto Is Unconstitutional

By Slade, David C. | The World and I, September 1998 | Go to article overview

Line-Item Veto Is Unconstitutional


Slade, David C., The World and I


Even though the nation's treasury has been "plundered" to the point of national peril, and even though Congress has a complete "failure of political will" to stop its "persistent excessive spending," the Supreme Court nonetheless refused to allow "unconstitutional remedies" to be relied upon to fix the problem.

By a vote of 6-3 the Court held that the Line Item Veto Act's "cancellation provisions violate Article I, [sections] 7 of the Constitution," striking the law down as unconstitutional.

As discussed in the June issue of The World & I, Congress, being "unable to control its voracious appetite for `pork'" passed the Line Item Veto Act authorizing the president to "cancel" certain spending provisions and tax benefits, collectively known as line items.

To exercise this cancellation authority, the president submits, within five days after signing the funding bill, a "special message" to Congress identifying the line items that he wants canceled. If Congress wants to overturn his cancellation of the line items, it must pass a "disapproval bill," just like any other bill, and send it to the president. He can then either sign or veto the disapproval bill, just like any other bill.

Bill Clinton was the first president to act under this new authority when, in 1997, he canceled 78 line items. Two of these cancellations directly affected the city of New York and the Snake River Potato Growers, a group of about 30 potato growers in Idaho.

In section 4722(c) of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997, Congress eliminated New York City's liability to return $955 million in Medicaid payments. President Clinton "canceled" section 4722(c), thus reinstating New York City's liability to repay this huge sum of money.

In section 968 of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, Congress allowed certain food refiners and processors to defer paying capital gains tax upon the sale of its stock. The Snake River Potato Growers qualified under this section for this tax break, but President Clinton "canceled" section 968.

Both the city of New York and the Snake giver Potato Growers sued in federal court, arguing that the Line Item Veto Act was unconstitutional. The Supreme Court agreed.

The Court looked closely at the "Presentment Clause" found in Article I, [sections] 7, of the U.S. Constitution. This clause provides that "[e]very Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it becomes a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it." The president's "return" of a bill, now commonly known as a veto, is subject to being overridden by a two-thirds vote in each House.

The Court held that "[t]here are important differences between the President's `return' of a bill pursuant to Article I, [sections] 7 and the exercise of the President's cancellation authority pursuant to the Line Item Veto Act. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Line-Item Veto Is Unconstitutional
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.