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Encyclopedia > Clinton v. City of New York
Clinton v. City of New York

Supreme Court of the United States
Argued April 27, 1998
Decided June 25, 1998
Full case name: William J. Clinton, President of the United States, et al. v. City of New York, et al.
Citations: 524 U.S. 417; 118 S. Ct. 2091; 141 L. Ed. 2d 393; 1998 U.S. LEXIS 4215; 66 U.S.L.W. 4543; 98-2 U.S. Tax Cas. (CCH) P50,504; 81 A.F.T.R.2d (RIA) 2416; 98 Cal. Daily Op. Service 4905; 98 Daily Journal DAR 6893; 1998 Colo. J. C.A.R. 3191; 11 Fla. L. Weekly Fed. S 735
Prior history: Judgment for plaintiffs, 985 F. Supp. 168 (D.D.C. 1998)
Subsequent history: None
Holding
The President's unilateral striking of portions of legislation passed by Congress pursuant to the Line Item Veto Act was without legal force, because the U.S. Constitution did not authorize the President to enact federal law of which both houses of Congress had not previously approved the text. District Court for the District of Columbia affirmed.
Court membership
Chief Justice: William Rehnquist
Associate Justices: John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O'Connor, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, David Souter, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer
Case opinions
Majority by: Stevens
Joined by: Rehnquist, Kennedy, Souter, Thomas, Ginsburg
Concurrence by: Kennedy
Concurrence/dissent by: Scalia
Joined by: O'Connor; Breyer (in part)
Dissent by: Breyer
Joined by: O'Connor, Scalia (in part)
Laws applied
U.S. Const. art. I; 2 U.S.C. § 691 et seq. (1994 ed., Supp. II) (Line Item Veto Act of 1996)

Clinton v. City of New York, 524 U.S. 417 (1998), is a legal case in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the line-item veto as granted in the Line Item Veto Act of 1996 violated the Presentment Clause of the United States Constitution. The decision of the Court, in a six-to-three majority, was delivered by Justice John Paul Stevens. Image File history File links Seal_of_the_United_States_Supreme_Court. ... The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest judicial body in the United States and is the only part of the judicial branch of the United States federal government explicitly specified in the United States Constitution. ... The Federal Supplement is a case law reporter published by West Publishing in the United States that includes select opinions of the United States district courts. ... The United States District Court for the District of Columbia is the United States District Court that hears cases originating in the District of Columbia under Federal law. ... William Hubbs Rehnquist (October 1, 1924 – September 3, 2005) was an American lawyer, jurist, and a political figure, who served as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States and later as the Chief Justice of the United States. ... John Paul Stevens (born April 20, 1920) is an American jurist, and the senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. ... Other facts and information OConnor is an avid golfer who scored a hole-in-one in 2000 at the Paradise Valley Country Club in Arizona. ... Antonin Gregory Scalia (born March 11, 1936) is an American jurist and the second most senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. ... Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Anthony Kennedy For other people of the same name, see Anthony Kennedy (disambiguation). ... David Hackett Souter (born September 17, 1939) has been an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States since 1990. ... Clarence Thomas (born June 23, 1948) is an American jurist and has been an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States since 1991. ... Ruth Joan Bader Ginsburg (born March 15, 1933) has served as an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court since 1993. ... Stephen Gerald Breyer (born August 15, 1938) is an American attorney, political figure, and jurist. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: Article One of the United States Constitution Article One of the United States Constitution states the establishment of the legislative branch of the United States government, known as the Congress, which includes the House of Representatives and the Senate. ... The United States Code (U.S.C.) is a compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal law of the United States. ... The Line Item Veto Act of 1996 enacted a line-item veto for the Federal Government of the United States, but its effect was brief due to judicial review. ... The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest judicial body in the United States and is the only part of the judicial branch of the United States federal government explicitly specified in the United States Constitution. ... In government, the line-item veto is the power of an executive to nullify or cancel specific provisions of a bill, usually budget appropriations, without vetoing the entire legislative package. ... The Line Item Veto Act of 1996 enacted a line-item veto for the Federal Government of the United States, but its effect was brief due to judicial review. ... The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America. ... John Paul Stevens (born April 20, 1920) is an American jurist, and the senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. ...

Contents

Background of the case

The Line Item Veto Act of 1996 ("Act") allowed the President to "cancel", that is to void or legally nullify, certain provisions of appropriations bills, and disallowed the use of funds from canceled provisions for offsetting deficit spending in other areas. The presidential seal was used by President Hayes in 1880 and last modified in 1959 by adding the 50th star for Hawaii. ... An appropriation bill or supply bill is a legislative motion which authorizes the government to spend money. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Political circumstances

The 1994 federal midterm elections signaled a sea-change in American politics known as the Republican Revolution, with the Republican Party wresting control of both houses of the U.S. Congress from Democrats. Key to that revolution was the Republicans' Contract with America, which included a list of actions they promised to take if they gained control of Congress. Among this list was the Line Item Veto Act itself, one of two provisions designed to ensure Congressional fiscal conservativism. The Act was the only provision of the "Contract with America" that then-President Bill Clinton supported.[1] The United States hold elections to federal offices every two years; midterm elections is the name given to elections when the United States House of Representatives and one third of the US Senate are being elected, but not the President. ... The Republican Revolution refers to the success of Republican Party in the 1994 U.S. midterm elections, which resulted in a net gain of 54 seats in the House of Representatives, and a pickup of eight seats in the Senate. ... The Contract with America was a document released by the Republican Party of the United States during the 1994 Congressional election campaign. ... William Jefferson Bill Clinton (born William Jefferson Blythe III on August 19, 1946) was the 42nd President of the United States, serving from 1993 to 2001. ...


Initial litigation

At its passage, the Act was politically controversial, with many Democrats breaking with Clinton to oppose it. Of the opposition, six members of Congress, including Republican Mark Hatfield sued to prevent use of the line-item veto. They were granted summary judgment by the U.S. District Court, but the Supreme Court held that the Congressmen lacked standing and dismissed their suit.[2] Within the next two months, Clinton began using the line-item veto, prompting several entities to file suit in a second attempt to have the Act declared unconstitutional. Mark Odom Hatfield (born July 12, 1922) is an American politician from Oregon. ... Summary judgment in U.S. legal practice is a judgment awarded by the court prior to trial, based upon the courts finding that: (1) there are no issues of material fact requiring a trial for their resolution, and (2) in applying the law to the undisputed facts, one party... In law, standing or locus standi is the ability of a party to demonstrate to the court sufficient connection to and harm from the law or action challenged. ...


In the second case, which was consolidated from two cases by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, the City of New York and several organizations related to health care alleged injury from President Clinton's cancellation of certain provisions of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 that eliminated certain liabilities, and Snake River Potato Growers, Inc. alleged injury from the President's cancellation of certain provisions of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 that gave tax benefits to aid farmer's cooperatives in purchasing potato processing facilities. The United States District Court for the District of Columbia is the United States District Court that hears cases originating in the District of Columbia under Federal law. ... Nickname: Big Apple, City that never Sleeps Location in the state of New York Coordinates: Country United States State New York Boroughs Bronx (The Bronx) New York (Manhattan) Queens (Queens) Kings (Brooklyn) Richmond (Staten Island) Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) Area    - City 1,214. ... The Balanced Budget Act of 1997, Pub. ... The Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 reduced several federal taxes in the United States. ... A tax (also known as a duty) is a financial charge or other levy imposed on an individual or a legal entity by a state or a functional equivalent of a state (e. ... Co-op redirects here. ...


The District Court ruled for the plaintiffs, holding that the Line Item Veto Act was unconstitutional. Because the Act established an expedited appeal process for challenges, the case was directly appealed from the District Court to the Supreme Court.


The Supreme Court's decision

In a majority opinion written by Justice John Paul Stevens, the Court ruled that because the Act allowed the President to unilaterally amend or repeal parts of duly enacted statutes by using line-item cancellations, it violated the Presentment clause of the Constitution[3], which outlines a specific practice for enacting a statute. The Court construed the silence of the Constitution on the subject of such unilateral Presidential action as equivalent to "an express prohibition", agreeing with historical material that supported the conclusion that statutes may only be enacted "in accord with a single, finely wrought and exhaustively considered, procedure"[4], and that a bill must be approved or rejected by the President in its entirety. John Paul Stevens (born April 20, 1920) is an American jurist, and the senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. ... The Statute of Grand Duchy of Lithuania A statute is a formal, written law of a country or state, written and enacted by its legislative authority, perhaps to then be ratified by the highest executive in the government, and finally published. ...


Kennedy's concurrence

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, in an opinion concurring in the opinion and judgment of the Court, objected to the dissent's argument that the Act did not violate principles of the separation of powers and threaten individual liberty, stating that the "undeniable effects" of the Act were to "enhance the President's power to reward one group and punish another, to help one set of taxpayers and hurt another, to favor one State and ignore another." Justice Anthony Kennedy Anthony McLeod Kennedy (born July 23, 1936) has been a US Supreme Court Associate Justice since 1988. ... In law, a concurring opinion is a written opinion by some of the judges of a court which agrees with the opinion of the majority of the court but might arrive there in a different manner. ... Separation of powers is a political doctrine under which the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government are kept distinct, to prevent abuse of power. ... Liberty is generally considered a concept of political philosophy and identifies the condition in which an individual has immunity from the arbitrary exercise of authority. ...


Scalia's partial concurrence and partial dissent

In an alternative opinion, Justice Antonin Scalia objected to the Court's consideration of the case with respect to the Taxpayer Relief Act, finding no party in the case with standing to challenge it. However, he did find a party with standing to challenge the President's cancellation in the Balanced Budget Act, and concluded that it did not violate the Constitution, because the Congress has the power to delegate the discretionary authority to decline to spend appropriated sums of money, which he asserted was equivalent to cancellation. Antonin Gregory Scalia (born March 11, 1936) is an American jurist and the second most senior Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. ... In law, standing or locus standi is the ability of a party to demonstrate to the court sufficient connection to and harm from the law or action challenged. ...


Breyer's dissent

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Stephen Breyer contended that the objective of the Act was constitutionally proper and was consistent with powers that the President has held in the past, stating that the Act "does not violate any specific textual constitutional command, nor does it violate any implicit Separation of Powers principle". He extensively refers to many different cases which support the delegation of power by the Congress, and primarily suggests that the Act is an efficient means by which a constitutionally legitimate end may be achieved. A dissenting opinion is an opinion of one or more judges in an appellate court expressing disagreement with the majority opinion. ... Stephen Gerald Breyer (born August 15, 1938) is an American attorney, political figure, and jurist. ... Seal of the U.S. Congress. ...


Critical response

Steven G. Calabresi argued that although the Court had denied this, the instant decision was really a "non-delegation doctrine case masquerading as a bicameralism and presentment case." [5] He also suggested that this decision was "the blockbuster separation of powers case of the Rehnquist years." [6] The bicameral legislature of the United States is housed in a capitol building with two wings. ... William H. Rehnquist has served as the Chief Justice of the United States since 1986. ...


Michael B. Rappaport argued that the original meaning of the Constitution does not apply to certain parts of the nondelegation doctrine, relying on his interpretation of the Executive Power Vesting Clause.[7] Under this view, "laws that authorize the withdrawal of money from the treasury and which have traditionally taken the form of authorizing a certain amount to be spent for particular programs ... are not subject to the nondelegation doctrine."[8] He further criticized the majority opinion for failing to satisfactorily justify its application of a stricter standard to the delegation of cancellation authority than it had used in the past for other executive delegations. In Rappaport’s opinion, "...the Court’s approach to cancellation authority has no basis in text, structure and purpose, or precedent."[9]


J. Stephen Kennedy wrote that the majority of the Supreme Court was sufficiently concerned with the constitution challenges the line item veto presented to declare the act wholly unconstitutional, instead of relying on other traditional and less sweeping ways of correcting acts of Congress. [10] In his view, “the Court’s decision sent a clear message of finality for any future use of the line item veto.” [11]. Kennedy also noted that while the majority relied on a strict interpretation or literal textual reading of the Presentment Clause contained in Article I of the United States Constitution, Justice Scalia, in his dissent, “stray[ed] somewhat from his usual strict constructionist approach ... by stressing that the President’s act of cancellation would only occur after satisfaction of the Presentment Clause.”[12]


Steven F. Huefner wrote that "Although the Presentment Clause analysis of the Line Item Veto Act has superficial appeal, it ultimately does not withstand scrutiny,"[13] arguing that the Court should have relied on the nondelegation doctrine in order to invalidate the Act, as it provided a superior basis for such a decision.[14] Huefner named two main implications of the Court’s refusal to use the nondelegation doctrine. First, it suggests that the Court seems unready or unwilling to alter the existing interpretation of the nondelegation doctrine.[15] Second, the Court has shown that it is willing to rely upon alternative rationales to achieve the same result "as would a more robust nondelegation doctrine rationale"[16]. This approach is significant because in theory, such a rationale could endanger previously accepted delegations to the executive.[17]


Roy E. Brownell criticized the Clinton administration for its exercise of the Line Item Veto Act, charging that it should have restricted its cancellation powers only to statutory provisions that remain in the realm of national security. [18] He argued that had the Clinton administration limited its use of the Line Item Veto Act in this fashion, it would have ensured that when the constitutionality of the Act was inevitably challenged, the challenge would have been based on terms most favorable to the Executive. Brownell suggested that a test case brought forth on the grounds of national security would have likely acknowledged the existence of "National Security Rescission", "a narrow statutory construction limiting the area of presidential cancellation power to within the field of national security. Such a result...would have assured that the President maintained cancellation authority over a sixth of the federal budget."[19]


Subsequent developments

Though the Supreme Court struck down the Line Item Veto Act in 1998, President George W. Bush has asked Congress to enact legislation that would return the line item veto power to the Executive. First announcing his intent to seek such legislation in his January 31, 2006 State of the Union address, President Bush sent a legislative proposal Legislative Line Item Veto Act of 2006 to Congress on March 6, 2006, urging its prompt passage. [20] Senator Bill Frist, Senator John McCain, and Republican Whip Senator Mitch McConnell jointly introduced this proposal. George Walker Bush (born July 6, 1946) is the 43rd and current President of the United States, inaugurated on January 20, 2001. ... 2003 State of the Union address given by U.S. President George W. Bush The State of the Union Address is an annual event in which the President of the United States reports on the status of the country, normally to a joint session of the U.S. Congress (the... William Harrison Bill Frist (born February 22, 1952 in Nashville, Tennessee) is an American physician and politician from Tennessee. ... John Sidney McCain III (born August 29, 1936) is the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona, having served since 1987. ... Addison Mitchell McConnell, Jr. ...


On that same day, Joshua Bolten, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, gave a press conference on the president’s line-item veto proposal. Bolten explained that the proposed Act would give the President the ability to single out “wasteful” spending and to put such spending on hold. While the spending line-item is on hold, the President can send legislation to Congress to rescind the particular line-item. The proposal would then be considered in both houses within ten days on an up or down basis, and could be passed by a simple majority. Additionally, such proposals could not be filibustered. Categories: People stubs | Directors of the Office of Management and Budget | American lawyers | 1955 births ... The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is a body within the Executive Office of the President of the United States which is tasked with coordinating United States Federal agencies. ... A simple majority is the most common requirement in voting for a measure to pass, especially in deliberative bodies and small organizations. ... In a legislature or other decision making body, a filibuster is an attempt to extend debate upon a proposal in order to delay or completely prevent a vote on its passage. ...


When asked how this proposed legislation was different from the 1996 Line Item Veto Act that was found unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court, Bolten said that whereas the former act granted unilateral authority to the Executive to disallow specific spending line items, the new proposal would seek Congressional approval of such line-item vetoes. Thus, in order for the President to successfully rescind previously enacted spending, a simple majority of Congress is required to agree to specific legislation to that effect.


Though the current line-item veto proposal is much weaker than the 1996 version, it has nevertheless failed to find strong support in Congress. Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia called it "an offensive slap at Congress," asserting that the legislation would enable the president to intimidate individual members of Congress by targeting the projects of his political opponents. He also complained that the line-item veto as proposed would take away Congress’ constitutional "power of the purse" and give it to the Executive branch. However, Byrd noted that he supported the core idea of line-item vetoes. Robert C. Byrd Robert Carlyle Byrd (born November 20, 1917) is a West Virginia Democrat serving in the United States Senate. ... Official language(s) English Capital Charleston Largest city Charleston Area  Ranked 41st  - Total 24,244 sq mi (62,809 km²)  - Width 130 miles (210 km)  - Length 240 miles (385 km)  - % water 0. ... The power of the purse is the ability of a government or other organization to manipulate the actions of another group by withholding funding. ... The executive is the branch of a government charged with implementing, or executing, the law and running the day-to-day affairs of the government or state. ...


On June 8, 2006, Viet D. Dinh, Professor of Law at Georgetown University Law Center, and Nathan A. Sales, John M. Olin Fellow at Georgetown University Law Center testified by written statement before the House Committee on the Budget on the constitutional issues in connection with the proposed legislation.[21] Dinh and Sales argued that the Legislative Line Item Veto Act of 2006 satisfies the Constitution’s Bicameralism and Presentment Clause, and therefore avoids the constitutional issues raised in the 1996 Act struck down by the Supreme Court. They also stated that the proposed Act is consistent with the basic principle that grants Congress broad discretion to establish procedures to govern its internal operations. The schools original sign, preserved on the north quad of the present-day campus. ... The U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has jurisdiction over: Aviation Economic Development, Public Buildings, and Emergency Management Railroads Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Highways, Transit, and Pipelines Water Resources and Environment A subcommittee represents each area of jurisdiction. ... The bicameral legislature of the United States is housed in a capitol building with two wings. ... Presentment clause The Presentment clause (Article I, Section 7) is a clause in the United States Constitution that outlines how a bill may become law. ...


The proposed Act was approved by the House Budget Committee on June 14, 2006 by a vote of 24-9.[1]


See also

In government, the line-item veto is the power of an executive to nullify or cancel specific provisions of a bill, usually budget appropriations, without vetoing the entire legislative package. ... Proponents of strong constitutional signing statements: Ronald Reagan, left, and George H. W. Bush, right. ...

Notes

  1. ^ Supreme Court Deletes Line-Item Veto from CNN, June 25, 1998.
  2. ^ Raines v. Byrd, 521 U.S. 811 (1997)
  3. ^ U.S. Const. art. I, § 7, cl. 2
  4. ^ From INS v. Chadha, 462 U.S. 919 (1983).
  5. ^ Steven G. Calabresi, Separation of Power and the Rehnquist Court: The Centrality of Clinton v. City of New York, 99 Northwestern University Law Review 77 (2004-2005), at 85.
  6. ^ Id. at 86.
  7. ^ See Michael B. Rappaport, The Selective Nondelegation Doctrine and the Line Item Veto: A New Approach to the Nondelegation Doctrine and Its Implications for Clinton v. City of New York, 76 Tulane Law Review 265 (2001-2002).
  8. ^ Id. at 265.
  9. ^ Id. at 290.
  10. ^ See J. Stephen Kennedy, How A Bill Does Not Become Law: The Supreme Court Sounds the Death Knell of the Line Item Veto, 20 Mississippi College Law Review 357 (1999-2000).
  11. ^ Id. at 371.
  12. ^ Id. at 372.
  13. ^ Steven F. Huefner, Supreme Court’s Avoidance of the Nondelegation Doctrine in Clinton v. City of New York, 49 Catholic University Law Review 337 (1999-2000), at 339.
  14. ^ Id.
  15. ^ Id. at 340.
  16. ^ Id.
  17. ^ Id.
  18. ^ See Roy E. Brownell II, The Unnecessary Demise of the Line Item Veto Act: The Clinton Administration’s Costly Failure to Seek Acknowledgement of "National Security Rescission", 47 American Law Review 1273 (1997-1998).
  19. ^ Id. at 1280.
  20. ^ http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/pubpress/2006/line_item_veto.pdf
  21. ^ http://www.budget.house.gov/hearings/dinhstmnt060806.htm

The Cable News Network, commonly known as CNN, is a major cable television network founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. ... Wikisource has original text related to this article: Article One of the United States Constitution Article One of the United States Constitution states the establishment of the legislative branch of the United States government, known as the Congress, which includes the House of Representatives and the Senate. ... INS v. ...

External links

  • Full text of the Supreme Court's decision

 
 

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