United States[edit | edit source]
The legislative veto had an interesting, but short-lived function in the United States government.
History[edit | edit source]
Beginning in the 1930s, the concurrent resolution (as well as the simple resolution) was put to a new use—serving as the instrument to terminate powers delegated to the Chief Executive or to disapprove particular exercises of power by him or his agents. The legislative veto or congressional veto was first developed in context of the delegation to the Executive of power to reorganize governmental agencies and was first authorized by the Reorganization Act of 1939. It was furthered by the necessities of providing for national security and foreign affairs immediately prior to and during World War II.
The proliferation of congressional veto provisions in legislation over the years raised a series of interrelated constitutional questions. Congress until relatively recently had applied the veto provisions to some action taken by the President or another executive officer—such as a reorganization of an agency, the lowering or raising of tariff rates, the disposal of federal property—then began expanding the device to give itself a negative over regulations issued by executive branch agencies, and proposals were made to give Congress a negative over all regulations issued by executive branch independent agencies.
INS vs. Chadha[edit | edit source]
In INS v. Chadha, the Supreme Court held a one-House congressional veto to be unconstitutional as violating both the bicameralism principles reflected in Article I, in Section 1 and Section 7, and the presentment provisions of Clauses 2 and 3 of Section 7. The Court's analysis of the presentment issue made clear, however, that two-House veto provisions, despite their compliance with bicameralism, and committee veto provisions suffer the same constitutional infirmity. In the words of dissenting Justice White, the Court in Chadha "sound[ed] the death knell for nearly 200 other statutory provisions in which Congress has reserved a 'legislative veto.'"