Chadha, Student Visa Expired
(P), an East Indian, had remained in the U.S. after the
expiration of his student visa.
Was deportable by the INS (D).
Attorney General Suspend Deportation
Acting under the authority of the Immigration and Nationality
Act (the Act), the Attorney General of the US suspended Chadha's
(P) deportation, permitting Chadha (P) to remain in the U.S.
If alien met requirements
The Act authorized such suspension if the alien met certain
qualifications and would suffer "extreme hardship" if deported.
The Act also allowed one house of Congress to invalidate a
suspension by the executive branch by resolution.
Housed Passed Invalidation Resolution
A year and a half after Chadha's suspension was granted by the
Attorney General, the House of Representatives passed a
resolution that Chadha and other aliens did not meet the
suspension qualifications, and therefore their deportations
should not be suspended.
Chadha (P) challenged the provision of the Act authorizing one
house of Congress to invalidate a suspension decision by the
The Court of Appeals found the provision unconstitutional as a
violation of separation of powers.
If no exception, A House of Congress may not act alone
house of Congress may not act alone if its act is an exercise of
legislative power and does not fall within one of the specific
exceptions stated in the Constitution.
Bills, Orders, Resolutions, Votes must be presented to president
Presentment Clause To become law, It has to be presented and
approved by Pres.
The presentment clauses of the Constitution require that all
legislation be presented to the President before becoming law
and this rule applies not just to bills, but to orders,
resolutions, and votes as well.
Bicameral Legislature Requirement
The Constitution's requirement of a bicameral legislature, along
with the President's veto and the legislature's veto override,
ensure that all legislation will be carefully considered by the
nation's elected officials before it is enacted.
The constitutional presentment and bicameralism requirements do
apply to the House's resolution, as the resolution was
legislative in character.
Houses veto alter legal rights of Chadha and 6 others.
The House's act altered the legal rights and status of several
parties including Chadha (P).
Further proof of the legislative character of the one-house veto
is the fact that the veto is a substitute for actual legislation
In other words, without the one-house veto, both houses of
Congress would have to pass legislation requiring deportation in
the usual manner.
Congress Delegated Authority to the President (Must Abide by
Congress made the decision to delegate authority over
deportation suspensions to the executive branch; now it must
abide by that choice.
Four Situations that One House of Congress can Act Alone
There are, however, certain constitutionally specified
situations in which one house of Congress is not required to
present its actions to the president or to the other house.
Houses power to initial impeachments
The Senates power to conduct trials following impeachments.
The Senates power over presidential appointments.
The Senates power to ratify treaties.
Veto Restriction is unconstitutional
Since the resolution here was clearly not within one of those
exceptions, the House was subject to the presentment and
The system of separation of powers and checks and balances may
be inefficient, but it is the best way that has been found to
preserve freedom from arbitrary exercises of power.
The challenged one-house veto is
CONCURRENCE Justice Powell
This case should have been decided on the narrower ground that
Congress was performing a function generally reserved to the
judiciary when it determined that Chadha did not meet the
statutory requirements for a deportation suspension.
The House did not enact a general rule; rather it [*965] made
its own determination that six specific persons did not comply
with certain statutory criteria. It thus undertook the type of
decision that traditionally has been left to other branches
The legislative veto is an important and useful mechanism which
satisfies the purposes of the presentment and bicameralism
clauses: to ensure that any decision receives the agreement of
both houses of Congress and the president.
This decision will invalidate almost 200 similar legislative