|INS v. Chadha
[ Burger ]
[ Powell ]
[ White ]
[ Rehnquist ]
INS v. Chadha
APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE NINTH CIRCUIT
JUSTICE WHITE, dissenting.
Today the Court not only invalidates § 244(c)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, but also sounds the death knell for nearly 200 other statutory provisions in which Congress has reserved a "legislative veto." For this reason, the Court's decision is of surpassing importance. And it is for this reason that the Court would have been well advised to decide the cases, if possible, on the narrower grounds of separation of powers, leaving for full consideration the constitutionality of other congressional review statutes operating on such varied matters as war powers and agency rulemaking, some of which concern the independent regulatory agencies. [n1]
The prominence of the legislative veto mechanism in our contemporary political system and its importance to Congress can hardly be overstated. It has become a central [p968] means by which Congress secures the accountability of executive and independent agencies. Without the legislative veto, Congress is faced with a Hobson's choice: either to refrain from delegating the necessary authority, leaving itself with a hopeless task of writing laws with the requisite specificity to cover endless special circumstances across the entire policy landscape, or, in the alternative, to abdicate its lawmaking function to the Executive Branch and independent agencies. To choose the former leaves major national problems unresolved; to opt for the latter risks unaccountable policymaking by those not elected to fill that role. Accordingly, over the past five decades, the legislative veto has been placed in nearly 200 statutes. [n2] The device is known in every field of governmental concern: reorganization, budgets, foreign affairs, war powers, and regulation of trade, safety, energy, the environment, and the economy.
The legislative veto developed initially in response to the problems of reorganizing the sprawling Government structure created in response to the Depression. The Reorganization Acts established the chief model for the legislative veto. When President Hoover requested authority to reorganize the Government in 1929, he coupled his request that the "Congress be willing to delegate its authority over the problem (subject to defined principles) to the Executive" with a proposal for legislative review. He proposed that the Executive
should act upon approval of a joint committee of Congress or with the reservation of power of revision by Congress within some limited period adequate for its consideration.
Public Papers of the Presidents, Herbert Hoover, 1929, p. 432 (1974). Congress followed President Hoover's suggestion and authorized reorganization subject to legislative [p969] review. Act of June 30, 1932, § 407, 47 Stat. 414. Although the reorganization authority reenacted in 1933 did not contain a legislative veto provision, the provision returned during the Roosevelt administration, and has since been renewed numerous times. Over the years, the provision was used extensively. Presidents submitted 115 Reorganization Plans to Congress, of which 23 were disapproved by Congress pursuant to legislative veto provisions. See App. A to Brief for United States Senate on Reargument.
Shortly after adoption of the Reorganization Act of 1939, 53 Stat. 561, Congress and the President applied the legislative veto procedure to resolve the delegation problem for national security and foreign affairs. World War II occasioned the need to transfer greater authority to the President in these areas. The legislative veto offered the means by which Congress could confer additional authority while preserving its own constitutional role. During World War II, Congress enacted over 30 statutes conferring powers on the Executive with legislative veto provisions. [n3] President Roosevelt accepted the veto as the necessary price for obtaining exceptional authority. [n4]
Over the quarter century following World War II, Presidents continued to accept legislative vetoes by one or both Houses as constitutional, while regularly denouncing provisions by which congressional Committees reviewed Executive activity. [n5] The legislative veto balanced delegations of [p970] statutory authority in new areas of governmental involvement: the space program, international agreements on nuclear energy, tariff arrangements, and adjustment of federal pay rates. [n6]
During the 1970's, the legislative veto was important in resolving a series of major constitutional disputes between the President and Congress over claims of the President to broad impoundment, war, and national emergency powers. The [p971] key provision of the War Powers Resolution, 50 U.S.C. § 1544(c), authorizes the termination by concurrent resolution of the use of armed forces in hostilities. A similar measure resolved the problem posed by Presidential claims of inherent power to impound appropriations. Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, 31 U.S.C. § 1403. In conference, a compromise was achieved under which permanent impoundments, termed "rescissions," would require approval through enactment of legislation. In contrast, temporary impoundments, or "deferrals," would become effective unless disapproved by one House. This compromise provided the President with flexibility, while preserving ultimate congressional control over the budget. [n7] Although the War Powers Resolution was enacted over President Nixon's veto, the Impoundment Control Act was enacted with the President's approval. These statutes were followed by others resolving similar problems: the National Emergencies Act, § 202, 90 Stat. 1255, 50 U.S.C. § 1622 resolving the longstanding problems with unchecked Executive emergency power; the International Security Assistance and Arms Export Control Act, § 211, 90 Stat. 740, 22 U.S.C. § 2776(b), resolving the problem of foreign arms sales; and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978, §§ 303(a), 304(a), 306, 307, 401, 92 Stat. 130, 134, 137, 138, 144-145, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2160(f), 2155(b), 2157(b), 2158, 2153(d) (1976 ed., Supp. V), resolving the problem of exports of nuclear technology.
In the energy field, the legislative veto served to balance broad delegations in legislation emerging from the energy crisis of the 1970's. [n8] In the educational field, it was found [p972] that fragmented and narrow grant programs "inevitably lead to Executive-Legislative confrontations" because they inaptly limited the Commissioner of Education's authority. S.Rep. No. 93-763, p. 69 (1974). The response was to grant the Commissioner of Education rulemaking authority, subject to a legislative veto. In the trade regulation area, the veto preserved congressional authority over the Federal Trade Commission's broad mandate to make rules to prevent businesses from engaging in "unfair or deceptive acts or practices in commerce." [n9]
Even this brief review suffices to demonstrate that the legislative veto is more than "efficient, convenient, and useful." Ante at 944. It is an important, if not indispensable, political invention that allows the President and Congress to resolve major constitutional and policy differences, assures the accountability of independent regulatory agencies, and preserves [p973] Congress' control over lawmaking. Perhaps there are other means of accommodation and accountability, but the increasing reliance of Congress upon the legislative veto suggests that the alternatives to which Congress must now turn are not entirely satisfactory. [n10] [p974]
The history of the legislative veto also makes clear that it has not been a sword with which Congress has struck out to aggrandize itself at the expense of the other branches -- the concerns of Madison and Hamilton. Rather, the veto has been a means of defense, a reservation of ultimate authority necessary if Congress is to fulfill its designated role under Art. I as the Nation's lawmaker. While the President has often objected to particular legislative vetoes, generally those left in the hands of congressional Committees, the Executive has more often agreed to legislative review as the price for a broad delegation of authority. To be sure, the President may have preferred unrestricted power, but that could be precisely why Congress thought it essential to retain a check on the exercise of delegated authority.
For all these reasons, the apparent sweep of the Court's decision today is regrettable. The Court's Art. I analysis appears to invalidate all legislative vetoes, irrespective of form or subject. Because the legislative veto is commonly found as a check upon rulemaking by administrative agencies and upon broad-based policy decisions of the Executive Branch, it is particularly unfortunate that the Court reaches its decision in cases involving the exercise of a veto over deportation decisions regarding particular individuals. Courts should always be wary of striking statutes as unconstitutional; to strike an entire class of statutes based on consideration of a somewhat atypical and more readily indictable exemplar of the class is irresponsible. It was for cases such as these that Justice Brandeis wrote:
The Court has frequently called attention to the "great gravity and delicacy" of its function in passing upon the validity of an act of Congress. . . .
* * * * [p975]
The Court will not "formulate a rule of constitutional law broader than is required by the precise facts to which it is to be applied." Liverpool, N.Y. & P. S.S. Co. v. Emigration Commissioners, [113 U.S. 33, 39 (1885)].
If the legislative veto were as plainly unconstitutional as the Court strives to suggest, its broad ruling today would be more comprehensible. But the constitutionality of the legislative veto is anything but clear-cut. The issue divides scholars, [n12] courts, [n13] Attorneys General, [n14] and the two other [p977] branches of the National Government. If the veto devices so flagrantly disregarded the requirements of Art. I as the Court today suggests, I find it incomprehensible that Congress, whose Members are bound by oath to uphold the Constitution, would have placed these mechanisms in nearly 200 separate laws over a period of 50 years.
The reality of the situation is that the constitutional question posed today is one of immense difficulty over which the Executive and Legislative Branches -- as well as scholars and judges -- have understandably disagreed. That disagreement stems from the silence of the Constitution on the precise question: the Constitution does not directly authorize or prohibit the legislative veto. Thus, our task should be to determine whether the legislative veto is consistent with the purposes of Art. I and the principles of separation of powers which are reflected in that Article and throughout the Constitution. [n15] [p978] We should not find the lack of a specific constitutional authorization for the legislative veto surprising, and I would not infer disapproval of the mechanism from its absence. From the summer of 1787 to the present, the Government of the United States has become an endeavor far beyond the contemplation of the Framers. Only within the last half century has the complexity and size of the Federal Government's responsibilities grown so greatly that the Congress must rely on the legislative veto as the most effective, if not the only, means to insure its role as the Nation's lawmaker. But the wisdom of the Framers was to anticipate that the Nation would grow and new problems of governance would require different solutions. Accordingly, our Federal Government was intentionally chartered with the flexibility to respond to contemporary needs without losing sight of fundamental democratic principles. This was the spirit in which Justice Jackson penned his influential concurrence in the Steel Seizure Case:
The actual art of governing under our Constitution does not and cannot conform to judicial definitions of the power of any of its branches based on isolated clauses or even single Articles torn from context. While the Constitution diffuses power the better to secure liberty, it also contemplates that practice will integrate the dispersed powers into a workable government.
Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579, 635 (1952).
This is the perspective from which we should approach the novel constitutional questions presented by the legislative veto. In my view, neither Art. I of the Constitution nor the doctrine of separation of powers is violated by this mechanism [p979] by which our elected Representatives preserve their voice in the governance of the Nation.
The Court holds that the disapproval of a suspension of deportation by the resolution of one House of Congress is an exercise of legislative power without compliance with the prerequisites for lawmaking set forth in Art. I of the Constitution. Specifically, the Court maintains that the provisions of § 244(c)(2) are inconsistent with the requirement of bicameral approval, implicit in Art. I, § 1, and the requirement that all bills and resolutions that require the concurrence of both Houses be presented to the President, Art. I, § 7, cls. 2 and 3. [n16]
I do not dispute the Court's truismatic exposition of these Clauses. There is no question that a bill does not become a law until it is approved by both the House and the Senate, and presented to the President. Similarly, I would not hesitate to strike an action of Congress in the form of a concurrent resolution which constituted an exercise of original lawmaking authority. I agree with the Court that the President's [p980] qualified veto power is a critical element in the distribution of powers under the Constitution, widely endorsed among the Framers, and intended to serve the President as a defense against legislative encroachment and to check the "passing of bad laws, through haste, inadvertence, or design." The Federalist No. 73, p. 458 (H. Lodge ed. 1888) (A. Hamilton). The records of the Convention reveal that it is the first purpose which figured most prominently, but I acknowledge the vitality of the second. Id. at 443. I also agree that the bicameral approval required by Art. I, § 1, 7, "was of scarcely less concern to the Framers than was the Presidential veto," ante at 948, and that the need to divide and disperse legislative power figures significantly in our scheme of Government. All of this, Part III of the Court's opinion, is entirely unexceptionable.
It does not, however, answer the constitutional question before us. The power to exercise a legislative veto is not the power to write new law without bicameral approval or Presidential consideration. The veto must be authorized by statute, and may only negative what an Executive department or independent agency has proposed. On its face, the legislative veto no more allows one House of Congress to make law than does the Presidential veto confer such power upon the President. Accordingly, the Court properly recognizes that it "must nevertheless establish that the challenged action under § 244(c)(2) is of the kind to which the procedural requirements of Art. I, § 7, apply," and admits that "[n]ot every action taken by either House is subject to the bicameralism and presentation requirements of Art. I." Ante at 952.
The terms of the Presentment Clauses suggest only that bills and their equivalent are subject to the requirements of bicameral passage and presentment to the President. Article I, § 7, cl. 2, stipulates only that "Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate [p981] shall, before it becomes a law, be presented to the President" for approval or disapproval, his disapproval then subject to being overridden by a two-thirds vote of both Houses. Section 7, cl. 3, goes further:
Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two-thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.
Although the Clause does not specify the actions for which the concurrence of both Houses is "necessary," the proceedings at the Philadelphia Convention suggest its purpose was to prevent Congress from circumventing the presentation requirement in the making of new legislation. James Madison observed that, if the President's veto was confined to bills, it could be evaded by calling a proposed law a "resolution" or "vote," rather than a "bill." Accordingly, he proposed that "or resolve" should be added after "bill" in what is now Clause 2 of 7. 2 M. Farrand, The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787, pp. 301-302 (1911). After a short discussion on the subject, the amendment was rejected. On the following day, however, Randolph renewed the proposal in the substantial form as it now appears, and the motion passed. Id. at 304-305; 5 J. Elliot, Debates on the Federal Constitution 431 (1845). The chosen language, Madison's comment, and the brevity of the Convention's consideration, all suggest a modest role was intended for the Clause, and no broad restraint on congressional authority was contemplated. See Stewart, Constitutionality of the Legislative Veto, 13 Harv.J.Legis. 593, 609-611 (1976). This reading is consistent with the historical background of the Presentment Clause itself, which reveals only that the Framers were concerned [p982] with limiting the methods for enacting new legislation. The Framers were aware of the experience in Pennsylvania, where the legislature had evaded the requirements attached to the passing of legislation by the use of "resolves," and the criticisms directed at this practice by the Council of Censors. [n17] There is no record that the Convention contemplated, let alone intended, that these Art. I requirements would someday be invoked to restrain the scope of congressional authority pursuant to duly enacted law. [n18] [p983]
When the Convention did turn its attention to the scope of Congress' lawmaking power, the Framers were expansive. The Necessary and Proper Clause, Art. I, § 8, cl. 18, vests [p984] Congress with the power
[t]o make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers [the enumerated powers of § 8] and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.
It is long settled that Congress may "exercise its best judgment in the selection of measures, to carry into execution the constitutional powers of the government," and "avail itself of experience, to exercise its reason, and to accommodate its legislation to circumstances." McCulloch v. Maryland, 4 Wheat. 316, 415-416, 420 (1819).
The Court heeded this counsel in approving the modern administrative state. The Court's holding today that all legislative-type action must be enacted through the lawmaking process ignores that legislative authority is routinely delegated to the Executive Branch, to the independent regulatory agencies, and to private individuals and groups.
The rise of administrative bodies probably has been the most significant legal trend of the last century. . . . They have become a veritable fourth branch of the Government, which has deranged our three-branch legal theories. . . .
This Court's decisions sanctioning such delegations make clear that Art. I does not require all action with the effect of legislation to be passed as a law.
Theoretically, agencies and officials were asked only to "fill up the details," and the rule was that "Congress cannot delegate any part of its legislative power except under the limitation of a prescribed standard." United States v. Chicago, M., St. P. & P. R. Co., 282 U.S. 311, 324 (1931). Chief Justice Taft elaborated the standard in J. W. Hampton & Co. v. United States, 276 U.S. 394, 409 (1928):
If Congress shall lay down by legislative act an intelligible principle to which the person or body authorized to fix such rates is directed to conform, such legislative action is not a forbidden delegation of legislative power.
In practice, however, restrictions on the scope of the power that could be delegated diminished and all but disappeared. In only two instances did the Court find an unconstitutional delegation. Panama Refining Co. v. Ryan, 293 U.S. 388 (1935); A. L. A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, 295 U.S. 495 (1935). In other cases, the "intelligible principle" through which agencies have attained enormous control over the economic affairs of the country was held to include such formulations as "just and reasonable," Tagg Bros. & Moorhead v. United States, 280 U.S. 420 (1930); "public interest," New York Central Securities Corp. v. United States, 287 U.S. 12 (1932); "public convenience, interest, or necessity," Federal Radio Comm'n v. Nelson Bros. Bond & Mortgage Co., 289 U.S. 266, 285 (1933); and "unfair methods of competition." FTC v. Gratz, 253 U.S. 421 (1920).
The wisdom and the constitutionality of these broad delegations are matters that still have not been put to rest. But for present purposes, these cases establish that, by virtue of congressional delegation, legislative power can be exercised by independent agencies and Executive departments without the passage of new legislation. For some time, the sheer amount of law -- the substantive rules that regulate private conduct and direct the operation of government -- made by [p986] the agencies has far outnumbered the lawmaking engaged in by Congress through the traditional process. There is no question but that agency rulemaking is lawmaking in any functional or realistic sense of the term. The Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. § 551(4), provides that a "rule" is an agency statement "designed to implement, interpret, or prescribe law or policy." When agencies are authorized to prescribe law through substantive rulemaking, the administrator's regulation is not only due deference, but is accorded "legislative effect." See, e.g., Schweiker v. Gray Panthers, 453 U.S. 34, 43-44 (1981); Batterton v. Francis, 432 U.S. 416 (1977). [n19] These regulations bind courts and officers of the Federal Government, may preempt state law, see, e.g., Fidelity Federal Savings & Loan Assn. v. De la Cuesta, 458 U.S. 141 (1982), and grant rights to and impose obligations on the public. In sum, they have the force of law.
If Congress may delegate lawmaking power to independent and Executive agencies, it is most difficult to understand Art. I as prohibiting Congress from also reserving a check on legislative power for itself. Absent the veto, the agencies receiving delegations of legislative or quasi-legislative power may issue regulations having the force of law without bicameral [p987] approval and without the President's signature. It is thus not apparent why the reservation of a veto over the exercise of that legislative power must be subject to a more exacting test. In both cases, it is enough that the initial statutory authorizations comply with the Art. I requirements.
Nor are there strict limits on the agents that may receive such delegations of legislative authority so that it might be said that the Legislature can delegate authority to others, but not to itself. While most authority to issue rules and regulations is given to the Executive Branch and the independent regulatory agencies, statutory delegations to private persons have also passed this Court's scrutiny. In Currin v. Wallace, 306 U.S. 1 (1939), the statute provided that restrictions upon the production or marketing of agricultural commodities was to become effective only upon the favorable vote by a prescribed majority of the affected farmers. United States v. Rock Royal Co-operative, Inc., 307 U.S. 533, 577 (1939), upheld an Act which gave producers of specified commodities the right to veto marketing orders issued by the Secretary of Agriculture. Assuming Currin and Rock Royal Cooperative remain sound law, the Court's decision today suggests that Congress may place a "veto" power over suspensions of deportation in private hands or in the hands of an independent agency, but is forbidden to reserve such authority for itself. Perhaps this odd result could be justified on other constitutional grounds, such as the separation of powers, but certainly it cannot be defended as consistent with the Court's view of the Art. I presentment and bicameralism commands. [n20] [p988]
The Court's opinion in the present cases comes closest to facing the reality of administrative lawmaking in considering the contention that the Attorney General's action in suspending deportation under § 244 is itself a legislative act. The Court posits that the Attorney General is acting in an Art. II enforcement capacity under § 244. This characterization is at odds with Mahler v. Eby, 264 U.S. 32, 40 (1924), where the power conferred on the Executive to deport aliens was considered a delegation of legislative power. The Court suggests, however, that the Attorney General acts in an Art. II capacity because
[t]he courts, when a case or controversy arises, can always "ascertain whether the will of Congress has been obeyed," Yakus v. United States, 321 U.S. 414, 425 (1944), and can enforce adherence to statutory standards.
Ante at 953, n. 16. This assumption is simply wrong, as the Court itself points out:
We are aware of no decision . . . where a federal court has reviewed a decision of the Attorney General suspending deportation of an alien pursuant to the standards set out in § 244(a)(1). This is not surprising, given that no party to such action has either the motivation or the right to appeal from it.
Ante at 957, n. 22. It is perhaps on the erroneous premise that judicial review may check abuses of the § 244 power that the Court also submits that
[t]he bicameral process is not necessary as a check on the Executive's administration of the laws, because his administrative activity cannot reach beyond the limits of the statute that created it -- a statute duly enacted pursuant to Art. I, §§ 1, 7.
Ante at 953, n. 16. On the other hand, the Court's reasoning does persuasively explain why a resolution of disapproval [p989] under § 244(c)(2) need not again be subject to the bicameral process. Because it serves only to check the Attorney General's exercise of the suspension authority granted by § 244, the disapproval resolution -- unlike the Attorney General's action -- "cannot reach beyond the limits of the statute that created it -- a statute duly enacted pursuant to Art. I."
More fundamentally, even if the Court correctly characterizes the Attorney General's authority under § 244 as an Art. II Executive power, the Court concedes that certain administrative agency action, such as rulemaking, "may resemble lawmaking" and recognizes that
[t]his Court has referred to agency activity as being "quasi-legislative" in character. Humphrey's Executor v. United States, 295 U.S. 602, 628 (1935).
Ante at 953, n. 16. Such rules and adjudications by the agencies meet the Court's own definition of legislative action for they "alte[r] the legal rights, duties, and relations of persons . . . outside the Legislative Branch," ante at 952, and involve "determinations of policy," ante at 954. Under the Court's analysis, the Executive Branch and the independent agencies may make rules with the effect of law while Congress, in whom the Framers confided the legislative power, Art. I, § 1, may not exercise a veto which precludes such rules from having operative force. If the effective functioning of a complex modern government requires the delegation of vast authority which, by virtue of its breadth, is legislative or "quasi-legislative" in character, I cannot accept that Art. I -- which is, after all, the source of the nondelegation doctrine -- should forbid Congress to qualify that grant with a legislative veto. [n21] [p990]
The Court also takes no account of perhaps the most relevant consideration: however resolutions of disapproval under § 244(c)(2) are formally characterized, in reality, a departure from the status quo occurs only upon the concurrence of opinion among the House, Senate, and President. Reservations of legislative authority to be exercised by Congress should be upheld if the exercise of such reserved authority is consistent with the distribution of and limits upon legislative power that Art. I provides.1
As its history reveals, § 244(c)(2) withstands this analysis. Until 1917, Congress had not broadly provided for the deportation of aliens. Act of Feb. 5, 1917, § 19, 39 Stat. 889. The Immigration Act of 1924 enlarged the categories of [p991] aliens subject to mandatory deportation, and substantially increased the likelihood of hardships to individuals by abolishing in most cases the previous time limitation of three years within which deportation proceedings had to be commenced. Immigration Act of 1924, ch.190, 43 Stat. 153. Thousands of persons, who either had entered the country in more lenient times or had been smuggled in as children, or had overstayed their permits, faced the prospect of deportation. Enforcement of the Act grew more rigorous over the years, with the deportation of thousands of aliens without regard to the mitigating circumstances of particular cases. See Mansfield, The Legislative Veto and the Deportation of Aliens, 1 Public Administration Review 281 (1941). Congress provided relief in certain cases through the passage of private bills.
In 1933, when deportations reached their zenith, the Secretary of Labor temporarily suspended numerous deportations on grounds of hardship, 78 Cong.Rec. 11783 (1934), and proposed legislation to allow certain deportable aliens to remain in the country. H.R. 9725, 73d Cong., 2d Sess. (1934). The Labor Department bill was opposed, however, as "grant[ing] too much discretionary authority," 78 Cong.Rec. 11790 (1934) (remarks of Rep. Dirksen), and it failed decisively. Id. at 11791.
The following year, the administration proposed bills to authorize an interdepartmental committee to grant permanent residence to deportable aliens who had lived in the United States for 10 years or who had close relatives here. S. 2969 and H.R. 8163, 74th Cong., 1st Sess. (1935). These bills were also attacked as an "abandonment of congressional control over the deportation of undesirable aliens," H.R.Rep. No. 1110, 74th Cong., 1st Sess., pt. 2, p. 2 (1935), and were not enacted. A similar fate awaited a bill introduced in the 75th Congress that would have authorized the Secretary to grant permanent residence to up to 8,000 deportable aliens. The measure passed the House, but did not come to a vote in the Senate. H.R. 6391, 75th Cong., 1st Sess., 83 Cong.Rec. 8992-8996 (1938). [p992]
The succeeding Congress again attempted to find a legislative solution to the deportation problem. The initial House bill required congressional action to cancel individual deportations, 84 Cong.Rec. 10455 (1939), but the Senate amended the legislation to provide that deportable aliens should not be deported unless the Congress, by Act or resolution, rejected the recommendation of the Secretary. H.R. 5138, § 10, as reported with amendments by S.Rep. No. 1721, 76th Cong., 3d Sess., 2 (1940). The compromise solution, the immediate predecessor to § 244(c), allowed the Attorney General to suspend the deportation of qualified aliens. Their deportation would be canceled and permanent residence granted if the House and Senate did not adopt a concurrent resolution of disapproval. S.Rep. No. 1796, 76th Cong., 3d Sess., 5-6 (1940). The Executive Branch played a major role in fashioning this compromise, see 86 Cong.Rec. 8345 (1940), and President Roosevelt approved the legislation, which became the Alien Registration Act of 1940, ch. 439, 54 Stat. 670.
In 1947, the Department of Justice requested legislation authorizing the Attorney General to cancel deportations without congressional review. H.R. 2933, 80th Cong., 1st Sess. (1947). The purpose of the proposal was to "save time and energy of everyone concerned. . . ." Regulating Powers of the Attorney General to Suspend Deportation of Aliens: Hearings on H.R. 245, H.R. 674, H.R. 1115, and H.R. 2933 before the Subcommittee on Immigration of the House Committee on the Judiciary, 80th Cong., 1st Sess., 34 (1947). The Senate Judiciary Committee objected, stating that "affirmative action by the Congress in all suspension cases should be required before deportation proceedings may be canceled." S.Rep. No. 1204, 80th Cong., 2d Sess., 4 (1948). See also H.R.Rep. No. 647, 80th Cong., 1st Sess., 2 (1947). Congress not only rejected the Department's request for final authority, but also amended the Immigration Act to require that cancellation of deportation be approved [p993] by a concurrent resolution of the Congress. President Truman signed the bill without objection. Act of July 1, 1948, ch. 783, 62 Stat. 1206.
Practice over the ensuing several years convinced Congress that the requirement of affirmative approval was "not workable . . . and would, in time, interfere with the legislative work of the House." House Judiciary Committee, H.R.Rep. No. 362, 81st Cong., 1st Sess., 2 (1949). In preparing the comprehensive Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952, the Senate Judiciary Committee recommended that, for certain classes of aliens, the adjustment of status be subject to the disapproval of either House; but deportation of an alien "who is of the criminal, subversive, or immoral classes or who overstays his period of admission," would be canceled only upon a concurrent resolution disapproving the deportation. S.Rep. No. 1515, 81st Cong., 2d Sess., 610 (1950). Legislation reflecting this change was passed by both Houses, and enacted into law as part of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 over President Truman's veto, which was not predicated on the presence of a legislative veto. Pub.L. 414, § 244(a), 66 Stat. 214. In subsequent years, the Congress refused further requests that the Attorney General be given final authority to grant discretionary relief for specified categories of aliens, and § 244 remained intact to the present.
Section 244(a)(1) authorizes the Attorney General, in his discretion, to suspend the deportation of certain aliens who are otherwise deportable and, upon Congress' approval, to adjust their status to that of aliens lawfully admitted for permanent residence. In order to be eligible for this relief, an alien must have been physically present in the United States for a continuous period of not less than seven years, must prove he is of good moral character, and must prove that he or his immediate family would suffer "extreme hardship" if he is deported. Judicial review of a denial of relief may be sought. Thus, the suspension proceeding
has two phases: a [p994] determination whether the statutory conditions have been met, which generally involves a question of law, and a determination whether relief shall be granted, which [ultimately] is confided to the sound discretion of the Attorney General [and his delegates].
2 C. Gordon & H. Rosenfield, Immigration Law and Procedure § 7.9a(5), p. 7-134 (rev. ed.1983).
There is also a third phase to the process. Under § 244(c)(1), the Attorney General must report all such suspensions, with a detailed statement of facts and reasons, to the Congress. Either House may then act, in that session or the next, to block the suspension of deportation by passing a resolution of disapproval. § 244(c)(2). Upon congressional approval of the suspension -- by its silence -- the alien's permanent status is adjusted to that of a lawful resident alien.
The history of the Immigration and Nationality Act makes clear that § 244(c)(2) did not alter the division of actual authority between Congress and the Executive. At all times, whether through private bills, or through affirmative concurrent resolutions, or through the present one-House veto, a permanent change in a deportable alien's status could be accomplished only with the agreement of the Attorney General, the House, and the Senate.2
The central concern of the presentment and bicameralism requirements of Art. I is that, when a departure from the legal status quo is undertaken, it is done with the approval of the President and both Houses of Congress -- or, in the event of a Presidential veto, a two-thirds majority in both Houses. This interest is fully satisfied by the operation of § 244(c)(2). The President's approval is found in the Attorney General's action in recommending to Congress that the deportation order for a given alien be suspended. The House and the Senate indicate their approval of the Executive's action by not passing a resolution of disapproval within the statutory period. Thus, a change in the legal status quo -- the deportability of the alien -- is consummated only with the approval [p995] of each of the three relevant actors. The disagreement of any one of the three maintains the alien's preexisting status: the Executive may choose not to recommend suspension; the House and Senate may each veto the recommendation. The effect on the rights and obligations of the affected individuals and upon the legislative system is precisely the same as if a private bill were introduced but failed to receive the necessary approval.
The President and the two Houses enjoy exactly the same say in what the law is to be as would have been true for each without the presence of the one-House veto, and nothing in the law is changed absent the concurrence of the President and a majority in each House.
Atkins v. United States, 214 Ct.Cl. 186, 250, 556 F.2d 1028, 1064 (1977), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 1009 (1978).
This very construction of the Presentment Clauses which the Executive Branch now rejects was the basis upon which the Executive Branch defended the constitutionality of the Reorganization Act, 5 U.S.C. § 906(a) (1982 ed.), which provides that the President's proposed reorganization plans take effect only if not vetoed by either House. When the Department of Justice advised the Senate on the constitutionality of congressional review in reorganization legislation in 1949, it stated:
In this procedure, there is no question involved of the Congress taking legislative action beyond its initial passage of the Reorganization Act.
Thus understood, § 244(c)(2) fully effectuates the purposes of the bicameralism and presentment requirements. I now briefly consider possible objections to the analysis.
First, it may be asserted that Chadha's status before legislative disapproval is one of nondeportation, and that the exercise of the veto, unlike the failure of a private bill, works a change in the status quo. This position plainly ignores the statutory language. At no place in § 244 has Congress delegated to the Attorney General any final power to determine which aliens shall be allowed to remain in the United States. Congress has retained the ultimate power to pass on such changes in deportable status. By its own terms, § 244(a) states that whatever power the Attorney General has been delegated to suspend deportation and adjust status is to be exercisable only "[a]s hereinafter prescribed in this section." Subsection (c) is part of that section. A grant of "suspension" does not cancel the alien's deportation or adjust the alien's status to that of a permanent resident alien. A suspension order is merely a "deferment of deportation," McGrath v. Kristensen, 340 U.S. 162, 168 (1950), which can mature into a cancellation of deportation and adjustment of status only upon the approval of Congress -- by way of silence -- under § 244(c)(2). Only then does the statute authorize the Attorney General to "cancel deportation proceedings," § 244(c)(2), and "record the alien's lawful admission for permanent residence. . . ." § 244(d). The Immigration and Naturalization Service's action, on behalf of the Attorney General, "cannot become effective without ratification by Congress." 2 C. Gordon & H. Rosenfield, Immigration Law [p997] and Procedure 8.14, p. 8-121 (rev. ed.1983). Until that ratification occurs, the Executive's action is simply a recommendation that Congress finalize the suspension -- in itself, it works no legal change.
Second, it may be said that this approach leads to the incongruity that the two-House veto is more suspect than its one-House brother. Although the idea may be initially counterintuitive, on close analysis, it is not at all unusual that the one-House veto is of more certain constitutionality than the two-House version. If the Attorney General's action is a proposal for legislation, then the disapproval of but a single House is all that is required to prevent its passage. Because approval is indicated by the failure to veto, the one-House veto satisfies the requirement of bicameral approval. The two-House version may present a different question. The concept that "neither branch of Congress, when acting separately, can lawfully exercise more power than is conferred by the Constitution on the whole body," Kilbourn v. Thompson, 103 U.S. 168, 182 (1881), is fully observed. [n23]
Third, it may be objected that Congress cannot indicate its approval of legislative change by inaction. In the Court of Appeals' view, inaction by Congress "could equally imply endorsement, acquiescence, passivity, indecision, or indifference," 634 F.2d 408, 435 (1980), and the Court appears to echo this concern, ante at 462 U.S. 958"]958, n. 23. This objection appears more properly directed at the wisdom of the legislative veto than its constitutionality. The Constitution does not and cannot guarantee that legislators will carefully scrutinize legislation and deliberate before acting. In a democracy, it is the electorate that holds the legislators accountable for the wisdom of their choices. It is hard to maintain that a private bill receives any greater individualized scrutiny than a resolution [p998] of disapproval under § 244(c)(2). Certainly the legislative veto is no more susceptible to this attack than the Court's increasingly common practice of according weight to the failure of Congress to disturb an Executive or independent agency's action. See n. 11, supra. Earlier this Term, the Court found it important that Congress failed to act on bills proposed to overturn the Internal Revenue Service's interpretation of the requirements for tax-exempt status under § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. 958, n. 23. This objection appears more properly directed at the wisdom of the legislative veto than its constitutionality. The Constitution does not and cannot guarantee that legislators will carefully scrutinize legislation and deliberate before acting. In a democracy, it is the electorate that holds the legislators accountable for the wisdom of their choices. It is hard to maintain that a private bill receives any greater individualized scrutiny than a resolution [p998] of disapproval under § 244(c)(2). Certainly the legislative veto is no more susceptible to this attack than the Court's increasingly common practice of according weight to the failure of Congress to disturb an Executive or independent agency's action. See n. 11, supra. Earlier this Term, the Court found it important that Congress failed to act on bills proposed to overturn the Internal Revenue Service's interpretation of the requirements for tax-exempt status under § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Bob Jones University v. United States, 461 U.S. 574, 600-601 (1983). If Congress may be said to have ratified the Internal Revenue Service's interpretation without passing new legislation, Congress may also be said to approve a suspension of deportation by the Attorney General when it fails to exercise its veto authority. [n24] The requirements of Art. I are not compromised by the congressional scheme.
The Court of Appeals struck § 244(c)(2) as violative of the constitutional principle of separation of powers. It is true that the purpose of separating the authority of Government is to prevent unnecessary and dangerous concentration of power in one branch. For that reason, the Framers saw fit to divide and balance the powers of Government so that each branch would be checked by the others. Virtually every part of our constitutional system bears the mark of this judgment. [p999]
But the history of the separation of powers doctrine is also a history of accommodation and practicality. Apprehensions of an overly powerful branch have not led to undue prophylactic measures that handicap the effective working of the National Government as a whole. The Constitution does not contemplate total separation of the three branches of Government. Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1, 121 (1976).
[A] hermetic sealing off of the three branches of Government from one another would preclude the establishment of a Nation capable of governing itself effectively.
Our decisions reflect this judgment. As already noted, the Court, recognizing that modern government must address a formidable agenda of complex policy issues, countenanced the delegation of extensive legislative authority to Executive and independent agencies. J. W. Hampton & Co. v. United States, 276 U.S. 394, 406 (1928). The separation-of-powers doctrine has heretofore led to the invalidation of Government action only when the challenged action violated some express provision in the Constitution. In Buckley v. Valeo, supra, at 424 U.S. 118"]118-124 (per curiam), and 118-124 (per curiam), and Myers v. United States, 272 U.S. 52 (1926), congressional action compromised the appointment power of the President. See also Springer v. Philippine Islands, 277 U.S. 189, 200-201 (1928). In United States v. Klein, 13 Wall. 128 (1872), an Act of Congress was struck for encroaching upon judicial [p1000] power, but the Court found that the Act also impinged upon the Executive's exclusive pardon power. Art. II, § 2. Because we must have a workable efficient Government, this is as it should be.
This is the teaching of Nixon v. Administrator of General Services, 433 U.S. 425 (1977), which, in rejecting a separation of powers objection to a law requiring that the Administrator take custody of certain Presidential papers, set forth a framework for evaluating such claims:
[I]n determining whether the Act disrupts the proper balance between the coordinate branches, the proper inquiry focuses on the extent to which it prevents the Executive Branch from accomplishing its constitutionally assigned functions. United States v. Nixon, 418 U.S. at 711-712. Only where the potential for disruption is present must we then determine whether that impact is justified by an overriding need to promote objectives within the constitutional authority of Congress.
Id. at 443.
Section 244(c)(2) survives this test. The legislative veto provision does not "preven[t] the Executive Branch from accomplishing its constitutionally assigned functions." First, it is clear that the Executive Branch has no "constitutionally assigned" function of suspending the deportation of aliens. "‘[O]ver no conceivable subject is the legislative power of Congress more complete than it is over' the admission of aliens." Kleindienst v. Mandel, 408 U.S. 753, 766 (1972), quoting Oceanic Steam Navigation Co. v. Stranahan, 214 U.S. 320, 339 (1909). Nor can it be said that the inherent function of the Executive Branch in executing the law is involved. The Steel Seizure Case resolved that the Art. II mandate for the President to execute the law is a directive to enforce the law which Congress has written. Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer, 343 U.S. 579 (1952).
The duty of the President to see that the laws be executed is a [p1001] duty that does not go beyond the laws or require him to achieve more than Congress sees fit to leave within his power.
Myers v. United States, 272 U.S. at 177 (Holmes, J., dissenting); id. at 247 (Brandeis, J., dissenting). Here, § 244 grants the Executive only a qualified suspension authority, and it is only that authority which the President is constitutionally authorized to execute.
Moreover, the Court believes that the legislative veto we consider today is best characterized as an exercise of legislative or quasi-legislative authority. Under this characterization, the practice does not, even on the surface, constitute an infringement of executive or judicial prerogative. The Attorney General's suspension of deportation is equivalent to a proposal for legislation. The nature of the Attorney General's role as recommendatory is not altered because § 244 provides for congressional action through disapproval, rather than by ratification. In comparison to private bills, which must be initiated in the Congress and which allow a Presidential veto to be overriden by a two-thirds majority in both Houses of Congress, § 244 augments, rather than reduces, the Executive Branch's authority. So understood, congressional review does not undermine, as the Court of Appeals thought, the "weight and dignity" that attends the decisions of the Executive Branch.
Nor does § 244 infringe on the judicial power, as JUSTICE POWELL would hold. Section 244 makes clear that Congress has reserved its own judgment as part of the statutory process. Congressional action does not substitute for judicial review of the Attorney General's decisions. The Act provides for judicial review of the refusal of the Attorney General to suspend a deportation and to transmit a recommendation to Congress. INS v. Jong Ha Wang, 450 U.S. 139 (1981) (per curiam). But the courts have not been given the authority to review whether an alien should be given permanent status; review is limited to whether the Attorney General has properly [p1002] applied the statutory standards for essentially denying the alien a recommendation that his deportable status be changed by the Congress. Moreover, there is no constitutional obligation to provide any judicial review whatever for a failure to suspend deportation.
The power of Congress, therefore, to expel, like the power to exclude aliens, or any specified class of aliens, from the country, may be exercised entirely through executive officers; or Congress may call in the aid of the judiciary to ascertain any contested facts on which an alien's right to be in the country has been made by Congress to depend.
Fong Yue Ting v. United States, 149 U.S. 698, 713-714 (1893). See also Tutun v. United States, 270 U.S. 568, 576 (1926); Ludecke v. Watkins, 335 U.S. 160, 171-172 (1948); Harisiades v. Shaughnessy, 342 U.S. 580, 590 (1952).
I do not suggest that all legislative vetoes are necessarily consistent with separation of powers principles. A legislative check on an inherently executive function, for example, that of initiating prosecutions, poses an entirely different question. But the legislative veto device here -- and in many other settings -- is far from an instance of legislative tyranny over the Executive. It is a necessary check on the unavoidably expanding power of the agencies, both Executive and independent, as they engage in exercising authority delegated by Congress.
I regret that I am in disagreement with my colleagues on the fundamental questions that these cases present. But even more I regret the destructive scope of the Court's holding. It reflects a profoundly different conception of the Constitution than that held by the courts which sanctioned the modern administrative state. Today's decision strikes down in one fell swoop provisions in more laws enacted by Congress than the Court has cumulatively invalidated in its history. I fear it will now be more difficult to
insur[e] that the fundamental policy decisions in our society will be made not [p1003] by an appointed official, but by the body immediately responsible to the people,
Arizona v. California, 373 U.S. 546, 626 (1963) (Harlan, J., dissenting in part). I must dissent.APPENDIX TO OPINION OF WHITE, J., DISSENTINGSTATUTES WITH PROVISIONS AUTHORIZINGCONGRESSIONAL REVIEW
This compilation, reprinted from the Brief for the United States Senate, identifies and describes briefly current statutory provisions for a legislative veto by one or both Houses of Congress. Statutory provisions for a veto by Committees of the Congress and provisions which require legislation (i.e., passage of a joint resolution) are not included. The 55 statutes in the compilation (some of which contain more than one provision for legislative review) are divided into six broad categories: foreign affairs and national security, budget, international trade, energy, rulemaking and miscellaneous.
FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND NATIONAL SECURITY
1. Act for International Development of 1961, Pub.L. No. 87-195, § 617, 75 Stat. 424, 444, [as amended,] 22 U.S.C. § 2367 [(1976 ed., Supp. V)] (Funds made available for foreign assistance under the Act may be terminated by concurrent resolution).
2. War Powers Resolution, Pub.L. No. 93-148, § 5, 87 Stat. 555, 556-557 (1973), [as amended,] 50 U.S.C. § 1544 [(1976 ed. and Supp. V)] (Absent declaration of war, President may be directed by concurrent resolution to remove United States armed forces engaged in foreign hostilities.)
3. Department of Defense Appropriation Authorization Act, 1974, Pub.L. No. 93-155, § 807, 87 Stat. 605, 615 (1973), 50 U.S.C. § 1431 (National defense contracts obligating the United States for any amount in excess of $25,000,000 may be disapproved by resolution of either House). [p1004]
4. Department of Defense Appropriation Authorization Act, 1975, Pub.L. No. 93-365, § 709(c), 88 Stat. 399, 408 (1974), [as amended,] 50 U.S.C. app. § 2403-1(c) [(1976 ed., Supp. V)] (Applications for export of defense goods, technology or techniques may be disapproved by concurrent resolution).
5. H.R.J.Res. 683, Pub.L. No. 94-110, § 1, 89 Stat. 572 (1975), 22 U.S.C. § 2441 note (Assignment of civilian personnel to Sinai may be disapproved by concurrent resolution).
6. International Development and Food Assistance Act of 1975, Pub.L. No. 94-161, § 310, 89 Stat. 849, 860, [as amended,] 22 U.S.C. § 215m [(1976 ed., Supp. V)] (Foreign assistance to countries not meeting human rights standards may be terminated by concurrent resolution).
7. International Security Assistance and Arms [Export] Control Act of 1976, Pub.L. No. 94-329, §[211(a)], 90 Stat. 729, 743, [as amended,] 22 U.S.C. § 2776(b) [(1976 ed. and Supp. V)] (President's letter of offer to sell major defense equipment may be disapproved by concurrent resolution).
8. National Emergencies Act, Pub.L. No. 94-412, § 202, 90 Stat. 1255 (1976), 50 U.S.C. § 1622 (Presidentially declared national emergency may be terminated by concurrent resolution).
9. International Navigational Rules Act of 1977, Pub.L. No. 95-75, § 3(d), 91 Stat. 308, 33 U.S.C. § 1602(d) [(1976 ed., Supp. V)] (Presidential proclamation of International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea may be disapproved by concurrent resolution).
10. International Security Assistance Act of 1977, Pub.L. No. 95-92, § 16, 91 Stat. 614, 622, 22 U.S.C. § 2753(d)(2) (President's proposed transfer of arms to a third country may be disapproved by concurrent resolution).
11. Act of December , 1977, Pub.L. No. 95-223, § [207(b)], 91 Stat. 1625, 1628, 50 U.S.C. § 1706(b) [(1976 ed., Supp. V)] (Presidentially declared national emergency and exercise of conditional powers may be terminated by concurrent resolution). [p1005]
12. Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978, Pub.L. No. 95242, §§ [303(a), 304(a)], 306, 307, 401, 92 Stat. 120, 130, 134, 137-38, 139, 144, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2160(f), 2155(b), 2157(b),  2153(d) [(1976 ed., Supp. V)] (Cooperative agreements concerning storage and disposition of spent nuclear fuel, proposed export of nuclear facilities, materials or technology and proposed agreements for international cooperation in nuclear reactor development may be disapproved by concurrent resolution).
13. Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, Pub.L. No. 93-344, § 1013, 88 Stat. 297, 334-35, 31 U.S.C. § 1403 (The proposed deferral of budget authority provided for a specific project or purpose may be disapproved by an impoundment resolution by either House).
14. Trade Expansion Act of 1962, Pub.L. No. 87-794, § 351, 76 Stat. 872, 899, 19 U.S.C. § 1981(a) (Tariff or duty recommended by Tariff Commission may be imposed by concurrent resolution of approval).
15. Trade Act of 1974, Pub.L. No. 93-618, §§ 203(c), 302(b), 402(d), 407, 88 Stat.1978, 2016, 2043, 2057-60, 2063-64, [as amended,] 19 U.S.C. §§ 2253(c), 2412(b), 2432, [2437 (1976 ed. and Supp. V)] (Proposed Presidential actions on import relief and actions concerning certain countries may be disapproved by concurrent resolution; various Presidential proposals for waiver extensions and for extension of nondiscriminatory treatment to products of foreign countries may be disapproved by simple (either House) or concurrent resolutions).
16. Export-Import Bank Amendments of 1974, Pub.L. No. 93-646, § 8, 88 Stat. 2333, 2336, 12 U.S.C. § [635e(b)] (Presidentially proposed limitation for exports to USSR in [p1006] excess of $300,000,000 must be approved by concurrent resolution).
17. Act of November 16, 1973, Pub.L. No. 93-153, § 101, 87 Stat. 576, 582, 30 U.S.C. § 185(u) (Continuation of oil exports being made pursuant to President's finding that such exports are in the national interest may be disapproved by concurrent resolution).
18. Federal Nonnuclear Energy Research and Development Act of 1974, Pub.L. No. 93-577, § 12, 88 Stat. 1878, 1892-1893, 42 U.S.C. § 5911 (Rules or orders proposed by the President concerning allocation or acquisition of essential materials may be disapproved by resolution of either House).
19. Energy Policy and Conservation Act, Pub.L. No. 94163, § 551, 89 Stat. 871, 965 (1975), 42 U.S.C. § 6421(c) (Certain Presidentially proposed "energy actions" involving fuel economy and pricing may be disapproved by resolution of either House).
20. Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act of 1976, Pub.L. No. 94-258, § [201(3)], 90 Stat. 303, 309, 10 U.S.C. § 7422(c)(2)(C) (President's extension of production period for naval petroleum reserves may be disapproved by resolution of either House).
22. Department of Energy Act of 1978 -- Civilian Applications, Pub.L. No. 95-238, §§ 107, 207(b), 92 Stat. 47, 55, 70, 22 U.S.C. § 3224a 42 U.S.C. § 5919(m) [(1976 ed., Supp. V)] (International agreements and expenditures by Secretary of Energy of appropriations for foreign spent nuclear fuel storage must be approved by concurrent resolution, if not consented to by legislation) (plans for such use of appropriated funds may be disapproved by either House) (financing in excess of $50,000,000 for demonstration facilities must be approved by resolution in both Houses). [p1007]
23. Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act Amendments of 1978, Pub.L. No. 95-372, §§ 205(a), 208, 92 Stat. 629, 641-668, 43 U.S.C. §§ 1337(a), 1354(c) [(1976 ed., Supp. V); (Establishment by Secretary of Energy of oil and gas lease bidding system may be disapproved by resolution of either House) (export of oil and gas may be disapproved by concurrent resolution).]
24. Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978, Pub.L. No. 95-621, §§ 122(c)(1) and (2), 202(c), 206(d)(2), 507, 92 Stat. 3350, 3370 3371, 3372, 3380, 3406, 15 U.S.C. §§ 3332 3342(c), 3346(d)(2), 3417 [(1976 ed., Supp. V)] (Presidential reimposition of natural gas price controls may be disapproved by concurrent resolution) (Congress may reimpose natural gas price controls by concurrent resolution) (Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) amendment to pass through incremental costs of natural gas, and exemptions therefrom, may be disapproved by resolution of either House) (procedure for congressional review established).
25. Export Administration Act of 1979, Pub.L. No. 9672, §§ [7(d)(2)(B)] 7(g)(3), 93 Stat. 503, 518, 520, 50 U.S.C. app. §§2406(d)(2)(B), 2406(g)(3) [(1976 ed., Supp. V)] (President's proposal to [export] domestically produce[d] crude oil must be approved by concurrent resolution) (action by Secretary of Commerce to prohibit or curtail export of agricultural commodities may be disapproved by concurrent resolution).
26. Energy Security Act, Pub.L. No. 96-294, §§ 104 (b)(3), 104(e), 126(d)(2), 126(d)(3), 128, 129, 132(a)(3), 133 (a)(3), 137(b)(5), 141(d), 179(a), 803, 94 Stat. 611, 618, 619, 620, 623-26, 628-29, 649, 650-52, 659, 660, 664, 666, 679, 776 (1980) 50 U.S.C. app. §§ 2091-93, 2095, 2096, 2097, 42 U.S.C. 8722 8724, 8725, 8732, 8733, 8737, 8741, 8779, 6240 [(1976 ed., Supp. V)] (Loan guarantees by Departments of Defense, Energy and Commerce in excess of specified amounts may be disapproved by resolution of either House) (President's proposal to provide loans or guarantees in excess [p1008] of established amounts may be disapproved by resolution of either House) (proposed award by President of individual contracts for purchase of more than 75,000 barrels per day of crude oil may be disapproved by resolution of either House) (President's proposals to overcome energy shortage through synthetic fuels development, and individual contracts to purchase more than 75,000 barrels per day, including use of loans or guarantees, may be disapproved by resolution of either House) (procedures for either House to disapprove proposals made under Act are established) (request by Synthetic Fuels Corporation (SFC) for additional time to submit its comprehensive strategy may be disapproved by resolution of either House) (proposed amendment to comprehensive strategy by SFC Board of Directors may be disapproved by concurrent resolution of either House or by failure of both Houses to pass concurrent resolution of approval) (procedure for either House to disapprove certain proposed actions of SFC is established) (procedure for both Houses to approve by concurrent resolution or either House to reject concurrent resolution for proposed amendments to comprehensive strategy of SFC is established) (proposed loans and loan guarantees by SFC may be disapproved by resolution of either House) (acquisition by SFC of a synthetic fuels project which is receiving financial assistance may be disapproved by resolution of either House) (SFC contract renegotiations exceeding initial cost estimates by 175% may be disapproved by resolution of either House) (proposed financial assistance to synthetic fuel projects in Western Hemisphere outside United States may be disapproved by resolution of either House) (President's request to suspend provisions requiring build up of reserves and limiting sale or disposal of certain crude oil reserves must be approved by resolution of both Houses).
27. Education Amendments of 1974, Pub.L. No. 93-380, § [509(a)], 88 Stat. 484, 567, 20 U.S.C. § 1232(d)(1) [(1976 ed., [p1009] Supp. V)] (Department of Education regulations may be disapproved by concurrent resolution).
28. Federal Education Campaign Act Amendments of 1979, Pub.L. No. 96-187, § 109, 93 Stat. 1339, 1364, 2 U.S.C. ¢ 438(d)(2) [(1976 ed., Supp. V)] (Proposed rules and regulations of the Federal Election Commission may be disapproved by resolution of either House).
29. Act of January 2, 1975, Pub.L. No. 93-595, § [2(a)(1)], 88 Stat.1926, 1948, 28 U.S.C. § 2076 (Proposed amendments by Supreme Court of Federal Rules of Evidence may be disapproved by resolution of either House).
30. Act of August 9, 1975, Pub.L. No. 94-88, § 208, 89 Stat. 433, 436-37, 42 U.S.C. § 602 note (Social Security standards proposed by Secretary of Health and Human Services may be disapproved by either House).
31. Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, Pub.L. No. 95-504, § 43(f)(3), 92 Stat. 1705, 1752, 49 U.S.C. § 1552(f) [(1976 ed., Supp. V)] (Rules or regulations governing employee protection program may be disapproved by resolution of either House).
32. Education Amendments of 1978, Pub.L. No. 95-561, §§ 1138, [212(b)], 1409, 92 Stat. 2143, 2327, 2341, 2369, 25 U.S.C. § 2018 20 U.S.C. §§ , 1221-3(e) [(1976 ed., Supp. V)] (Rules and regulations proposed under the Act may be disapproved by concurrent resolution).
33. Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, Pub.L. No. 96-247, § 7(b)(1), 94 Stat. 349, 352-353 (1980) 42 U.S.C. § 1997e [(1976 ed., Supp. V)] (Attorney General's proposed standards for resolution of grievances of adults confined in correctional facilities may be disapproved by resolution of either House).
34. Federal Trade Commission Improvements Act of 1980, Pub.L. No. 96-252, § 21(a), 94 Stat. 374, 393, 15 U.S.C. § 57a-1 [(1976 ed., Supp. V)] (Federal Trade Commission rules may be disapproved by concurrent resolution).
35 Department of Education Organization Act, Pub.L. No. 96-88, § 414(b), 93 Stat. 668, 685 (1979), 20 U.S.C. § 3474 [p1010] [(1976 ed., Supp. V)] (Rules and regulations promulgated with respect to the various functions, programs and responsibilities transferred by this Act, may be disapproved by concurrent resolution).
36. Multiemployer Pension Plan Amendments Act of 1980, Pub.L. No. 96-364, § 102, 94 Stat. 1208, 1213, 29 U.S.C. § 1322a [(1976 ed., Supp. V)] (Schedules proposed by Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) which requires an increase in premiums must be approved by concurrent resolution) (revised premium schedules for voluntary supplemental coverage proposed by PBGC may be disapproved by concurrent resolution).
37. Farm Credit Act Amendments of 1980, Pub.L. No. 96-592, §508, 94 Stat. 3437, 3450, 12 U.S.C. § [2252 (1976 ed., Supp. V)] (Certain Farm Credit Administration regulations may be disapproved by concurrent resolution or delayed by resolution of either House.)
38. Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, Pub.L. No. 96-510, § 305, 94 Stat. 2767, 2809, 42 U.S.C. § 9655 [(1976 ed., Supp. V)] (Environmental Protection Agency regulations concerning hazardous substances releases, liability and compensation may be disapproved by concurrent resolution or by the adoption of either House of a concurrent resolution which is not disapproved by the other House).
39. National Historic Preservation Act Amendments of 1980, Pub.L. No. 96-515, § 501, 94 Stat. 2987, 3004, 16 U.S.C. § 470w-6 [(1976 ed., Supp. V)] (Regulation proposed by the Secretary of the Interior may be disapproved by concurrent resolution).
40. Coastal Zone Management Improvement Act of 1980, Pub.L. No. 96-464, § 12, 94 Stat. 2060, 2067, 16 U.S.C. § 1463a [(1976 ed., Supp. V)] (Rules proposed by the Secretary of Commerce may be disapproved by concurrent resolution).
41. Act of December 17, 1980, Pub.L. No. 96-539, § 4, 94 Stat. 3194, 3195, 7 U.S.C. § 136w [(1976 ed., Supp. V)] (Rules or regulations promulgated by the Administrator of the Environmental [p1011] Protection Agency under the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act may be disapproved by concurrent resolution).
42. Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, Pub.L. No. 97-35, §§ § 533(a)(2), 1107(d), 1142, 1183(a)(2), 1207, 95 Stat. 357, 453, 626, 654, 659, 695, 718-20, 20 U.S.C. § 1089 23 U.S.C. § 402(j), 45 U.S.C. §§ 761 767, 564(c)(3), 15 U.S.C. §§ 2083 1276, 1204 [(1976 ed., Supp. V)] (Secretary of Education's schedule of expected family contributions for Pell Grant recipients may be disapproved by resolution of either House) (rules promulgated by Secretary of Transportation for programs to reduce accidents, injuries and deaths may be disapproved by resolution of either House) (Secretary of Transportation's plan for the sale of government's common stock in rail system may be disapproved by concurrent resolution) (Secretary of Transportation's approval of freight transfer agreements may be disapproved by resolution of either House) (amendments to Amtrak's Route and Service Criteria may be disapproved by resolution of either House) (Consumer Product Safety Commission regulations may be disapproved by concurrent resolution of both Houses, or by concurrent resolution of disapproval by either House if such resolution is not disapproved by the other House).
43. Federal Civil Defense Act of 1950, Pub.L. No. 81920, § 201, 64 Stat. 1245, 1248, [as amended,] 50 app.U.S.C. § 2281(g) [(1976 ed., Supp. V)] (Interstate civil defense compacts may be disapproved by concurrent resolution).
44. National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, Pub.L. No. 85-568, § [302(c)], 72 Stat. 426, 433, 42 U.S.C. § 2453 (President's transfer to National Air and Space Administration of functions of other departments and agencies may be disapproved by concurrent resolution). [p1012]
45. Federal Pay Comparability Act of 1970, Pub.L. No. 91-656, § 3, 84 Stat.1946, 1949, 5 U.S.C. § 5305 (President's alternative pay plan may be disapproved by resolution of either House).
46. Act of October 19, 1973, Pub.L. No. 93-134, § 5, 87 Stat. 466, 468, 25 U.S.C. § 1405 (Plan for use and distribution of funds paid in satisfaction of judgment of Indian Claims Commission or Court of Claims may be disapproved by resolution of either House).
47. Menominee Restoration Act, Pub.L. No. 93-197, § 6, 87 Stat. 770, 773 (1973), 25 U.S.C. § 903d(b) (Plan by Secretary of the Interior for assumption of the assets [of] the Menominee Indian corporation may be disapproved by resolution of either House).
48. District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, Pub.L. No. 93-198, §§ 303, 602(c)(1) and (2), 87 Stat. 774, 784, 814 (1973) (District of Columbia Charter amendments ratified by electors must be approved by concurrent resolution) (acts of District of Columbia Council may be disapproved by concurrent resolution) (acts of District of Columbia Council under certain titles of D.C.Code may be disapproved by resolution of either House).
49. Act of December 31, 1975, Pub.L. No. 94-200, § 102, 89 Stat. 1124, 12 U.S.C. §461 note (Federal Reserve System Board of Governors may not eliminate or reduce interest rate differentials between banks insured by Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and associations insured by Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporations without concurrent resolution of approval).
50. Veterans' Education and Employment Assistance Act of 1976, Pub.L. No. 94-502, § 408, 90 Stat. 2383, 2397-98, 38 U.S.C. § 1621 note (President's recommendation for continued enrollment period in Armed Forces educational assistance program may be disapproved by resolution of either House). [p1013]
51. Federal Land Policy and Management Act of 1976, Pub.L. No. 94-579, §§ 203(c), 204(c)(1), 90 Stat. 2743, 2750, 2752, 43 U.S.C. §§ 1713(c), 1714 (Sale of public lands in excess of two thousand five hundred acres and withdrawal of public lands aggregating five thousand acres or more may be disapproved by concurrent resolution).
52. Emergency Unemployment Compensation Extension Act of 1977, Pub.L. No. 95-19, § [401(a)] 91 Stat. 39, 45, 2 U.S.C. § 359 [(1976 ed., Supp. V)] (President's recommendations regarding rates of salary payment may be disapproved by resolution of either House).
53. Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, Pub.L. No. 95-454, § 415, 92 Stat. 1111, 1179, 5 U.S.C. § 3131 note [(1976 ed., Supp. V)] (Continuation of Senior Executive Service may be disapproved by concurrent resolution).
54. Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act of 1978, Pub.L. No. 95-523, § 304(b), 92 Stat. 1887, 1906, 31 U.S.C. § 1322 [(1976 ed., Supp. V)] (Presidential timetable for reducing unemployment may be superseded by concurrent resolution).
55. District of Columbia Retirement Reform Act, Pub.L. No. 96-122, § 164, 93 Stat. 866, 891-92 (1979) (Required reports to Congress on the District of Columbia retirement program may be rejected by resolution of either House).
56. Act of August 29, 1980, Pub.L. No. 96-332, § 2, 94 Stat. 1057, 1058, 16 U.S.C. § 1432 [(1976 ed., Supp. V)] (Designation of marine sanctuary by the Secretary of Commerce may be disapproved by concurrent resolution).
1. As JUSTICE POWELL observes in his separate opinion,
the respect due [Congress'] judgment as a coordinate branch of Government cautions that our holding should be no more extensive than necessary to decide these cases.
Ante at 960. The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit also recognized that
we are not here faced with a situation in which the unforeseeability of future circumstances or the broad scope and complexity of the subject matter of an agency's rulemaking authority preclude the articulation of specific criteria in the governing statute itself. Such factors might present considerations different from those we find here, both as to the question of separation of powers and the legitimacy of the unicameral device.
634 F.2d 408, 433 (1980) (footnote omitted).
2. A selected list and brief description of these provisions is appended to this opinion.
3. Watson, Congress Steps Out: A Look at Congressional Control of the Executive, 63 Calif.L.Rev. 983, 1089-1090 (1975) (listing statutes).
4. The Roosevelt administration submitted proposed legislation containing veto provisions and defended their constitutionality. See, e.g., General Counsel to the Office of Price Administration, Statement on Constitutionality of Concurrent Resolution Provision of Proposed Price Control Bill (H.R. 5479), reprinted in Price-Control Bill: Hearings on H.R. 5479 before the House Committee on Banking and Currency, 77th Cong., 1st Sess., pt. 1, p. 983 (1941).
5. Presidential objections to the veto, until the veto by President Nixon of the War Powers Resolution, principally concerned bills authorizing Committee vetoes. As the Senate Subcommittee on Separation of Powers found in 1969,
an accommodation was reached years ago on legislative vetoes exercised by the entire Congress or by one House, [while] disputes have continued to arise over the committee form of the veto.
S.Rep. No. 91-549, p. 14 (1969). Presidents Kennedy and Johnson proposed enactment of statutes with legislative veto provisions. See National Wilderness Preservation Act: Hearings on S. 4 before the Senate Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs, 88th Cong., 1st Sess., 4 (1963) (President Kennedy's proposals for withdrawal of wilderness areas); President's Message to the Congress Transmitting the Budget for Fiscal Year 1970, 5 Weekly Comp.Pres.Doc. 70, 73 (1969) (President Johnson's proposals allowing legislative veto of tax surcharge). The administration of President Kennedy submitted a memorandum supporting the constitutionality of the legislative veto. See General Counsel of the Department of Agriculture, Constitutionality of Title I of H.R. 6400, 87th Cong., 1st Session (1961), reprinted in Legislative Policy of the Bureau of the Budget: Hearing before the Subcommittee on Conservation and Credit of the House Committee on Agriculture, 89th Cong., 2d Sess., 27, 31-32 (1966). During the administration of President Johnson, the Department of Justice again defended the constitutionality of the legislative veto provision of the Reorganization Act, as contrasted with provisions for a Committee veto. See Separation of Powers: Hearings before the Subcommittee on Separation of Powers of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, 90th Cong., 1st Sess., 206 (1967) (testimony of Frank M. Wozencraft, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel).
6. National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958, Pub.L. 85-568, § 302, 72 Stat. 433 (space program); Atomic Energy Act Amendments of 1958, Pub.L. 85-479, § 4, 72 Stat. 277 (cooperative nuclear agreements); Trade Expansion Act of 1962, Pub.L. 87-794, § 351, 76 Stat. 899, 19 U.S.C. § 1981 (tariff recommended by International Trade Commission may be imposed by concurrent resolution of approval); Postal Revenue and Federal Salary Act of 1967, Pub.L. 90-206, § 255(i)(1), 81 Stat. 644.
7. The Impoundment Control Act's provision for legislative review has been used extensively. Presidents have submitted hundreds of proposed budget deferrals, of which 65 have been disapproved by resolutions of the House or Senate with no protest by the Executive. See App. B to Brief for United States Senate on Reargument.
8. The veto appears in a host of broad statutory delegations concerning energy rationing, contingency plans, strategic oil reserves, allocation of energy production materials, oil exports, and naval petroleum reserve production. Naval Petroleum Reserves Production Act of 1976, Pub.L. 94-258, § 201(3), 90 Stat. 309, 10 U.S.C. § 7422(c)(2)(C); Energy Policy and Conservation Act, Pub.L. 94-163, §§ 159, 201, 401(a), and 455, 89 Stat. 886, 890, 941, and 950, 42 U.S.C. §§ 6239 and 6261, 15 U.S.C. §§ 757 and 760a (strategic oil reserves, rationing and contingency plans, oil price controls and product allocation); Federal Nonnuclear Energy Research and Development Act of 1974, Pub.L. 93-577, § 12, 88 Stat. 1892-1893, 42 U.S.C. § 5911 (allocation of energy production materials); Act of Nov. 16, 1973, Pub.L. 93-153, § 101, 87 Stat. 582, 30 U.S.C. § 185(u) (oil exports).
9. Congress found that under the agency's
very broad authority to prohibit conduct which is "unfair or deceptive" . . . the FTC can regulate virtually every aspect of America's commercial life. . . . The FTC's rules are not merely narrow interpretations of a tightly drawn statute; instead, they are broad policy pronouncements which Congress has an obligation to study and review.
124 Cong.Rec. 5012 (1978) (statement by Rep. Broyhill). A two-House legislative veto was added to constrain that broad delegation. Federal Trade Commission Improvements Act of 1980, § 21(a), 94 Stat. 393, 15 U.S.C. § 57a-1(a) (1976 ed., Supp. V). The constitutionality of that provision is presently pending before us. United States Senate v. Federal Trade Commission, No. 82-935; United States House of Representatives v. Federal Trade Commission, No. 82-1044.
10. While Congress could write certain statutes with greater specificity, it is unlikely that this is a realistic or even desirable substitute for the legislative veto. The controversial nature of many issues would prevent Congress from reaching agreement on many major problems if specificity were required in their enactments. Fuchs, Administrative Agencies and the Energy Problem, 47 Ind.L.J. 606, 608 (1972); Stewart, Reformation of American Administrative Law, 88 Harv.L.Rev. 1667, 1695-1696 (1975). For example, in the deportation context, the solution is not for Congress to create more refined categorizations of the deportable aliens whose status should be subject to change. In 1979, the Immigration and Naturalization Service proposed regulations setting forth factors to be considered in the exercise of discretion under numerous provisions of the Act, but not including § 244, to ensure "fair and uniform" adjudication "under appropriate discretionary criteria." 44 Fed.Reg. 36187 (1979). The proposed rule was canceled in 1981, because
[t]here is an inherent failure in any attempt to list those factors which should be considered in the exercise of discretion. It is impossible to list or foresee all of the adverse or favorable factors which may be present in a given set of circumstances.
46 Fed.Reg. 9119 (1981).
Oversight hearings and congressional investigations have their purpose, but unless Congress is to be rendered a think tank or debating society, they are no substitute for the exercise of actual authority. The "delaying" procedure approved in Sibbach v. Wilson & Co., 312 U.S. 1, 15 (1941), while satisfactory for certain measures, has its own shortcomings. Because a new law must be passed to restrain administrative action, Congress must delegate authority without the certain ability of being able to check its exercise.
Finally, the passage of corrective legislation after agency regulations take effect or Executive Branch officials have acted entails the drawbacks endemic to a retroactive response.
Post hoc substantive revision of legislation, the only available corrective mechanism in the absence of postenactment review, could have serious prejudicial consequences; if Congress retroactively tampered with a price control system after prices have been set, the economy could be damaged and private rights seriously impaired; if Congress rescinded the sale of arms to a foreign country, our relations with that country would be severely strained; and if Congress reshuffled the bureaucracy after a President's reorganization proposal had taken effect, the results could be chaotic.
Javits & Klein, Congressional Oversight and the Legislative Veto: A Constitutional Analysis, 52 N.Y.U.L.Rev. 455, 464 (1977) (footnote omitted).
11. Perhaps I am wrong and the Court remains open to consider whether certain forms of the legislative veto are reconcilable with the Art. I requirements. One possibility for the Court and Congress is to accept that a resolution of disapproval cannot be given legal effect in its own right, but may serve as a guide in the interpretation of a delegation of lawmaking authority. The exercise of the veto could be read as a manifestation of legislative intent, which, unless itself contrary to the authorizing statute, serves as the definitive construction of the statute. Therefore, an agency rule vetoed by Congress would not be enforced in the courts because the veto indicates that the agency action departs from the congressional intent.
This limited role for a redefined legislative veto follows in the steps of the longstanding practice of giving some weight to subsequent legislative reaction to administrative rulemaking. The silence of Congress after consideration of a practice by the Executive may be equivalent to acquiescence and consent that the practice be continued until the power exercised be revoked. United States v. Midwest Oil Co., 236 U.S. 459, 472-473 (1915). See also Zemel v. Rusk, 381 U.S. 1, 11-12 (1965) (relying on congressional failure to repeal administration interpretation); Haig v. Agee, 453 U.S. 280 (1981) (same); Bob Jones University v. United States, 461 U.S. 574 (1983) (same); Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. v. Curran, 456 U.S. 353, 384 (1982) (relying on failure to disturb judicial decision in later revision of law).
Reliance on subsequent legislative reaction has been limited by the fear of overturning the intent of the original Congress and the unreliability of discerning the views of a subsequent Congress. Consumer Product Safety Comm'n v. GTE Sylvania, Inc., 447 U.S. 102, 117-118 (1980); United States v. Price, 361 U.S. 304, 313 (1960). These concerns are not forceful when the original statute authorizes subsequent legislative review. The presence of the review provision constitutes an express authorization for a subsequent Congress to participate in defining the meaning of the law. Second, the disapproval resolution allows for a reliable determination of congressional intent. Without the review mechanism, uncertainty over the inferences to draw from subsequent congressional action is understandable. The refusal to pass an amendment, for example, may indicate opposition to that position, but could mean that Congress believes the amendment is redundant with the statute as written. By contrast, the exercise of a legislative veto is an unmistakable indication that the agency or Executive decision at issue is disfavored. This is not to suggest that the failure to pass a veto resolution should be given any weight whatever.
12. For commentary generally favorable to the legislative veto, see Abourezk, Congressional Veto: A Contemporary Response to Executive Encroachment on Legislative Prerogatives, 52 Ind.L.J. 323 (1977); Cooper & Cooper, The Legislative Veto and the Constitution, 30 Geo.Wash.L.Rev. 467 (1962); Dry, The Congressional Veto and the Constitutional Separation of Powers, in The Presidency in the Constitutional Order 195 (J. Bessette & J. Tulis eds.1981); Javits & Klein, supra, n. 10, at 455; Miller & Knapp, The Congressional Veto: Preserving the Constitutional Framework, 52 Ind. L.J. 367 (1977); Nathanson, Separation of Powers and Administrative Law: Delegation, the Legislative Veto, and the "Independent" Agencies, 75 Nw.U.L.Rev. 1064 (1981); Newman & Keaton, Congress and the Faithful Execution of Laws -- Should Legislators Supervise Administrators?, 41 Calif.L.Rev. 565 (1953); Pearson, Oversight: A Vital Yet Neglected Congressional Function, 23 Kan.L.Rev. 277 (1975); Rodino, Congressional Review of Executive Action, 5 Seton Hall L.Rev. 489 (1974); Schwartz, Legislative Veto and the Constitution -- A Reexamination, 46 Geo.Wash.L.Rev. 351 (1978); Schwartz, Legislative Control of Administrative Rules and Regulations: I. The American Experience, 30 N.Y.U.L.Rev. 1031 (1955); Stewart, Constitutionality of the Legislative Veto, 13 Harv.J.Legis. 593 (1976).
For commentary generally unfavorable to the legislative veto, see J. Bolton, The Legislative Veto: Unseparating the Powers (1977); Bruff & Gellhorn, Congressional Control of Administrative Regulation: A Study of Legislative Vetoes, 90 Harv.L.Rev. 1369 (1977); Dixon, The Congressional Veto and Separation of Powers: The Executive On a Leash?, 56 N.C.L.Rev. 423 (1978); FitzGerald, Congressional Oversight or Congressional Foresight: Guidelines From the Founding Fathers, 28 Ad.L.Rev. 429 (1976); Ginnane, The Control of Federal Administration by Congressional Resolutions and Committees, 66 Harv.L.Rev. 569 (1953); Henry, The Legislative Veto: In Search of Constitutional Limits, 16 Harv.J.Legis. 735 (1979); Martin, The Legislative Veto and the Responsible Exercise of Congressional Power, 68 Va.L.Rev. 253 (1982); Scalia, The Legislative Veto: A False Remedy For System Overload, 3 Regulation 19 (Nov.-Dec.1979); Watson, supra, n. 3, at 983; Comment, Congressional Oversight of Administrative Discretion: Defining the Proper Role of the Legislative Veto, 26 Am.U.L.Rev. 1018 (1977); Note, Congressional Veto of Administrative Action: The Probable Response to a Constitutional Challenge, 1976 Duke L.J. 285; Recent Developments, The Legislative Veto in the Arms Export Control Act of 1976, 9 Law & Pol'y Int'l Bus. 1029 (1977).
13. Compare Atkins v. United States, 214 Ct.Cl. 186, 556 F.2d 1028 (1977) (upholding legislative veto provision in Federal Salary Act, 2 U.S.C. § 351 et seq.), cert. denied, 434 U.S. 1009 (1978), with Consumer Energy Council of America v. FERC, 218 U.S.App.D.C. 34, 673 F.2d 425 (1982) (holding unconstitutional the legislative veto provision in the Natural Gas Policy Act of 1978, 15 U.S.C. §§ 3301-3342 (1976 ed., Supp. V)), appeals docketed, Nos. 81-2008, 81-2020, 81-2151, and 81-2171, and cert. pending, Nos. 82-177 and 82-209.
14. See, e.g., 6 Op.Atty.Gen. 680, 683 (1854); Dept. of Justice, Memorandum re Constitutionality of Provisions in Proposed Reorganization Bills Now Pending in Congress, reprinted in S.Rep. No. 232, 81st Cong., 1st Sess., 19-20 (1949); Jackson, A Presidential Legal Opinion, 66 Harv.L.Rev. 1353 (1953); 43 Op.Atty.Gen. No. 10, p. 2 (1977).
15. I limit my concern here to those legislative vetoes which require either one or both Houses of Congress to pass resolutions of approval or disapproval, and leave aside the questions arising from the exercise of such powers by Committees of Congress.
16. I agree with JUSTICE REHNQUIST that Congress did not intend the one-House veto provision of § 244(c)(2) to be severable. Although the general rule is that the presence of a saving clause creates a presumption of divisibility, Champlin Refining Co. v. Corporation Comm'n of Oklahoma, 286 U.S. 210, 235 (1932), I read the saving clause contained in § 406 of the Immigration and Nationality Act as primarily pertaining to the severability of major parts of the Act from one another, not the divisibility of different provisions within a single section. Surely, Congress would want the naturalization provisions of the Act to be severable from the deportation sections. But this does not support preserving § 244 without the legislative veto, any more than a saving provision would justify preserving immigration authority without quota limits.
More relevant is the fact that, for 40 years, Congress has insisted on retaining a voice on individual suspension cases -- it has frequently rejected bills which would place final authority in the Executive Branch. It is clear that Congress believed its retention crucial. Given this history, the Court's rewriting of the Act flouts the will of Congress.
17. The Pennsylvania Constitution required that all "bills of [a] public nature" had to be printed after being introduced, and had to lie over until the following session of the legislature before adoption. Pa.Const., § 15 (1776). These printing and layover requirements applied only to "bills." At the time, measures could also be enacted as a resolve, which was allowed by the Constitution as "urgent temporary legislation," without such requirements. A. Nevins, The American States During and After the Revolution 152 (1969). Using this method, the Pennsylvania Legislature routinely evaded printing and layover requirements through adoption of resolves. Ibid.
A 1784 report of a committee of the Council of Censors, a state body responsible for periodically reviewing the state government's adherence to its Constitution, charged that the procedures for enacting legislation had been evaded though the adoption of resolves, instead of bills. Report of the Committee of the Council of Censors 13 (1784). See Nevins, supra, at 190. When, three years later, the federal Constitutional Convention assembled in Philadelphia, the delegates were reminded, in the course of discussing the President's veto, of the dangers pointed out by the Council of Censors Report. 5 J. Elliot, Debates on the Federal Constitution 430 (1845). Furthermore, Madison, who made the motion that led to the Presentment Clause, knew of the Council of Censors Report, The Federalist No. 50, p. 319 (H. Lodge ed. 1888), and was aware of the Pennsylvania experience. See The Federalist No. 48, supra, at 311-312. We have previously recognized the relevance of the Council of Censors Report in interpreting the Constitution. See Powell v. McCormack, 395 U.S. 486, 529-530 (1969).
18. Although the legislative veto was not a feature of congressional enactments until the 20th century, the practices of the first Congresses demonstrate that the constraints of Art. I were not envisioned as a constitutional straitjacket. The First Congress, for example, began the practice of arming its Committees with broad investigatory powers without the passage of legislation. See A. Josephy, On the Hill: A History of the American Congress 81-83 (1979). More directly pertinent is the First Congress' treatment of the Northwest Territories Ordinance of 1787. The Ordinance, initially drafted under the Articles of Confederation on July 13, 1787, was the document which governed the territory of the United States northwest of the Ohio River. The Ordinance authorized the Territories to adopt laws, subject to disapproval in Congress.
The governor and judges, or a majority of them, shall adopt and publish in the district, such laws of the original states, criminal and civil, as may be necessary, and best suited to the circumstances of the district, and report them to Congress, from time to time; which laws shall be in force in the district until the organization of the general assembly therein, unless disapproved of by Congress; but afterwards the legislature shall have authority to alter them as they shall think fit.
After the Constitution was ratified, the Ordinance was reenacted to conform to the requirements of the Constitution. Act of Aug. 7, 1789, ch. 8, 1 Stat. 50-51. Certain provisions, such as one relating to appointment of officials by Congress, were changed because of constitutional concerns, but the language allowing disapproval by Congress was retained. Subsequent provisions for territorial laws contained similar language. See, e.g., 48 U.S.C. § 1478.
Although at times Congress disapproved of territorial actions by passing legislation, see, e.g., Act of Mar. 3, 1807, ch. 44, 2 Stat. 444, on at least two occasions one House of Congress passed resolutions to disapprove territorial laws, only to have the other House fail to pass the measure for reasons pertaining to the subject matter of the bills. First, on February 16, 1795, the House of Representatives passed a concurrent resolution disapproving in one sweep all but one of the laws that the Governors and judges of the Northwest Territory had passed at a legislative session on August 1, 1792. 4 Annals of Cong. 1227. The Senate, however, refused to concur. Id. at 830. See B. Bond, The Civilization of the Old Northwest 70-71 (1934). Second, on May 9, 1800, the House passed a resolution to disapprove of a Mississippi territorial law imposing a license fee on taverns. H.R.Jour., 6th Cong., 1st Sess., 706 (1826 ed.). The Senate unsuccessfully attempted to amend the resolution to strike down all laws of the Mississippi Territory enacted since June 30, 1799. 5 C. Carter, Territorial Papers of the United States -- Mississippi 94-95 (1937). The histories of the Territories, the correspondence of the era, and the congressional Reports contain no indication that such resolutions disapproving of territorial laws were to be presented to the President or that the authorization for such a "congressional veto" in the Act of Aug. 7, 1789, was of doubtful constitutionality.
The practices of the First Congress are not so clear as to be dispositive of the constitutional question now before us. But it is surely significant that this body, largely composed of the same men who authored Art. I and secured ratification of the Constitution, did not view the Constitution as forbidding a precursor of the modern day legislative veto. See J. W. Hampton & Co. v. United States, 276 U.S. 394, 412 (1928) ("In this first Congress sat many members of the Constitutional Convention of 1787. This Court has repeatedly laid down the principle that a contemporaneous legislative exposition of the Constitution when the founders of our government and framers of our Constitution were actively participating in public affairs, long acquiesced in, fixes the construction to be given its provisions").
Legislative, or substantive, regulations are "issued by an agency pursuant to statutory authority and . . . implement the statute, as, for example, the proxy rules issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission. . . . Such rules have the force and effect of law." U.S. Dept. of Justice, Attorney General's Manual on the Administrative Procedure Act 30, n. 3 (1947).
Batterton v. Francis, 432 U.S. at 425, n. 9.
Substantive agency regulations are clearly exercises of lawmaking authority; agency interpretations of their statutes are only arguably so. But as Henry Monaghan has observed: "Judicial deference to agency ‘interpretation' of law is simply one way of recognizing a delegation of lawmaking authority to an agency." Monaghan, Marbury and the Administrative State, 83 Colum.L.Rev. 1, 26 (1983) (emphasis deleted). See, e.g., NLRB v. Hearst Publications, Inc., 322 U.S. 111 (1944); NLRB v. Hendricks County Rural Electric Membership Corp., 454 U.S. 170 (1981).
20. As the Court acknowledges, the "provisions of Art. I are integral parts of the constitutional design for the separation of powers." Ante at 946. But these separation of powers concerns are that legislative power be exercised by Congress, executive power by the President, and judicial power by the Courts. A scheme which allows delegation of legislative power to the President and the departments under his control, but forbids a check on its exercise by Congress itself, obviously denigrates the separation-of-powers concerns underlying Art. I. To be sure, the doctrine of separation of powers is also concerned with checking each branch's exercise of its characteristic authority. Section 244(c)(2) is fully consistent with the need for checks upon congressional authority, infra at 994-996, and the legislative veto mechanism, more generally is an important check upon Executive authority, supra at 967-974.
21. The Court's other reasons for holding the legislative veto subject to the presentment and bicameral passage requirements require but brief discussion. First, the Court posits that the resolution of disapproval should be considered equivalent to new legislation because, absent the veto authority of § 244(c)(2), neither House could, short of legislation, effectively require the Attorney General to deport an alien once the Attorney General has determined that the alien should remain in the United States. Ante at 952-954. The statement is neither accurate nor meaningful. The Attorney General's power under the Act is only to "suspend" the order of deportation; the "suspension" does not cancel the deportation or adjust the alien's status to that of a permanent resident alien. Cancellation of deportation and adjustment of status must await favorable action by Congress. More important, the question is whether § 244(c)(2), as written, is constitutional, and no law is amended or repealed by the resolution of disapproval, which is, of course, expressly authorized by that section.
The Court also argues that the legislative character of the challenged action of one House is confirmed by the fact that,
when the Framers intended to authorize either House of Congress to act alone and outside of its prescribed bicameral legislative role, they narrowly and precisely defined the procedure for such action.
Ante at 955. Leaving aside again the above-refuted premise that all action with a legislative character requires passage in a law, the short answer is that all of these carefully defined exceptions to the presentment and bicameralism strictures do not involve action of the Congress pursuant to a duly enacted statute. Indeed, for the most part these powers -- those of impeachment, review of appointments, and treaty ratification -- are not legislative powers at all. The fact that it was essential for the Constitution to stipulate that Congress has the power to impeach and try the President hardly demonstrates a limit upon Congress' authority to reserve itself a legislative veto, through statutes, over subjects within its lawmaking authority.
22. In his opinion on the constitutionality of the legislative review provisions of the most recent reorganization statute, 5 U.S.C. § 906(a) (1982 ed.), Attorney General Bell stated that
the statement in Article I, § 7, of the procedural steps to be followed in the enactment of legislation does not exclude other forms of action by Congress. . . . The procedures prescribed in Article I § 7, for congressional action are not exclusive.
43 Op.Atty.Gen. No. 10, pp. 2-3 (1977).
[I]f the procedures provided in a given statute have no effect on the constitutional distribution of power between the legislature and the executive,
then the statute is constitutional. Id. at 3. In the case of the reorganization statute, the power of the President to refuse to submit a plan, combined with the power of either House of Congress to reject a submitted plan, suffices under the standard to make the statute constitutional. Although the Attorney General sought to limit his opinion to the reorganization statute, and the Executive opposes the instant statute, I see no Art. I basis to distinguish between the two.
23. Of course, when the authorizing legislation requires approval to be expressed by a positive vote, then the two-House veto would clearly comply with the bicameralism requirement under any analysis.
24. The Court's doubts that Congress entertained this "arcane" theory when it enacted § 244(c)(2) disregards the fact that this is the historical basis upon which the legislative vetoes contained in the Reorganization Acts have been defended, n. 22, supra, and that the Reorganization Acts then provided the precedent articulated in support of other legislative veto provisions. See, e.g., 87 Cong.Rec. 735 (1941) (Rep. Dirksen) (citing Reorganization Act in support of proposal to include a legislative veto in Lend-Lease Act); H.R.Rep. No. 93-658, p. 42 (1973) (citing Reorganization Act as "sufficient precedent" for legislative veto provision for Impoundment Control Act).
25. Madison emphasized that the principle of separation of powers is primarily violated "where the whole power of one department is exercised by the same hands which possess the whole power of another department." The Federalist No. 47, pp. 325-326 (J. Cooke ed.1961). Madison noted that the oracle of the separation doctrine, Montesquieu, in writing that the legislative, executive, and judicial powers should not be united "in the same person or body of magistrates," did not mean "that these departments ought to have no partial agency in, or control over the acts of each other." Id. at 325 (emphasis in original). Indeed, according to Montesquieu, the legislature is uniquely fit to exercise an additional function: "to examine in what manner the laws that it has made have been executed." W. Gwyn, The Meaning of Separation of Powers 102 (1965).