The LIV Unconstitutional

Maher, Steve (SD-MS) SMAHER at GI.COM
Thu Feb 12 13:41:00 MST 1998

This is, unfortunately, true. IMHO the Line Item Veto is borderline
unconstitutional. The Constitution gives the President the power to
veto bills, of course, but says nothing about the power to veto
*parts* of bills. There is discussion over whether vetoing part of
a bill, falls under "vetoing the bill".

Since the 10th amendment says that powers not specified in the
Constitution are prohibited to the federal government, this probably
includes the Line Item Veto. Given the long history of abuse by the
Congress of its power to originate spending bills (Deficit Spending
other than in times of war is such an abuse IMHO), I say that any
President, including the present one, should have the kind of Line
Item Veto we have had for the last several months.

Since the Constitution says no, I support an amendment to the
Consitutition, making it legal.

BTW, Judge Hogan says (in the 3rd and 6th paragraph below), that
COngress cannot delegate its lawmaking powers to the President.
But, is this not exactly what Congress did in 1933, when it made
Executive Orders legal, and regulatory agencies such as OSHA,
EPA, etc.?

Opinions, anyone?

Steve Maher

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via CLINTON list

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 Judge Nixes Line-Item Veto

 By Ronald Powers
 Associated Press Writer
 Thursday, February 12, 1998; 11:30 a.m. EST

 WASHINGTON (AP) -- A federal judge today declared President's Clinton
 new line-item veto authority unconstitutional.

 ``The Line-Item Veto Act is unconstitutional because it impermissibly
 disrupts the balance of powers among the three branches of
 government,'' said U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Hogan.

 The act, the judge said, ``impermissibly crosses the line between
 acceptable delegations of rulemaking authority and unauthorized
 surrender to the president of an inherently legislative function, namely,
 the authority to permanently shape laws and package legislation.''

 Hogan's ruling, while important, will likely not be the final word in the
 case. Ultimately, the issue is likely to be decided by the Supreme Court.

 New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani initiated the challenge to the
 1996 line-item veto act. The law gives Clinton unprecedented authority
 to reject specific sections of spending bills without vetoing the entire

 But Hogan ruled that Congress may not ``delegate its inherent
 lawmaking authority.''

 The city maintains Clinton unfairly targeted New York when he canceled
 a section of the federal budget bill that would have let the city and
 state raise taxes on hospitals and pass those charges along to the federal
 government in the form of Medicaid billings.

 Plaintiffs in the case argued that the line-item veto violates bedrock
 principles separating the functions of the Congress, which creates laws,
 and the executive branch, which administers them. But supporters of
 the act maintain it only grants the president limited discretion on some
 federal spending bills.

 The Justice Department had argued the veto merely gives the president
 five days after he receives a spending bill from Congress to decide
 whether to spend the money as intended by lawmakers or apply it
 instead to cutting the federal debt.
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