INS v. Chadha Case Brief

Summary of INS v. Chadha
463 U.S. 919 [1983]

Congressional Interference with Presidential Prerogatives

Delegation as either Rulemaking vs. Lawmaking

Relevant Facts: The Imm and Natural Act authorized one House of Congress to invalidate the decision of the Executive, pursuant to authority delegated by Congress to the Atty General, to allow deportable aliens to remain. Chadha was lawfully admitted on a student visa. A year and a half after his visa expired he was asked to show cause why he shouldn’t be deported for overstaying. He conceded but filed an application to remain claiming hardship.

Legal Issue(s): Whether the House of Representatives had Constitutional authority to order the deportation of Chadha contrary to Executive decision granting him privilege to remain ?

Court’s Holding: No unconstitutional.

Procedure: The INS judge suspended his deportation, and referred the hardship application to the Atty General. Atty General Katzenbach [McClung case] made a report pursuant to law, to the Congress. Just before the time limit expired the House Sub-Committee recommended deportation to the House w/o submission to other member prior to their vote. It passed w/o debate or recorded vote. After the House veto, it was not submitted to either the Senate or the President, but INS Judge reopened proceedings and Chadha was ordered deported. He then filed petition for review, INS joined him. Ct. of Appeals held House was w/o constl. authority. S.Ct. Affirmed.

Law or Rule(s): Non-delegation Doctrine – all legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the U.S.

Court Rationale: Convenience and efficiency are not the primary objectives of a democratic govt. Even useful political inventions are subject to the demands of the Constitution which defines the powers of each branch. Matters that are legislative in character and effect fall w/i procedural requirements of A1S7, and the Act purported to exercise power defined thereunder to “establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization." This would alter the legal rights, duties, and relation of Atty Gen. Executive Branch, and Chadha.

Plaintiff’s Argument: [Chadha] Congress may not Constitutionally delegate its legislative power to another branch of the government.

Defendant’s Argument: [INS]

Bicameral – Division of legislative body into two chambers Senate and House.

MINORITY VIEW – The Act was merely a delegation of rulemaking and legislation of law. The legislative veto is a check upon rulemaking by administrative agencies and upon broad based policy decisions of the Executive Branch.

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