The Burger Court (1969–86)

First Amendment

What was the effect of the Chadha decision?

The decision invalidated at least parts of hundreds of federal laws. In his concurrence, Justice Lewis Powell noted: “The breadth of this holding gives one pause. Congress has included the veto in literally hundreds of statutes, dating back to the 1930s.” Justice Byron White was even more explicit in his dissenting opinion: “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.”


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