Based on the constitutional principles of separation of powers and bicameralism, the Chadha decision prohibited legislation authorizing one house of Congress from overriding a decision made by the executive branch.
One section of the
Born in Kenya to Indian parents and holding a British passport, Jagdish Rai Chadha had studied in the United States with a student visa. When his visa expired, neither Great Britain nor Kenya would accept him, so he applied for permanent residence in the United States. Based on Chadha’s character and “extreme hardship,” the INS approved his application, but the House of Representatives voted to veto the decision.
By a 7-2 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the U.S. Constitution did not authorize the use of the legislative veto. With this ruling, the Court struck down more congressional enactments than it had previously in its entire history. Speaking for the majority, Chief Justice
Craig, Barbara H. Chadha: The Story of an Epic Constitutional Struggle. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988. Maltz, Earl. Chief Justiceship of Warren Burger, 1969-1986. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2000.
Supreme Court, U.S.