Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
President George W. Bush got a lot of applause from Republican lawmakers during his State of the Union address Jan. 31 when he urged Congress to “pass the line-item veto” as a way of reducing pork-barrel spending. One small problem with the idea: The Supreme Court declared the line-item veto flat-out unconstitutional in 1998. The lawyers who successfully argued against the line-item veto before the high court back then were surprised to hear President Bush resurrect the idea now. “I thought, There they go again,” says Louis Cohen, senior counsel at WilmerHale, who represented Idaho potato growers affected by a line-item veto executed by President Bill Clinton. “I really think the idea is dead.” So what was Bush thinking? Could he be hoping that with his nominees John Roberts Jr. and Samuel Alito Jr. safely confirmed — both of whom were labeled as pro-executive power — the new Supreme Court will look more favorably toward the increased powers the line-item veto gives a president? Not likely, since neither the math nor the ideology seems to support that theory. It was an odd alliance that struck down the line-item veto in 1998: then-Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and Justices John Paul Stevens, Anthony Kennedy, David Souter, Clarence Thomas, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Even if Alito and Roberts support the line-item veto, it would still be a 5-4 vote against if all the other justices remain in place. But those who argued the case think neither Alito nor Roberts, given the chance, would necessarily embrace the line-item veto. “This is not an issue where there is a clear division between liberals and conservatives,” says Cohen. Charles Cooper of Cooper & Kirk, who also argued against the veto, recalls that as a Reagan Justice Department official — with Alito as his deputy — he told his bosses “with trembling hands” that the line-item veto was unconstitutional.
Tony Mauro can be contacted at [email protected].

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]


ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.