Raines v. Byrd

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Raines v. Byrd
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Argued May 27, 1997
Decided June 26, 1997
Full case name Raines v. Byrd
Citations 521 U.S. 811 (more)
Subsequent history Clinton v. City of New York
Court membership
Case opinions
Majority Rehnquist, joined by O'Connor, Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas, Ginsburg
Concurrence Souter, joined by Ginsburg
Dissent Stevens
Dissent Breyer

Raines v. Byrd, 521 U.S. 811 (1997), was a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court held individual members of Congress do not automatically have standing to litigate the constitutionality of laws affecting Congress as a whole.[1]

Background of the case[edit]

The Line Item Veto Act of 1996 allowed the president to nullify certain provisions of appropriations bills, and disallowed the use of funds from canceled provisions for offsetting deficit spending in other areas.

At its passage, the Act was politically controversial, with many Democrats breaking with Clinton to oppose it. Of the opposition, six members of Congress, including Republican Mark Hatfield, sued to prevent use of the line-item veto. U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson found the Act unconstitutional.[2]

Opinion of the Court[edit]

The Supreme Court held that the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue, as they had not suffered any particularized injury. The courts reasoning held that individual members of Congress were subject to strict limits on their ability to sue, particularly in a dispute between different branches of government.[1]

Subsequent Events[edit]

After taking effect, the Act was later found unconstitutional in Clinton v. City of New York.


  1. ^ a b Shultz, David (2005-01-01). The Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court. Infobase Publishing. pp. 259–. ISBN 9780816067398. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 
  2. ^ McMurtry, Virginia A. (November 2010). Item Veto and Expanded Impoundment Proposals: History and Current Status. DIANE Publishing. pp. 10–. ISBN 9781437936247. Retrieved 15 March 2013. 

External links[edit]