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Immigration and Naturalization Service v. Chadha

United States Supreme Court
462 U.S. 919 (1983)



Congress passed § 244(c)(2) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) authorizing one house of Congress, by resolution, to invalidate an executive determination that allowed a deportable person to remain in the United States. Jagdish Rai Chadha (plaintiff), a Kenyan citizen, lawfully came to the United States on a student visa, but he remained after the visa expired. The Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) (defendant) ordered Chadha to show cause why he should not be deported. Chadha applied for a suspension of deportation. After a deportation hearing, an immigration judge suspended Chadha's deportation under § 244(a)(1) of the INA, which allows the Attorney General to exercise his discretion to suspend a deportation. The suspension was reported to Congress pursuant to § 244(a)(1). However, after considering 340 cases, the House of Representatives passed a resolution vetoing Chadha's suspension and the suspension of five other individuals pursuant to § 244(c)(2). The immigration judge reopened the deportation proceeding and eventually ordered that Chadha be deported. Although Chadha argued that § 244(c)(2) was unconstitutional, the immigration judge concluded that he did not have the power to rule on the statute's constitutionality. Chadha appealed the decision to the Board of Immigration Appeals, which dismissed his action and also held that it had no power to rule that the statute was unconstitutional. Chadha then petitioned the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit for review of the deportation order. In the Ninth Circuit, the INS agreed with Chadha that § 244(c)(2) was unconstitutional. The Ninth Circuit directed both the United States House of Representatives and Senate to submit amicus curiae briefs on the issue. The Ninth Circuit ultimately ruled in Chadha's favor and held that Congress could not overturn the decision of the Attorney General, and the court ordered the Attorney General to stop the deportation process. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Burger, C.J.)

Concurrence (Powell, J.)

Dissent (Rehnquist, J.)

Dissent (White, J.)

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