INS v. Chadha Case Brief

Why is the case important?

Pursuant to the Immigration and Nationality Act (the Act), which authorized either House of Congress to invalidate and suspend deportation rulings of the United States Attorney General (Attorney General), the House of Representatives (the House) suspended an immigration judge’s deportation ruling regarding Chadha.

Facts of the case

In one section of the Immigration and Nationality Act, Congress authorized either House of Congress to invalidate and suspend deportation rulings of the United States Attorney General. Chadha had stayed in the U.S. past his visa deadline. Though Chadha conceded that he was deportable, an immigration judge suspended his deportation. The House of Representatives voted without debate or recorded vote to deport Chadha. This case was decided together with United States House of Representatives v. Chadha and United States Senate v. Chadha.


Was the part of the Act authorizing a one House veto constitutional?


No. The Act violated explicit constitutional standards of lawmaking and congressional authority.
The House took action that had the purpose and effect of altering the legal rights, duties and regulations of persons, including the Attorney General, Executive Branch officials and Chadha, all outside of the legislative branch. When the House takes such actions it must comply with the requirements of Article I regarding bicameralism and presentment.


“The deportation stands or falls on the validity of the challenged veto

  • the final order of deportation was entered  only to implement the action of the House of Representatives. Although the Attorney General was satisfied that the House action was invalid and that it should not have any effect on his decision to suspend deportation, he appropriately let the controversy take its course through the courts. the alien directly attacks the deportation order itself, and the relief he seeks — cancellation of deportation — is plainly inconsistent with the deportation order. Accordingly, the Court of Appeals had jurisdiction to decide these cases.”
    • Case Brief: 1983
    • Appellant: Chadha
    • Appellee: Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)
    • Decided by: Burger Court

    Citation: 462 US 919 (1983)
    Argued: Feb 22, 1982
    ReArgued: Dec 7, 1982
    Decided: Jun 23, 1983