Veto

Veto

Overview
A veto, Latin for "I forbid", is the power of an officer of the state to unilaterally stop an official action, especially enactment of a piece of legislation
Legislation
Legislation is law which has been promulgated by a legislature or other governing body, or the process of making it...

. Veto: An emphatic prohibition of any sort.

In practice, the veto can be absolute, as for instance in the United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council veto power
The United Nations Security Council "power of veto" refers to the veto power wielded solely by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council , enabling them to prevent the adoption of any "substantive" draft Council resolution, regardless of the level of international support...

, whose permanent members (China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, and the United States of America) can block any resolution. Or, it can be limited, as in the legislative process of the United States, where a two-thirds vote in both the House
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 and Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 may override a Presidential veto of legislation.

A veto only gives power to stop changes, not to adopt them.
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Encyclopedia
A veto, Latin for "I forbid", is the power of an officer of the state to unilaterally stop an official action, especially enactment of a piece of legislation
Legislation
Legislation is law which has been promulgated by a legislature or other governing body, or the process of making it...

. Veto: An emphatic prohibition of any sort.

In practice, the veto can be absolute, as for instance in the United Nations Security Council
United Nations Security Council veto power
The United Nations Security Council "power of veto" refers to the veto power wielded solely by the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council , enabling them to prevent the adoption of any "substantive" draft Council resolution, regardless of the level of international support...

, whose permanent members (China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, and the United States of America) can block any resolution. Or, it can be limited, as in the legislative process of the United States, where a two-thirds vote in both the House
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 and Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 may override a Presidential veto of legislation.

A veto only gives power to stop changes, not to adopt them. The veto therefore conveys to its holder an ability to protect the status quo
Status quo
Statu quo, a commonly used form of the original Latin "statu quo" – literally "the state in which" – is a Latin term meaning the current or existing state of affairs. To maintain the status quo is to keep the things the way they presently are...

.

The concept of a veto body originated with the Roman
Ancient Rome
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....

 consul
Roman consul
A consul served in the highest elected political office of the Roman Republic.Each year, two consuls were elected together, to serve for a one-year term. Each consul was given veto power over his colleague and the officials would alternate each month...

s and tribune
Tribune
Tribune was a title shared by elected officials in the Roman Republic. Tribunes had the power to convene the Plebeian Council and to act as its president, which also gave them the right to propose legislation before it. They were sacrosanct, in the sense that any assault on their person was...

s. Either of the two consuls holding office in a given year could block a military or civil decision by the other; any tribune had the power to unilaterally block legislation passed by the Roman Senate
Roman Senate
The Senate of the Roman Republic was a political institution in the ancient Roman Republic, however, it was not an elected body, but one whose members were appointed by the consuls, and later by the censors. After a magistrate served his term in office, it usually was followed with automatic...

.

Roman veto


The institution of the veto, known as the intercessio, was adopted by the Roman Republic
Roman Republic
The Roman Republic was the period of the ancient Roman civilization where the government operated as a republic. It began with the overthrow of the Roman monarchy, traditionally dated around 508 BC, and its replacement by a government headed by two consuls, elected annually by the citizens and...

 in the 6th century BC as a way of enabling the tribunes to protect the interests of the plebs
Plebs
The plebs was the general body of free land-owning Roman citizens in Ancient Rome. They were distinct from the higher order of the patricians. A member of the plebs was known as a plebeian...

 (common citizenry) from the encroachments of the patricians, who dominated the Senate. A tribune's veto did not prevent the senate from passing a bill, but meant that it was denied the force of law. The tribunes could also use the veto to prevent a bill from being brought before the plebeian assembly. The consuls also had the power of veto, as decisionmaking generally required the assent of both consuls. If one disagreed, either could
invoke the intercessio to block the action of the other. The veto was an essential component of the Roman conception of power being wielded not only to manage state affairs but to moderate and restrict the power of the state's high officials and institution.

Westminster systems


In Westminster System
Westminster System
The Westminster system is a democratic parliamentary system of government modelled after the politics of the United Kingdom. This term comes from the Palace of Westminster, the seat of the Parliament of the United Kingdom....

s and most constitutional monarchies
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

, the power to veto legislation by withholding the Royal Assent
Royal Assent
The granting of royal assent refers to the method by which any constitutional monarch formally approves and promulgates an act of his or her nation's parliament, thus making it a law...

 is a rarely used reserve power
Reserve power
In a parliamentary or semi-presidential system of government, a reserve power is a power that may be exercised by the head of state without the approval of another branch of the government. Unlike a presidential system of government, the head of state is generally constrained by the cabinet or the...

 of the monarch. In practice, the Crown follows the convention of exercising its prerogative on the advice of its chief advisor, the prime minister.

The House of Lords used to have the power of veto. However, reform first by a Liberal government and then by a Labour government has seen their powers limited. The Parliamentary Acts of 1911 and 1949 saw their powers reduced to being able to amend and delay legislation. They are able to delay legislation for up to one year. Under the 1911 Act, money bills may not be delayed, and under the Salisbury Convention, they cannot delay any bills laid out in the party's manifesto.

In Spain, the article 115 of the Constitution provides that the King shall give his assent to laws passed by the General Courts within 15 days after their final passement by them; the absence of the royal assent, although not constitutionally provided, would mean the bill not to become law.

Australia


Since the Statute of Westminster
Statute of Westminster 1931
The Statute of Westminster 1931 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Passed on 11 December 1931, the Act established legislative equality for the self-governing dominions of the British Empire with the United Kingdom...

 (1931), the United Kingdom Parliament may not repeal any Act of the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia on the grounds that is repugnant to the laws and interests of the United Kingdom. Other countries in the Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 (not to be confused with the Commonwealth of Australia), such as Canada and New Zealand, are likewise affected. However, according to the Australian Constitution (sec. 59), the Queen
Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom
Elizabeth II is the constitutional monarch of 16 sovereign states known as the Commonwealth realms: the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize,...

 may veto a bill that has been given royal assent by the Governor-General
Governor-General
A Governor-General, is a vice-regal person of a monarch in an independent realm or a major colonial circonscription. Depending on the political arrangement of the territory, a Governor General can be a governor of high rank, or a principal governor ranking above "ordinary" governors.- Current uses...

 within one year of the legislation being assented to. This power has never been used. The Australian Governor-General himself or herself has, in theory, power to veto, or more technically, withhold assent to, a bill passed by both houses of the Australian Parliament, and contrary to the advice of the prime minister. This may be done without consulting the sovereign as per Section 58 of the constitution:

When a proposed law passed by both Houses of the Parliament is presented to the Governor-General for the Queen's assent, he shall declare, according to his discretion, but subject to this Constitution, that he assents in the Queen's name, or that he withholds assent, or that he reserves the law for the Queen's pleasure. The Governor-General may return to the house in which it originated any proposed law so presented to him, and may transmit therewith any amendments which he may recommend, and the Houses may deal with the recommendation.


This reserve power
Reserve power
In a parliamentary or semi-presidential system of government, a reserve power is a power that may be exercised by the head of state without the approval of another branch of the government. Unlike a presidential system of government, the head of state is generally constrained by the cabinet or the...

 is however, constitutionally arguable, and it is difficult to foresee an occasion when such a power would need to be exercised. It is possible that a Governor-general might so act if a bill passed by the Parliament was criminal, illegal or in violation of the Constitution. One might argue, however, that a government would be hardly likely to present a bill which is so open to rejection. Many of the vice-regal reserve powers are untested, because of the brief constitutional history of the Commonwealth of Australia, and the observance of the convention that the head of state acts upon the advice of his or her chief minister. The power may also be used in a situation where the parliament, usually a hung parliament
Hung parliament
In a two-party parliamentary system of government, a hung parliament occurs when neither major political party has an absolute majority of seats in the parliament . It is also less commonly known as a balanced parliament or a legislature under no overall control...

, passes a bill without the blessing of the executive. The governor general on the advice of the executive could withhold consent from the bill thereby preventing its passage into law.

With regard to the six governors of the states which are federated under the Australian Commonwealth, a somewhat different situation exists. Until the Australia Act 1986, each state was constitutionally dependent upon the British Crown directly. Since 1986, however, they are fully independent entities, although the Queen still appoints governors on the advice of the state head of government, the premier
Premier
Premier is a title for the head of government in some countries and states.-Examples by country:In many nations, "premier" is used interchangeably with "prime minister"...

. So the Crown may not veto (nor the UK Parliament overturn) any act of a state governor or state legislature. Paradoxically, the states are more independent of the Crown than the federal government and legislature. State constitutions determine what role a governor plays. In general the governor exercises the powers the sovereign would have, including the power to withhold the Royal Assent.

India


The president enjoys the power to return a bill unsigned, but the constitution limits the power to send it back only once for reconsideration. If the parliament sends back the bill with or without changes, the president has to sign it. However, deliberately or inadvertently, the constitution does not set a time limit in which the president is obliged to approve the bill, and so he may withhold assent indefinitely. This has come to be known in legal and constitutional circles as the "Pocket Veto" and has been used on a number of occasions against controversial bills. Former President Giani Zail Singh withheld assent to a Bill passed by Parliament that gave sweeping powers to the State to intercept mail. This was considered by the President to be an encroachment on citizens' freedom of speech and liberty as guaranteed by the Constitution. He was about to dismiss the government of Rajiv Gandhi
Rajiv Gandhi
Rajiv Ratna Gandhi was the sixth Prime Minister of India . He took office after his mother's assassination on 31 October 1984; he himself was assassinated on 21 May 1991. He became the youngest Prime Minister of India when he took office at the age of 40.Rajiv Gandhi was the elder son of Indira...

 because of the reason that the prime minister of that government had failed to give the information to the President.
Former President Ramaswamy Venkataraman withheld assent to a Bill passed by the outgoing Members of Parliament that gave pension benefits to themselves. This was interpreted by the President to be self-aggrandizement.

United Kingdom


In the United Kingdom, the royal veto ("withholding Royal Assent
Royal Assent
The granting of royal assent refers to the method by which any constitutional monarch formally approves and promulgates an act of his or her nation's parliament, thus making it a law...

") was last exercised in 1707 by Queen Anne
Anne of Great Britain
Anne ascended the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland on 8 March 1702. On 1 May 1707, under the Act of Union, two of her realms, England and Scotland, were united as a single sovereign state, the Kingdom of Great Britain.Anne's Catholic father, James II and VII, was deposed during the...

 with the Scottish Militia Bill 1708
Scottish Militia Bill 1708
The Scottish Militia Bill is the usual name given to a bill that was passed by the House of Commons and House of Lords of the Parliament of Great Britain in spring 1708, but vetoed by Queen Anne on the advice of her ministers on 11 March 1708 for fear that the proposed militia created would be...

.

Canada


According to the British North America Act, 1867
Constitution of Canada
The Constitution of Canada is the supreme law in Canada; the country's constitution is an amalgamation of codified acts and uncodified traditions and conventions. It outlines Canada's system of government, as well as the civil rights of all Canadian citizens and those in Canada...

, the Governor General of Canada
Governor General of Canada
The Governor General of Canada is the federal viceregal representative of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II...

 may veto a bill by refusing Royal Assent
Royal Assent
The granting of royal assent refers to the method by which any constitutional monarch formally approves and promulgates an act of his or her nation's parliament, thus making it a law...

. If the Governor General
Governor General of Canada
The Governor General of Canada is the federal viceregal representative of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II...

 withholds the Queen's assent, the sovereign may within two years disallow the bill, thereby vetoing the law in question. However, this power has never been used.

Provincial viceroys, Lieutenant Governor
Lieutenant governor
A lieutenant governor or lieutenant-governor is a high officer of state, whose precise role and rank vary by jurisdiction, but is often the deputy or lieutenant to or ranking under a governor — a "second-in-command"...

s, however are able to reserve Royal Assent to provincial bills for the governor general; this clause was last invoked in 1961 by the Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan.

United States



All legislation passed by both houses of Congress must be presented to the President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

. This presentation is in the President's capacity as Head of State.

If the President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 approves of the legislation
Legislation
Legislation is law which has been promulgated by a legislature or other governing body, or the process of making it...

, he signs it (sign into law). According to Article 1. Section 7 of the Constitution, when the president chooses, If he does not approve, he must return the bill
Bill (proposed law)
A bill is a proposed law under consideration by a legislature. A bill does not become law until it is passed by the legislature and, in most cases, approved by the executive. Once a bill has been enacted into law, it is called an act or a statute....

, unsigned, within ten days, excluding Sundays, to the house of the United States Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 in which it originated, while the Congress is in session. The President is constitutionally required to state his objections to the legislation in writing, and the Congress is constitutionally required to consider them, and to reconsider the legislation. This action, in effect, is a veto.

If the Congress overrides
Veto override
A veto override is an action by legislators and decision-makers to override an act of veto by someone with such powers - thus forcing through a new decision. The power to override a veto varies greatly in tandem with the veto power itself. The U.S constitution gives a 2/3 majority Congress the...

 the veto by a two-thirds majority in each house, it becomes law without the President's signature. Otherwise, the bill fails to become law unless it is presented to the President again and he chooses to sign it.

A bill
Bill (proposed law)
A bill is a proposed law under consideration by a legislature. A bill does not become law until it is passed by the legislature and, in most cases, approved by the executive. Once a bill has been enacted into law, it is called an act or a statute....

 can also become law without the President's signature if, after it is presented to him, he simply fails to sign it within the ten days noted. If there are fewer than ten days left in the session before Congress adjourns, and if Congress does so adjourn before the ten days have expired in which the President might sign the bill, then the bill fails to become law. This procedure, when used as a formal device, is called a pocket veto
Pocket veto
A pocket veto is a legislative maneuver in United States federal lawmaking that allows the President to veto a bill indirectly.The U.S. Constitution limits the President's period for decision on whether to sign or veto any legislation to ten days while the United States Congress is in session...

.

Modifications declared unconstitutional


In 1996, the Congress
Congress
A congress is a formal meeting of the representatives of different nations, constituent states, independent organizations , or groups....

 passed, and President Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 signed, the Line Item Veto Act of 1996
Line Item Veto Act of 1996
The Line Item Veto Act of 1996 enacted a line-item veto for the Federal government of the United States, but its effect was brief due to judicial review....

. This act
Act of Congress
An Act of Congress is a statute enacted by government with a legislature named "Congress," such as the United States Congress or the Congress of the Philippines....

 allowed the President to veto individual items of budget
Budget
A budget is a financial plan and a list of all planned expenses and revenues. It is a plan for saving, borrowing and spending. A budget is an important concept in microeconomics, which uses a budget line to illustrate the trade-offs between two or more goods...

ed expenditures from appropriations bills instead of vetoing the entire bill and sending it back to the Congress. However, this line-item veto
Line-item veto
In United States government, the line-item veto, or partial veto, is the power of an executive authority to nullify or cancel specific provisions of a bill, usually a budget appropriations bill, without vetoing the entire legislative package...

 was immediately challenged by members of Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 who disagreed with it. In 1998, the Supreme Court declared that the line-item veto was unconstitutional. The Court found the language of the Constitution required each bill presented to the President to be either approved or rejected as a whole. An action by which the President might pick and choose which parts of the bill to approve or not approve amounted to the President acting as a legislator instead of an executive and head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

—and particularly as a single legislator acting in place of the entire Congress—thereby violating the separation of powers
Separation of powers
The separation of powers, often imprecisely used interchangeably with the trias politica principle, is a model for the governance of a state. The model was first developed in ancient Greece and came into widespread use by the Roman Republic as part of the unmodified Constitution of the Roman Republic...

 doctrine. (See Clinton v. City of New York
Clinton v. City of New York
Clinton v. City of New York, , is a legal case in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the line-item veto as granted in the Line Item Veto Act of 1996 violated the Presentment Clause of the United States Constitution because it impermissibly gave the President of the United...

, .)

In 2006, Senator Bill Frist
Bill Frist
William Harrison "Bill" Frist, Sr. is an American physician, businessman, and politician. He began his career as an heir and major stockholder to the for-profit hospital chain of Hospital Corporation of America. Frist later served two terms as a Republican United States Senator representing...

 introduced the Legislative Line Item Veto Act of 2006 in the United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

. Rather than provide for an actual legislative veto, however, the procedure created by the Act provides that, if the President should recommend rescission of a budgetary line item from a budget bill he previously signed into law—a power he already possesses pursuant to U.S. Const. Art. II—the Congress must vote on his request within ten days. Because the legislation that is the subject of the President's request (or "Special Message", in the language of the bill) was already enacted and signed into law, the vote by the Congress would be ordinary legislative action, not any kind of veto—whether line-item, legislative or any other sort. The House passed this measure, but the Senate never considered it, so the bill expired and never became law.

In 1982, the Supreme Court had struck down the one-house legislative veto
Legislative veto
-History:Starting in the 1930s, the concurrent resolution was put to a new use—serving as the instrument to terminate powers delegated tothe Chief Executive or to disapprove particular exercises of power by him or his agents...

, also on separation of powers
Separation of powers
The separation of powers, often imprecisely used interchangeably with the trias politica principle, is a model for the governance of a state. The model was first developed in ancient Greece and came into widespread use by the Roman Republic as part of the unmodified Constitution of the Roman Republic...

 grounds and on grounds that the action by one house of Congress violated the Constitutional requirement of bicameralism. The case was INS v. Chadha, concerning a foreign exchange student in Ohio
Ohio
Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

 who had been born in Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

 but whose parents were from India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

. Because he was not born in India, he was not an Indian citizen. Because his parents were not Kenyan citizens, he was not Kenyan. Thus, he had nowhere to go when his student visa expired because neither country would take him, so he overstayed his visa and was ordered to show cause why he should not be deported from the United States.

The Immigration and Nationality Act was one of many acts of Congress passed since the 1930s, which contained a provision allowing either house of that legislature to nullify decisions of agencies in the executive branch simply by passing a resolution. In this case, Chadha's deportation was suspended and the House of Representatives
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 passed a resolution overturning the suspension, so that the deportation proceedings would continue. This, the Court held, amounted to the House of Representatives passing legislation without the concurrence of the Senate, and without presenting the legislation to the President for consideration and approval (or veto). Thus, the Constitutional principle of bicameralism and the separation of powers doctrine were disregarded in this case, and this legislative veto of executive decisions was struck down.

Early federal history


The Presidents
President of the Continental Congress
The President of the Continental Congress was the presiding officer of the Continental Congress, the convention of delegates that emerged as the first national government of the United States during the American Revolution...

 of the Continental Congress
Continental Congress
The Continental Congress was a convention of delegates called together from the Thirteen Colonies that became the governing body of the United States during the American Revolution....

 (1774–1781) did not have the power of veto. Nor could the President veto an act of Congress under the Articles of Confederation
Articles of Confederation
The Articles of Confederation, formally the Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union, was an agreement among the 13 founding states that legally established the United States of America as a confederation of sovereign states and served as its first constitution...

 (1781–1789), though he possessed certain recess and reserve powers that were not necessarily available to the predecessor President of Continental Congress. But with the enactment of the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

 (drafted 1787; ratified 1788; fully effective since 4 March 1789), veto power was conferred upon the person titled "President of the United States".

The presidential veto power was first exercised on April 5, 1792 when President George Washington vetoed a bill outlining a new apportionment formula submitted by then Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson. Apportionment described how Congress divides seats in the House of Representatives among the states based on the U.S. census figures. President Washington thought the bill gave an unfair advantage to the northern states.

The Congress first overrode a presidential veto—that is, passed a bill into law notwithstanding the President's objections—on March 3, 1845.

U.S. states and amendatory veto


Most U.S. states also have a provision by which legislative decisions can be vetoed by the governor. In addition, most of these states allow the governor to exercise a line-item veto.

In seven U.S. states, the governor has an amendatory veto. For example, in Illinois, the governor can make specific recommendations for changes to a bill. The state legislature can then approve the changes by majority vote, or override the amendatory veto with a 60% majority. No law is passed if the legislature does not accept the changes.

Presidential veto


Parliamentary republics in Europe, including Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

, the Republic of Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

, France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

, Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

, the Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, and Hungary
Hungary
Hungary , officially the Republic of Hungary , is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is situated in the Carpathian Basin and is bordered by Slovakia to the north, Ukraine and Romania to the east, Serbia and Croatia to the south, Slovenia to the southwest and Austria to the west. The...

 often allow a form of limited presidential veto on legislation.

The President of Austria
President of Austria
The President of Austria is the federal head of state of Austria. Though theoretically entrusted with great power by the constitution, in practice the President acts, for the most part, merely as a ceremonial figurehead...

 does not technically have veto power. However, the president can order a referendum on a bill passed by the legislature if he refuses to sign it.

The President of Iceland
President of Iceland
The President of Iceland is Iceland's elected head of state. The president is elected to a four-year term by universal adult suffrage and has limited powers. The president is not the head of government; the Prime Minister of Iceland is the head of government. There have been five presidents since...

 can refuse to sign a bill, which is then put to universal adult suffrage
Suffrage
Suffrage, political franchise, or simply the franchise, distinct from mere voting rights, is the civil right to vote gained through the democratic process...

. This right was not exercised until 2004 by president Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson is the fifth and current President of Iceland. He has served as President since 1996; he was unopposed in 2000, re-elected for a third term in 2004, and re-elected unopposed for a fourth term in 2008. He is the longest-serving left-wing president in the history of...

, who has since refused to sign two other bills. The first bill was withdrawn, but the latter two resulted in referenda.

The President of Hungary has two options to veto a bill: submit it to the Constitutional Court
Constitutional Court of Hungary
The Constitutional Court of Hungary is a special court of Hungary, making judicial review of the acts of the Parliament of Hungary. The official seat of the Constitutional Court is Esztergom....

 in case of any suspicion that it violates the constitution or send it back to the Parliament
National Assembly of Hungary
The National Assembly or Diet is the parliament of Hungary. The unicameral body consists of 386 members elected to 4-year terms. Election of members is based on a complex system involving both area and list election; parties must win at least 5% of the popular vote in order to enter list members...

 and ask for a second debate and vote on the bill. If the Court rules that the bill is constitutional or it is passed by the Parliament again, respectively, the President must sign it.

The President of Ireland
President of Ireland
The President of Ireland is the head of state of Ireland. The President is usually directly elected by the people for seven years, and can be elected for a maximum of two terms. The presidency is largely a ceremonial office, but the President does exercise certain limited powers with absolute...

 can refuse to grant assent to a bill considered to be unconstitutional, after first consulting the Council of State
Council of State (Ireland)
The Council of State is a body established by the Constitution of Ireland to advise the President of Ireland in the exercise of many of his or her discretionary, reserve powers...

; in this case, the bill is referred to the Irish Supreme Court, which finally determines the matter. This is the most widely used reserve power. The President may also, on request of a majority of the Senate and a third of Dáil Éireann (the lower house of parliament), after consulting the Council of State, decline to sign a bill "of such national importance that the will of the people thereon ought to be ascertained" in an ordinary referendum
Ordinary referendum
The ordinary referendum is a referendum in the Republic of Ireland in which the president may refer a bill directly to the electorate before it becomes law. Articles 27 and 47 of the Constitution of Ireland provides for a referendum on a proposal other than a proposal to amend the constitution...

 or a new Dáil reassembling after a general election held within eight months. This latter power has never been used because the government of the day almost always commands a majority of the Senate, preventing the third of Dáil Éireann that usually makes up the opposition from combining with it.

The President of Italy can request a second deliberation of a bill passed by Parliament before it is promulgated. This is very weak form of veto, as the Parliament can override the veto by an ordinary majority. The same provision exists in France and Latvia. While such a limited veto cannot thwart the will of a determined parliamentary majority, it may have a delaying effect and may cause the parliamentary majority to reconsider the matter. The President of Republic can also call new Parliament elections.

The President of Latvia may suspend a bill for a period of two months, during which it may be referred to the people in a referendum if a certain number of signatures are gathered. This is potentially a much stronger form of veto, as it enables the President to appeal to the people against the wishes of the Parliament and Government.

The President of Poland can submit bill to the Constitutional Tribunal (if he suspects that bill is unconstitutional), or send it back to the Sejm for the second voting. If the Tribunal will say that the bill is constitutional or if Sejm will pass it by the majority of three-fifths of votes than President must sign the bill.

The President of Portugal
President of Portugal
Portugal has been a republic since 1910, and since that time the head of state has been the president, whose official title is President of the Portuguese Republic ....

 can refuse to sign a bill or refer it or parts of it to the Portuguese Constitutional Court
Portuguese Constitutional Court
The Portuguese Constitutional Court is a special court, defined by the Portuguese Constitution as part of the judicial branch of the Portuguese political organization. Unlike the rest of the country's courts, the Constitutional Court has important characteristics, such as a special composition,...

. If the President refuses to sign bill without it being declared unconstitutional, the Assembly of the Republic
Assembly of the Republic
The Assembly of the Republic is the Portuguese parliament. It is located in a historical building in Lisbon, referred to as Palácio de São Bento, the site of an old Benedictine monastery...

 (parliament) may pass it again and it becomes law regardless anyway.

The President of Ukraine
President of Ukraine
Prior to the formation of the modern Ukrainian presidency, the previous Ukrainian head of state office was officially established in exile by Andriy Livytskyi. At first the de facto leader of nation was the president of the Central Rada at early years of the Ukrainian People's Republic, while the...

 can refuse to sign a bill and return it to Parliament with his proposals. If the parliament agrees on his proposals, the President must sign the bill. Parliament can overturn a veto by a two-thirds majority. If the parliament overturns his veto, the President must sign the bill within 10 days, or the Chairman of the Parliament signs it.

Liberum veto


In the constitution of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

, there was an institution called the liberum veto
Liberum veto
The liberum veto was a parliamentary device in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. It allowed any member of the Sejm to force an immediate end to the current session and nullify any legislation that had already been passed at the session by shouting Nie pozwalam! .From the mid-16th to the late 18th...

. All bills had to pass the Sejm (Parliament) by unanimous consent, and if any legislator voted nay on anything, this not only vetoed that bill but dissolved that legislative session itself. The concept originated in the idea of "Polish democracy", that any Pole of noble extraction was as good as any other, no matter how low or high his material condition might be. It was never exercised in practice under the rule of the strong Polish royal dynasties, but these came to an end in the mid-17th century, and were followed by an elective kingship. As might be expected, the more and more frequent use of this veto power paralyzed the power of the legislature, and, combined with a string of weak figurehead kings, led ultimately to the partitioning and dissolution of the Polish state in the following century.

See also

  • Constitution of the Roman Republic
    Constitution of the Roman Republic
    The Constitution of the Roman Republic was a set of guidelines and principles passed down mainly through precedent. The constitution was largely unwritten, uncodified, and constantly evolving...

  • Popular referendum
    Popular referendum
    A popular referendum is a type of a referendum that provides a means by which a petition signed by a certain minimum number of registered voters can force a...

  • Sign into law

External links