Why the President Must Veto Unconstitutional Bills

13 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2010

See all articles by Saikrishna Prakash

Saikrishna Prakash

University of Virginia School of Law

Date Written: 2007


In this short piece, I argue that the President has a duty to veto bills when he believes they contain provisions that are unconstitutional. He acts contrary to his constitutional obligations when he ushers into law bills that he regards as unconstitutional. He can no more sign bills and then denounce them as unconstitutional then he can “Propose and Denounce,” that is, propose unconstitutional legislation even as he denounces it as unconstitutional. The modern practice of signing unconstitutional bills into law and then denouncing them as unconstitutional is one of those practices that should be consigned to the ash heap of history, like communism and bell bottom pants.

Keywords: Preserve, Protect, and Defend, Oath, Veto, Duty, Take Care Clause

Suggested Citation

Prakash, Saikrishna, Why the President Must Veto Unconstitutional Bills (2007). William & Mary Bill of Rights, Vol. 16, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1534713

Saikrishna Prakash (Contact Author)

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

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