St. Thomas Law Review


Michael Melli

First Page


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When the President returns a bill by veto, Congress ultimately preserves the ability to override the veto; this limitation of power intentionally cripples the President's abilities in the legislative process. Yet, what can Congress do, when the Executive Branch ignores duly enacted law? Is there anything to be done when the President ceases enforcement altogether? Are there any tools for Congress to fight back? Recently States' rights and federalism challenges to non-enforcement were explored through the federal judiciary through President Obama's immigration actions, yet, what if non-enforcement produces substantive, justiciable harm not to a State, but to Congress? Can Members of Congress have their day in court? What mechanisms exist in the Constitution or bodies of, federal precedent to force action after inaction? This article examines (1) apposite, historical standing doctrine, (2) non-enforcement canon and recent advents, (3) pertinent examples and precedent, and (4) litigation and practical concerns the Legislature need mind when bringing suit against the Executive.