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Excerpts from U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson's ruling that the line-item veto law is unconstitutional:

By The Associated Press

"Where the president signs a bill but then purports to cancel parts of it, he exceeds his constitutional authority and prevents both houses of Congress from participating in the exercise of lawmaking authority."

"Never before has Congress attempted to give away the power to shape the content of a statute of the United States, as the Act purports to do."

"Though a court does not lightly resolve to invalidate a law of the United States, it must nevertheless vindicate the Constitution and the governmental framework it envisions."

"The president must consider the whole of the bill presented, which, in today's world of omnibus appropriations and myriad riders, is an undeniably difficult task. Nevertheless, upon considering a bill, he most reach a final judgement: Either 'approve it,' or 'not.' "

"Their (supporters') analysis assumes that Congress conferred a delegable power. It did not; it ceded basic legislative authority."

"In passing the Act, Congress and the president addressed the significant problem of runaway spending, striving to create a more efficient process. But the framers (of the Constitution) ranked other values higher than efficiency."

"Various legislative alternatives remain available to give the president a more significant role in restraining government spending."

"The Line Item Veto Act ... hands off to the president authority over fundamental legislative choices. Indeed, that is its reason for being. It spares Congress the burden of making those vexing choices which programs to preserve and which to cut. Thus, by placing on itself the onus of overriding the president's cancellations ... Congress has turned the constitutional division of responsibilities for legislating on its head."

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