Legislative power United States
Congress has the sole power to legislate for the United States. Under the nondelegation doctrine, Congress may not delegate its lawmaking responsibilities to any other agency. In this vein, the Supreme Court held in the 1998 case Clinton v. City of New York that Congress could not delegate a "line-item veto" to the President, by powers vested in the government by the Constitution. Where Congress does not make great and sweeping delegations of its authority, the Supreme Court has been less stringent. One of the earliest cases involving the exact limits of non-delegation was Wayman v. Southard 23 U.S. (10 Wheat.) 1, 42 (1825). Congress had delegated to the courts the power to prescribe judicial procedure; it was contended that Congress had thereby unconstitutionally clothed the judiciary with legislative powers. While Chief Justice John Marshall conceded that the determination of rules of procedure was a legislative function, he distinguished between "important" subjects and mere details. Marshall wrote that "a general provision may be made, and power given to those who are to act under such general provisions, to fill up the details." Marshall's words and future court decisions gave Congress much latitude in delegating powers. It was not until the 1930s that the Supreme Court held a delegation of authority unconstitutional. In a case involving the creation of the National Recovery Administration called A.L.A. Schechter Poultry Corp. v. United States, 295 U.S. 495 (1935), Congress could not authorize the president to formulate codes of "fair competition." It was held that Congress must set some standards governing the actions of executive officers. The Court, however, has deemed that phrases such as "just and reasonable," "public interest" and "public convenience" suffice. A legislature is a kind of deliberative assembly with the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The law created by a legislature is called legislation or statutory law. In add
tion to enacting laws, legislatures usually have exclusive authority to raise or lower taxes and adopt the budget and other money bills. Legislatures are known by many names, the most common being parliament and congress, although these terms also have more specific meanings. In parliamentary systems of government, the legislature is formally supreme and appoints a member from its house as the prime minister which acts as the executive. In a presidential system, according to the separation of powers doctrine, the legislature is considered an independent and coequal branch of government along with both the judiciary and the executive. The primary components of a legislature are one or more chambers or houses: assemblies that can debate and vote upon bills. A legislature with only one house is called unicameral. A bicameral legislature possesses two separate chambers, usually described as an upper house and a lower house, which often differ in duties, powers, and the methods used for the selection of members. Much rarer have been tricameral legislatures; the Massachusetts Governor's Council still exists, but the most recent national example existed in the waning years of caucasian-minority rule in South Africa. In most parliamentary systems, the lower house is the more powerful house while the upper house is merely a chamber of advice or review. However, in presidential systems, the powers of the two houses are often similar or equal. In federations, it is typical for the upper house to represent the component states; the same applies to the supranational legislature of the European Union. For this purpose, the upper house may either contain the delegates of state governments, as is the case in the European Union and in Germany and was the case in the United States before 1913, or be elected according to a formula that grants equal representation to states with smaller populations, as is the case in Australia and the contemporary United States.