The opinion of the court was delivered by: GREEN
These consolidated cases, before the Court on plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment and defendants' motions to dismiss, present the threshold question whether plaintiffs, 19 members of Congress, have standing to challenge the constitutionality of the "Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982," Pub. L. No. 97-248 ("TEFRA"), which the President signed into law on September 3, 1982. Upon consideration of the supporting documentation, the record as a whole and oral arguments presented by the parties, it is determined that plaintiffs lack standing
to maintain these actions and that the actions therefore must be dismissed.
All Bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose and concur with Amendments as on other Bills.
On November 13, 1981, H.R. 4961, denominated "Miscellaneous Revenue Act of 1981," was introduced in the House of Representatives. After certain amendments, the bill was reported out of the House Ways and Means Committee on December 14, 1981. The House Report estimated that the net effect of the tax provisions of the bill would reduce revenues by 976 million dollars over five years. H.R. Rep. No. 404, 97th Cong., 1st Sess. 9 (1981). The bill was passed by the House on December 15, 1981. 127 Cong. Rec. H9607-10 (daily ed., December 15, 1981).
Thereafter, the bill was referred to the Senate Finance Committee, which reported it out on July 12, 1982 under the new name, "Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982" (TEFRA). S. Rep. No. 494, 97th Cong., 2d Sess. (1982). Although carrying the House number, the bill that left the Senate Committee, unlike the bill passed by the House, was designed to raise revenues in the amount of 99 billion dollars over three years. The Senate passed this bill on July 19, 1982. 128 Cong. Rec. S8577-8644 (daily ed., July 19, 1982). The difference between the bill as passed by the Senate and as passed by the House prompted the Senate to seek a conference with the House. 128 Cong. Rec. S9307 (daily ed., July 28, 1982).
In response to the Senate's request, plaintiff Rousselot offered this privileged resolution:
Resolved, that the Senate Amendments to the bill, H.R. 4961, in the opinion of the House, contravene the first clause of the seventh section of the first article of the Constitution of the United States, and are an infringement of the privileges of this House and that the said bill, with amendments be respectfully returned to the Senate with a message communicating this resolution.
128 Cong. Rec. H4776 (daily ed., July 28, 1982). Representative Dan Rostenkowski, Chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means, immediately moved to table the resolution, with 229 members voting yea, 169 voting nay and 36 not voting. Each of the plaintiffs voted against the motion to table. Id. at H4776-77. At the direction of this committee, Representative Rostenkowski then moved to send the bill to conference with the Senate. Id. at H4777. This motion passed after debate, which included plaintiffs, on the constitutionality of the Senate amended bill. 128 Cong. Rec. H4777-88 (daily ed., July 28, 1982). Each of the plaintiffs voted against the motion to go to conference. Id. at H4786-87.
During the following two weeks the constitutional issue was addressed by several Representatives. See Statements of Representative Bereuter, 128 Cong. Rec. E3636-37, E3652 (daily ed., Aug. 3, 1982); Representative Dreier, 128 Cong. Rec. E3807 (daily ed., August 11, 1982); Representative Porter, 128 Cong. Rec. E3888 (daily ed., Aug. 13, 1982). On August 17, 1982, a conference bill was reported, substantially similar to the Senate version but including two tax provisions of the House version which the Senate had deleted. Conference Report to Accompany H.R. 4961, H.R. Rep. No. 760, 97th Cong., 2d Sess. 267-68 (1982). Plaintiffs in Moore promptly filed suit on August 18, 1982.
The next day the constitutional issue was debated further on the House floor. 128 Cong. Rec. H6555 (daily ed., Aug. 19, 1982). Plaintiff Rousselot introduced a second resolution to have the bill returned to the Senate. 128 Cong. Rec. H6555 (daily ed., August 19, 1982). This resolution was also rejected, with 268 members voting yea, 144 voting nay and 22 not voting, in favor of a motion to table. Each of the plaintiffs voted against this motion. 128 Cong. Rec. H6555-6636 (daily ed., Aug. 19, 1982). The bill was passed by both Houses on August 19, 1982, 128 Cong. Rec. S10946, H6635-36 (daily ed., Aug. 19, 1982), with each of the plaintiffs exercising their voting rights on this legislation. Plaintiff Williams voted in favor of passage. All other plaintiffs voted against passage. Id. at H6635-36. Plaintiff Paul filed his action on August 20, 1982. On September 3, 1982, President Reagan signed the bill into law.
When voting on a motion to dismiss for want of standing the court "must accept as true all material allegations of the complaint, and must construe the complaint in favor of the complaining party." Warth v. Seldin, 422 U.S. 490, 501, 45 L. Ed. 2d 343, 95 S. Ct. 2197 (1975). However, even assuming the legal conclusion
that TEFRA was enacted in violation of the origination clause of the Constitution, plaintiffs have not demonstrated the injury-in-fact required by Art. III to invoke the judicial power. At a minimum, a plaintiff must show that he personally has suffered an actual or threatened injury which reasonably can be traced to the challenged conduct of the defendant and would likely be redressed by a favorable decision. Valley Forge Christian College v. Americans United for Separation of Church and State, 454 U.S. 464, 102 S. Ct. 752, 758, 70 L. Ed. 2d 700 (1982).
In this manner does Art. III limit the federal judicial power "to those disputes which confine federal courts to a role consistent with a system of separated powers and which are traditionally thought to be capable of resolution through the judicial process."
Id. (quoting Flast v. Cohen, 392 U.S. 83, 97, 20 L. Ed. 2d 947, 88 S. Ct. 1942 (1968)). Thus, a court should refrain from adjudicating the constitutionality of an act of a co-equal branch of government unless the claimant ...