Goldwater v. Carter

Goldwater V. Carter

Goldwater v. Carter

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Goldwater v. Carter, 444 U.S. 996 (1979), was a United States Supreme Court case which was the result of a lawsuit filed by Senator Barry Goldwater and other members of the United States Congress challenging the right of President Jimmy Carter to unilaterally nullify the Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty, which the United States had signed with the Republic of China, so that relations could instead be established with the People's Republic of China. Goldwater and his co-filers claimed that the President required Senate approval to take such an action, under Article II, Section II of the U.S. Constitution, and that, by not doing so, President Carter had acted beyond the powers of his office.

Granting a petition for certiorari but without hearing oral arguments, the court vacated a court of appeals ruling and remanded the case to a federal district court with directions to dismiss the complaint. A majority of six Justices ruled that the case should be dismissed without hearing an oral argument. Justices Lewis Powell and William Rehnquist issued two separate concurring opinions on the case. Rehnquist claimed that the issue concerned how foreign affairs were conducted between Congress and the President, and was essentially political, not judicial; therefore, it was not eligible to be heard by the court. Powell, while agreeing that the case did not merit judicial review, believed that the issue itself, the powers of the President to break treaties without...
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