Line-Item Veto Gets Crossed Out

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WASHINGTON: Never mind that Congress wanted the line-item veto in the first place; the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that granting the President power to tweak bills violates the constitutional separation of powers. Of course, that will only make the issue even more of a political gold mine -- and if it requires a constitutional amendment, then so be it.

"The line-item veto, in terms of the money it saved, was always more show than substance," says TIME White House correspondent Karen Tumulty. "But it's much too popular to let go." Despite the slim likelihood of 34 states' ratifying an amendment that aims to cut out state-bound pork, the veto concept is highly marketable. "It'll be a show campaign issue again -- just like it was for the Republicans in 1994," says Tumulty. "It's right up there with term limits." And it conveniently reappears just in time for the election season.