According to Article 1, Section 7 of the US Constitution:

If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

Situations where the President refuses to sign the law and waits for Congress to adjourn instead are commonly called a "pocket veto". But has there been any law where the President refused to sign or veto the law, after which Congress didn't adjourn and the law still entered into force without a super-majority vote?

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    Have you looked here: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocket_veto Aug 7, 2017 at 19:54
  • No if the president never intended to stop the bill but also did not want to veto it thats not a failed pocket veto. It almost happened with GWB but the house decided not to fight for it. Aug 7, 2017 at 19:55
  • @SoylentGray in any case I'm interested if the quoted provision of the US constitution ever came into play. The Wiki article doesn't answer it. Perhaps the answer is "no, this never happened". Aug 7, 2017 at 19:57
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    To all the down voters: why is this not a legitimate question? From what I can tell the 10 day provision of the US Constitution has never actually been used, which is an interesting fact. Aug 8, 2017 at 3:16
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    @SoylentGray I would disagree. A very important part of politics and governance is the empirical practice of how the systems pay out in reality and custom and precedent. You can't understand abstract constitutional rules for policymaking without knowing how they play out in real life. It is an entirely appropriate question with a simple answer.
    – ohwilleke
    Aug 9, 2017 at 1:11

1 Answer 1


Bills have taken effect pursuant to the 10 day rule under the Presentment clause in the United States federal government, but this is rare.

Only eight such bills have become law in this manner since 1973. In the same time period 31 bills were enacted via a veto override, and 17,321 bills were enacted with the President's signature.

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    Incidentally, state practice varies considerably. In Colorado, for example, it is customary for about half a dozen bills to become law each year (out of several hundred) without the Governor's signature, normally to demonstrate the Governor's non-endorsement of a bill that he or she nonetheless isn't willing to veto. This is, in part, a matter of custom, and in part due to the fact that Colorado's legislative session is only 120 days long each year.
    – ohwilleke
    Aug 8, 2017 at 21:04
  • Yeah that makes sense im sure more governors are unwilling to veto some legislation that would inflame their base if they signed it. Aug 8, 2017 at 22:04

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