A possible formulation of chiral gauge theories with an anomalous fermion content is re-examined in light of the lattice framework based on the Ginsparg-Wilson relation. It is shown that the fermion sector of a wide class of anomalous non-abelian theories cannot consistently be formulated within this lattice framework. In particular, in 4 dimension, all anomalous non-abelian theories are included in this class. Anomalous abelian chiral gauge theories cannot be formulated with compact U(1) link variables, while a non-compact formulation is possible at least for the vacuum sector in the space of lattice gauge fields. Our conclusion is not applied to effective low-energy theories with an anomalous fermion content which are obtained from an underlying anomaly-free theory by sending the mass of some of fermions to infinity. For theories with an anomalous fermion content in which the anomaly is cancelled by the Green-Schwarz mechanism, a possibility of a consistent lattice formulation is not clear.
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