Supporters of this tactic maintain that Congress can legally respond to state

Supporters of this tactic maintain that congress can

This preview shows page 11 - 13 out of 33 pages.

Still another potential option would be preemption of the call for a convention. Supporters of this tactic maintain that Congress can legally respond to state applications by proposing its own relevant amendment. During the 1980s campaign for a convention to consider a balanced budget amendment, the National Taxpayers’ Union exemplified this opinion, asserting that the convention movement was designed to force Congress to propose an amendment, that the call for a convention was “just a way of getting attention—something akin to batting a mule with a board.” 27 The House Judiciary Committee offered support to this argument in its 1993 print, Is There a Constitutional Convention in America’s Future? The committee noted that during the 1980s a number of states had forwarded conditional applications that specifically stated their petitions would be canceled in the event Congress proposed a balanced budget amendment that incorporated the general principles embodied in their proposals. 28 21 Arthur Earl Bonfield, “Proposing Constitutional Amendments by Convention: Some Problems,” Notre Dame Law Review , volume 39, issue 6, 1963-1964, pp. 662-663. 22 The question of application contemporaneity is examined more closely in CRS Report R42592, The Article V Convention for Proposing Constitutional Amendments: Historical Perspectives for Congress , pp.18-19. 23 See, for instance, “What Does Contemporaneous Mean As It Relates to Counting Applications,” Friends of the Article V Convention (FOAVC) website, at . 24 Natelson, Amending the Constitution by Convention: A Complete View of the Founders’ Plan , p. 212. 25 U.S. Congress, House of Representatives, Committee on the Judiciary, Problems Relating to a Federal Constitutional Convention , by Cyril F. Brickfield, 85 th Congress, 1 st sess., Committee Print (Washington: GPO, 1957), p. 27. 26 Ibid. 27 Baltimore Evening Sun, March 11, 1983; quoted in Is There a Constitutional Convention in America’s Future? , p. 13. 28 Ibid. For additional information on conditional applications, see CRS Report R42592, The Article V Convention for Proposing Constitutional Amendments: Historical Perspectives for Congress , pp. 17-18.
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The Article V Convention: Contemporary Issues for Congress Congressional Research Service 9 In the final analysis, it may be difficult to conceive that Congress would fail to heed the deliberate call of the nation’s citizens, acting through the agency of their state legislatures and meeting the clearly - stated requirements of Article V. As Cyril Brickfield noted, however, “[p]ublic opinion and, ultimately, the ballot box are the only realistic means by which the Congress can be persuaded to act.” 29 In its 1993 print, the House Judiciary Committee speculated that congressional failure to call a convention in the aforementioned circumstances might trigger court challenges that could lead to a constitutional crisis.
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