asserted their applications would be valid only if a convention were limited to the specific issue in question. 76 Writing during the same period of the various state applications then in hand, one observer noted that “[e]ven if the intent is clear, the existing applications represent a ‘hodge podge’ of proposals, and at least 16 petitions call for a convention only in the face of congressional inaction on the subject. Whether such conditional requests remain valid is unknown .... ” 77 Another class of problematic applications in the 1980s were those that proposed specific amendment language. Some would have accepted a “substantially similar” amendment, while others attempted to limit the convention solely to consideration of their particular amendments. In its 1993 study, the House Judiciary Committee indicated the former might be qualified, but that ... an application requesting an up-or-down vote on a specifically worded amendment cannot be considered valid. Such an approach robs the Convention of its deliberative function which 71 Testimony of Douglas Voegeler, in: U.S. Congress, Senate , Constitutional Convention Procedures: Hearings on S. 3, S. 520, and S. 1710 Before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary , 96 th Cong., 1 st sess. (Washington, 1980: GPO), p. 769. 72 S. 214, 102 nd Cong., “Constitutional Convention Implementation Act of 1991,” Section 6a. 73 S. 1272, 93 rd Cong., “Federal Constitutional Convention Procedures Act,” Section 2. 74 Gregory Watson, Legislative Assistant with the Texas State Legislature identified Hawaii as the single exception. E- mail exchange, July 30, 2012. 75 Friends of an Article V Convention, FOAVC, Article V Application Tables, available at file.php/1/Articles/Table_Summarizing_State_Applications.pdf. 76 Is There a Constitutional Convention in America’s Future? Committee Print, p. 6. 77 Meredith McCoy, “Balanced Budget Amendment: Congress Versus the States?” Federal Bar News , volume 26, no. 4, April 1979 p. 101.
The Article V Convention: Historical Perspectives for Congress Congressional Research Service 18 is inherent in [A]rticle V language stating that the Convention’s purpose is to “propose amendments.” If the State legislatures were permitted to propose the exact wording of an amendment and stipulate that the language not be altered, the Convention would be deprived of this function and would become instead part of the ratification process. 78 Former Solicitor General Walter Dellinger has further argued that exact language proposals “short-circuit” the checks and balances built into Article V by the founders. They intended, he asserts, to provide sub-federal communities, embodied in the states, the authority to propose a convention to consider amendments, but deliberately refrained from giving the state legislatures the power to determine the exact text of the amendments to be proposed.