10 Pac. L. J. 627 (1979)
Issues Raised by Requesting Congress to Call a Constitutional Convention to Propose a Balanced Budget Amendment

handle is hein.journals/mcglr10 and id is 645 raw text is: Addresses

Issues Raised by Requesting Congress
to Call a Constitutional Convention to
Propose a Balanced Budget
Amendment*
LAURENCE H. TRIBE**
Article V of the Constitution provides that Congress, on the applica-
tion of the legislatures of two-thirds of the states, shall call a convention
for the purpose of proposing amendments. As of Monday of this week,
twenty-four states had asked Congress to call an Article V Convention
* With Professor Tribe's permission, we are reprinting verbatim the text of his prepared
Statement before the Committee on Ways and Means of the California State Assembly on Febru-
ary 1, 1979. Professor Tribe testified at the invitation of the Committee. His prepared Statement
was a revised version of a memorandum on the same subject, dated January 17, 1979, and pre-
pared in response to an inquiry by the White House. In his extemporaneous remarks before the
Committee on February 1, Professor Tribe added to the Statement reproduced here the proposi-
tion that, unlike a process unfettered by predisposition, the exercise of rubber-stamping a specific
amendment hardly befits a body called for the task of reforming the Constitution-especially
since the 38 least populous states (enough to ratify an amendment) contain just 40 percent of the
nation's population.
** Professor of Law, Harvard University. Professor Tribe is the author of the leading mod-
em treatise on federal constitutional law, American Constitutional Law (Foundation Press, Mine-
ola, New York, 1978).

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