by Nicole Flatow
Passage of a balanced budget amendment would “threaten to tear irrevocably the fabric of our constitutional structure,” warns separation of powers expert Neil Kinkopf in a new ACS Issue Brief.
With the House of Representatives set to vote on a balanced budget amendment proposal this week, Kinkopf’s Issue Brief explains the dangers of inserting policy prescriptions into our founding document.
Kinkopf, a law professor at the Georgia State University, notes that only once in our history did the Constitution dictate an outcome, when the 18th Amendment was passed, but “[s]uch a failure was this deviation from the Constitution’s design that it stands as the only amendment ever to be repealed.”
“The founding generation faced divisive controversies that were every bit as momentous as the present-day budget crisis," Kinkopf writes. "Yet they consciously designed the Constitution not to resolve these issues, instead leaving them to be resolved through the constitutionally ordained process of legislation in compliance with constitutionally guaranteed individual rights.”