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Michael B. Rappaport

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Michael B. Rappaport is a professor at the University of San Diego School of Law.

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Recent Commentary

The Case for Supermajority Rules

by John O. McGinnis, Michael B. Rappaportvia Policy Review
Wednesday, December 1, 1999

This century ends, as it began, with extraordinary ferment about the soundness of our constitutional structures. In a series of recent decisions, the Supreme Court has appeared to revive doctrines of federalism and carve out spheres of autonomy for the states. In Congress, each house gave majority support to serious constitutional amendments setting term limits, requiring balanced budgets, and limiting tax increases. In fact, the Balanced Budget Amendment came within one vote of being sent to the states for ratification. Congress has also passed rules to restructure the federal legislative process. In an attempt to promote accountability and protect the autonomy of the states, both houses have required separate votes on unfunded mandates. The House of Representatives has passed a rule requiring a three-fifths majority to raise income tax rates.