We urge you to reconsider your proposal to amend the House Rules to require a three-fifths vote for enactment of laws that increase income taxes.' This proposal violates the explicit intentions of the Framers. It is inconsistent with the Constitution's language and structure. It departs sharply from traditional congressional practice. It may generate constitutional litigation that will encourage Supreme Court intervention in an area best left to responsible congressional decision.
Unless the proposal is withdrawn now, it will serve as an unfortunate precedent for the proliferation of supermajority rules on a host of different subjects in the future. Over time, we will see the continuing erosion of our central constitutional commitments to majority rule and deliberative democracy.
Date of Authorship for this Version
Ackerman, Bruce, "An Open Letter to Congressman Gingrich" (1995). Faculty Scholarship Series. Paper 131.