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PART 6.-ADDITIONAL CORRESPONDENCE AND STATEMENTS
Letter from Robert Redford, to Senator James Abourezk, November 10,
Letter and statement from James A. Boyle, Jr., attorney at law, to Senator
Prepared statement of David Marker, board of directors, Maryland
Letter and statement from Upton Sisson, attorney at law, to Senator James
Letter and statement from Stephen Laudig, attorney at law, to Senator
Letter from Roy V. Jordan, lawyer, to Senator Birch Bayh, with attached newspaper articles and statements, December 2, 1977.
Letter from Sheila S. Hartley and Lee Jones, to Senator James Abourezk,
Letter from Harley H. Hoppe, King County assessor, Seattle, Wash. to
Letter from Michael J. Malbin, American Enterprise Institute, to the
PART 7.-NEWS ARTICLES, COMMENTS, AND EDITORIALS "California Initiative Process Needs Reform," by Nick Brestoff, Los Angeles Times, February 5, 1975___
"More Refrendums?" The Economist, March 6, 1976...
"Initiative Voting Spreads," by Neal R. Peirce, Los Angles Times, June 6, 1976_
"The Continuing Campaign To Inhibit the Initiative," by Joe Dziublenski, California Journal, August 1976
"Direct Democracy via Referenda," by Ralph Nader, Washington Star, November 6, 1976..
"Taking the Initiative," Washington Post, May 24, 1977
'Group Backs Initiative Plan," by Jeff Hall, Kansas City Star, July 10, 1977...
"National Initiative Ballot Law Will be Introduced by Abourezk," New York Times, July 11, 1977.
"Initiating of Laws by Public Proposed," New York Times, July 12, 1977
"Amendment Would Grant Power To Enact Laws," Rochester, New York, Times-Union, July 12, 1977
"Petition Proposal Promoted," by Terry Maxon, Oklahoma Journal, July 14, 1977.
"Legislation Gets Group's Support," Daily Oklahoman, July 15, 1977..
"They're Taking the Initiative," by Douglas C. Lyons, Rochester, New York, Democrat and Chronicle, July 19, 1977
"Abourezk's Bill: A Chance To Exercise Voter Initiative," by Nicholas von Hoffman, Washington Post, July 26, 1977
"Initiative, the Populists' Voguish Darling," by George F. Will, Washington Post, July 28, 1977.
"For a National Initiative," Portland, Oreg., Journal, July 28, 1977.. David Brinkley, NBC News-New York Radio Commentary, July 28, 1977..
"Do the People Rule?" by Roger Telschow, Berkshire Eagle, Pittsfield, Mass., August 2, 1977...
"In Support of a National Initiative Amendment," Letters to the Editor column, Washington Post, August 3, 1977---
"In Defense of 'Creeping Populism'," by James Abourezk, Washington Post, August 10, 1977..
"Old School Bus Will Roll to Educate U.S. Citizens in Initiative Law-
"Legislature to Get Plan for Voters," Wichita Eagle, October 18, 1977-
"More and More, Voters Write Law," by Les Ledbetter, New York Times, October 30, 1977___
"3 Voter "Tools' May Get a Lift," by Jack W. Germond and Jules Witcover, Washington Star, October 30, 1977..
"Can You Have Too Much Democracy?", by James J. Kilpatrick, Washington Star, December 10, 1977..
"A Silly Season's Populist Monstrosity," by James J. Kilpatrick, Baltimore Sun, December 10, 1977...
"U.S. Initiative Amendment Plan Debated," by Donald P. Baker, Washington Post, December 14, 1977..
Article from the Chicago Sun-Times, December 14, 1977..
"Rationality of Public Sharing in Federal Lawmaking Queried," Jackson, Miss., Clarion-Ledger, December 14, 1977 .......
"Concern Voiced on Plan to Let Voters Enact Federal Legislation," by Frank Kane, Toledo, Ohio, Blade, December 14, 1977...
"Bayh Has 'Serious Reservations' About Initiative Amendment," Denver Post, December 14, 1977.
Article from the Philadelphia Inquirer, December 15, 1977...
"Letting the Voters Become Lawgivers," by Patrick J. Buchanan, Chicago
"Power to the People-Maybe," by Tom Wicker, December 27, 1977.
"Should Voters Write Laws?" Christian Science Monitor, December 29, 1977.
"The False Hope of Law by Initiative," by Michael J. Malbin, Washington Post, January 7, 1978.
"The Case for Law by Initiative," by Roger Telschow, Washington Post, January 20, 1978.
"You as a Lawmaker," Chicago Tribune, February 6, 1978.
The Gallup Poll, "National Initiative Process Favored by 57% of Voters,' the Washington Post, May 14, 1978___
Proposition B-Los Angeles County Ballot
VOTER INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION 67
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 13, 1977
SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE CONSTITUTION
The subcommittee (composed of Senator Bayh, Metzenbaum, Abourezk, Allen, Scott and Hatch) met, pursuant to notice, at 10:10 a.m., in room 2228, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Senator Birch Bayh (chairman of the subcommittee) presiding.
Present: Senators Abourezk and Hatch.
Staff present: Nels Ackerson, chief counsel and executive director; Mary K. Jolly, staff director; Ken Foran, minority counsel; Linda Rogers-Kingsbury, chief clerk; Kevin Murray, counsel to Senator Abourezk; Stephan Carter, staff assistant to Senator Abourezk; and Kevin O'Donnel, counsel to Senator Metzenbaum.
Senator BAYH. The subcommittee will come to order please.
OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. BIRCH BAYH, U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF INDIANA AND CHAIRMAN, SUBCOMMITTEE ON THE CONSTITUTION
Today, the Subcommittee on the Constitution begins hearings on Senate Joint Resolution 67, a proposed constitutional amendment coauthored by my distinguished colleagues Senators Abourezk, Hatfield, and Gravel which would provide for the enactment of Federal laws by popular vote of the people of the United States. My distinguished colleague from South Dakota, and a member of this subcommittee, Senator Abourezk, has graciously agreed to chair part of these hearings because of his deep and long-time interest in this subject. I wish to thank him and to commend him and his staff for their cooperation and for the work they have done in conjunction with the preparation for these hearings.
The idea of the public proposing national laws and then voting on them is most controversial, as most of us realize in the Congress. At the outset, let me point out that these 2 days of hearings on Senate Judiciary Resolution 67 are only the beginning of what promises to be a lengthy and serious debate on the merits of this resolution. For the most part, the witnesses scheduled to testify during these 2 days of hearings are favorably disposed to the proposed resolution. However, their views in no way reflect an intent. upon the part of this subcommittee to narrow the range of interested witnesses. Certainly, on the contrary, before our hearings are com
pleted the views of all organizations and individuals, both those for and those not so favorably disposed to this resolution, will have an opportunity to testify or provide statements for the record so that the broad spectrum of interest in this subject will be properly represented. So, as the subcommittee begins hearing testimony today, we do so determined to have a full and fair record on both the pros and cons of a national initiative process.
The initiative process, as proposed in the resolution before us, would give citizens the power to put a proposed Federal law on the ballot by gathering the signatures of 3 percent of those who voted in the previous Presidential election.
The resolution would further guard against the possibility of regional concentration of the signators, by providing that the required signatures must include a distribution of signatures from 3 percent of the voters in at least 10 States. The signatures must be gathered within 18 months and be validated by the U.S. Attorney General. If sufficient signatures are obtained, the proposed law would be placed on the ballot in the next congressional election.
Under the initiative amendment, citizens would have the power to enact Federal laws with the exception of the authority to declare war or to call up the militia. The initiative also could not be used to amend the Constitution.
There are many significant reasons of citizens' access to Government processes why many citizens view the initiative process as a most desirable one. During these hearings, I am sure that they will be discussed, along with significant reasons as to why it may not be proper in our Federal Government to have such a change in the system. No change in the Constitution should be undertaken lightly. As one who has been involved in a number of constitutional revisions, some successful and some not so successful, I think all of us understand the magnitude of this particular type of legislative process.
As we begin these hearings, I must say that I have serious reservations about the initiative proposal on the Federal level.
It is with this in mind that the strong pluses and the strong minuses which come to mind upon reviewing this change will be made a matter of public record, debate, and discussion. I am anxious. to see just where this leads us.
Again, I salute my distinguished colleague from South Dakota for his initiative in this. I believe these hearings will provide one, as well as the public, with a greater understanding of the initiative.
I recognize two distinguished Members of the other body present this morning. They have not been strangers to this committee and have a deep interest in other matters that are before the Senate and before this committee in the constitutional area.
With the deference of my distinguished colleague from South Dakota, before turning over the Chair, I might point out that a statement from Dixon Arnett, who is an assemblyman from the 20th District of California, sheds some light on this topic. I would ask that it be placed at an appropriate place in the hearing record.