There’s no doubt that if the federal government actually followed the rules set by the US Constitution, their institutions would be far smaller (and in many cases, nonexistent) and their power would be minimal. But clearly those rules are no longer effective, if they ever were. The history of the United States has been an endless stream of federal overreach and growth. What started as a very small limited government, has ballooned into a bureaucratic, imperialistic, world spanning empire that violates the rights of everyone it touches, at home and abroad.
Which is why plenty of people, mainly on the conservative and libertarian side of the political spectrum, have called for a new constitutional convention. Under Article V of the US Constitution, the legislatures for two-thirds of the states can decide to call for a convention, and propose amendments to the Constitution that could be ratified by three-quarters of the states. It may be the only way that the states can reclaim some of the power that has been taken by the Federal Government.
The latest person to call for an Article V convention, is Texas Governor Greg Abbott, who announced his idea in a speech on Friday.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday revealed his plans for a “convention of the states,” the first in more than 200 years, as part of a larger effort to reshape the U.S. Constitution and expand states’ rights.
“We are succumbing to the caprice of man that our Founders fought to escape,” Abbott said in a statement followed by a speech at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. “The cure to these problems will not come from Washington, D.C. Instead, the states must lead the way.”
He also released a 70 page document that outlined 9 proposed amendments, each of which is designed to severely curtail federal power.
Prohibit congress from regulating activity that occurs wholly within one state.
Require Congress to balance its budget.
Prohibit administrative agencies from creating federal law.
Prohibit administrative agencies from pre-empting state law.
Allow a two-thirds majority of the states to override a U.S. Supreme Court decision.
Require a seven-justice super-majority vote for U.S. Supreme Court decisions that invalidate a democratically enacted law
Restore the balance of power between the federal and state governments by limiting the former to the powers expressly delegated to it in the Constitution.
Give state officials the power to sue in federal court when federal officials overstep their bounds.
Allow a two-thirds majority of the states to override a federal law or regulation.
A convention, Abbott wrote, would force the federal government to “take the Constitution seriously again.”
“The only true downside comes from doing nothing and allowing the federal government to continue ignoring the very document that created it,” Abbott wrote.
If this were pulled off (and that’s a very big if) it would curtail the government to a degree that none of us could have ever imagined or hoped for. And honestly, some of these sound like they are merely reaffirmations of what has already been enshrined in the Constitution. The first of his amendment proposals sounds like it would reinstate the original intent of the Commerce Clause, which our government has manipulated and violated into oblivion.
And that brings up an interesting point that Greg Abbott hasn’t considered. What if these exact amendments were added to the Constitution, exactly how they’re presented here? What’s to stop our government from violating them again?
After all, the whole reason why our government is so screwed up in the first place, is because the people within it stopped caring about violating the rules. And they keep violating them because we the people have failed to stop them. Is that really going to stop happening if we pass these amendments, which are merely assertions of laws that have already been broken countless times before?
And in any case, Abbott must know how dangerous a constitutional convention really is. That’s probably why no amendment has ever been passed using Article V. It’s basically a nuclear option for our government’s legal code, and nothing is off the table. There’s no telling what the results could be.
Think about any piece of legislation you’ve ever wanted to see get passed in its original form. It’s extremely rare that it will ever become law without being edited and encumbered with horrible proposals. That’s how our government works, not only because it’s legal, but because the people within it are so thoroughly corrupt.
The people who do that sort of thing aren’t just in Washington DC. They’re present in state legislatures too. Does anyone doubt that if a constitutional convention were called, we would wind up with a government that is 10 times worse than the one we have now?
He has a quite a few good ideas in this latest proposal, but ultimately, a government is only as good as the people we put in it. No constitutional convention can solve that problem. The most obvious solution is to elect people who are ethical, but the American people have been trying to do that for years with no luck (or they’re to dumb and manipulated by the media to recognize real candidates who aren’t corrupt). Unfortunately, there’s a good chance that we have reached the point where our government is beyond repair.
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Contributed by Joshua Krause of The Daily Sheeple.
Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger .