Tuesday, April 11, 2017

States Are Rejecting a ‘Horrible Idea’

Most state legislatures are now in regular session, and there’s no shortage of important work to be done at the state level. Yet many state legislatures are wasting precious time on a scheme to change the U.S. Constitution by calling for a national convention.

Although it is theoretically allowed by Article V of our Constitution, a convention for proposing constitutional amendments has never been held, and there is no precedent to guide how it might work. That hasn’t stopped a small group of wealthy donors from spending an estimated ten million dollars on a path that would throw our Nation into a constitutional crisis.

Justice Antonin Scalia called it a “horrible idea. This is not a good century to write a constitution,” Scalia warned in 2015, after spending 30 years defending our original Constitution on the U.S. Supreme Court.

You see, the Constitution itself has never been the problem, and changing it is not the solution. A constitutional convention could attempt to repeal or dilute the Second Amendment right to bear arms, eliminate the Electoral College, require tax-funded abortion, eliminate restrictions on immigration, and weaken the definition of citizenship.

Of the first eight state legislatures this year to consider a convention, all eight have rejected it. But the convention remains very much alive in Texas, where Gov. Greg Abbott has made it an emergency item in the current legislative session. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who controls the agenda in the state senate, is also demanding its passage.

In Texas, where most elected officials are Republicans, the state Republican Party is on record favoring a national convention to amend the Constitution. That’s directly contrary to the Republican National Platform. The RNC platform committee rejected a similar proposal last summer in Cleveland by a nearly unanimous vote.

Arizona would be the ninth state to reject the convention this year, if the state senate stands by its February vote of 13-17. But that legislation continues to be pushed hard behind the scenes, and it could be revived.

Check the legislature in your own state and help us take action against this horrible idea.

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