For years, states have overruled, or nullified, Washington’s actions, sometimes more successfully than others.
Some states have ignored Washington requirements for smart technology in driver’s licenses for years, a multitude of states have tried various ways to exempt themselves and their citizens from Obamacare, there has been pushback against Washington on immigration, federal gun limits and more.
Lately, there’s been open rebellion among the states to the U.S. Supreme Court’s extraordinary creation of same-sex “marriage” across the states in a decision critics have described as disconnected from the Constitution.
There’s even been a movement pushing for a constitutional convention at which new amendments to the U.S. Constitution would be chosen to be presented for votes in all the states.
On Friday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbot not only joined that movement, but he proposed a specific list of changes immediately that he says should be made.
Under the “Texas Plan,” he would:
- Prohibit Congress from regulating activity that occurs wholly within one state.
- Require Congress to balance its budget.
- Prohibit administrative agencies, and their unelected bureaucrats, from creating federal law.
- Prohibit administrative agencies – and the unelected bureaucrats that staff them – from preempting 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.
His call for action came during the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s annual policy orientation.
A similar call to action was issued by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., just a few weeks ago.
“Gov. Abbott should be commended for his willingness to endorse an Article V convention and realizing that Washington, D.C., is not able to fix our problems. A state-led constitutional reform effort is the only way to prevent another slow economic recovery from ever happening again,” commented Kyle Miachle, project manager at Constitutional Reform in the Heartland Institute.
And Peter Ferrera, a senior fellow for Entitlement and Budget Policy in the same group, said, “I applaud Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in supporting the states acting under Article V of the U.S. Constitution to call for a Convention of the States to propose Constitutional amendments to be ratified by the states that would restrict the increasingly oppressive runaway powers seized by the federal government.
“Such amendments are badly needed to restore the original concept of the rule of law to America. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott previously served as the longest running attorney general in the history of Texas, where he learned of the problems he is addressing first hand.”
It is the Tenth Amendment that’s already in the U.S Constitution that should come into play. That said all the rights not specifically given to Washington in the Constitution are reserved to the states and people.
“These increasingly frequent departures from constitutional principles are destroying the rule of law foundation on which this country was built,” Abbott said. “We are succumbing to the caprice of man that our founders fought to escape. The cure to these problems will not come from Washington, D.C. They must come from the states.”
A group called Convention of States, a project of the Citizens for Self-Government, already has been working on getting the necessary states to agree to such a convention.
An Article V convention can be set up by Congress, or in the face of a recalcitrant and unwilling Congress, by a vote of two-thirds of the states.
Any amendment proposed would ultimately be adopted after a positive vote from three-fourths of the states, or 38.
Article 5 of the U.S. Constitution provides for a Convention of States which can amend the U.S. Constitution – for example, by demanding a balanced budget. Or simply removing the issue of marriage from the jurisdiction of the courts. Or how about eliminating the federal Department of Education entirely? Simply having it no longer there.
The article is an alternative to having Congress proposed amendments.
The Convention of States website explains that the Founders provided the alternative, through which the states “can stop the federal spending and debt spree, the power grabs of the federal courts, and other misuses of federal power.”
“The current situation is what precisely what the Founders feared, and they gave us a solution we have a duty to use,” organizers explain.
Sen. Tom Coburn, who represented Oklahoma in the U.S. Senate before leaving, said the convention has become a necessity, because of Washington’s perpetual overreach.
“We won’t fix it any other way,” he told WND. “Washington will never give up its power. It takes more every year, either through the bureaucratic branch, or through the courts.”
While he was in Washington, he said, he identified $400 billion in unnecessary spending every year, but could not eliminate it because of those in Congress who were not about to deprive their own constituencies.
Mark Meckler, president of the Citizens for Self-Governance, told WND, “We clearly have a runaway presidency, and a Supreme Court that enables that. … Congress has no spine.”
The convention, he said, is the only mechanism for Americans to regain religious freedom, empower states with the rights given to them in the Constitution and more.
Some two-dozen states have approved the idea at one point or another, but the goal is to have the requisite number approve the same wording, giving a clear focus for the event.
The project was launched by Meckler and Michael Farris, who also is chancellor of Patrick Henry College and chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association.
Sarah Palin has endorsed the move, pointing out that it is “the tool that people have to rein in government.”
Here, advocates describe just exactly how to put Washington back under control: