Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Texas Governor Greg Abbott revealed his plan this week for a constitutional convention. Writing in a lengthy diatribe against what he terms federal overreach, Abbott, in his report Restoring the Rule of Law with States Leading the Way, proposes these amendments:
I. Prohibit Congress from regulating activity that occurs wholly within one State.
II. Require Congress to balance its budget.
III. Prohibit administrative agencies--and the unelected bureaucrats that staff them--from creating federal law.
IV. Prohibit administrative agencies--and the unelected bureaucrats that staff them--from preempting state law.
V. Allow a two-thirds majority of the States to override a U.S. Supreme Court decision.
VI. Require a seven-justice super-majority vote for U.S. Supreme Court decisions that invalidate a democratically enacted law.
VII. 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.
VIII. Give state officials the power to sue in federal court when federal officials overstep their bounds.
IX. Allow a two-thirds majority of the States to override a federal law or regulation.
Even with these pretty significant proposed changes, Abbott insists that "the Constitution already does all of this . . . [and] the Constitution itself is not broken." Instead, according to Abbot, "[w]hat is broken is our Nation's willingness to obey the Constitution and to hold our leaders accountable to it."