A time for change?

Our Texas governor has called for a convention of states to suggest amendments to our national constitution.

Article V of our U.S. constitution provides two methods to propose changes to the constitution.

The only one that has been used in our history is the one where 2/3 of the members of both the house of representatives and the senate vote to send a proposed amendment to the states for approval or rejection.  Once sent to the states approval takes an affirmative vote by 3/4 of the states.

A second method in the constitution has never been used.  It provides that 2/3 of the legislatures of the states voting together can call for a national constitutional convention, the purpose of which would be to propose constitutional amendments.  Once proposed approval of an amendment  would again take an affirmative vote by 3/4 of the states.

Who votes for the states?

Here congress retains significant power.  Without regard to which method (direct submission by congress or a constitutional convention) is used, congress must choose to put the issue either to the individual state legislatures or to state conventions of the people.  In the case of a state convention it is up to each state to chooses how the representatives to the convention are chosen.

We have a constitution that is over 200 years old  that contains provisions that did not contemplate our current condition.  We also have seen various factions work to claim the ability to override the constitution without having to make their desired changes within Article V.

Some claim that calling a constitutional convention would open the door to mayhem but they are not giving due credit to the requirement that any proposals that come out of a convention must be approved by 3/4 of the states.

“We the people of the United States” are the words that begin our constitution.

What would be wrong with letting the people decide what needs to be done here?

We deserve better

Brutus

6 Responses to A time for change?

  1. Deputy Dawg says:

    The Dallas Morning News might differ with your opinion:

    “Abbott claims to be restoring through these changes the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to their original luster. But the nation’s founding documents have come to be more than merely a limit on what powers the federal government can exercise. They are also powerful buffers between the will of the majority and the rights of individuals, a buffer that after decades of struggle was eventually also understood to protect individuals against state governments.”

    http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/editorials/20160108-editorial-abbotts-overreach-sets-a-dangerous-precedent.ece

    I am reminded of the phrase “Be careful what you wish for, you might just get it” when it comes to this Tea-Party-Anti-Big-Government silliness. We can see their thinking playing out in Austin, which certainly has not helped El Paso in any way shape or form since they have taken over the ledge, in fact, one might argue El Paso is far worse off since they have controlled both houses in the capitol.

    Want to see how this works out in real life? Look only to Kansas where there is an real tea party experiment going on in real time, in real life, and it has been a disaster.

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  2. Jerry K says:

    I’d settle for the federal government just following the constitution we already have 🙂

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  3. Moon and Reality have the right of this question. “We the people” would have no voice in such a ‘convention,’ because – and, this is especially true in Texas – our representatives are chosen from Districts that they have set up, rather than WE. The President said it perfectly last night. We need districts that are drawn up by the voters, rather than by those who are already in office. Then, we might have a chance of seeing changes that could help the entire nation, rather than just the special interests (read: big money). Abbott is even worse than pRick Perry was, and unless and until we can get the vote out, and get the voting districts redrawn, we are going to be led from bad choice to bad choice.

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  4. ManintheMoon says:

    Brutus
    Here is the problem “WE the People” wouldn’t even have a seat at the table because our place would have been sold by those who claim to represent us. Sorry but this is the sad truth and such is the danger we face if let the such a constitutional convention to take place.
    Here’s the thing if we cannot trust them to act with morals, ethics, transparence and to act in the best interest of “We the People” in their day to day governing how could we every trust them with this critical duty that would effect generation to come in America. For me the less tampering with our constitution the better because what we know from the past they are more likely to mess it up than get it right.
    Sure there are something’s with the constitution I would like fixed, such as Supreme Court Justices terms not to be a life time appointment. Then what frightens me more are the fools on the hill throwing the baby out with the bath water and making our constitution nothing more than another scrap of paper in the history of failed governments and governance.

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    • Reality Checker says:

      I agree. State politicians are no different than members of congress. They too are controlled by special interests. The sad truth is they only care about changes that suit their own personal and party agendas.

      Cruz is now saying that he doesn’t think that rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court are the law of the land. All of these people only like court rulings that support their own beliefs.

      Scary stuff.

      Like

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