Sunday, January 10, 2016
TX: Governor Abbott Calls on States to Amend U.S. Constitution
In a fresh — but long shot — assertion of states’ rights, Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday called for a convention of U.S. states to pass nine new amendments to the U.S. Constitution, measures meant to limit the powers of the federal government.
The amendments would require a balanced U.S. budget and prohibit Congress from regulating any activity “that occurs wholly within one state,” a category some conservatives say includes gun use and marriage. The amendments would also allow states to override federal laws or U.S. Supreme Court decisions if two-thirds of them disagreed and require a seven-justice supermajority for U.S. Supreme Court decisions that invalidate any law passed by state or federal legislators.
When Texas lawmakers meet in 2017, the governor will ask them to approve the constitutional convention — one that would have to be agreed to by other states to actually occur. In 2015, a similar bill passed the Texas House but ultimately died in a Senate committee.
“When measured by how far we have strayed from the Constitution we originally agreed to, the government’s flagrant and repeated violations of the rule of law amount to a wholesale abdication of the Constitution’s design,” Abbott wrote in the 90-page proposal, which he was set to announce in a 1 p.m. speech before the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation.