The Revolutionary War with Great Britain lasted from April 19, 1775 to September 3, 1783. At the end of the war, our fledgling nation was ruled by the Articles of Confederation which had been ratified on March 1, 1781. The Founding Fathers realized that they needed a better ruling document and called for a Constitutional Convention with the intention of revising the Articles of Confederation. However, it soon became apparent that it would be easier to create a new ruling document than it would be to revise the current one.
The Constitutional Convention began on May 25, 1787 and ended on September 17, 1787 with the signing of the Constitution of the United States of America. On June 8, 1789, Rep. James Madison introduced legislation proposing 39 amendments to the Constitution. By September 25, 1789, Madison’s 39 amendments had been pared down to just 10, much to the dismay of Madison. Those ten amendments were finally ratified on December 15, 1791 and became known as the Bill of Rights.
One of the things that Madison and others wanted to insure was the power of the states over the newly formed federal government. That gave rise to the 10th Amendment which states:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Note that all of the power would rest in the hands of each state except for those powers that states collectively decided to give to the federal government. Yet as our federal government grew in size and power, they soon ignored and then forgot about the 10th Amendment. Today, the federal government has reversed the 10th Amendment by their actions believing that all power should be retained by the federal government except those which they decide to give to the states, which is becoming less and less.
The illegal reversal of the 10th Amendment has spurred a number of calls for a new convention, but very little has been done to bring one about, that is until Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced his call for a new constitutional convention perhaps better known as a Convention of States. He is tired of having to battle the federal government over his state’s rights to restrict gay marriage, abortion, protect the border with Mexico and protect the voting process in the largest conservative state in the nation.
In calling for the first Constitutional Convention since 1787, Abbott is proposing nine amendments to be added to the US Constitution:
Prohibit Congress from regulating activity that occurs wholly within one State.
Require Congress to balance its budget.
Prohibit administrative agencies—and the unelected bureaucrats that staff them—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.
In a statement from Abbott, he explained why he is taking the action to call for a constitutional convention, writing:
“The Texas Plan is not so much a vision to alter the Constitution as it is a call to restore the rule of our current one. The problem is that we have forgotten what our Constitution means, and with that amnesia, we also have forgotten what it means to be governed by laws instead of men.”
The Office of the Governor Greg Abbott issued this statement along with his proposed nine amendments:
“The increasingly frequent departures from Constitutional principles are destroying the Rule of Law foundation on which this country was built. 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. Instead, the states must lead the way. To do that I am adding another item to the agenda next session. I want legislation authorizing Texas to join other states in calling for a Convention of States to fix the cracks in our Constitution.”
Another source quoted Abbott as saying:
“The Supreme Court is a co-conspirator in abandoning the Constitution. Instead of applying laws as written, it embarrassingly strains to rewrite laws like Obamacare.”
Liberal critics are already condemning Abbott’s proposal and saying it has little to no chance of becoming reality. However, if enough conservative Americans get behind Abbott’s call for a convention and demand that their state and federal politicians join the call, anything is possible.
I’ve been following Abbott for several years and I would love to go to the polls this November and see his name as the GOP opponent versus Hillary Clinton. Imagine having him in the White House? Perhaps 2020???