We reported last week on Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s challenge to Obama on gun control – that if he wants more gun control, “come and take it!” Prior to the challenge Abbott gave a slightly belated gift to the residents of Texas, legalizing open carry of firearms.Now he’s trying to bring other states on board in defiance of Obama’s executive overreach. As reported by The Dallas Morning News:
Gov. Greg Abbott, aiming to spark a national conversation about states’ rights, said Friday that he wants Texas to lead the call for a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution and wrest power from a federal government “run amok.”
“If we are going to fight for, protect and hand on to the next generation, the freedom that [President] Reagan spoke of … then we have to take the lead to restore the rule of law in America,” Abbott said during a speech at the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Policy Orientation that drew raucous applause from the conservative audience. He said he will ask lawmakers to pass a bill authorizing Texas to join other states calling for a Convention of States.
A constitutional convention of the states is one way that the Constitution can be amended, which allows two-thirds ofsState legislatures to call for a convention to propose amendments. With Republicans controlling the majority of state governments, they have the upper hand if a convention were to be held.With the speech, Abbott released a nearly 70-page plan outlining nine constitutional amendments to help scale back the Federal government’s excessive power. Those proposed amendments would:
* Prohibit congress from regulating activity that occurs wholly within one state.
* Require Congress to balance its budget.* Prohibit administrative agencies from creating federal law.
* Prohibit administrative agencies from pre-empting 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.
A convention, Abbott wrote, would force the federal government to “take the Constitution seriously again.”
If this were to happen, it would be the much-needed silver lining to the Obama presidency. It may have taken eight years of big government and executive overreach to remind us just how important our Constitution is, but hopefully we’ve learned from our mistakes and will put safeguards in place to prevent this from ever happening again.
[Note: This post was authored by The Analytical Economist]