Texas Has a Plan

Proposals for a “convention of the states” roil the Left and Right.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott made news early this month when he advocated an Article V convention of states to amend the U.S. Constitution to rein in the overreaching federal government, and restore the proper balance of power between the states and the federal government.This ambitious proposal, which he dubbed the “Texas Plan,” was unveiled at a keynote address to a receptive audience attending a meeting of the Austin-based Texas Public Policy Foundation. The foundation is a conservative think tank with ties to Abbott’s predecessor, Governor Rick Perry, who expressed similar sentiments in his 2010 book Fed Up! (described by the New York Times as “a Tea Party manifesto”), ahead of his unsuccessful presidential bid in 2012.

Abbott’s speech was accompanied by the release of an impressive 92-page document entitled Restoring the Rule of Law: With States Leading the Way, containing 353 footnotes. The initiative is not a frivolous exercise; it reflects considerable effort and seems calculated to make Abbott a national political figure. He called on the Texas legislature (not again in session until 2017) to support a convention of states to propose a number of amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Maintaining that the federal government has—with the complicity of Congress, the executive branch, and the federal judiciary—exceeded the limits intended by the Founding Fathers, Abbott suggested nine constitutional amendments.

These amendments (reproduced here verbatim) would:

  1. Prohibit Congress from regulating activity that occurs wholly within one State.
  2. Require Congress to balance its budget.
  3. Prohibit administrative agencies—and the unelected bureaucrats that staff them—from creating federal law.
  4. Prohibit administrative agencies—and the unelected bureaucrats that staff them—from preempting state law.
  5. Allow a two-thirds majority of the States to override a U.S. Supreme Court decision.
  6. Require a seven-justice super-majority vote for U.S. Supreme Court decisions that invalidate a democratically-enacted law.
  7. 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.
  8. Give state officials the power to sue in federal court when federal officials overstep their bounds.
  9. Allow a two-thirds majority of the States to override a federal law or regulation.

These proposed amendments, Abbott emphasized, are not necessary because the Constitution is flawed or “broken,” but because essential provisions of it have been disregarded by all three branches of the federal government. By straying from the enumerated powers, and ignoring the system of checks and balances contained in the Constitution as written, “the government’s flagrant and repeated violations of the rule of law amount to a wholesale abdication of the Constitution’s design.” The solution, Abbott declared, is to adopt amendments that explicitly limit the various branches to their intended roles: “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 92-page supporting document explains the background and justification for each of the proposed amendments in considerable detail.

Substantively, the nine amendments address familiar (and legitimate) concerns about overly broad interpretations of Congress’s Commerce Clause authority; the proliferation of administrative agencies with rulemaking authority scarcely subject to judicial review under the Chevron doctrine; huge amounts of debt accumulated by federal deficit spending; activist decision making by the U.S. Supreme Court; and disregard of state sovereignty by the federal government (and especially by agencies such as the EPA) in violation of the 10th Amendment. To cite just one recent example, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) wrote a thoughtful book, Our Lost Constitution: The Willful Subversion of America’s Founding Document voicing many of these concerns (which Keith Whittington reviewed on this site). In fact President Obama’s lawless administration has spawned an entire scholarly literature highlighting the extent of the problem.

Alas, when it comes to the Constitution, identifying the problem is the easy part; solving it is much more difficult. Article V intentionally makes amending the Constitution a laborious task, requiring ratification by three-fourths of the states (explaining why only 27 amendments have been adopted since 1789). Thus, Abbott’s call for nine more amendments, to be proposed at a “convention of states” has been met with skepticism, and very little support. Here’s why.

A convention of the states is permitted but has never been used. And contemplating so many substantive amendments to our founding charter of government only adds to how deeply controversial such a project is. Abbott’s proposal drew immediate notice—mostly negative—from all points on the political spectrum.  Liberals will vociferously oppose amendments to correct “progressive” policy outcomes, as evidenced by the longstanding resistance to a balanced budget amendment (one of Abbott’s proposals). For this reason, a laundry list of proposed constitutional amendments to overturn the status quo is DOA.

Hundreds of comments by the Left-leaning readers of the Texas Tribune were harshly critical of Abbott and his motives.  Accusing the Governor of unwarranted antipathy toward President Obama, the liberal Austin American-Statesman denounced the plan, terming it “Abbott’s fix for what isn’t broken.” Writing in The Washington Post, Catherine Rampell disingenuously accused Abbott (and other proponents of a constitutional convention, such as Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)), of hypocrisy for professing reverence for the Constitution, while simultaneously trying “to revamp it completely.” In an essay for ThinkProgress.org, Ian Millhiser set a tone bordering on hysterical, declaring that Abbott’s proposed amendments, if adopted, “would be akin to throwing out the system of government established by the Constitutional Convention of 1787.”  The title of his piece summarized his sentiment exactly: “Texas Governor Unveils Plan to Repeal the 20th Century.”

At the same time, others on the Left, such as University of Texas law professor Sanford Levinson, strongly support amending the Constitution (which they find antiquated), and wholeheartedly support a national conversation on the topic, even though Levinson disagrees with Abbott “on what the particular defects of the Constitution are.” The Left cannot abide the Constitution as written, and would love to revise it. This explains why many on the Right, including self-proclaimed “constitutionalists” and Tea Party-types, adamantly oppose an Article V convention of the states. Phyllis Schlafly has long condemned calls for a constitutional convention as “playing Russian Roulette with our Constitution.” The fear is that, once a convention were convened, it would be be hijacked by liberal special interests who would gut the provisions revered by conservatives (for example the Second Amendment, the Electoral College, equal representation of states in the Senate), and pass amendments to repeal the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United, create a right to a “living wage” and similar entitlements, and eliminate religious liberties.

Article V is bereft of any procedural rules limiting the agenda of a convention to proposals submitted in advance. The risk of a “runaway” convention is real. The Constitutional Convention of 1787 produced a document that went far beyond what the 13 original states anticipated. If a “convention of the states” was convened, Justice Antonin Scalia has tersely warned, “Who knows what would come out of it?” Libertarian legal commentator Walter Olson vividly described Abbott’s proposal as the constitutional equivalent of Wile E. Coyote ordering a product from ACME Corporation to catch the elusive Road Runner: “If it doesn’t just sit there doing nothing, it’s apt to blow up on the spot.”

Conservatives and classical liberals are understandably frustrated by the Supreme Court’s misinterpretation of the U.S. Constitution, Congress’s fiscal irresponsibility and delegation of lawmaking authority to administrative agencies, and the creation of a federal Leviathan. As a nation, we need to have a candid discussion about the extent to which the current dysfunction in Washington is due to abandonment of safeguards and limits the Framers put in place to prevent the behemoth the federal government has become. Our political leaders have failed us, not the Constitution.  Perhaps this well-intentioned proposal can help provoke such a discussion. Realistically, however, 34 states will never support a constitutional convention, and even if they did—and adopted these nine amendments—it is barely conceivable that three-fourths of the states (38) would ratify them.

A “convention of the states” is a fanciful, impractical, even Rube Goldberg-like-scheme that could indeed result in an open-ended convention whose decisions made the problem worse. Rather, the ultimate solution to our current dilemma lies in the election of a conservative President and a principled U.S. Senate, who would appoint and confirm a majority of sound, committed originalists to the U.S. Supreme Court. We don’t need to amend the Constitution. We need to enforce it. Our nation has been led astray by feckless legislators and progressive jurists who for generations have failed to follow the Constitution that was ratified in 1789. It is time for voters to restore the Constitution, at the ballot box, by insisting on constitutionalists–elected officials who will respect the Constitution and the rule of law. Benjamin Franklin eloquently described our constitutional system as “A republic, if you can keep it.” His challenge is timeless.

Mark Pulliam

Mark Pulliam is a contributing editor of Law and Liberty.

About the Author

Comments

  1. Finster says

    I agree with this, but I would like to see one Constitutional amendment considered… an amendment to repeal the 17th amendment. If any “convention of states” plan ignores the 17th amendment, then it’s incomplete, at best. Plus, repealing the 17th wouldn’t require a full convention of states, anyway.

    • Wayne Abernathy says

      I agree. I understand what led to the adoption of the XVIIth Amendment, but its authors were not farseeing enough to envision how that would change the incentives affecting Senators. No longer tied to the prerogatives of their States, directly elected Senators would seek to demonstrate their “value” to constituents by delivering them “goodies” via the Federal Government, the only canvass on which the Senators would be able to paint. The XVIIth Amendment removed the one check on such motives of Federal Senators, the requirement of answering to the State legislature whenever Senators had the bright idea to infringe on State authorities and powers. The Senate was originally envisioned as the means whereby the State Governments could act to check the Federal Government. The XVIIth Amendment removed that. Federalism was weakened, and our system of government has become increasingly centralized and alienated from the people.

      That is also, by the way, the reason why relying solely upon the Congress to initiate amendments to the Constitution is no longer sufficient, because that path would be very unlikely to proposed amendments that would diminish Federal powers and authorities. The XVIIth Amendment makes proposing amendments by a convention of the States essential to restore the balance of federalism envisioned by the Founders and required for the preservation of our freedoms.

  2. Wayne Abernathy says

    I don’t understand the criticism that an amendment or amendments proposed by a convention of the States would pave the way for “an open-ended convention that could make the problem even worse”. Such a convention can do no more than propose amendments. Any such amendments would still have to go through the laborious and deliberative process of approval by three-fourths of the States. Anything that could pass over those intentionally difficult hurdles would hardly be a “run away.”

    • Marvin Tyson says

      Wayne Abernathy, why do you assume any safety in the requirement that three fourths of the States are currently required for ratification?
      Our current Constitution was brought forth under a Continental Congress tasked explicitly with amending the Articles of Confederation, which required 100% of the State’s approval for ANY change, yet it had no power to prevent those changes or the complete erasure of those Articles.
      Therein lies the problem. There are absolutely no restrictions that can be placed that cannot simply be thrown out with the Constitution if that is the choice of the Convention. What is to prevent these designing men and/or women, chosen not by the people but by State Legislatures, from abrogating the Constitution altogether and instituting one of their own design? One perhaps, with no method at all for ratification?
      This is an idea far too dangerous to be given serious consideration with those very real possibilities in mind.

      • Wayne Abernathy says

        I kind of think that the Constitution was a good idea, and that its virtues were what made it acceptable to the States. I suspect and hope that the same thing would happen with amendments proposed by a convention of States. Sound ideas would be approved. Unsound ones would be revealed for what they are and would fail.

        I am also aware that the intense debates over ratification of the Constitution led to the Bill of Rights, another set of good things.

        And I don’t see any of that as “run away.”

        • John C. says

          Part of the danger of a Constitutional Convention is the makeup of it; most likely, it would be composed of those with existing political power, i.e., the people who caused the problems in the first place. Since there are no criteria set forth in the Constitution, whom else would end up as delegates? It would prove difficult to get that mushroom cloud back into that shiny Plutonium sphere…

          • Wayne Abernathy says

            I sympathize with your point, but I am not sure that it applies in this case. From what I pick up from the Abbott plan and from the various convention plans that I have seen, the fundamental underlying issue is the need to reestablish the balance of power in the federalism envisioned originally in the Constitution–mainly to redress the concentration of power Washington, restoring a significant portion of power to the States. State governments aren’t perfect, no more than the Federal Government is, but the division of power among them all reduces the opportunity for abuse. Since strengthening State power is the goal, then however the delegates from the States are chosen, they are going to have a bias of strengthening State power. And that is the point and purpose.

      • Adam Smith says

        “What is to prevent these designing men and/or women, chosen not by the people but by State Legislatures, from abrogating the Constitution altogether and instituting one of their own design? One perhaps, with no method at all for ratification?

        The answer is simple. Only 13 states. Your fears becoming a reality are an almost impossibility. Do you really think there are not at least 13 state in this country who would not want to see the constitituion’s original meaning ravaged? That is all it takes to stop what you fearl

        On top of that, assuming another far left Democrat gets elected and appoints one or two more far left Supreme court justices. Now that is a very real possibility that would almost certainly result in a dramatic transformation of the constitution. In fact that transformation in a far left direction has already happened to a great extent.

        Now lets, see. One of the above has already happened and has a high chance of getting worse and there is a almost a non-existent chance of the other. Any you prefer to take a chance with the one that is most likely to radically change the constitution .

        Why again are you against an Article V convention? You argument makes zero sense. You seem to simply be parroting the “ruling class’s” arguments. The ruling class is the group of politicians currently control all branches of our government (Both Democrats and Republicans), continue out of control spending, regularly confirm constitution transforming justices, are completely satisfied with the status quo and are making themselves and their favorite cronies rich from it. They make the same nonsensical argument you are making against an Article V convention for it would probably have the only chance of ruining their fiscal and morally corrupt party. I am not sure how even the most conservative elected legislature and president would change anything for a very very long time at which time it would be too late.

        P.S. Phyllis Schlafly has clearly gone senile and jumped the shark. She supports Trump for God’s sake. My God bless her once very helpful soul.

  3. Ron Johnson says

    Governor Abbott’s proposal would open a Pandora ’s Box of mischief. Since he acknowledges that the problem is not the text of the Constitution, why does he think more text will change anything? His heart is in the right place and his palpable frustration is shared by many, but a convention of the states will not fix things; we need to fix ourselves and I have no idea how to do that.

    • says

      Because you would make yesterday’s implicit understandings of how government should work more explicit. So you couldn’t get around it by reinterpreting the Commerce Clause for instance.

      I feel it’s worth doing, because the current system is broken. Even if the text of the Constitution itself is not a problem.

  4. gabe says

    Mark:

    I take no position on this. I would however point out the following:

    “8. Give state officials the power to sue in federal court when federal officials overstep their bounds.”

    States already have this power, don’t they. If i recall correctly following Massachusetts v EPA where the Court *announced* the “special State solicitude” doctrine (hope I termed that correctly), States are given special consideration when bringing litigation against the Federal Government.

    Moreover, the States have used this not simply to “limit” Federal power BUT ALL TOO OFTEN to enhance both Federal and State rule making powers.
    For an excellent discussion of this please see the following book by Paul Nolette, “Federalism on Trial: State Attorneys General and National Policymaking in Contemporary America.”

    http://www.amazon.com/Federalism-Trial-Attorneys-Policymaking-Contemporary/dp/0700620893/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1453308316&sr=1-1&keywords=paul+nolette

    So even if one were to pass proposed amendment #8, we would still be confronted with the legal maneuverings of partisan State Attorneys General. In fact such a proposal may make the growth of the Federal behemoth even more likely.

    Like you, I would prefer that we simply appoint Black robes who feel compelled to follow their judicial duty – not their partisan bias.

    • z9z99 says

      Gabe,

      I agree with you, but I think the problem is more complex than just flighty judges.

      Here is my hypothesis:

      A black lawyer in Hattiesburg Mississippi has more interests in common with a white tradesman in Hattiesburg Mississippi than he does a black lawyer in Manhattan. However, a Democratic congressman in Mississippi has more interests in common with a Democratic congressman from Manhattan than he does a Republican congress from the adjoining district. This is an ongoing consequence of the rise of national interests, railroads, oil companies, and so on in the nineteenth century and has accelerated with the maturation and proliferation of those interests. It is now being overtaken by globalization of interests, whereby a congressman from Massachusetts may have more in common, ideologically and politically, with a bureaucrat in Brussels or Frankfurt than he does with his next door neighbor. The epigram that all politics is local has more to do with getting elected than enacting policy, and it is possible for a politician to satisfy his constituents in small, cosmetic matters and screw them in larger, more substantial ones.

      So the source of the mischief is the natural tension that exists between purely local interests that seek to optimize the policies that affect them for their own benefit, and national and international interests that seek to influence those exact same policies for their benefit. Reality creates certain interests that are inherently national, e.g. air travel, water quality, securities regulation, etc., so the problem is a creature of circumstances, exacerbated by corruption, Utopian folly, and hubris.

      • gabe says

        Z:

        Ok, after re-reading my post, I see where you would think my concern was my usual one with the Black Robes. My error.
        In fact what I was getting at was not dissimilar from your hypothesis. It is the confluence of interests, either economic, partisan and / or ideological that is, at root, both the problem and its cause. The book I mention covers precisely this issue. One can see this in many instances where AG’s, NGO’s,foreign governments (i.e., Canada on Air Quality issues) and the Admin agencies themselves have coalesced to either *force* policy already determined by the Admin Agencies or create new policy via litigation and or compelled settlements with the “offending” parties.

        I forget where I read this but in some instances American Fed / State Admin Agencies have actually consulted with their counterparts in foreign nations on *best practices* for strategy, methods, etc – all with a view toward implementing that which will be beneficial to their own interests. True, our “begowned” friends could, perhaps, have done more to halt or delay this rulemaking onslaught but i do not fault them primarily for the current state of affairs. In fact, the notion of “special state solicitude” is one that I do not find remarkable; rather, it is the mechanism that the state AG’s and like minded interests have employed that is troublesome.
        When the EPA (and other agencies) can, for all intents and purposes, actively encourage (and fund) litigation against their own agencies in order to accrue to itself more authority / power than the Congress has granted, then I say that your hypothesis has been proven.
        If you have the time, check out Nolette’s book. It is a good read.
        In the end, Cui bono? One ought not to limit the answer to the particular borders of any one state (or nation). Climate control, anyone?

        • Silent T says

          The ultimate answer is to deprive the Federal Government of its vast overreach and return responsibility to the States as originally contemplated by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. We are too far down the road of corruption to have any hope whatsoever that those sent to D.C. will vote away their own meal tickets by returning power to the States. Hence Abbott’s call for a convention.

          What no critic points out (conveniently, I may add) is that the State legislatures are *overwhelmingly* in the hands of Republicans and conservative ones at that in many cases. The last few election cycles have resulted in the highest percentage of Republican control in governorships and legislatures since, perhaps, Reconstruction. This is where Abbott’s proposal is genius and may be the *only* solution. The Left and it’s enablers in the GOP have a lock on D.C. The Convention is the only way to break that lock on power. Once the proposed Amendments go to the States there is a period of time for the States to ratify. That gives time for the legislatures to become even more conservative. 38 States is not too far fetched, particularly as the Feds become ever more power hungry and outrageous in their reckless policies.

          • gabe says

            recall, however, what the partisan composition of State Legislatures were just a few short years ago. Is one willing to bet that the current composition will remain as it is today. what is more, there is not necessarily a clear incentive for certain “GOP types” to do anything that will reduce their own power and influence.

            I am less optimistic than are you in this regards – and there is no telling how influential the BIG Progressive foundations may be in creating an anti-conservative up-swell amongst these representatives constituents.

  5. Mark Pulliam says

    I am skeptical of a Constitutional Convention for several reasons: (1) so unlikely to succeed as to be futile; (2) risk that it could backfire (e.g., Senate Democrats voted for an amendment to the First Amendment to overrule Citizens United; demagoguery and low-information voters could lead to mischief); (3) our elected officials have proven themselves more adept at escaping restraints than Houdini, and more amendments is not going to fix that; and (4) we shouldn’t be arguing over particular amendments or the pros and cons of a Con Con, but about the Imperial Presidency, the surrender caucus in Congress, lawless administrative agencies, feckless judges, etc. We have to change the political culture, beginning with educating the public about the Constitution’s design.

    • gabe says

      Agreed – unfortunately surveying the scene, i.e., talking with many younger (and older folks who should know better), I hold out as much hope of spurring the Legislative to “do their job” in the Bill Bellichick sense as I do of convincing the electorate to educate themselves concerning the design of the American project.

      BTW: I can just imagine the *campaign* that would accompany the Con Con with all the Big Leftist Foundations (Pew, Ford and Carnegie and Soros) pouring millions upon millions into “educational” media.
      Gee, funny isn’t it, how only their Big Dollars seem to be permitted as proper campaign expenditures.

      • djf says

        Unfortunately, Republicans and conservatives seem to be incurably addicted to gimmicks like this “Constitutional Convention” idea. An idea truly worthy of Herman Caine. Such a “Convention” would likely be captured by the Left and could lead to repeal of the First Amendment, an amendment enshrining abortion, affirmative action and gay marriage as express rights, and who knows what else. One thing you can count on in American politics – the Democrats will run rings around the dopey Republicans and “conservatives” in any legislative body (whether or not you call it a “convention” and regardless of its having been called by the feckless, stupid, bankrupt state legislatures), and the latter will walk away not even realizing they’ve been fleeced (see recent events in the US Congress).

    • z9z99 says

      Mr. Pulliam,

      In general I agree. I am also in broad agreement with Gabe and djf. The ills for which Governor Abbot wishes a Constitutional Convention are not, strictly speaking, Constitutional.The deficiency of the conservative response is that it is institutional; i.e. that we just have to refocus our institutions on good government and republican principles and all will be well. We see this quite commonly on this site, where discussion of some regulatory foolishness, or method of Constitutional construction or academic chin-stroking over a Supreme Court opinion authored by William Howard Taft are offered up in resistance to the onslaught.

      The perils to our body politic and the rights and freedoms we wish it to sustain are not likely to be defeated by what we might call institutional means, although these have their place. This is so because the perils themselves are not just institutional; they are cultural, sociological and ideological. They are tribal and psychological and in some degree pathological. Take for example the excesses and perhaps felonies of Lois Lerner. To the civil libertarian her well documented misconduct is a grave offense against civil order and self-government. To the activist of the left, it is more of the nature of a fraternity prank that only seems serious because of whose ox was gored. The same may be said of Edward Snowden, and in fact of the dismal abdication of journalistic responsibility by the media. We have allowed the caretakers of our institutions to forsake sober responsibility and respect for the obligations of self-government and replace them with vacuous cosmopolitan cool.

      To continue the tradition of civil liberty and respect for individual autonomy, to circumscribe the use of government force to its necessary role, to discourage graft and inter-generational theft it is neither necessary nor sufficient to amend the Constitution. Vile and destructive notions, such as the government must protect subjective sensibilities and feelings, that subjective grievance justifies objective preference, or that certain adjectives preceding the word “justice” are anything more than a way to make fascism seem noble, must be countered vigorously and directly. We cannot rely on institutions to protect themselves from those who would commandeer them, intent on mischief. It is a hard, necessary undertaking. Changing the Constitution will not change that fact.

      • djf says

        Bravo, z9z99. Very well put. Unfortunately, the implication is that the country cannot be saved through ordinary political means – which seems correct to me. I hasten to add I’m not suggesting that we use other means to turn back the tide. I just don’t see a solution at all. The entire West seems to have the same problem we do.

      • says

        The biggest problem is the size of the unelected bureaucracy, all the agencies that are creating the equivalent of laws, the “regulations” that are increasingly enforced by the agencies themselves, even though (for instance some new things that are interpreted as falling under Title IX) many of the “regulations” are actually “suggestions”, which are not intended to be enforced with the force of law. Without Congressional oversight to pull back the bureaucracy, and without a President willing to reign in the agencies under his direct control, the bureaucracy keeps growing and taking more power to itself, and we the people are the ones harmed with no recourse. Certainly electing more “Constitutionalist” legislators and President will help, IF and ONLY IF they are willing to reduce the size and power of the bureaucracy. Otherwise it’s a mere academic exercise, and just swapping deck chairs while the ship sinks.

      • gabe says

        Or how about “Toucan do it too” – forgot the name of the group or should it be “2-con”

        BTW: where ya bin? Missed ya!

  6. says

    Nevada has a plan:

    The Nevada Plan of January 17, 2016

    Proposed Amendments to the United States Constitution, to be introduced at a Convention of the States as described in Article Five of the U.S. Constitution.

    Adopt the following amendments proposed by Robert Winkler Burke of Reno, Nevada, called the Nevada Plan, abbreviated as “NP.”

    NP-1. The following statement, an Addendum to the Preamble, shall be amended to the Preamble to the United States Constitution:

    (Preamble Addendum of July 4, 2016)

    When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands that have connected them with another, a decent respect for the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

    We the People of the United States, in making a Collection of Amendments to the Constitution to undo a century of grievous Progressive, hidden-rebellion attacks upon it and us, do now highly resolve that America was not founded in vain on July 4, 1776, nor that America has lost sight of its proper, good, historic and eternal philosophy, nor are we afraid to be that exceptional American people, nor will we besmirch those who gave their lives for our opportunity to be Americans, but we shall honor our honored dead, nor will we in times of peril be afraid to kill those who try to kill us, nor will we be afraid to help those who stop killing us, because so strong is our belief in who we are and what we do. We resolve, most assuredly, to disavow the Progressive meme from Hegel that no proposition can be proved true, which allows a political leader (even as would a death cult religion) to justify lying and worse as a means unto an end, nay rather, we resolve with absolute certainty that James Madison was true and correct in that no man can be the judge in his own case, therefore an American is skeptical of leaders, who in a sense act as judges in their own case, and knowing this… Americans take all precautions against rogue leaders, therefore the American idea cannot be extinguished, though Progressivism has tried, Progressivism has lost. Therefore by our witness and testament, America shall rightly have victory against all enslaving foes – internal and external, and be friend to all of good will, therefore we pledge now and forevermore: that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

    NP-2. Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment and support of the anti-religion of Progressivism, and shall make no funding of Progressive education, nor shall it fund Progressive training in government, military or any other agency… since Progressivism is at eternal, deceitful, hidden war with individual rights, with life, with liberty, with happiness, with logic, with truth, with economy and with laws.

    NP-3. Adopt the following amendments proposed by Mark Levin, called the Mark Levin Plan, abbreviated as “LP.” Details not shown for the sake of brevity.

    LP-1. Impose Congressional term limits.
    LP-2. Repeal the Seventeenth Amendment, returning the election of Senators to state legislatures.
    LP-3. Impose term limits for Supreme Court Justices and restrict judicial review.
    LP-4. Require a balanced budget and limit federal spending and taxation.
    LP-5. Define a deadline to file taxes (one day before the next federal election.)
    LP-6. Subject federal departments and bureaucratic regulations to reauthorization and review.
    LP-7. Create a more specific definition of the Commerce Clause.
    LP-8. Limit eminent domain powers.
    LP-9. Allow states to more easily amend the Constitution.
    LP-10. Create a process where two-thirds of the states can nullify federal laws.
    LP-11. Require photo ID to vote and limit early voting.

    NP-4. Adopt the following amendments proposed by Governor Greg Abbot, called the Texas Plan, abbreviated “TP.” Details not shown for the sake of brevity.

    TP-1. Prohibit Congress from regulating activity that occurs wholly within one State.
    TP-2. Require Congress to balance its budget.
    TP-3. Prohibit administrative agencies—and the unelected bureaucrats that staff them—from creating federal law.
    TP-4. Prohibit administrative agencies—and the unelected bureaucrats that staff them—from preempting state law.
    TP-5. Allow a two-thirds majority of the States to override a U.S. Supreme Court decision.
    TP-6. Require a seven-justice super-majority vote for U.S. Supreme Court decisions that invalidate a democratically enacted law.
    TP-7. 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.
    TP-8. Give state officials the power to sue in federal court when federal officials overstep their bounds.
    TP-9. Allow a two-thirds majority of the States to override a federal law or regulation.

    NP-5. Other proposed amendments shall be offered for approval during the Convention of States, while any over-lapping amendment proposals shall be made succinct.

  7. FiftycalTX says

    The ONLY way we can fix our broken government is this convention. Congress is DRUNK on the powers it has created for itself. They will never voluntarily limit their power or curb their abuses. Why should they? The incumbents use the power of the purse to keep getting re-elected and the bribes that are labed “‘political contributions” get paid back with OUR TAX MONEY.

    And one thing that must be added is TERM LIMITS. No person, elected or appointed, should be allowed to serve more than 12 years. And an age limit. No more 99 year old Senators or federal judges.

    Unless we act, at some point in the future, we will have another dictator wannabe like Obama.

  8. Laughing Gravy says

    To paraphrase: “Can’t happen, just won’t, so go home.” Zzzzzzz.

    Ah….no. It will happen – and soon. Because if it doesn’t, then a rebellion will. In fact, it has already started.

  9. Maaku says

    How about Breaking up some States and adding new ones ..? There’s a number of areas that
    are trying to break away, Western Maryland is trying to break from Maryland
    Northern California and Southern Oregon

    What if you added 5 Red states that were broken off from the Blue states ..?

    • gabe says

      Remember the old axiom:

      “Any organization NOT SPECIFICALLY conservative will soon turn Progressive.

      The same may be true of States.

  10. says

    I recommend for your consideration the whole effort needs to be approached with maximum effect. The Collection of Amendments are required, because of Progressivism’s decline-making command of things… since the early 1900s.

    Hence, the Collection of Amendments could be called the “Anti-Progtard Amendments” which would offend the offendables and also indicate the problem: Progressivism is truly “the Great Evil” that consumes all money, all energy, all intelligence, all reason, all rational discussion, all sanity, all energy of the galaxy. (For proof, look at the leading edge: college immaturity to the nth power.)

    So, in reality it is a FIGHT, even a Civil War, against mental enslavement leading to all enslavement… or the good olde spirit of 1776, beware of any leader because they can self-deal and screw all whom they lead! So it is a fight, and not a compromise among parties, but a fight between two opposing forces which cannot co-equally rule ever, two forces: Progtard Slavery & Insanity or “1776-Tragic-Liberty” freedom.

  11. J1 says

    Can we get rid of the balanced budget nonsense once and for all? Our problem isn’t an unbalanced budget, but that the government spends too much. Also, there are legitimate economic reasons to run a deficit at times. Instead, I propose we:

    1. Strip the federal government of any ability to compel spending by a subordinate level of government
    2. Cap federal spending at a fixed percentage of GDP, and criminalize service in any federal elective office in any year the cap is exceeded

    Budget deficits are the symptom, not the disease.

    • gabe says

      “criminalize service in any federal elective office in any year the cap is exceeded”

      No need for that, the pols have already *criminalized* it.

      Also, I would add: any Administrative agency. But again using Admin agency and criminal in the same sentence can be said to be *redundant*

  12. Steve DiNino says

    Did the 25th amendment spark a runaway convention? Or any of the preceding 24?

    No.

    Just because the States originate the amendments (rather than Congress) doesn’t mean it’s a free-for-all. It’s just a mechanism for proposing an amendment.

  13. Nate Whilk says

    Phyllis Schlafly has long condemned calls for a constitutional convention as “playing Russian Roulette with our Constitution.” The fear is that, once a convention were convened, it would be be hijacked by liberal special interests

    This is my fear. Chaos favors the manipulators and maneuverers .

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