Texas Senate Should Reject the Constitutional Convention (ConCon) Resolutions
by Shirley Spellerberg on February 3, 2011 at 9:46 AM
The Senate State Affairs Committee should Kill the ConCon Resolutios
Lt. Governor Dewhurst is misguidedly calling for a Constitutional Convention for the purpose of a federal Balanced Budget Amendment. The BBA is only one of numerous amendments being suggested by the public-at-large fueled by frustration with the lack of action on the part of our elected officials to act responsibly in fiscal matters.
Resolutions calling for a Constitutional Convention (ConCon) have been filed by Republicans in both the Texas House and Senate. They will very soon be heard in the Senate State Affairs Committee and should be killed in committee. Names of members of the Senate State Affairs Committee may be found online here. If you are concerned about the risks involved in a Constitutional Convention, please call the committee right away and also Lt. Governor Dewhurst’s comment line at 512-463-5342 urging defeat of the Senate Joint Resolutions sponsored by Senators Florence Shapiro, Steve Ogden and Jeff Wentworth (all Republicans) and any other ConCon Resolution that may be forthcoming.
Senators Cornyn and Hatch have introduced a Balanced Budget Amendment in the Senate which, if passed, would have to be ratified by three-fourths of the states. Should this BBA fail in the Senate, we still should oppose a ConCon which could not be limited to only one agenda item.
The risks of a Constitutional Convention outweigh any hoped-for good results because there are no rules in the constitution or in any law to limit a ConCon’s purpose, procedure, agenda or election of delegates.
A Runaway Convention Carries a Host of Unintended Consequences:
- Repeal of the Second Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms
- Repeal of the 10th Amendment which reads: “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.”
- Repeal of the Electoral College in favor of a popular presidential vote
- Repeal of presidential term limits which should remain in place
- Recognition of International Law as a part of our Supreme Court decision-making (which is already being done unconstitutionally)
- Re-write of the Fourteenth Amendment by excluding the ‘under the jurisdiction thereof’ phrase to include citizenship for children born to Illegal Aliens within the United States
Since the 80’s, Phyllis Schlafly, National Eagle Forum leader, has warned against a ConCon.
Phyllis has said "Many prestigious constitutional authorities say it is impossible for Congress or State applications to restrict what a ConCon does." The highest authority who has ever spoken out on this subject is the late Chief Justice Warren Burger, who wrote: "There is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention. After a convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the Convention if we don’t like the agenda." Other distinguished professors of constitutional law, both Republicans and Democrats, (from prestigious universities) say it is impossible to restrict the agenda of a ConCon to one issue, and all agree that even if Congress called a ConCon to consider only one issue, the Convention delegates can ignore that instruction, set their own agenda and make their own rules. It is not credible that various politically active groups (liberal and conservative) would pass up the chance to try to force a ConCon to vote for their special interests. Outside of a ConCon hall demonstrators would be demanding constitutional changes. . .all demanding consideration of amendments to recognize their asserted rights. The ConCon process would be a prescription for political chaos, controversy, confrontation, litigation and judicial activism. For more info go to: Playing Russian Roulette With Our Constitution.
Political frustration and emotions should not motivate Texans and other Americans to pursue such a dangerous option as Article V of the US Constitution permits. Let us rather closely monitor Federal and State legislation and hold our elected representatives accountable with an eye to the next election.