This one is going to need some ‘splaning, Lucy! On the surface, when Texas Governor Greg Abbott came out and said we need to have a Constitutional Convention to change the US Constitution, and give the states the rights that they actually have, it sounds like a really good idea. But when you delve into what actually is going to happen at such a convention, you’ll begin to see that it’s fraught with pitfalls.
I was a big proponent of the States for Constitutional Convention push about a year or so ago. I helped get it through the Arizona House, and up to the Senate, where Senate President Andy Bigg put the kibosh on it. I couldn’t think of one reason why he did. Then I got it figured out. All hell can break loose in a convention like that, and you can lose much more than you can ever gain.
Let’s first of all look at the mechanics of what Abbott is talking about. He wants the states to get the rights they already have in the US Constitution, and I have no problem with that. In order to call for a Constitutional Convention (without congress’ approval), you need 2/3 of the states to go along. That’s 34 states for those of you keeping score at home. At such a convention, let’s say you wanted to make sure that no one can ever screw with the second amendment, and that’s the reason you’re calling the convention. That’s fine, but EVERYTHING is open at a convention, which is why Andy Bigg was against having the bill move forward in Arizona. He didn’t want to chance it that say, Planned Parenthood could have a big push to put abortion in the Constitution, where it could never be debated or discussed again.
So, while Abbott’s move is good on one hand, it could have unintended consequences on the other, and you won’t necessarily know about it until you’re neck-deep in it. Then it’s too late. It could well be that Texas wants to stake out a bigger swath of states’ rights, which is fine, but all of a sudden, there’s a move afoot from the floor of the convention to do away with the second amendment altogether (and yes…that CAN happen at a Constitutional Convention!). In such a case, the gun rights’ advocates may get caught flat footed and are screwed.
And the reason a Constitutional Convention called by the states has never happened (though it’s been tried several times), it’s because no one knows for sure how it would work. For instance, do all 34 states have to call for the convention on the same topic? Does the convention last forever, or for a set time, or until whatever it’s called for is completed? Nobody knows. And it could be very possible that the “runaway convention” scenario that I described earlier happens. What happens if liberals hijack a conservative called convention? They could basically re-write the US Constitution and the Supreme Court could be written out of the whole enchilada. It’s a long shot, but it IS possible.
No, Greg Abbott is a fine guy, but the idea of a Constitutional Convention is off the mark. I know there were quite a few state legislatures that pushed it a couple of years ago, but after careful thought, THAT is not what our country needs. What our country needs is leadership. You don’t find that at a Constitutional Convention!
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!