Reluctantly, I disagree. I believe at this point in our history that once the constitutional amendment can of worms is opened, we’d see the original intent of Abbott and like-minded people swallowed up by others that would start tinkering with every bit of anything going on, and the amendment outcome would be very different from what was intended. But I’d also like to go point by point with Abbott’s probably (uh, MAYBE) well-intentioned plans:
1. Prohibit Congress from regulating activity that occurs wholly within one State.
Be careful what you wish for. What if some off-the-wall state decided they wanted to expel all of a certain race or religion, re-institute slavery, or some other thing that we’d consider outrageous – but one state legislature and governor manage to make it the law of that one state?
2. Require Congress to balance its budget.
There COULD be times of extreme national emergency (such as a multi-front war) where Congress might HAVE to borrow, just as any citizen might have to take on debt for an emergency, for example. Or perhaps the government would have to intervene to rescue the nation in the event of a crippling EMP, regardless of source. There would be no tax revenue because both the means to earn money and then pay it to the government would be wiped out. Either they start down the road of suddenly ignoring the Constitution and say, “This is an exception we simply have to put in play,” or they don’t build in an absolute restriction in the first place. And what would stop Congress from simply arguing themselves through fiscal year after fiscal year without passing a budget? What is the penalty for the Congressmen – death? Prison? That’s a corner we don’t need to be painted into.
3. Prohibit administrative agencies—and the unelected bureaucrats that staff them—from creating federal law.
If the people aren’t willing to be adequately informed about the issues and elect (or fire) their elected representatives who SHOULD already be structuring the laws to prohibit such actions, rather than leaving the “administrative details” of the enabling legislation up to the agencies, then we’ve already given up. We’d have said that Congress is a joke, it doesn’t really matter, and we’d be trying to literally make laws by constitutional amendment ourselves.
4. Prohibit administrative agencies—and the unelected bureaucrats that staff them—from preempting state law.
Again, we’d be using the Constitution to micromanage – that’s the JOB of Congress and the President (and ultimately the courts). If we can’t elect or get appointed the kinds of people needed to do proper oversight, then all the constitutional amendments in the world aren’t going to be enforced any more than they are now. It’s absolutely absurd that bureaucrats are allowed to run roughshod over individual citizens, wiring around state laws, etc. The tools to stop this are already there. If we can’t get it done now, why should we expect the same Congress, President, and Supremes to properly enforce the Constitution then?
5. Allow a two-thirds majority of the States to override a U.S. Supreme Court decision.
That’s nothing more than a modified version of pure democracy – where the majority rules, and the minority can be crushed under foot. Look at the laws made in a large number of states even today. What would cause them to suddenly, after these 9 amendments are in place, suddenly “see the light” and do things right?
6. Require a seven-justice super-majority vote for U.S. Supreme Court decisions that invalidate a democratically enacted law.
Well, we’d have just destroyed even more of the checks and balances system envisioned by the Framers. The Supreme Court is supposed to be properly interpreting the Constitution in order to rule on whether laws meet that standard or not. If they’re that far out of control that we have to require a 7-justice super-majority, we’re still only patching massive cracks in the dam with surface concrete.
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.
It’s already there – why “amend” the Constitution to tell governments to follow the 10th Amendment that already exists?
8. Give state officials the power to sue in federal court when federal officials overstep their bounds.
This is getting into an area I don’t know well enough. I know there are restrictions on who can sue the federal government, but I believe individual human beings should not be the ones doing it in at least this case – it should be a state suing the feds, not a state official. The STATES need to get their acts together. This proposed amendment would STILL require the Court to do the right thing – and that’s a function of society as a whole, who ultimately put them there by electing the official that makes those appointments (the President). If the fruit on the tree is still rotten, nothing good will come of it.
9. Allow a two-thirds majority of the States to override a federal law or regulation.
See answer to #5 above.
No, I’m not in favor of this. Either the United States succeeds based on the Constitution as it now stands, or the United States falls because the PEOPLE “can’t keep it,” as Ben Franklin told the woman who asked what they’d produced. “A Republic – if you can keep it.” Unless society fundamentally changes back to where people (starting early in school) are taught what is really IN the Constitution, and why, and they truly understand balance of power, checks and balances, etc., then we cannot sustain the nation regardless of all the changes people want to make. And let that camel get his nose even a millimeter under the edge of the tent, and he’ll take over.
I thought Greg Abbott was a good and decent man. Now I wonder. Either he’s not what he appeared to be, or he’s got very little understanding of government. That should be very scary, given that he was the Texas Attorney General prior to his run for Governor. And beyond that, his advisers should have their heads examined, in my opinion.
In this day and time, I believe the disloyal opposition would just LOVE to open up the constitutional amendment process. They’d have a field day. Here is just one of many articles that intelligently explore the problems of an Article V Convention.
And if changes are to be made, why ignore both the 16th and 17th Amendments? Income tax? That’s NOT how it was originally supposed to go. And direct election of the U.S. Senate? Again, NOT the way it was originally designed – with fundamentally good reason! I would have to wonder why those two Amendments aren’t even discussed when we hear of the things they want to ADD to the Constitution. Why not whack some things back OUT of the Constitution first? If senators were once again appointed by their respective state legislatures, AND (a huge “and”) if the PEOPLE took an interest and got educated in how government is supposed to work (and hasn’t since just a few decades after the Constitution was signed), perhaps we’d be back on the right track again without having to change the Constitution at all – just UNchange it. If “We the People” won’t force our legislators to do their jobs, all the tinkering in the world won’t make it better. The outcome could make things look like we’re actually following the Constitution today, by comparison. BAD deal!