- Posted February 19, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Lawmaker Wants States to Convene Constitutional Convention
Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long is calling on states across the nation to convene a Constitutional Convention as proscribed in Article V of the US Constitution to curtail the incursion of federal authority into realms which should remain under individual state control.
According to published reports here in the Cornfield, Long sees the federal government seeking to consolidate power and work its will on the people in a fashion not in keeping with the designs of the Constitution. It would take two-thirds of state legislatures to approve a bill calling for such a convention. If enough state lawmakers around the country did convene a convention, the scope would not be limited, but would allow for introduction of almost any idea and proposition to become part of the Constitution.
Long is reportedly focusing on curbing Congress from overstepping its bounds in both controlling interstate commerce as well as in taxation. Part of the rationale on taxation may be due in part over the US Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Care Act in 2012 on the grounds that the individual mandate is a tax. Long is a Republican.
While in some ways a Constitutional Convention sounds appealing especially when one is a strong supporter of the 10th Amendment, as I am, there are some dangers and cautions that should be acknowledged. The 10th Amendment is also known as the States Rights Amendment, which declares any powers not specifically granted in the Constitution to the federal government are retained by the states. There is nothing in the Constitution that would prevent such a gathering from re-writing the Constitution or moving to repeal some amendments already in place.
I do believe that we are moving in the wrong direction toward more central control and less local control. I am not sure that convening a Constitutional Convention is the answer. When we begin to think in these terms and begin to move toward such action, we are in a way expressing that we no longer have faith that our system as envisioned by the Founding Fathers can continue to work.
Personally I can see where a convention would rather than bringing unity to the nation would serve to divide and splinter the country more than it already is. The camps would divide between liberal states and conservative states. You would have rural states and urban states staking claims that neither could see eye-to-eye.
I understand the frurstration of some lawmakers with what does seem to be encroachment by Washington into areas which have traditionally been the state's purview. I would suggest the best course would be not to go the route of a Constitutional Convention, but rather find quality candidates to send to Washington.
Just because a man or woman declares their allegiance to this party or that party does not mean that person is the best candidate to run for and be elected to Congress or to the White House. The political parties need to do a better job in finding suitable candidates to run for elective office.
Of course the other issue is we, the voters. We need to do a better job in researching the people who want to serve. We need to break loose from political party affiliation and ideological fastidiousness and look at the person in his or her entirety and make sure we are casting a vote for the most qualified individual.
From the Cornfield, while an interesting idea and one which is constitutionally sound, such a convention has never occurred in our history. I do not think that now is time to break new ground. Let's fix what is wrong starting in the voting booth.