Tag Archives: Special Interests

Saturday, 9/24/11, Public Square

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Filed under The Public Square

Constitutional Convention

Government has become very corrupt, with our politicians owing their souls (and their reelection hopes) to monied special interests.  Even SCOTUS seems to now be affected as the Court decision in Citizens United v. F.E.C.—which permits unlimited independent corporate campaign expenditures illustrates.

The framers left open a path to amendment that doesn’t require the approval of Congress: a convention. Article V of the Constitution requires Congress to call a convention to propose amendments if 34 state legislatures demand it. Any proposed amendment would then have to be ratified by both houses of 38 state legislatures (three-fourths of the states). This entails 76 separate votes in the affirmative by two houses of 38 state legislatures. (Nebraska, with its unicameral legislature, would be an exception.)

Is this where we’re headed?  Odds are against it, but it is certainly possible.

Even if 34 states don’t call for a convention, history teaches that a real threat is often enough to get Congress to act. The only amendment in our history that changed the structure of Congress (the 17th, making the Senate an elected body) was proposed by Congress because the states were close (just one state short) to calling for a convention.

Read more here.

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Filed under Political Reform