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article imageReclaim states' rights, says Texas Governor Abbott

By Darragh Roche     Jan 9, 2016 in Politics
Texas Governor Greg Abbott wants a convention of the states to convene to "restore the rule of law in America." The convention outlined in Article V of the U.S. Constitution has never been invoked.
Republican Governor Greg Abbott of Texas has called on states to assemble an "Article V convention" in order to amend the constitution and stop government "run amok." Abbott has issued a long list of proposed amendments that he thinks will "fix the cracks in our constitution".
Abbott has outlined nine amendments, mainly intended to restore states' rights and give state governments a veto on federal laws and Supreme Court decisions. The proposals aim to reverse the long-standing ruling on nullification of federal laws by individual states, which most experts considered settled following the Civil War.
Abbott's "Texas Plan" would require a seven-judge Supreme Court super majority to overturn a democratically enacted law, an obvious nod to bans on same-sex marriage like California's Prop 8. Two-thirds of states would be able to override a SCOTUS decision and Congress would be constitutionally required to balance the budget. Other amendments are more vague, such as limiting "unelected bureaucrats" from "pre-empting" state laws.
The ambitious proposal echoes a recent statement by Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, who ordered state judges not to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples because the recent SCOTUS ruling does not apply to Alabama. Republican politicians on the campaign trail have raised the issue of states' rights since the gay marriage ruling, which is extremely unpopular among conservatives.
The plan is unlikely to succeed, however, with 34 states required to approve the proposal. Any amendments proposed at a convention require three-quarters of the states to approve them. Governor Abbott has strong conservative credentials, opposing President Obama's recent executive orders on guns and defending nativity scenes on public property.
More about Texas, US Constitution, US politics, US Supreme Court, Gay marriage
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