Texas Guv Pushes Constitutional Convention To ‘Rein In’ The Feds

Start your day with TPM.
Sign up for the Morning Memo newsletter

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) is sick of watching the federal government trample all over states’ rights, with things like U.S. laws and Supreme Court decisions. So the former state attorney general is pushing a constitutional convention to weigh what he has labeled the “Texas Plan,” made up of nine constitutional amendments he says will “reign [sic] in the federal government and restore the balance of power between the States and the United States.”

“That constitutional problem calls for a constitutional solution, just as it did at
our Nation’s founding,” Abbot wrote in the 92 page proposal released Friday. He pointed to various plans offered by states that helped create the Constitution in the years after the Revolutionary War.

“Now it is Texas’s [sic] turn,” Abbott wrote. “The Texas Plan is not so much a vision to alter the Constitution as it is a call to restore the rule of our current one.”

His proposed amendments range from requiring Congress to pass a balanced budget to allowing states to overrule Supreme Court decisions.

Some of the proposed amendments — like number III, which bars executive agencies from creating laws — would undermine the power of the administrative state that has existed since the New Deal. Others — like the call that a super-majority be required for the Supreme Court to overturn a law — would be a dramatic departure from how the government operates today.

Under Article 5 of the Constitution, calling a constitutional conventional requires the support of the legislatures in two-thirds of the states. According to the Houston Chronicle, Abbott is not calling for a special session of the current Texas legislature, meaning the issue will have to wait for 2017 to be considered by lawmakers in the state.

Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: