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TX Gov Greg Abbott has plan to return power to the States

TX Gov Greg Abbott has plan to return power to the States

“Federal government run amok.”

Now that Texas governor Greg Abbott has been in office for a while, it’s easy to see why he beat Wendy Davis so handily. Abbott is pushing back against what he, and many others, see as an overreaching federal government.

The Dallas Morning News reports:

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott calls for Convention of States to take back states’ rights

Gov. Greg Abbott, aiming to spark a national conversation about states’ rights, said Friday that he wants Texas to lead the call for a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution and wrest power from a federal government “run amok.”

“If we are going to fight for, protect and hand on to the next generation, the freedom that [President] Reagan spoke of … then we have to take the lead to restore the rule of law in America,” Abbott said during a speech at the Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Policy Orientation that drew raucous applause from the conservative audience. He said he will ask lawmakers to pass a bill authorizing Texas to join other states calling for a Convention of States…

Abbott, in his plan, dismisses many of those criticisms, saying that he would call for a limited scope to the convention.

The plan lays out nine specific proposed amendments that would:

  • Prohibit congress from regulating activity that occurs wholly within one state.
  • Require Congress to balance its budget.
  • Prohibit administrative agencies from creating federal law.
  • Prohibit administrative agencies from pre-empting state law.
  • Allow a two-thirds majority of the states to override a U.S. Supreme Court decision.
  • Require a seven-justice super-majority vote for U.S. Supreme Court decisions that invalidate a democratically enacted law
  • 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.
  • Give state officials the power to sue in federal court when federal officials overstep their bounds.
  • Allow a two-thirds majority of the states to override a federal law or regulation.

A convention, Abbott wrote, would force the federal government to “take the Constitution seriously again.”

Ace of Spades made a great point about this:

It is time to take power back away from them and return it to the hands of those the Constitution says will wield ultimate political power: Us. The actual citizens. The American people generally, and not some weird inbred, intermarrying Government Caste.

The more power this caste as robbed from the people, the more the people themselves have been sapped of energy, initiative, and, frankly, virtue.

A free people is an energetic, vital, virtuous people.

Unfree people are bent, warped things who begin thinking not in terms of natural productivity and industry but merely of gaming advantages and payoffs from their masters.

Just to show how serious Abbott is about this, here’s how he responded last week when Obama started talking about gun control through executive action:

On New Year’s Day Texas Governor Greg Abbott responded to Obama’s executive action on gun control by tweeting about it. The governor had no qualms about telling Obama to “Come and take it,” implying that Abbott won’t take the executive action without a fight.

Here’s the tweet:

This guy gets it.

Featured image via YouTube.


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I like the idea where states can overrule the supreme court and limiting the court on overruling states democratically enacted laws.
And, telling the executive branch they can no longer issue decrees (regulatory laws) sound great!

Limiting a single branch would be wholly ineffective. All three branches must be attached together.

Sounds markedly like Marco Rubio’s which he’s been talking about the entire campaign. I guess the Cruz crowd needed a ‘Me too’ that they could cover in conservative media w/o making it obvious.
Love Abbott but let’s get real here. 🙂

Prohibit congress from regulating activity that occurs wholly within one state.

Right off the bat, I see a problem there. The Supreme Court has already ruled against that idea in Wickard v. Filburn.

Sounds like legal insurrection to me.

Doesn’t anyone recall our history that the 1787 Convention was convened to propose changes to the Article of Confederation under which the US operated and that that convention decided, in secrecy, to draft a new ruling document which it presented to the states for ratification.

Abbot’s new constitutional convention could chose to make a similar decision and produce a replacement for our “sacred” Constitution, which if accepted would throw out the 1787 document. The 1787 document’s procedures for amendments then would be irrelevant and under this scenario, any rules defined by Congress could be ignored.

The proof of the validity of producing such a document would be in whether it was accepted, ratified, by however many states specified in the new governing document.

What would determine whether this, nightmare, scenario were to happen would not be the platitudes of Gov. Abbot, or of Mark Levin, but the wishes of those persons who would actually runs the convention processes and its procedures.

Calling a Constitutional Convention would, IMHO, open a can of stink worms, with a totally unpredictable outcome, perhaps defining an end to our nation as it now exists. OBTW: IMHO: Obama, Hillary, E. Warren, and other such persons would be totally in favor of such an outcome; Hillary, eg.) in getting rid of the Electoral College and having only a popular vote count; do the math on her concept of a national vote.

    Milhouse in reply to Doug Wright. | January 11, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    which it presented to the states for ratification.

    It didn’t even present it to the states. It bypassed the states who convened it in the first place, by going directly to their people, convening its own ratifying conventions in each state, and declaring that as soon as nine of these conventions had ratified the new constitution it would be binding on all 13 states.

    What would determine whether this, nightmare, scenario were to happen would not be the platitudes of Gov. Abbot, or of Mark Levin, but the wishes of those persons who would actually runs the convention processes and its procedures.

    Exactly. And you know who would be strongly represented there: SEIU/ACORN, Occupy, BLM, the Brady gang, and all other activists who find the current constitution a hinderance.

Makes me want to stand up and cheer. But President Cruz nominating the next 3-4 SCOTUS Justices sounds even more appealing.

Speaking of Filburn, from the Wikipedia article:

Filburn argued that since the excess wheat he produced was intended solely for home consumption, his wheat production could not be regulated through the Interstate Commerce Clause. The Supreme Court rejected this argument, reasoning that if Filburn had not used home-grown wheat, he would have had to buy wheat on the open market. This effect on interstate commerce, the Court reasoned, may not be substantial from the actions of Filburn alone but, through the cumulative actions of thousands of other farmers just like Filburn, its effect would certainly become substantial. Therefore, Congress could regulate wholly intrastate, non-commercial activity if such activity, viewed in the aggregate, would have a substantial effect on interstate commerce, even if the individual effects are trivial.

Talk about a straw man argument (pardon the pun) – the court presumed Filburn’s only alternative was to buy. But he was under no obligation to do so and could have simply not planted wheat. Beyond that, while it is ‘settled law’, the backdoor reasoning is contrary to simple common sense, something the Founders had in abundance. I really wonder if, given the chance to decide such a case, they would have adopted that backdoor reasoning, because taken on its face it enables the Federal Government to regulate anything and everything, something I doubt the Founders would have consciously intended or approved of.

    rabidfox in reply to Daiwa. | January 10, 2016 at 12:54 am

    That same argument was used in the past few years to control the ownership of milch cows if the owners weren’t farmers but kept the cows stabled with a local farmer. The families wanted unpasturized milk and, since the milk wasn’t supposed to be sold or even transported across state lines but the courts ruled that it came under interstate commerce because if they didn’t own these cows that they would have bought the milk commercially. This country is so screwed.

Except there was no aggregate unless it was imagined. Enabling regulation by postulating a hypothetical that never happened and wouldn’t have happened, basing a decision on ‘vapor’.

If the states feel they don’t have a voice in the federal government it might be due to the problem with their Senators. Perhaps they need to be appointed again, instead of voted into office. It would take care of those campaign finance issues and the states could feel represented again. Maybe it would make amendments to the Constitution easier too.

Freedom is not by itself an unalloyed good. In the classical sense, you are free when you align your life with reality. Thus the gravitational freedom you feel when you jump off a tall building will end badly, and the sexual freedom promised by the sexual revolution has resulted in broken lives and 50 million abortions. “Reality” is one of the names of God, and if the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.

So the question is not how US citizens can obtain freedom, but rather whether we are the kind of people who know what freedom is, and live according to it. If we are not, then we should avoid constitutional conventions – a thousand of them will not help us.

I’m not that excited about some of the proposals from Governor Abbott but perhaps it’s just me. I am certainly all for the idea of a state-led, state-run Constitutional Convention. Here’s a few proposed amendments that I’d push if I were a delegate (written as best I can to be constitutional amendments):

1) Private property shall not be taken by the United States, nor by the several States, for the express purpose of transfer to another private party or for a private purpose.

2) The judicial power of the United States shall not extend rights or privileges, provided to citizens by this Constitution, to foreign enemies of the United States who shall fall under the military jurisdiction of the United States in time of war or military conflict; except as shall be agreed to by the United States under international treaty on the conduct of war.

3) The judicial power of the courts established under Article III of this Constitution shall not be guided by any precedent or opinion by any foreign court or tribunal; except as shall be agreed to by the United States under international treaty.

4) Only citizens of the United States, properly registered to vote in the state in which they reside, shall vote in any election held by the United States or any state; and no foreign national residing in the United States shall be counted for purposes of apportionment.

5) Neither the Congress nor the several States shall make a law that protects the privacy of an elected public official or public employee in excess of the privacy provided to an ordinary citizen under similar circumstances.

6) The Fourth Article of Amendment to this Constitution shall be strictly enforced with regard to any request by any government agency funded by the Congress for information from a private person or business.

7) Congress shall make no law requiring any State to appropriate funds originating from that state, nor may it require any State to enact a tax upon its own citizens.

8) The Fourteenth article of amendment to this Constitution shall not be construed to provide or require a benefit or emolument to foreign nationals who are found to be residing illegally within the United States or its territories.

9) As the right of citizens to acquire, possess, carry, transfer and use firearms for the defense of life, liberty and property is fundamental, neither the Congress nor the the several States shall deny the right of law-abiding citizens to own, purchase and carry ordinary firearms, or to own and purchase ammunition for such firearms; and any restriction thereof shall be subject to strict scrutiny.

10) No recess appointment shall be made by the President under section 2 of Article II unless the Congress shall have adjourned for at least thirty days. When a nomination made by the President under section 2 of Article II, which shall require the advise and consent of the Senate, shall not have been rejected by the Senate within one hundred and twenty days of nomination, such consent shall be considered affirmed.

    rabidfox in reply to stevewhitemd. | January 10, 2016 at 12:58 am

    I like #5, but would expand it to include the idea that neither Congress, the Administrative Branch, nor the Judicial Branch shall exempt themselves nor any other group from the laws of the land.

smalltownoklahoman | January 9, 2016 at 4:19 pm

Kneecapping those administrative agencies is definitely something I’m in favor of! They are perhaps the single biggest example of how far we’ve strayed from how the founders wished this nation to be run as well as collectively being the biggest source of abuse of Federal authority.

I think if you follow one of those links you should be able to find a pdf of Abbot’s plan where he goes into great detail about how far our country has strayed and how his proposed amendments will fix it. Read through part of it last night (not all, it was late) and one thing you notice is that he believes that our nation didn’t really go astray from how it was supposed to be run until FDR and his threat to pack the Supreme Court with justices favorable to his agenda. That is something that should be addressed if we ever do get a constitutional convention convened.

Henry Hawkins | January 9, 2016 at 4:35 pm

Taxpayer funded free doughnuts for all.

smalltownoklahoman | January 9, 2016 at 9:01 pm

In the spirit of proposing amendments here’s mine.

Congress shall make no law forcing citizens, either individually or as a group, to purchase a product or service against their will. All previous such laws are hereby rescinded upon ratification of this amendment.

    smalltownoklahoman in reply to smalltownoklahoman. | January 10, 2016 at 9:16 am

    Addendum: Nor shall Congress pass any law that taxes, fines, or otherwise penalizes citizens for refusing to purchase a product or service against their will.

I’d like to see some judicial reform as well:
1) A justice can be impeached if the trend of his/her rulings indicates that he/she is following a private or political agenda

2) The Atty General be an elected position and placed in the Judiciary Branch but not under the control of the courts

3) Term limits on judicial appointments.

    rabidfox in reply to rabidfox. | January 10, 2016 at 1:06 am

    Oh, and lets add
    4) An American citizen has automatic standing to sue.

    5) Federal funds may not be used to sue the Government nor will Federal funds be used to compensate the plaintiff unless a) the plaintiff wins and b) such compensation would have been awarded if the suit were between private parties.

Abbott, in his plan, dismisses many of those criticisms, saying that he would call for a limited scope to the convention.

This is dishonest of him. He knows very well what happened the last time this was tried. Once a convention is called it can ignore its mandate and do literally anything it likes. That’s how we got the USA in the first place.