Convention of the States may be more likely than you think with recent Democratic state losses.
Several days ago I published Democrats devastated at state level in 2016 elections:
In the past 8 years Republicans have made devastating gains at the state level, taking over numerous state houses and other statewide offices, and state legislatures. It’s been the equivalent of washing the sand out from under the Democratic political house, depriving Democrats of a training ground in which to grow future leadership.
It not only impacts a myriad of social and economic policies, but also various states-rights issues and redistricting.
This election cycle continued the trend. The Hill reports, GOP makes big gains at the state level…
In much of the country, particularly the South, Democrats are “basically extinct” at the state level.
The NY Times reported, yesterday, on how the 2016 election further damaged Democrats:
Republicans further cemented their control of state governments in this year’s elections. They will control the governor’s office and both chambers of the state legislature, a governing trifecta, in four more states — Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri and New Hampshire.
The net effect of the elections Tuesday will be that Republicans will have a trifecta in 24 states, while Democrats will have just six, as of Friday.
While Democrats picked up a trifecta in one state, they lost trifectas in two others.
In my prior post, I ignored one more important implication of the loss of control at the state level. Could further Democratic losses get to the point that Democrats could not stop constitutional amendments?
Mark Porter Magee tweets:
Democrats now control only 13 state legislatures (26%). If they lose 1 more they fall below the % needed to stop constitutional amendments.
Here’s his step-by-step explanation:
So far, Democrats would have the ability to stop a constitutional amendment, both because Republicans would not have 2/3 in the House and Senate, even if Republicans somehow made more gains in the states.
But, what if Republican went the Convention of the States route?
Here is the wording of Article 5:
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.
Would Republicans consider a Convention of the States bypassing Congress? In fact, just such a movement is underway, and we have been covering it:
- Legislators to Meet for First-Ever Simulated Convention of States
- Momentum Builds for Convention of States
The Convention of the States website provides more detail, including responses to opposition. Mark Levin has proposed the Liberty Amendments to be passed as such a Convention. Republican control of the states ensures that no crazy leftist amendments, even if passed at a Convention, would pass enough states to be enacted.
Whether amendments would be good things is a different question. But the threat that Republicans may soon not need Democrats in Congress to pass a constitutional amendment has people freaking out:
Oh now that's interesting. https://t.co/DQbRSL6XSf
— Jonah Goldberg (@JonahDispatch) November 12, 2016
Scariest of all. So to all of you millennials who don't vote. Pretty soon they can change the constitution at will. It's your future. https://t.co/KrWZlh2JKk
— Judd Apatow (@JuddApatow) November 12, 2016
Get your shit together, Democrats. https://t.co/NqasehCPn1
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) November 12, 2016
I don’t think it’s panic time for Democrats yet. Three’s no certainty that the requisite number of Republican-controlled states would vote for a Convention of the States, much less pass amendments proposed out of such a Convention.
While it may not be Apocalypse Now, it might be Apocalypse Soon.DONATE
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