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Senator Tom Brewer
The 1st Session of the 106th Legislature will start next Wednesday the 9th of January. Once again my good friend Sen. Steve Halloran will introduce a bill concerning the Convention of States. Once passed, this will be Nebraska’s “application” to the US Congress asking that a Convention of States for the purpose of proposing amendments to the US Constitution be called. I strongly support this legislation and will co-sponsor Sen. Halloran’s bill again.
2/3s of the States (34) have to make application for this convention to happen. So far 12 States have done this. 10 more States have passed the measure in one chamber of their legislature. Convention of States legislation has been introduced in another 25 States including Nebraska.
The framers of the constitution put two methods in Article 5 of the constitution so the constitution could be amended. Our country has used the first method in Article 5 (2/3 of Congress) thirty three times to create twenty-seven amendments to the constitution. The process clearly works. The second method in Article 5 (2/3 of the States) have a convention to propose amendments to the constitution. Once 34 States have made application, Congress calls the convention (names the time and place). All States may send a delegation whether they applied for the convention or not. Amendments to the constitution are proposed at the convention. Each State has one vote. Amendments voted out of the convention are sent to congress to select a mode of ratification, and then they are sent to all 50 States for ratification. We’ve never done this before, but I think it is high time we do.
Regardless of whether congress proposes the amendment, or the States do, it must be ratified by ¾ or 38 of the States. That amounts to 76 houses of government just like our legislature. They each have to vote to ratify an amendment. This works out to be about 2,500 State legislators like me all have to vote “yes” to ratify an amendment to the US Constitution. This is a very powerful safeguard the framers of the constitution put in place.
This is NOT a constitutional convention. This is a convention for purpose of proposing amendments to the constitution. I urge everyone to read Article 5. There is no authority to re-write the constitution. People have told me this convention could “run away” voting out all kinds of radical changes to the constitution. Repealing our 2nd amendment gun rights, or making abortion a constitutional right. I simply ask them to show me the 38 States and their 76 houses of government that would vote to ratify such a thing.
Instead of raising groundless theoretical worries, I would point folks to our “run away” federal government we can see every day in Washington, D.C. This is real. The looming disaster of our national debt and the harm it is going to cause our children and grandchildren is real. The States got together in Philadelphia in 1787 and created our Federal Government. I think it is past time for the States to get together and rein it in.
If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to call. Please contact my office with any comments, questions or concerns. Email me at; firstname.lastname@example.org. Mail a letter to; Sen. Tom Brewer, Room #1202, P.O. Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509 or call us at (402) 471-2628.