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Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Repeal Amendment and Constitutional Conventions

There has not been a constitutional convention since the original in Philadelphia. A 1995 report from the Congressional Research Service discusses the process of calling a convention, as well as the questions and uncertainties surrounding that process. In the 1990s, the issue came up in the context of a balanced budget amendment.

The Daily Caller reports on the"repeal amendment," the subject of an earlier post:

A Tea Party activist is working to get state backing for a constitutional convention to pass a constitutional amendment that would give two-thirds of the states the ability to repeal congressional acts, such as the new health care law.

“It restores a lot of the sovereignty and a lot of the power that the states have lost,” said Marianne Moran, executive director of and *former executive director of Tea Party In Action.


However, not all conservative state legislators and Tea Party activists have been quick to endorse this amendment or the call for a constitutional convention.

“This would upset the scheme of federalism that has worked for us over the past couple hundred of years,” Republican Pennsylvania state Rep. Curt Schroder told TheDC. “I’m not unsympathetic to many of their concerns, but I don’t think we should change the balance.”

Other conservatives, such as Tea Party Express Chairman Amy Kremer, worry the convention’s scope could become too broad and get out of hand.

“It would be opening Pandora’s box and we do not need that. We have a perfectly strong and viable Constitution,” Kremer said. “We need to work with the perfectly good document upon which our country was founded. We need to find and use other mechanisms to repeal or defund ObamaCare.”

She continued, “I personally cannot speak for everyone within this movement, but I think that most people within the Tea Party movement would agree on this and would not support a constitutional convention.”

Howell defends the idea, saying state could limit the convention’s scope to keep it from turning into a circus.