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Jeff Vasilinda becomes the Vasilinda Family’s first published author!

Playing with Constitutional Fire

June 5th, 2014 by Mike Vasilinda

There has only been one constitutional convention in our country’s history, but State lawmakers passed a call for Congress to authorize a Constitutional Convention. While lawmakers sought to limit the subject matter, scholars say it could be a dangerous proposition.

Under the US Constitution…34 states can ask for a convention to  make changes to the document.  A resolution by Florida lawmakers was filed with Florida’s Secretary of State on Thursday, seeking the convention. Rep. John Wood of Winter Haven pushed the issue during the legislative session.  “We are prepared to fix what is broken in Washington” is what Wood told House members just before the vote in April.

A national movement called Citizens for Self Governance is pushing the measure in all 50 states. A well done web video says this about the iniativive: “That gives WE the People the opportunity to make some long overdue structural adjustments. Maybe term limits would be a good place to start.” It also features pictures of Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi.

Spider Webb pushed for the resolution in Florida.  He wants to limit the scope of bills Congress can pass. Two other resolutions seek a convention for a  balanced federal budget and term limits. Webb says all are ideas Congress isn’t likely to take up. “It would be very unlikely that Congress would propose that amendment” says Webb.

Legislation would impose criminal penalties for delegates who vote for anything not authorized by the state. But once a convention is called Constitutional scholar and FSU Law Professor Mark Seidenfeld says anything goes.  “You can throw people in jail if they voted the way you didn’t want them to vote, but once the vote is in, the amendment ratified, there’s no court in the world thats going to say it was an illegal act.”

And that would leave delegates free to vote on virtually anything. Like abolishing the first amendment, or even the second. There is one safeguard;  it would take 38 states to agree to abolishing one of our basic freedoms.

Georgia and Alaska have also called for Constitutional conventions. Three other states have resolutions pending. The resolution passed by state lawmakers was filed with the Secretary of State today for forwarding to Congress.

 

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