The following was written by Sen. Steve Halloran and originally published in the Lincoln Journal-Star.
In a recent editorial (“Convention of states still a bad idea," Feb. 2) penned by the Journal Star editorial board, the editorial board has demonized one of the U.S. Constitution Article V options for amending the U.S. Constitution.
Article V details two methods for proposing amendments to the U.S. Constitution. One method, most conventionally used, is through congressional action. The alternative method for proposing amendments is through a Convention of States, allowing the states to propose amendments.
The editorial board is perpetuating an unfounded fear that a formal, legal gathering of states should not be trusted, and yet the editorial board is comfortable in trusting Congress to have sole authority in proposing amendments.
Currently, only 20 percent of the public express confidence in Congress. Personally, I have more confidence and trust in the States than I do in Congress. I have far more anxiety of a “runaway Congress” being solely responsible for proposing amendments to the Constitution.
The ultimate safeguard against risky proposed amendments, whether the amendment proposal comes from a convention of states or from Congress, is the requirement of said amendment proposal being ratified by three-fourths of the states. Three-fourths approval is a huge hurdle for ratification. The founding fathers, with great foresight, put in place a sound safeguard.
The Journal Star editorial board trusts Congress exclusively on this issue. I prefer to have confidence in the aggregate states. And, ultimately, I have trust in the states being responsible in ratifying only reasonable and responsible proposed amendments.