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Op-Ed: Scalia warned us 40 years ago about what's happening in America right now

Published in Blog on May 02, 2019 by Convention Of States

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We know now what a loss Antonin Scalia's untimely death has been for American thought, culture, and jurisprudence. 

The stalwart originalist had a deep respect for the Constitution-as-written, and he worked tirelessly to defend our founding document against the encroachments of the federal government. 

But even before he rose to prominence, Scalia knew the struggles America would face. As an article published in the National Sentinel points out, Scalia predicted in 1979 exactly how Congress would try to ignore the will of the people.

The future justice said that “a widespread and deep feeling of powerlessness in the country is apparent with respect to many issues, not just the budget issue. The people do not feel that their wishes are observed. They are heard but they are not heeded, particularly at the federal level.

“The basic problem is simply that the Congress has become professionalized,” he said. “Its members have a greater interest than ever before in remaining in office; and it is served by a bureaucracy and is much more subject to the power of individualized pressure groups than to the unorganized feelings of the majority of the citizens.”

“Congress isn’t willing to give attention to the real issues people are concerned with,” he continued. “Instead, they’re concerned with their own electability. Constitutional amendments are difficult and take time and coalition-building. Why bother with that when you can merely promise it?”

The solution? According to Scalia, the people should call a Convention of States.

Scalia observed that just by utilizing the Article V convention process, states could spur changes at the congressional and bureaucratic levels.

“One remedy for that, the one specifically provided for in the Constitution, is this amendment process which bypasses the Congress. I would like to see that amendment process used — just having it used once will exert an enormous influence on both the Congress and the Supreme Court,” he said.

Need more proof? Check out this clip from the event at which Scalia made his remarks.

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Almost everyone knows that our federal government is on a dangerous course. The unsustainable debt combined with crushing regulations on states and businesses is a recipe for disaster.

What is less known is that the Founders gave state legislatures the power to act as a final check on abuses of power by Washington, DC. Article V of the U.S. Constitution authorizes the state legislatures to call a convention for proposing needed amendments to the Constitution. This process does not require the consent of the federal government in Washington, DC.

I support the Convention of States Project; a national effort to call a convention under Article V of the United States Constitution, restricted to proposing amendments that will impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit its power and jurisdiction, and impose term limits on its officials and members of Congress.

I want our state to be one of the necessary 34 states to pass a resolution calling for this kind of Article V Convention. You can find a copy of the model resolution and the Article V Pocket Guide (which explains the process and answers many questions) here: https://conventionofstates.com/handbook_pdf

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