Sunday, June 18, 2017

The Koch Brothers want to rewrite the Constitution. They may succeed.  Jun 2017

Josh Keefe

The Wisconsin Assembly votes Wednesday on whether to call for a convention to change the U.S. Constitution. While that in itself is surprising — the American people have never exercised their legally enshrined right to convene a new Constitutional convention — what’s more surprising is that pro-business groups with ties to the Koch brothers have pushed for similar legislation in more than 30 states, and they’ve been remarkably successful: A dozen states have passed bills calling for a convention that would produce an altered Constitution that would likely limit federal spending and power.
According to Article V of the Constitution, just two thirds (34) of the 50 state legislatures need to call for a convention for the purposes of “proposing constitutional amendments” (no governor’s signature is required). Those amendments would then need to be ratified by three quarters of the states, currently 38, to become law. But beyond those very basic requirements, nobody knows what the rules for a convention would be, since one hasn’t occurred since the original in 1787. That single instance, Constitutional law experts warn, provides a harrowing precedent: Delegates tore up the Articles of Confederation they had convened to improve, and produced a whole new governing document.
The Wisconsin legislation, which is supported by Gov. Scott Walker, was introduced by Republican Sen. Chris Kapenga, who introduced similar legislation in January 2014 as a member of the Assembly. His bill would call a convention to pass constitutional amendments that would require the federal government to balance the budget, something that Congress will simply never do on its own, Kapenga told International Business Times.
“For the country to continue spending at this rate, where revenues are exceeding expenditures consistently, is not sustainable,” Kapenga said. “Whether it’s Democrats or Republicans in charge in Washington, it’s not getting fixed, and no solutions are being proposed to deal with it...I think this is the only option left.”


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