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Convention of States, Part 1 – ‘The Constitution is not Broken, Obeying It Is’

Texas Governor Greg Abbott recently called on the Lone Star State to join other states in calling for an Article V Convention of States.

The Constitution itself is not broken,Abbott wrote. “What is broken is our Nation’s willingness to obey the Constitution and to hold our leaders accountable to it.”

He says the Constitution “is increasingly ignored by government officials.” Abbott notes, “Members of Congress used to routinely quote the Constitution while debating whether a particular policy proposal could be squared with Congress’s enumerated powers. Such debates rarely happen today.” He explains, “In fact, when asked to identify the source of constitutional authority for Obamacare’s individual mandate, the Speaker of the House revealed all too much when she replied with anger and incredulity: ‘Are you serious?'”

“For various reasons, ‘We the People’ have allowed all three branches of government to get away with it,” the Texas governor writes in his plan. “And with each power grab the next somehow seems less objectionable. When measured by how far we have strayed from the Constitution we originally agreed to, the government’s flagrant and repeated violations of the rule of law amount to a wholesale abdication of the Constitution’s design.”

The Texas Governor explores history and explains that early discussions about what the Constitution should provide included the concern “that the courts would incrementally expand the federal government’s powers, building precedent on precedent, and waiting for the people to acclimate—like a frog in a pot of warming water—to the ever-expanding scope of federal power.”

He says that part of the problem is that “most Americans have no idea what the Constitution says.”

Abbott calls his strategy the “Texas Plan,” as reported by Breitbart Texas when he first announced his idea. The long title of his 92 page plan is “Restoring The Rule Of Law With States Leading The Way.”

Abbott, who was the longest serving attorney general (AG) in the state prior to becoming governor, and served as a justice on the Supreme Court of Texas, and as a civil district court judge before he became AG, says his detailed plan gives “We the People” the power to “reign in the federal government and restore the balance of power between the States and the United States.”

He says the Texas Plan accomplishes this by offering nine constitutional amendments.

Abbott urges that as it did when the nation was founded, the “constitutional problem [in our country today] calls for a constitutional solution.”

Going back in American history, he said the various states stepped up and offered their plans for what would be the nation’s new Constitution. “Virginia’s delegates offered the ‘Virginia Plan,’ New Jersey’s delegates offered the ‘New Jersey Plan,’ and Connecticut’s delegates brokered a compromise called ‘Connecticut Plan.’ He says, “Without those States’ plans, there would be no Constitution and probably no United States of America at all.”

To those who would ask what happens to the U.S. Constitution as it is written, Abbott writes, “The Texas Plan is not so much a vision to alter the Constitution as it is a call to restore the rule of our current one.”

“To those who complain that this part of the Texas Plan is extreme, again, the Constitution supplies the reply,” Abbott writes. “From the beginning, the people acting through their respective States were supposed to have control over the Constitution.” Article V allows the state legislatures to propose a constitutional amendment, and it can be ratified by a three-fourths vote of the state legislatures or state ratifying conventions.

The Texas Governor says, “The problem is that we have forgotten what our Constitution means, and with that amnesia, we also have forgotten what it means to be governed by laws instead of men.”

He says, “The solution is to restore the rule of law by ensuring that our government abides by the Constitution’s limits.” The courts used to serve that function he says, but today there are judges who actively subvert the Constitution rather than uphold it.

Because “We the People” can no longer rely on our nation’s leaders to enforce the Constitution, the people, acting through the States, can amend “their Constitution” to force leaders in the executive, legislative, and judicial branches to be constrained by “renewed limits on federal power.”

This article is Part 1 in a series that goes through Governor Abbott’s 92 page “Texas Plan.”

All of the articles in the series will follow Governor Abbott’s “Texas Plan” in the order and way (headings and sub-headings) it has been written. Future parts of the series will discuss: the Texas Plan for fixing Congress; the President; the federal judiciary; how the Texas Plan will reclaim the States’ rights “from a federal government bent on abrogating them;” and the process for implementing the Texas Plan.

The “Texas Plan” in its entirety will be attached to each part of the series so it can be readily consulted.

Lana Shadwick is a writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served as an associate judge and prosecutor. Follow her on Twitter @LanaShadwick2

Greg Abbott – Restoring the Rule of Law

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