Proposing a Federalism Amendment To The Constitution

Randy Barnett in the WSJ:

[S]tate legislatures have a real power under the Constitution by which to resist the growth of federal power: They can petition Congress for a convention to propose amendments to the Constitution. Article V provides that, "on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states," Congress "shall call a convention for proposing amendments." Before becoming law, any amendments produced by such a convention would then need to be ratified by three-quarters of the states.

Barnett would like such a convention to adopt a federalism amendment, checking federal power and restoring states rights. Barnett's proposal is principled. Insane but principled. States rights forever!

Speaking for me only

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  • Display: Sort:
    I'd rather go with Dylan Matthews's idea (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 10:37:49 AM EST
    Call for a Constitutional Convention (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 10:38:45 AM EST
    Well, that's Pandora's box (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by andgarden on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 10:41:14 AM EST
    I only want MY IDEAS implemented, not someone else's crazy ones!

    Barnett's proposed revised Constitution (none / 0) (#4)
    by oculus on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 10:42:20 AM EST
    still empowers those liberal judges to decide whether federal laws are w/i the scope of the Constitution.  

    its all fun and games (none / 0) (#5)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 10:43:02 AM EST
    until some state legalizes pot or gay marriage.

    although, I am reading around the web recently that the repubs may be getting scared of both issues to the point of avoiding them or even, god forbid, endorsing them.

    to paraphrase someone "imminent political death has the effect of focusing the mind"

    I think (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by CST on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 10:49:50 AM EST
    our side is winning the culture wars.  To be honest - the republican approach to social conservatism was always a ticking time-bomb.  Younger voters are not down with that stuff.  And people are finally paying attention to us.

    I am not sure if it is so much (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 10:52:43 AM EST
    that they are paying attention to "us" or that "they" are dying off.
    but something is happening.

    a little of both probably (none / 0) (#11)
    by CST on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 11:14:32 AM EST
    I just know that before this most recent election you rarely heard or read about the youth vote, and all of a sudden it became the en vogue thing to talk/write about.  Now, there are certainly demographic changes that had an impact on both sides of the spectrum.  But in terms of what is being reported there has been a lot more emphasis on the younger voters.

    It's funny how quickly conventional wisdom can change.  For instance, before the 90s the majority of Americans didn't approve of interracial marriage.  Now our president is the product of one.  4 years ago Gay marriage was a rallying point of the religious right.  Now it's coming back to bite them.


    Some of that (none / 0) (#15)
    by jbindc on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 04:03:20 PM EST
    is because "youth sells" - isn't it better for ratings to talk to a group of cute young college girls who want to talk abut how dreamy Obama is and he's about "change" than to show another group of stuffy old people in a senior center talking about their fears regarding Social Security?

    But, the pendulum is swinging towards the left again, after years of being on the right.  It always does swing back, as a majority of the people in this country are really in the middle.  You will see a leftward push for a while, but eventually it will swing rightward again.  The problem is, it can swing too far to either side, where only the fringe element lives.


    political parties (none / 0) (#16)
    by CST on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 04:17:13 PM EST
    pendulum but issues don't always.  The definition of "right" and "left" change over time.  Which is what I think will happen with gay marriage - eventually it won't be a left/right issue anymore, kinda like segregation is no longer a left/right issue.

    On the "youth sells" - I agree with you.  But I think you are looking at this particular discussion from the wrong perspective.  In this case we are talking about the demographic shift that's occuring.  So it's nicer to talk about the young people "coming of age" than it is to talk about older people "dying off".  What you are referring to is more about who's issues get more airtime, rather than how one discusses demographic shifts.


    Insane but principled (none / 0) (#8)
    by DancingOpossum on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 11:00:26 AM EST
    LOL...I know states' rights get a bad rap, and deservedly, but there actually IS a legitimate gripe states have against federal intervention in their laws, especially in areas like consumer protection and safety. Preemption is a big problem for consumer rights' lawyers. Just sayin'.

    unfortunately (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Capt Howdy on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 11:13:01 AM EST
    with the right to do the sensible stuff comes the right to do all the really stupid stuff.
    there is a great quote from John Cage concerning improvisation in live performances of his music.  I cant find the quote but it was something like "I wish I could find a way to allow musicians to be free without allowing them to be foolish".

    That's for the balanced budget amendment (none / 0) (#12)
    by MrConservative on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 12:17:51 PM EST
    Which I, of course, oppose because it would be an economic disaster.  But WND had seriously flawed reporting on the issue - not even discussing what the convention was supposed to be called for, and claiming a bunch of things that aren't even on the agenda and couldn't pass a majority of states anyway were definitely going to happen if the CC were called (like getting rid of the second amendment - WTF?)

    Insane but Principled (none / 0) (#14)
    by dk on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 01:21:49 PM EST
    is a pretty accurate description of Barnett (though I would probably throw in a few additional, less civil adjectives if this weren't such a classy website).

    He was my first year contracts' professor a couple of years back.  Needless to say, given his libertarian views, I've had to spend a good amount of time since then learning from other sources the law of contracts that courts actually apply in real life.

    exactly what (none / 0) (#17)
    by cpinva on Thu Apr 23, 2009 at 04:27:36 PM EST
    "stat's rahts" would he be referring to?

    the only state's right that was at issue in the civil war was the right to keep slavery legal.

    surely, that couldn't be the state's right mr. barnett has in mind, or could it?