Idaho Rejects the 'Dangerous Path'

State Says No to New Constitutional Convention

Posted by Jay Riestenberg on March 1, 2017


As right-wing special interests get closer to forcing the convening of a new constitutional convention, legislators in Idaho decided Wednesday to protect voters’ constitutional rights and reject the dangerous idea.

In a 24-11 bipartisan vote, the Idaho Senate voted down a proposed call for an Article V convention to enact a balanced budget amendment. The action capped a three hour floor debate in which members of both parties warned about the dangers of a runaway convention and the lack of rules to govern a new convention. Common Cause previously organized members in Idaho to contact legislators and oppose calls for a new constitutional convention.

As laid out last May in Common Cause’s Dangerous Path report, a convention must be convened if 34 states pass resolutions demanding it. There are no rules that govern how a convention would proceed however, and no way to limit its scope. Our civil liberties, constitutional rights, and recent Supreme Court decisions could be on the chopping block, jeopardizing the right to vote, marriage equality, free speech, healthcare access, and immigration.

Earlier this week, the Wyoming legislature passed a call for an Article V convention. Special interest and corporate lobbying groups, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) now claim to have 29 live applications for a convention, just five states short of reaching their 34-state goal.

Office: Common Cause Idaho

Issues: More Democracy Reforms

Tags: The Dangerous Path

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