For Immediate Release Abbott Invites Constitutional Chaos

Statement by Tracy Westen, Common Cause Texas Board Member

Posted on January 8, 2016


Gov. Greg Abbott’s call today for a “convention of states” to amend the constitution is an invitation to constitutional anarchy. While Article V of the Constitution provides for such a convention, one has never been called. There are no limits on what a convention might do or provisions for how it would operate, how states would be represented or who would represent them.

The most likely outcome of the convention is a descent into chaos, damaging our economy and the world’s, further shaking Americans’ faith in our system of government, and emboldening our adversaries abroad. The sensible, indeed the conservative path to the amendments the governor seeks is the one taken by each of the 27 amendments already added to the Constitution. That is passage by the Congress and ratification by three-fourths of the states. If his “Texas plan” is as strong as the governor suggests, it should be able to withstand that test.

Mr. Westen is a resident of Dallas.

Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.

Office: Common Cause National

Issues: More Democracy Reforms

Tags: The Dangerous Path

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