Voting rights groups call constitutional convention efforts a threat to democracy
This article originally appeared in Public News Service on January 22, 2024 and was written by Kathryn Carley.
Below is Common Cause Massachusetts executive director Geoff Foster’s comment on proposals before the state legislature for an Article V constitutional convention.
“There’s great risk and great potential harm to everything already enshrined in our Constitution if we do open up this Pandora’s box,” Foster cautioned.
Foster pointed out a convention could potentially allow unelected delegates and special-interest groups to enshrine their agenda into a founding document. Supporters argued a convention is needed to rein in federal government spending and give more power back to the states.
Foster emphasized the problem is not the issues groups want addressed but rather the process of the convention itself.
“There are very deliberate efforts to undermine institutions of democracy, so this is not the time to test an unprecedented process to make changes,” Foster asserted.
The state’s Joint Committee on Veterans and Federal Affairs recently heard testimony on the Massachusetts resolution aiming to limit the federal government’s jurisdiction and spending. Foster added he believes legislators in Massachusetts understand the risks associated with a constitutional convention and the prospects for a constitutional crisis.
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