Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Tennessee Officially Rescinds All Previous Calls for Con-Con

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Governor Phil Bredesen signed House Joint Resolution 30 today, thus officially rescinding all previous calls for an Article V Constitutional Convention.

HJR 30 was authored by State Representative Glen Casada, a Republican representing District 63, including the historic town of Franklin, Tennessee. Cosponsors of the bill include State Representatives Matthew Hill (Republican), Gary Moore (Democrat), and Mark White (Republican).

The text of the resolution mandates the "rescinding, repealing, canceling, voiding, nullifying, and superseding" (how's that for thorough!) of all previously drafted applications made by past assemblies for Congress to convene a convention to amend or alter the Constitution of the United States.

Specifically, the measure officially withdraws three applications made to Congress by the Tennessee General Assembly in 1977. The three previously passed resolutions (HJR 21, 22, and 160) appealed to the Congress of the United States, pursuant to Article V of the national Constitution, to convene a federal constitutional convention for the purposes of proposing amendments regarding terms of judges in the federal judiciary; appropriations of federal revenues; and the granting of line-item veto power to the President, respectively.

As justification for the repeal of the prior joint resolutions, HJR 30 cites the opinions of former Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger, former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Arthur Goldberg, and other "leading constitutional scholars" that a convention such as the one advocated in the previous resolutions could assume the power to "propose sweeping changes to the Constitution" (regardless of restrictions on that power imposed by the state legislatures) that would create a clear, present, and imminent threat to the "well-established rights of the citizens" of the several states.

The resolution goes on to declare that such a convention is unnecessary as the Constitution has been amended on many occasions, and there has never been the need for a special convention, especially as such a meeting could result in the dismantling of a document that has for over 200 years successfully protected the "lives and liberties of the citizens" of the United States of America.

The fruit of such a convention would be "legal chaos" resulting from a morass of lawsuits over proper interpretation of the text of the reformed Constitution.

The resolve of the 106th General Assembly of the State of Tennessee is that no constitutional convention be authorized and that all previous bills to the contrary be unqualifiedly repealed. Furthermore, no proffers of strict limitations on the purposes or scope of such conventions are compelling and are hereby rejected beforehand.

It is a proud day for Tennessee and for all Americans interested in the protection and perpetuation of our glorious founding document and the buttressing of the formerly impregnable walls of state sovereignty erected by our noble and farsighted Founding Fathers, that are under constant bombardment by foes of federalism and states rights.

Patriots must unite and inform themselves so that similar resolutions are supported in every state where they are being offered for consideration by the legislature.

Photo: AP Images

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