Legislative Priority: Convention of States

Most Americans understand that the federal government has gone off the rails. With Congress’ favorability rating approaching traffic jams and cockroaches, and dwindling faith in Washington’s ability to solve the nation’s problems, an effort to renew the principles that guided our nation’s formation and Texas’ alignment with the union is gaining momentum in the Lone Star State.

The framers of our Constitution knew that great effort would be required to maintain our system. Following the constitutional convention, when asked whether we would have a republic or monarchy, Benjamin Franklin replied, “A republic – if you can keep it.”

Today, Washington has grown into a leviathan that continually expands its power while individual liberty and the rule of law are in retreat.

In an effort to rein in a federal government that has far exceeded its limits, many conservatives including Gov. Greg Abbott are calling for an Article V Convention of States. Enshrined in the Constitution, the procedure allows for “the application of the legislature of two thirds of the several states” to “call a convention for proposing amendments,” which are valid “when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths thereof.”

Ignoring and allowing the federal government to erode and supplant the states has cheapened the entire institution of law and the Constitution. To illustrate waning public trust, consider that Americans overwhelmingly consider big-government a bigger threat than business or labor. They also name government a bigger problem than either terrorism or the economy, and 75% in one poll consider corruption to be widespread.

A bill supporting the call for a convention of states passed the Texas House last session, only to be blocked in the state’s upper chamber by State Sens. Craig Estes (R-Wichita Falls) and Kevin Eltife (R-Tyler).

Both lawmakers were vastly out of touch with the grassroots, at the recent Texas GOP Convention in May, activists across the state announced they’re overwhelmingly supportive of a Convention of States, passing a plank that reads:

“We support the Bill of Rights as written by our Founding Fathers and assert the authority of the 10th amendment. We urge our Texas State Legislators to call for a limited Article V Convention of States for the specific purpose of reducing the power of the federal government, including implementation of term limits. Any proposed amendments must be ratified by 3/4 of the states.”

The simple fact is that we can absolutely keep our republic, but doing so will require citizen involvement and a reassertion of our individual liberties and the right balance of state and federal power. Article V was given to us by the Founders as a powerful tool in that endeavor.



Tell the Legislature: Protect Texas Sovereignty!

The federal Constitution makes clear the boundaries that define the central government’s role and distinguish it from the powers of the states and the rights retained by their citizens. Increasingly, states have ceded their authority to both the federal government and local officials attempting to assert powers not delegated to them. They primarily do so in ways that restrict individual freedom and disrupt the balance of powers.

Unfettered local control is a popular way to circumvent our proscribed form of government. However, local governments are creations of the state under the Texas constitution. Bag bans, texting bans, and the existence of sanctuary cities all exemplify this loss of state sovereignty. Furthermore, federal overreach into the rightful affairs of state governments has drawn the attention of movement conservatives calling for an Article V Convention of States to reassert states’ roles.

Governments exist to protect the life, liberty and property of the people. The Legislature should support measures that restore the ability of the state to respond to issues entirely within its purview.

Will you help us continue to empower Texans and protect our state’s sovereignty?

Share this petition to help protect our state’s sovereignty!

Salvador Ayala

Sal is the Budget & Policy Analyst for Empower Texans. He has been a committed proponent of American founding principles since 2007, shortly after receiving his J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law. Before joining Empower Texans, he served as legislative director for Rep. Matt Rinaldi in the Texas house and was a delegate to the 2012 RNC. In his leisure, Sal enjoys live music, digital photography, guitar, bicycling, trivia, and documentary films.

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