[StBernard] Louisiana House committee shoots down attempt to call constitutional convention to shrink federal government

Westley Annis westley at da-parish.com
Fri Mar 28 09:27:29 EDT 2014

Louisiana House committee shoots down attempt to call constitutional
convention to shrink federal government

Print Emily Lane, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune By Emily Lane, NOLA.com |
The Times-Picayune
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on March 26, 2014 at 8:03 PM, updated March 26, 2014 at 8:09 PM

At-a-Glance: A House resolution to call a constitutional convention of the
states, which is allowed under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, failed to
get the support of the Louisiana House and Governmental Affairs Committee
after impassioned testimony from both sides. The proposed resolution
apparently mirrors those either being floated or already passed in as many
as 38 other states as part of a conservative movement to accomplish three
things: limit the size of the federal government; impose fiscal constraints
on federal spending; and enact term limits for federal public officials,
including members of Congress.

The bill: House Concurrent Resolution 15, sponsored by Ray Garofalo,
R-Chalmette, would allow Louisiana to call and send delegates to a
constitutional convention of the states. If two-thirds, or 34, of the states
pass a resolution to convene, the states could host a convention, or, more
likely, Congress would intervene and host it. Three-fourths of the states
would be required to ratify the Constitution.

The debate: Garofalo said he would not have presented the resolution unless
he knew the scope of the constitutional convention wouldn't be "a runaway
convention" and could be confined to the three specific issues he mentioned
regarding limiting of the federal government's size, curbing spending and
adding term limits. But Louisiana Budget Project Policy Analyst Steve Spires
said the unintended consequences of opening up the opportunity to alter the
constitution could damage the political system and economy. Rep. Micahel
Danahay, D-Sulphur, said he would consider supporting the resolution had the
impetus originated in Louisiana but was reluctant to back a national,
conservative movement to do so.

The voice: "There's no way to effectively limit or muzzle actions of a
constitutional convention." - Former Chief Supreme Court Justice Warren
Burger, as quoted by Spires.

"This is not what our founders intended," Garofalo said of current federal
government operations. "This is not what we want."

The vote: Danahay moved to involuntarily defer the bill, and no members

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