I’m not a guy who reads the NYT cover to cover, and recent articles have been confirming that I’m not likely to start. For instance, this one:
The same people driving the lawsuits that seek to dismantle the Obama administration’s health care overhaul have set their sights on an even bigger target: a constitutional amendment that would allow a vote of the states to overturn any act of Congress.
Under the proposed “repeal amendment,” any federal law or regulation could be repealed if the legislatures of two-thirds of the states voted to do so.
The idea has been propelled by the wave of Republican victories in the midterm elections. First promoted by Virginia lawmakers and Tea Party groups, it has the support of legislative leaders in 12 states. It also won the backing of the incoming House majority leader, Representative Eric Cantor, when it was introduced this month in Congress.
Seriously? Was it a slow news day? I mean, yes, I’m sure that this is occurring, but do they really think it’s going to occur? Remember what has to happen in order for an amendment for the constitution to pass:
[I]it must be approved by both chambers of Congress — requiring them to agree, in this case, to check their own power — and then by three-quarters of, or 38, state legislatures.
So let me get this straight. You need 38 states to approve the amendment, which will never happen, and then you need BOTH CHAMBERS OF CONGRESS. Forget that one of the chambers of Congress is still held by the opposing party. That’s minor. But you need the majority of both houses to vote to limit their own power.
The senators we have, even when faced with overwhelming obstructionism, refuse to consider filibuster reform because it might limit their power in the future. These same senators might vote to allow states to overrule them whenever they want? Hah!
If there’s one thing that Republicans and Democrats have in common, it’s that they like power. There is no way, just NO WAY, that they will vote in such a way as to lessen that.
So why is the NYT covering it?
Still, the idea that the health care legislation was unconstitutional was dismissed as a fringe argument just six months ago — but last week, a federal judge agreed with that argument. Now, legal scholars are handicapping which Supreme Court justices will do the same.
Ah, yes. They didn’t take my advice.
It gets worse. Someone pointed me to Article V of the constitution:
To Propose Amendments
- Two-thirds of both houses of Congress vote to propose an amendment, or
- Two-thirds of the state legislatures ask Congress to call a national convention to propose amendments. (This method has never been used.)
To Ratify Amendments
- Three-fourths of the state legislatures approve it, or
- Ratifying conventions in three-fourths of the states approve it. This method has been used only once — to ratify the 21st Amendment — repealing Prohibition.
So this would basically need two-thirds of Congress to vote to propose the amendment? Before three quarters of states need to ratify it?