We need a constitutional convention

To the editor:

As one who is concerned that the federal government has forsaken its constitutional moorings, I have been searching for actions that can be taken to correct the alarming expansion of the federal government’s power and control over its citizens’ lives. Listening to the radio recently, I heard a suggestion that may well be the only thing short of a revolution that could bring the federal government back to its proper relationship to the states and to the people.

The suggestion assumes that we cannot look to Washington, D.C., to do anything other than what they have been doing. If there is to be a change, it must be initiated outside the federal government. And it must be undertaken in a constitutional manner.

In order to change our federal government in any meaningful way, we must amend the Constitution. The Constitution allows two methods of proposing amendments. One way depends on Congress to initiate the change. That, of course, will not happen. Congress is corrupt and has no desire to limit its own power. If reform is to happen, it must be forced upon them by the people and the states.

That is exactly what our Founding Fathers envisioned when they wrote Article V of the Constitution. In Article V the Founding Fathers included a second method for proposing amendments, a method initiated by the state legislatures: “On the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several states, [the Congress] shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments” The Amendments thus proposed would then need to be ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures in order to be adopted.

If our nation is to be returned to its Constitutional moorings, it is urgent that a number of issues be addressed through amendments to the Constitution. Among them are the following:

the Supreme Court’s proper role and the limitations of the scope of its judicial review;

the Congress’s role as the sole legislating body and the reaffirmation of the constitutional principle that Congress’s legislative powers cannot be delegated to the executive or to regulatory agencies;

the responsibility of the executive branch to faithfully enforce all properly enacted laws;

the proper relationship between the federal government and the state governments; and

restoring the Constitutional boundaries that circumscribe the federal government’s limited areas of concern and authority.

When our Founding Fathers wrote Article V of the Constitution, they did so in the hope, and with the expectation, that in future days -when the pride, greed, and corruption that is typical of human governments had so infected our federal government that it would be no longer able to heal itself – there would be enough courageous and upstanding people within our state governments that through them the necessary actions might be initiated whereby the nation might be set right again.

Let us encourage and urge our state legislators to begin this process to rein in the federal government and restore our liberty.

Michael A. Thom

New Ulm

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