This week LR 6 will be heard before the Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee. LR 6 calls on the Nebraska Legislature to submit a request to Congress to call for a constitutional convention under Article V for the purpose of (1) imposing fiscal restraints on the federal government, (2) limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and (3) limiting the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress.
Civic Nebraska’s Opposition to LR 6 is fairly straightforward:
- The US Constitution provides no guidance for a convention of states – fair representation cannot be guaranteed. The language allowing for the calling of such a convention does not provide any guidance or structure for such a convention – we have no idea when it would be, how it would be run, where it would be held, or who would get to go. That’s a lot of questions for a vague purpose.
- The scope of a convention of states cannot be limited – opening up the entire US Constitution for consideration. No language in the US Constitution explicitly states a convention may be limited in scope. The last time a convention of the states was called for limited purpose it was 1787 and the entire Articles of Confederation were thrown out and replaced with the U.S. Constitution
- Limitation of federal jurisdiction threatens federal protection of voters’ right. Violation of a voter’s right is committed by the state or political subdivisions of the state – the federal government is necessary to enforce the voter’s rights. After the issues in Douglas County the Dept. of Justice dispatched election observers to ensure rights were protected in subsequent elections.
Because the proposal is a resolution and would require two-thirds of states to make a similar application, many senators are not taking this proposal seriously. But they should. We cannot ignore LR 6, believing that the worst-case scenario is unlikely or impossible. There is too much at stake.
Contact members of the Government, Military, & Veterans Affairs Committee and tell them:
Imposing fiscal restraints on the federal government would hurt Nebraskans. A constitutional convention could…
- Take away resources from rural communities
- Take away support for senior citizens
- Remove the safety net for vulnerable Nebraskans
Limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government would take away protections for Nebraskans. A constitutional convention could…
- Eliminate the ability of the Department of Justice to protect Nebraskans when the state violates their rights
- Keep federal election observers out of Nebraska