Wait. Some right-wing groups are getting close to rewriting the Constitution? On #ConstitutionDay, let's look at what's going on. Thread/
Article V of the U.S. Constitution allows for the document to be amended. Text: archives.gov/federal-regist…
For example, as recently as 1971, we added the 26th Amendment, dropping the voting age from 21 down to 18.
The Constitution can be amended one of two ways. Either an amendment can be passed with 2/3 of the vote in Congress or …
2/3 of the states (34 states) can call for a Constitutional Convention and then work on amendments once it is convened.
In either case, 3/4 of the states (38/50) must agree to the new amendments for them to be added to the Constitution.
It’s important to note that all of our amendments so far have gone through the first process, i.e. through Congress.
Today, we have powerful, well-funded right-wing groups pushing for a Constitutional Convention (Con-Con).
They have been unable to get Congress to pass their amendments, so they’re working through state legislatures.
At the same time, they've been very successful at gaining more GOP control at the state level. Here's who has control at the states now:
There are many issues they’d like to see addressed but the one with the most traction is a balanced budget amendment for the federal govt.
It’s a very narrow, focused topic for an amendment. (Learn more about what it is in my sources at the end of the thread.)
It is being pushed with all the power, reach, and funding of the Heritage Foundation, the Koch brothers, and affiliated groups.
The point is, they’re really close to getting 34 states. Since this map was created, MD and NV have rescinded, but AZ has signed on to it.
(On the other side of the coin, there is an effort to add an amendment that would limit the influence of money in elections. See @WolfPAChq)
Here’s the big problem, though. We are in uncharted waters on this one.
No Constitutional Convention (Con-Con) has been convened since 1787. There are no rules that guide the process.
Could a Con-Con set its own agenda, and could that agenda be influenced by powerful special interest groups? Absolutely.
Legal scholars are concerned that a Con-Con could pick its own ratification process, say requiring a majority of states instead of 3/4.
What if the Con-Con did become a runaway? No one, I mean no one, has the authority to rein it back in.
Anything could happen behind closed doors. What starts as a discussion about one amendment turns into a free-for-all.
What if an amendment is proposed to cancel out a previous amendment? Like the 15th Amendment which details who can vote in elections?
So, ultimately, a Con-Con seems rather risky considering 1) who’s pushing the effort and 2) how many states are GOP controlled.
End/ Folks, stay/get involved in your elections at the state level. Be watchful for any Constitutional Convention resolutions!
P.S. Individual states can have Con-Cons, too. New York will be voting on theirs in November. villagevoice.com/2017/08/31/new…
Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities spells out the economic risks & the issues around a Con-Con. cbpp.org/research/const…
Op-Ed in L.A. Times: latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/…

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