The proposal to hold a "convention of States" to amend the U.S. Constitution is a favorite on the right, but most political observers continue to regard it as a fringe idea. It looks as if powerful forces want to change that.
Today, Texas governor Greg Abbott announced his support for the idea:
Arguing that the federal government has “run amok” and trampled over states’ rights, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday unveiled a plan to overhaul the U.S. Constitution through a convention of the states.
Abbott, the first-term Republican, rolled out nine amendments that he said would “restore the rule of law in America.”
Here's what he's proposing:
This comes two days after Marco Rubio wrote in USA Today that he also advocates a convention of states.
The idea has been promoted by Koch-affiliated organizations as ALEC and Citizens for Self-Governance. And when you look at the amendments Abbott is pushing, you can see why this would be a pet idea of the Kochs:
... in a speech Friday before the Texas Public Policy Foundation ... Abbott specifically took issue with the Environmental Protection Agency’s rules limiting carbon emissions from power plants, which he has long opposed. Abbott said the rule moved by “unelected bureaucrats” would cost the state and consumers billions of dollars each year in higher electricity costs....
Abbott said that his constitutional plan would let states rebuff the Clean Power Plan (which was based on the EPA’s authority from the Clean Air Act) and would open up more room for states to sue....
Abbott also proposed amendments to block Congress from regulating activity occurring entirely within one state (for example, certain Endangered Species Act regulations, he said)....
Someone clearly thinks that it's time to associate this idea with mainstream officeholders rather than talk-radio cranks. Someone clearly thinks it's time for this idea to go mainstream. Will it? Will right-wing billionaires succeed at this? Will more high-profile Republicans join Rubio and Abbott? A few months from now, will Chuck Todd and Ron Fourier be asking whether we should take this idea seriously?
Crossposted at No More Mr. Nice Blog