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House committee approves Constitutional Convention bills

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With a vote along party lines, a pair of bills outlining the selection and duties of delegates to an Article V Constitutional Convention cleared their first hurdle in the Indiana House of Representatives.

Senate Bill 224 and Senate Bill 225, both authored by Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, were approved April 8 by the House Committee on the Judiciary in a 7 to 3 vote. The three Democratic representatives present at the hearing – Reps. Patrick Bauer, D-South Bend, Ed DeLaney, D-Indianapolis, and Vernon Smith, D-Gary – opposed the measures.

Long testified before the committee, reiterating his arguments for a state-driven convention to offer an amendment that would limit the federal government’s use of the commerce clause and taxing powers.

He told the committee members the legislation is meant address fears that any state-sponsored event to amend the Constitution could become a runaway convention. His bills include provisions that delegates cannot deviate from their duties at the convention or they will be charged with a felony.  

Long urged bipartisan support, noting Republicans and Democrats should agree on the issue of states’ protecting their rights.

After the hearing, the senator said he was not concerned the bills would be viewed as solely a Republican cause. He believes his proposals could garner support from conservative Democrats.

“This idea has been gaining momentum for years now. I think the recent actions in Washington, either the Affordable Care Act, No Child Left Behind, the inability to balance the budget and control its spending, all of that comes to the point where I think the timing of this is important,” Long said. “I think for some Democrats it appears it is just an attack on Obamacare, but it’s far more than that. And if you analyze it without that issue influencing those votes, I think we have more bipartisan votes.”


 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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