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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. Whether you support "gay marriage" or not is not the issue. The issue is whether the SCOTUS can extract from an unmentionable somewhere the notion that the Constitution forbids government "interference" in the "right" to marry. Just imagine time-traveling to Philadelphia in 1787. Ask James Madison if the document he and his fellows just wrote allowed him- or forbade government to "interfere" with- his "right" to marry George Washington? He would have immediately- and justly- summoned the Sergeant-at-Arms to throw your sorry self out into the street. Far from being a day of liberation, this is a day of capitulation by the Rule of Law to the Rule of What's Happening Now.

  2. With today's ruling, AG Zoeller's arguments in the cases of Obamacare and Same-sex Marriage can be relegated to the ash heap of history. 0-fer

  3. She must be a great lawyer

  4. Ind. Courts - "Illinois ranks 49th for how court system serves disadvantaged" What about Indiana? A story today from Dave Collins of the AP, here published in the Benton Illinois Evening News, begins: Illinois' court system had the third-worst score in the nation among state judiciaries in serving poor, disabled and other disadvantaged members of the public, according to new rankings. Illinois' "Justice Index" score of 34.5 out of 100, determined by the nonprofit National Center for Access to Justice, is based on how states serve people with disabilities and limited English proficiency, how much free legal help is available and how states help increasing numbers of people representing themselves in court, among other issues. Connecticut led all states with a score of 73.4 and was followed by Hawaii, Minnesota, New York and Delaware, respectively. Local courts in Washington, D.C., had the highest overall score at 80.9. At the bottom was Oklahoma at 23.7, followed by Kentucky, Illinois, South Dakota and Indiana. ILB: That puts Indiana at 46th worse. More from the story: Connecticut, Hawaii, Minnesota, Colorado, Tennessee and Maine had perfect 100 scores in serving people with disabilities, while Indiana, Georgia, Wyoming, Missouri and Idaho had the lowest scores. Those rankings were based on issues such as whether interpretation services are offered free to the deaf and hearing-impaired and whether there are laws or rules allowing service animals in courthouses. The index also reviewed how many civil legal aid lawyers were available to provide free legal help. Washington, D.C., had nearly nine civil legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty, the highest rate in the country. Texas had the lowest rate, 0.43 legal aid lawyers per 10,000 people in poverty. http://indianalawblog.com/archives/2014/11/ind_courts_illi_1.html

  5. A very thorough opinion by the federal court. The Rooker-Feldman analysis, in particular, helps clear up muddy water as to the entanglement issue. Looks like the Seventh Circuit is willing to let its district courts cruise much closer to the Indiana Supreme Court's shorelines than most thought likely, at least when the ADA on the docket. Some could argue that this case and Praekel, taken together, paint a rather unflattering picture of how the lower courts are being advised as to their duties under the ADA. A read of the DOJ amicus in Praekel seems to demonstrate a less-than-congenial view toward the higher echelons in the bureaucracy.

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