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Senate president calling for constitutional convention to protect states’ rights

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Declaring that states’ rights are being trampled and the 10th Amendment is in shambles, the leader of the Indiana Senate is calling for a “gathering of states” to amend the U.S. Constitution.

Indiana Senate President Pro Tempore David Long, R-Fort Wayne, announced his intention to push for states to hold a constitutional convention at a press conference Thursday morning. He wants the states to come together to address placing limits on the commerce clause and on the federal taxing authority.

Tuesday, Feb. 19, before adjournment, Long plans to present the Senate Rules Committee with a joint resolution calling for an Article V Constitutional Convention. He also plans to offer two companion bills. The first bill will clarify how delegates are to be selected for the convention, and the second will place tight controls on the delegates to prevent a runaway convention.

“I think it’s the only way states’ rights can be protected in his country,” Long said, adding this effort is not rooted in conspiracy theories about the federal government wielding too much power. “It is, I think, a thoughtful and constitutionally based approach to how we can protect states’ rights… .”

In explaining that an amendment to the U.S. Constitution can be offered either by the Congress or by the states, Long pointed to James Madison. The founding father, he said, advocated specifically for language to be included in the Constitution that gave states the ability to draft and put forth amendments on their own.

The Senate president said Madison “clearly believes” this was the “single most important tool” states have to control the federal government.

States need to take charge, Long asserted, because Congress is paralyzed and seemingly has no ability to address the debt crisis facing this country.
 
The Indiana legislator is confident his resolution and two bills will pass this session, noting colleagues on both sides of the aisle have expressed concern about federal spending and states’ rights. Then, he said, he wants to spread the idea, like Johnny Appleseed, to other states.

Most recently Long said he has had conversations about this topic with leaders in Tennessee and Texas. Other states have been talking about this and wondering how to push back against Congress to get control particularly of spending.

“This is something that needs to start,” Long said. “We think the ball needs to get started rolling right here so we’ll do it.”

 

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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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