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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. Hysteria? Really Ben? Tell the young lady reported on in the link below that worrying about the sexualizing of our children is mere hysteria. Such thinking is common in the Royal Order of Jesters and other running sex vacays in Thailand or Brazil ... like Indy's Jared Fogle. Those tempted to call such concerns mere histronics need to think on this: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/a-12-year-old-girl-live-streamed-her-suicide-it-took-two-weeks-for-facebook-to-take-the-video-down/ar-AAlT8ka?li=AA4ZnC&ocid=spartanntp

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  4. JLAP and other courtiers ... Those running court systems, have most substance abuse issues. Probably self medicating to cover conscience issues arising out of acts furthering govt corruption

  5. I whole-heartedly agree with Doug Church's comment, above. Indiana lawyers were especially fortunate to benefit from Tom Pyrz' leadership and foresight at a time when there has been unprecedented change in the legal profession. Consider how dramatically computer technology and its role in the practice of law have changed over the last 25 years. The impact of the great recession of 2008 dramatically changed the composition and structure of law firms across the country. Economic pressures altered what had long been a routine, robust annual recruitment process for law students and recent law school graduates. That has, in turn, impacted law school enrollment across the country, placing upward pressure on law school tuition. The internet continues to drive significant changes in the provision of legal services in both public and private sectors. The ISBA has worked to make quality legal representation accessible and affordable for all who need it and to raise general public understanding of Indiana laws and procedures. How difficult it would have been to tackle each of these issues without Tom's leadership. Tom has set the tone for positive change at the ISBA to meet the evolving practice needs of lawyers of all backgrounds and ages. He has led the organization with vision, patience, flexibility, commitment, thoughtfulness & even humor. He will, indeed, be a tough act to follow. Thank you, Tom, for all you've done and all the energy you've invested in making the ISBA an excellent, progressive, highly responsive, all-inclusive, respectful & respected professional association during his tenure there.

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