GOP Moves to Open Pandora’s Box
Push for Constitutional Convention Jeopardizes Civil Rights, Responsible Governance
(MADISON) – Late Tuesday afternoon, Republican members of the Wisconsin State Senate voted for resolutions calling for a constitutional convention. Conservative advocates argue that the convention is needed to pass a “Balanced Budget Amendment,” which could restrict how the federal government responds to national emergencies.
Previous changes to the U.S. Constitution have been made through the traditional amendment process, which requires a two-thirds vote from elected federal representatives in both houses of Congress. Through this process, the U.S. Constitution was amended to end slavery, grant equal voting rights, and provide equal protection under the law.
Instead of this process, which requires elected members of Congress to vote on specific proposals, Wisconsin’s GOP voted for a full-scale convention – where unelected delegates will have free reign to add and subtract rights at their leisure.
“We have a constitutional amendment process, and instead of this tried and true method, the GOP is opening the door to dismantle the rights and liberties we have spent decades defending,” said Senator Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee).
“Making matters worse, the GOP is again stripping away the people’s voice. They are saying no to elected federal representatives and yes to unelected convention delegates.” Equal voting rights, a right to a jury trial, and protections against unreasonable search and seizures are all open to change once this process is initiated.”
Wisconsin is now the 28th state to call for a constitutional convention. In order to convene, 34 states are needed.