AG Paxton Applauds Consideration of Resolutions Proposing an Article V Convention of the States

AUSTIN, Febuary 28, 2017 - Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton today issued a letter to Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick and Speaker of the House Joe Straus to support joint resolutions by Senator Brian Birdwell (SJR 2) and Representative Rick Miller (HJR 39). The resolutions would have Texas call for an Article V Convention of the States.

A Convention of the States, established within Article V of the U.S. Constitution, was designed to aid states in combating rampant federal rulemaking that corrodes the balance of powers between state and federal governments. The convention these resolutions call for would have the specific and limited purpose of considering one or more amendments, which could do such things as:

Impose fiscal restraints on the federal government
Limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government

“Our constitutional heritage rejects unitary government. It presumes that concentrated power is corruptive,” Attorney General Paxton wrote in the letter. “A Convention of the States enters into the conversation when all other checks have failed. It is the ‘final’ defense against federal overreach the States can employ.”

The convention’s authority would be limited to the three topics delineated in Sen. Birdwell and Rep. Miller’s resolutions as described above. Each amendment offered during the convention would have to be approved by a majority of attending delegates, and then be ratified by three-fourths of the states. The states would remain in control of proceedings at all times.

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