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Monday, June 16, 2014

Ind. Gov't. - "Commentary: The founders, a tough act to follow"

John Krull, TheStatehouseFile, has a nice quote from former Indiana Senate President Pro Tem Bob Garton in his Statehouse File column about the

... work of the Mount Vernon Assembly, a collection of state legislators from around the country who want to explore ways to use Article V of the Constitution – the part that sets forth the amendment process — to revise America’s founding document. The Mount Vernon group is the brainchild of [current] Indiana Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, and the members chose to gather in Indianapolis June 12 and 13 to discuss a process for changing the Constitution that starts in the states rather than with Congress.
Here it is:
I ask Garton, a moderate Republican who began his career as a Democrat, if there would have to be some horse-trading to make such a convention work. Would conservatives who want constitutional caps on borrowing have to be willing to accept, say, changes in the language in the Second Amendment to restrict the free flow of guns across the land?

Garton says that’s exactly the way it would have to work, but that it would be difficult because of fears the convention would go rogue and adopt changes the states didn’t want. To prevent that, Indiana passed a law that would allow for a delegate to a constitutional convention who doesn’t vote as instructed to be recalled – and sent to prison for three years.

If such a law had been in place in 1787, many founding fathers – who came to Philadelphia with instructions from their states to make only minor changes to the Articles of Confederation, not draft a new constitution – would have spent time behind bars.

Garton notes that the possibility of jail time for not following instructions would make negotiations difficult, if not impossible.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 16, 2014 11:43 AM
Posted to Indiana Government