2013 Indiana General Assembly

Zoeller likes idea for U.S. constitutional convention

2013-05-08T17:00:00Z 2013-05-08T20:48:11Z Zoeller likes idea for U.S. constitutional conventionDan Carden dan.carden@nwi.com, (317) 637-9078 nwitimes.com

INDIANAPOLIS | Attorney General Greg Zoeller sympathizes with state lawmakers who want to take an extraordinary step to rein in the power of the federal government.

The two-term Republican said Wednesday he likes the idea backed by some members of the Republican-controlled General Assembly for a federal constitutional convention, called by the states, that would propose changes to the U.S. Constitution limiting federal authority.

"The failures of the federal government in some areas and the actions of the federal government in others have real consequences in our states, and they need to pay a little more attention to state legislatures," Zoeller said.

The U.S. Constitution requires Congress to call a constitutional convention when two-thirds of state legislatures demand one.

The state Senate voted 32-18 in February for Indiana's convention call. The proposal, Senate Joint Resolution 18, did not advance out of committee in the House.

A state-led convention has never been called for proposing amendments. Typically, two-thirds of Congress approves proposed constitutional amendments, which three-fourths of states must ratify to take effect.

Zoeller said as state leaders grow increasingly frustrated by Washington mandates, a state-led constitutional convention may be the only way to rebalance power between the federal government and the states.

"We might be able to save Washington from itself by having states be more engaged," Zoeller said.

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