EDITORIAL: Go with conventional, not with convention

2013-04-24T00:00:00Z EDITORIAL: Go with conventional, not with convention nwitimes.com
April 24, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Indiana's call for a constitutional convention -- at the federal level, not state -- didn't make it out of the House Judiciary Committee and is now dead for the year. That's a relief.

The legislation calling for a constitutional convention was sponsored by Senate President David Long, R-Fort Wayne. Long was a strong proponent of the idea.

But House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said last week it was "by design" that the legislation didn't even make it out of the House Judiciary Committee.

House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, said Long's call for a constitutional convention was "a silly idea from a very smart man."

We'll side with Pelath on this issue.

Bosma, like Long, wants to rein in the federal government. That's a respectable opinion. But all sorts of things can happen when a constitution is brought in for major surgery.

The ability to recall a delegate doesn't prevent a runaway convention that could write a whole new constitution instead of merely making amendments. States would have to approve changes, but Indiana is just one of the states that would vote on the work product of a constitutional convention.

There have been important amendments to the Constitution over the years, beginning with the Bill of Rights, arguably the most important amendments ever made.

The amendment process is alive and well. That's the right way to go about bringing change, rather than risking radical changes that could discard the wisdom of the Founding Fathers.

It's refreshing to see House Speaker Brian Bosma didn't want Indiana to become the first state to issue an official call for a constitutional convention. Bosma said his preference is to "elect folks that are ready to rein in the federal government, and I think we've done a fairly good job of that here in Indiana."

Indiana has a long history of innovation, but also of caution. As the state approaches its bicentennial, it should be mindful of this history.

Indiana is a conservative state, but not extremist.

Good riddance to the call for a constitutional convention. Working within the system in the nation's capital is the preferred way to bring about change without bringing ridicule to the state or danger to the rights currently protected in the U.S. Constitution.

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