Representative Jodey Arrington, a conservative Texas Republican, believes it is well past time for something the nation has not experienced for more than two centuries: a debate over rewriting the Constitution.
“I think the states are due a convention,” said Mr. Arrington, who in July introduced legislation to direct the archivist of the United States to tally applications for a convention from state legislatures and compel Congress to schedule a gathering when enough states have petitioned for one. “It is time to rally the states and rein in Washington responsibly.”
To Russ Feingold, the former Democratic senator from Wisconsin and president of the American Constitution Society, a liberal judicial group, that is a terrible idea. Mr. Feingold sees the prospect of a constitutional convention as an exceptionally dangerous threat from the right and suggests it is closer to reality than most people realize as Republicans push to retake control of Congress in November’s midterm elections.
“We are very concerned that the Congress, if it becomes Republican, will call a convention,” said Mr. Feingold, the co-author of a new book warning of the risks of a convention called “The Constitution in Jeopardy.”
“This could gut our Constitution,” Mr. Feingold said in an interview. “There needs to be real concern and attention about what they might do. We are putting out the alert.” [Continue reading…]