Greg Abbott just unveiled a major policy plan to amend the U.S. Constitution, the result of which could lead to same-sex marriage bans and an end of LGBT protections.
In a clear attempt to further distance the State of Texas from mainstream America, GOP Governor Greg Abbott has just unveiled what he would like to become nine new amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Among them are several that appear to be aimed at landmark and historic U.S. Supreme Court decisions, like last June's, which found bans on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.
Abbott's proposed amendments, which he announced at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, read like an anti-government, states' rights fan's dream:
- Prohibit congress from regulating activity that occurs wholly within one state.
- Require Congress to balance its budget.
- Prohibit administrative agencies from creating federal law.
- Prohibit administrative agencies from pre-empting state law.
- Allow a two-thirds majority of the states to override a U.S. Supreme Court decision.
- Require a seven-justice super-majority vote for U.S. Supreme Court decisions that invalidate a democratically enacted law
- Restore the balance of power between the federal and state governments by limiting the former to the powers expressly delegated to it in the Constitution.
- Give state officials the power to sue in federal court when federal officials overstep their bounds.
- Allow a two-thirds majority of the states to override a federal law or regulation.
Several, including the one that would require a seven-justice super-majority vote of the Supreme Court, and limiting the federal government's powers to those expressly delegated to it in the Constitution, could be used against same-sex marriage or the rights of same-sex couples.
Others, such as prohibiting administrative agencies from pre-empting state law, could easily be used to push back federal civil rights and equal protection laws, like the current efforts by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) that are codifying the belief that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 already protects LGBT citizens from discrimination.
Abbott's extensive plan, "Restoring The Rule Of Law," spans 92 pages.
"The Constitution is increasingly eroded with each passing year," it cynically begins. "That is a tragedy given the volume of blood spilled by patriots to win our country’s freedom and repeatedly defend it over the last 240 years."
It also immediately takes a swipe at Rep. Nancy Pelosi, quoting albeit not naming her, in a House procedural discussion on Obamacare.
Abbott's plan would convene a constitutional convention, which is allowed under the current Constitution, although difficult to arrange. Two-thirds of the 50 states would have to support such a plan, and three-fourths would have to vote in favor of any proposed amendments for them to pass.
Abbott, a first-term governor closely affiliated with both Tea Party extremists and the radical anti-gay religious right, is not above using his new office to give support and credibility to the most outlandish beliefs of his constituency. For example, last year when the right wing nuts, motivated by Alex Jones, claimed the U.S. Government was planning to go to war with Texas, in what was known as Jade Helm 15, Gov. Abbott issued a statement saying he would protect Texas' independence, activating the Texas State Guard and ordering it to monitor the training exercises of the U.S. Military.
The 58-year old Roma Catholic has built his political career on attacking President Obama. He infamously said in 2013, as the Texas attorney general, "I go into the office, I sue the federal government and I go home."