POLITICS
01/08/2016 04:26 pm ET Updated Jan 09, 2016

Texas Governor Wants To Amend The Constitution So States Can Ignore The Federal Government

Short of secession, it's probably the next best thing.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) wants to amend the U.S. Constitution to limit federal authority over states.
Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) wants to amend the U.S. Constitution to limit federal authority over states.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Friday proposed a series of amendments to the U.S. constitution that would permit states to override the Supreme Court and ignore federal laws.

One of the proposed measures would allow a two-thirds majority of the states to override federal regulations, while another sets the same threshold for overturning decisions by the Supreme Court. The governor also wants to change the Constitution to block Congress from "regulating activity that occurs wholly within one state," and to require a supermajority of seven Supreme Court votes before a "democratically enacted law" can be overturned.

Abbott said in a document explaining the proposed changes that they were motivated by federal officials' disregard for the constitutional limits on their power. Recently, he has been critical of federal actions such as the Supreme Court's decision on same-sex marriage and President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration.

"The Texas Plan is not so much a vision to alter the Constitution as it is a call to restore the rule of our current one. The problem is that we have forgotten what our Constitution means, and with that amnesia, we also have forgotten what it means to be governed by laws instead of men," Abbott wrote.

Abbott is calling for a constitutional convention to propose his amendments. One of the ways a constitutional amendment may be added through a convention called for by two-thirds of state legislatures, but no amendment has ever been added through that process. 

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