Skip to content
Search events. View events.
  Senate Republican Caucus Submit Events
Welcome to the IN.gov Calendar. Please use the Help button to the right for any assistance while using the Calendar.
Click for help in using calendar displays. Print the contents of the current screen.

Advanced Search (New Search)
  From:
  To:

 

 

 


Submit
Entry Details
Notify me if this event changes.Add this event to my personal calendar.Email this entry to a friend.
Go Back
COLUMN: Our Eroding Constitutional Rights
Start Date: 3/15/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 3/15/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description

by State Sen. Doug Eckerty (R-Yorktown)

James Madison once said, “You must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it to control itself.” To many Americans, it’s become alarmingly clear that our federal government is out of control.

Our country is currently $16 trillion in debt, and 25 cents of every federal dollar is borrowed. There is little sign that either of these trends will change soon. Over the past few years, the federal government has continually overstepped its boundaries, interfering in entire sectors of the economy like health care, the auto industry and banking.

The Founding Fathers were concerned about this kind of federal overreach and laid out clear guidelines to safeguard against it. Under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, the states hold the power to amend the Constitution via a convention that is called by two-thirds of states. Alexander Hamilton, who is credited with crafting the language that established this protection, said such a convention would allow state legislatures to “erect barriers against the encroachments of the national authority.” That idea is what motivated the Indiana Senate earlier this year to call for such a convention.

Senate Joint Resolution 18 asks Congress to call a convention to amend two specific provisions of the Constitution. Under the resolution, these amendments would be strictly confined to limiting Congress’ power to tax and regulate commerce. Two other pieces of legislation – Senate Bills 224 and 225 – were also created to restrict the authority of Indiana’s convention delegates, prohibiting them from considering amendments that fall outside of these topics. Together, these would ease the worries of some who believe such an action could only lead to a “runaway convention.”

No specific language has been proposed for these amendments yet, but the object is to bring limitations on taxing and commerce powers back to the Founders’ original intent. We have singled out these two provisions because they are the ones Congress most often uses to expand its control. This has been seen in a series of Supreme Court cases over the last 80 years, which have greatly undermined the Constitution’s framework.

Most recently, the Supreme Court approved the Affordable Care Act that requires people to buy health insurance or pay a penalty. This penalty was upheld as a tax, allowing the mandate to fall under Congress’ taxing power. A similar situation happened in the 1940s when the Court supported a law telling a farmer how much wheat he could grow for his own personal use and not to sell. This was ruled valid under Congress’ commerce power. If we allow these trends to continue, our personal liberties and states’ rights will be eroded to a point beyond repair.

Our federal government has gone unchecked for too long, and the slow national economy is just one effect of this reckless governing. Holding an amendments convention will allow us to address this overreach before it causes irreversible damage to the very foundations of our country. I fully support SJR 18 and will do whatever I can as a legislator and a citizen to bring about an Article V convention. It’s my hope other states will stand in defense of the liberties granted to them in the Constitution.

Contact Information:
Name: Tracy Lytwyn
Phone: 317-234-9221
Email: tlytwyn@iga.in.gov
Default
Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • IN.gov Category:
  • About Indiana
  • Agency Name
    Senate Republican Caucus

    Calendar software powered by Active Data Calendar   
    Select item(s) to Search








    Select item(s) to Search
    Select item(s) to Search

    Select item(s) to Search