Kansas attorneys debate constitutional convention
By BECKY KISER
Kansas is one of 49 states filing at least one resolution with Congress calling for a constitutional convention to consider changes to the founding document. In order for a convention to be held, at least 34 states must pass a resolution on the same subject.
Two Kansas attorneys debated a Constitutional amendment Tuesday night in Hays at Thirsty’s Brew Pub and Grill.
Kansas Director of the Convention of States Project and Fort Hays State University graduate David Schneider, Wichita, and Richard Fry, Olathe, were invited by the Big First Tea Party.
About 80 people filled the room, coming from as far away as Dodge City, Salina and Beloit, as well as Hays.
The issue involves Article V of the U.S. Constitution, which allows two-thirds of the states to call a convention. Those states can appoint delegates to debate changes. The states’ reasons range from balancing the federal budget to limiting federal powers. There’s been just one constitutional convention, the original one in 1787.
“Washington is out of control with overspending, taxing, seizing more and more control with no authority, and
Washington will not fix itself,” Schneider said.
“The COS project empowers state legislators to call a Convention of States. The delegates would propose amendments to the Constitution to rein in the federal government and restore power back to the state level,” said Schneider.
Both Schneider and Fry, who consider themselves “good conservatives,” agree the federal government has ceased to operate within a proper interpretation of the U-S Constitution.
“Our politicians are wicked and self-serving. No amendment will make these clowns respectful of their sacred oaths to support and protect the Constitution,” Fry responded passionately. He demonstrated the “folly” of the COS project by ripping pages out of his pocket Constitution, saying it could affect the existing amendments.
“The root problem is us — we’re not doing our job,” Fry said. “We have to work with the states and get them in control before we can get the feds in control.”
“Let’s get a constitutional amendment in this state and give a citizen referendum initiative and recall that applies to all government officials in this state from dog catcher to the governor,” he suggested.
The Kansas resolutions calls for a constitutional convention to balance powers of states and the federal government, and specifies that education, guns, health care, insurance and elections are strictly state powers with no role for the federal government.