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Repeal Amendment goes too farPosted Monday, January 3, 2011, at 9:33 AM
Those who are so dissatisfied with the nation's direction - meaning, it seems these days, nearly everyone - may want to consider a law professor's proposal to give Americans what would, in effect, some amount of veto power over the Constitution.
Randy Barnett of Georgetown University has come up with what he calls the Repeal Amendment.
Don;t like a national law? Lobby your state legislator.
If two-thirds of the country's state Houses and Senates - and the proposal would require both institutions in these states - voted against a national law, that law would be repealed.
"Any provision of law or regulation of the United States may be repealed by the several states, and such repeal shall be effective when the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states approve resolutions for this purpose that particularly describe the same provision or provisions of law or regulation to be repealed."
Sounds good on the surface - maybe.
But not so fast. State legislators have enough to do in their home areas without having to deal with national issues.
Over the past year we've heard much talk of power being transferred from Washington to the states. But are these people really thinking that those federal programs would actually be abolished instead by already cash-strappped state governments?
The U.S. governmental system, despite all the potshots it absorbs, still works better than those of most other countries. Giving states the power to repeal laws seems to be an attempt to strip power from Congress. And that's going too far.
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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