Repeal Amendment Causing WavesWilliam Watkins • Sunday December 5, 2010 1:51 PM PDT •
The Washington Post reports that “Conservative activists are looking to build momentum for a long-shot amendment to the Constitution, introduced Wednesday in the U.S. House, that would allow states to repeal pieces of federal legislation they find onerous.”
The Post is referring to the “Repeal Amendment” drafted by Randy Barnett. This proposed amendment provides as follows:
“Any provision of law or regulation of the United States may be repealed by the several states, and such repeal shall be effective when the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states approve resolutions for this purpose that particularly describe the same provision or provisions of law or regulation to be repealed.”
Barnett’s full argument for the Repeal Amendment can be found here.
Because the Constitution lodges the amending power with Congress, or a constitutional convention, Barnett’s amendment would give the states a say in amendments. This would be a big improvement over the current procedure. The states could, for example, repeal the health care law without congressional assistance. It will be interesting to see if Barnett’s idea gets any traction.