Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Indiana Passes Resolution To Call For A Constitutional Convention

Noah Coffey

Indiana is now the sixth state to formally request a constitutional convention.

The Constitution gives states the power to force consideration of amendments without going through Congress.

If 34 states pass the same resolution, it forces a convention to vote on which amendments to the states.

Indiana joins Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee in calling for consideration of three limits on federal power: a balanced budget amendment, term limits for Congress and federal judges, and congressional power to block federal regulations.

Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle) contends the amendments are the only means of reining in federal spending. He says the states are seeking to plug what conservative lawmakers see as some specific holes in the Constitution.

“There’s no balanced budget amendment. There’s nothing in the Constitution, as far as an amendment, that speaks to the overreach of the federal government and regulation,” Holdman says. “There’s nothing in the Constitution that talks about term limits for members of Congress or the federal judiciary.”

Holdman says he doesn’t agree with conservative skeptics who predict Washington will find a way around amendments aimed at reining in federal power.

“I think the more specific we are, the more difficult it’s going to be for Congress to act outside of the law or the administration to act outside the law and we’ll take it to court and see,” Holdman says. “If they think they can overreach, we basically will challenge whatever they attempt to do.”

An additional nine states have passed the resolution in one legislative chamber so far this year and Holdman predicts the required 34 states will eventually ratify it. He notes the resolution doesn't have an expiration date.

If the convention takes place, it takes 38 states to ratify any amendments proposed there.

Two House Democrats joined Republicans to approve the resolution. Nine Republicans in the House and six in the Senate opposed it.