Oklahoma may join a list of states petitioning Congress to set a constitutional convention aimed at amending the Constitution for the first time since 1992. With a 23-year span since the last changes, it’s a good time to consider how this works and why we do it.
The original Constitutional Convention drafted a document designed to adapt and accommodate the country well beyond the late 1700s. Since that time, the Federal government has interpreted and applied the general principals to create the vast body of law governing the nation.
The drafters were concerned about a too-powerful Federal government, though. The word “sovereignty” weaved its way through the convention and the final document. Hence, two-thirds of the states can band together to sign a petition calling for a convention to look at new amendments.
Currently, the States are rallying to start said process. On the agenda, the House of Representatives wants to address budget spending. The Senate is calling for grander changes: amendments to limit the power of the government and term limits for members of Congress.
Senator Tom Coburn wants Oklahoma Representatives and Senators to join the cause. Even in retirement, his concerns for wasteful government spending prompt him to encourage his former colleagues to sign up.
After the meeting of GOP leaders with the former senator, the Oklahoma House and Senate met to consider joining the cause. It remains to be seen what the outcome will be. Whether Oklahoma joins the fray or no, the nation may soon have the opportunity to see the unique aspects of its government in action.
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