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Texas governor calls for new constitutional amendments

[JURIST] Texas Governor Greg Abbott [official profile] on Friday called for [press release] nine new amendments to the US Constitution [text] in an effort to shrink the size of the federal government. Speaking at a political event in Austin, Texas, Abbott cited the intent of the founders in calling for a "Convention of the States" to cure the problems of the "caprice of man that our Founders fought to escape." Abbott now joins Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio in seeking a bolstering of federalism, as Rubio espoused [USA Today op-ed] a similar idea in writing on Wednesday. Notable proposed amendments include giving states the power to override Supreme Court decisions and federal laws with a two-thirds vote.

The US Constitution enumerates [LII backgrounder] the power of the federal government, leaving all other powers to the states. Nevertheless, issues of constitutionality come up with frequency. Earlier this month, President Barack Obama announced [JURIST report] executive action on gun control, calling for better background checks and mental health treatment. In December, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that a state law banning convicted criminals from gaining employment in nursing homes and long-term care facilities is in violation of the US Constitution.

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