OPINION: A Resounding “NO” on No Brainer Constitutional Amendment

The burden of justifying a Constitutional Amendment is on the proponents and Indiana Republicans have failed to meet this burden

In 1816 Indiana Founders met under the Constitution Tree to draft the first Indiana Constitution
In 1816 Indiana Founders met under the Constitution Tree to draft the first Indiana Constitution. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

October 31, 2018-American exceptionalism comes from the realization that government functions best when authority is derived from the consent of the governed rather an at the barrel of a rifle. This sacred relationship between the citizenry and those we select to represent us is spelled out in the United States Constitution and 50 state constitutions. This philosophy is increasingly under threat in the United States as legislators throughout the nation feel that they have a better way to do things. Citizens should demand a compelling interest and a clearly detailed path moving forward before amending the Constitution. Public Question No. 1 on the Indiana Ballot this year fails on both accounts.

    No Compelling Interest

Indiana has a balanced budget Amendment in the current Constitution. Rep. Todd Huston, R-Fishers, who sponsored the resolution in the Indiana House, told The Associated Press the amendment should be approved because it “limits the amount of gimmicks that can be played, so that what we’re bringing in and what we’re spending is truly balanced. We’ve held to that standard in recent years.” The fact that Legislators who fail to abide by the current Constitution is not a reason to amend the Constitution. I

    Republicans Fail to Detail Plan Moving Forward

The Budget Amendment in question was first proposed by now Vice-President Mike Pence in 2015. Tenacious Republicans finally got the issue on the ballot this year. Despite that, Republicans offered no explanation as to how the proposed Amendment would benefit residents. In fact, there are some unexplained troubling provisions in the Amendment that many fear will allow legislators to raid pension funds in the event of an economic downturn. While this accusation has not been fully explored by the Gazette, it could not have been made had a proper case been made by Indiana Republicans.

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