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Nevada disengages from constitutional convention movement

Happily, Nevada is now no longer a part of the constitutional convention movement, a misguided, dangerous way to force constitutional change. Only one has been held, and that was in 1787. People on all sides of the political spectrum oppose a constitutional convention because it would be so unpredictable and potentially harmful.

The rules are strict. 2/3’s of the states have to call for a convention and 3/4’s of the states have to ratify whatever the convention passes. So, the process would take years. Still, it’s dangerous. Anything passed by a convention becomes part of the Constitution. A convention could make up its own rules. A convention could be controlled by special interests.

Nevada just said no to being a part of a constitutional convention.

Though the resolution flew largely under the radar, its passage means Nevada has likely untangled itself from rapidly growing national movements to hold a state-led constitutional amendment convention, which could bring up or make constitutionally binding changes to a variety of hot-button issues ranging from restrictions on abortion to requiring a federal balanced budget.

New Mexico, Maryland and Delaware have over the last two years rescinded all official requests for a constitutional convention.

Calling a constitutional convention isn’t a purely partisan debate — Segerblom presented the bill alongside longtime conservative activist Janine Hansen, and said the measure wasn’t “hard to sell” with Republican colleagues given that they share similar fears of a “runaway convention” wreaking havoc on long-established constitutional norms.

Former Chief Justice of the United States Warren Burger wrote in 1988:

“There is no way to effectively limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention. The Convention could make its own rules and set its own agenda. Congress might try to limit the Convention to one amendment or one issue, but there is no way to assure that the Convention would obey. After a Convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the Convention if we don’t like its agenda.”