Idaho Holds Off On Calling For Constitutional Convention

Feb 9, 2018

A group of Idaho lawmakers shot down a proposal for Idaho to join a nationwide call among states to hold a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution.
Credit Shawn Clover / Flickr

After two days of hearings and debate about whether to pass a resolution calling for a convention to amend the United States Constitution, Idaho lawmakers took a pass on the idea.

The convention resolution failed to move out of the Idaho House State Affairs Committee when the group voted it down 10 to five February 9.

Iona Republican Representative Tom Loertcher, who heads the State Affairs Committee, introduced the resolution. The Statesman says he described the process of debating the resolution as physically exhausting because of the emotions raised by both sides of the debate.

While the resolution failed, it wasn’t the first time the topic of calling for a convention to amend the founding document has been raised in the Idaho Statehouse. There’s been a push in recent years for an amendment requiring a balanced federal budget.

The Constitution allows states to call for a convention to change the document, but it doesn’t limit the scope of what could be raised. That means while a convention could be called about a balanced budget amendment, an unforeseen topic could arise and commandeer the convention. That fear has soured many to the idea of a convention and led to the Gem State regularly voting down such proposals.

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