The Tea Party's Constitution
15 Pages Posted: 14 Jan 2012 Last revised: 20 Jan 2012
Date Written: January 13, 2012
The Tea Party is a populist constituency for constitutional amendments designed to advance federalism and to limit the size of the federal government. Randy Barnett, who considers the Tea Party a “market” for constitutional reform, has recently collaborated with Tea Party activists to call for a constitutional convention to consider proposing Barnett’s “Repeal Amendment” for ratification.
The Repeal Amendment would allow any federal law or regulation to be repealed by a vote of the legislatures of two-thirds of the states. This amendment has been criticized by Sanford Levinson for giving too much power to “the extortionate demands” of “small parochial rural states.” However, this paper concludes that the Repeal Amendment would be one small means of advancing the constitutional values of federalism, especially the value of individual liberty and the often overlooked sanctuary function of federalism.
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