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Kansas senators pushing for national constitutional convention

The federal government hasn’t done much to endear itself to the Kansas Legislature in recent years.

Efforts to clamp down on guns. Tougher environmental regulations. Executive orders allowing undocumented immigrants to remain in the country.

Now, lawmakers are fighting back, this time with a resolution calling for a federal constitutional convention, just like the one in 1787 that gave us the U.S. Constitution.

A group of senators, including Rob Olson of Olathe, Mary Pilcher-Cook of Shawnee and Molly Baumgardner of Louisburg, are sponsoring a resolution calling for a federal constitutional convention.

The resolution criticizes the federal government for creating a “crushing” national debt and stepping on “legitimate roles of the states” through mandates.

The resolution is part of a national movement spearheaded by a group called the Convention of States. The group’s leaders include Michael Farris, chancellor of Patrick Henry College and chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association. Patrick Henry College is an evangelical Christian college in Purcellville, Va.

The Convention of States also has enlisted Gov. Sam Brownback’s political confidante, David Kensinger, as its Topeka lobbyist.

Florida, Georgia and Alaska already have passed measures seeking a constitutional convention.

The Constitution allows states to apply for a constitutional convention. Two-thirds of the country’s state legislatures need to apply for a constitutional convention to make it happen.

While amendments could be proposed at the constitutional convention, they would still need to be ratified by 38 states.

There have been attempts to call a constitutional convention before, including one effort in the late 1960s over redistricting and the second in the 1970s and 1980s over a balanced budget amendment to the constitution.

To reach Brad Cooper, call 816-234-7724 or send email to bcooper@kcstar.com.

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