AUSTIN, TEXAS — Greg Abbott (R), Governor of the State of Texas, made headlines last week when he called for a new constitutional convention and at the same time issued a list of amendments he’d like added to the Constitution in order to, as he put it, “restore the rule” of the country’s founding document. Many political commentators labeled Abbott’s move as a rather blatant attempt to erase decades of Constitutional precedent that social conservatives have not agreed with — from abortion to the Affordable Care Act — but at a press conference early Monday morning, Abbott clarified his position.
“I’m just asking the federal government to take a mulligan on the Constitution is all,” Abbott told reporters, “you know, like in golf when you take a shot you don’t like and you just drop another ball in the same place, take your one stroke penalty and move on? I want to do the same thing with our constitution.” Abbott told the assembled members of the media at the conference that “clearly the whole idea of judicial review is a failure all the way back to Marbury vs. Madison.” Referring to the landmark 1803 Supreme Court case that defended and established the paradigm of judicial review — that the country’s highest court had a role and a duty to the country to determine whether laws passed by congress and signed into law by the president are consistent with the principles of the Constitution — Abbott said that “it’s a dangerous thing when judges protect people against status quo oppression.”
Abbott asked, “Do we really think that just because judicial review has given black people freedom from Jim Crow, and women control over their own bodies, and LGBT people the right to marry whomever they want like adults do, that it has worked for this country?” After a few moments of silence he answered his own question with, “Of course it hasn’t, because we conservatives disagree with it, and as we all know if a conservative disagrees with something, it’ automatically deemed, wrong, bad, communist, socialist, anti-American and sent from the pits of Hell to destroy us all.”
When reporters asked Abbott why one of his proposed amendments is that the Federal government be required to balance its budget when his own state depends on the money it gets from federal tax dollars to balance its own ledgers, he scoffed. “Well, obviously if the money’s going to Texas it’s going to a good cause, so you can leave that stuff in there but maybe cut out the stuff people don’t need like Social Security and medicare; unless of course they live here,” Abbott said. He further said that “just because [he is] asking for a return to states’ rights” that he supports rolling back the 13th and 14th amendment’s ending of slavery, but “that should still be a decision every state gets to make instead of Big Daddy government telling us owning people as property is like, bad and stuff.”
“Oh sure, some will look at my proposed amendment that says we should require a seven-justice super-majority vote for U.S. Supreme Court decisions that invalidate a democratically enacted law, as some kind of very obvious attempt to push gay people back in the closet,” Abbott said, “but don’t forget, we could also overturn Roe vs. Wade and even get Jim Crow laws back on the books too, so racist and misogynistic conservatives should feel like we’re looking out for them, too.”
Currently, there are no Senators or members of the House of Representatives who have said they will take up Abbott’s call for a new constitutional convention, but Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) told reporters on the presidential campaign trail he is “willing to entertain any idea that makes scared, old fashioned thinking people feel better about the horrors of people who don’t look, act, or talk like them having the same freedoms as people who do look, act, and talk like them” and he’d address Abbott’s petition directly if he wins the election in November.