The National Debt Relief Amendment was recently debated in the Arizona Senate. SCR 1016 would invoke the right of the Arizona Legislature under Article V of the U.S. Constitution to join other states in a convention for proposing a single amendment to the U.S. Constitution to impose fiscal discipline and transparency on Congress.
The floor debate produced some interesting discussion, but comments from Sen. Andy Biggs are particularly notable. He referred to the Arizona Legislature as "the best Legislature." What followed next, however, was very disturbing when he said, "And yet, I don't trust us."
It is disrespectful for Sen. Biggs to voice a lack of trust in the collective wisdom of 38 state legislatures. Moreover, his comments are an insult to the wisdom of our Founding Fathers, who crafted Article V for the sole purpose of giving "we the people" the power to rein in an out of control federal government. They envisioned that future generations would trust in themselves and the process they created for us. They knew that they were not kings or gods and that future generations would produce trustworthy people, who, like them, had great wisdom and foresight. We are those people. Sen. Biggs may not trust us, but we must trust ourselves to save our country.
Article V ensures that, unless and until 38 states ratify a proposed amendment, the U.S. Constitution is untouched. Unless Sen. Biggs can name for us 38 states that would ratify an extremist, dangerous or radical amendment, he has no rational reason not to trust "we the people."
Senator Curtis Olafson, District 10, Edinburg, N.D.
Vice-Chairman of the N.D. Senate Judiciary Committee