By Deborah Love, Executive Director, Eagle Forum of Alabama and Shanna Chamblee, Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs, Alabama Gun Rights Inc.
The events at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have left students, parents and an entire nation in agony. Since the Columbine massacre, our nation has been horribly awakened to a new normal – a world in which these massacres are not all that irregular. Each time one occurs, people are motivated to offer idyllic solutions so that such an incident may not happen again.
Eagle Forum of Alabama opposes the recently introduced resolution HJR23 which pushes a Constitutional Convention as a way to obtain term limits for members of Congress. Term Limits via an Article V Constitutional Convention is a bad idea on multiple counts. We don’t need yet another call for an Article V Constitutional Convention, which according to former Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger and other Constitutional scholars, cannot be limited to any one issue and could become a Pandora’s Box.
There are many problems with HJR23.
1. We already have ‘term limits’, they are called “elections”, every two, four, and six years. Just because voters are derelict in their duty, does not mean we must change our process.
2. ‘Artificial’ term limits means giving the bureaucracy a LOT more power, in that institutional memory and experience is no longer available.
3. Voters are prohibited from voting for the person they believe is best for that office.
4. In the last term any official serves, without re-election on the horizon, there is no longer the accountability that was once there.
5. Term limits can prevent legislators from gaining the experience they need to become skilled lawmakers.
6. Term limits would give lobbyists more influence. In his presidential farewell address in 1989, President Reagan rightly pointed out that term limits are “a preemption of the people’s right to vote for whomever they want as many times as they want.”
7. Here’s a look at congressional tenure by the numbers: 9.1 Years of average length of service in the United States House of Representatives as of January 2013, according to the Congressional Research Service. Average length of service in the U.S. Senate as of January 2013 is 10.2 years.
The way to effectively reform Congress lies in supporting and voting for candidates who uphold the belief in a stronger local government rather than a stronger national government. Term limits will not achieve the reform that is needed in our federal government because term limits will NOT RESTRAIN the power of our federal government. The solution is for citizens to get involved with the political process at all levels. As Justice Antonin Scalia stated on May 11, 2015: “A Constitutional Convention is a horrible idea. This is not a good century to write a Constitution.”
Urgent: act ASAP to move Common Core Repeal Bill to Senate Floor
The bill to Repeal and Replace Common Core SB415 (Sen. Harri Anne Smith) passed the Senate Education Committee today with a 4-1 vote. (YES: Sen. Brewbaker, Bussman, McLendon, Pittman. NO: Sen. Figures)
SB415 will replace common core (cc) standards (aka Alabama College and Career Ready Standards) in Math and English Language Arts (including history, social studies, science, & technical subjects) with proven, superior standards based on the best of the best pre-Common Core Standards.
TODAY please contact each member of the Senate Rules Committee (below) and ask them to place SB415 number one on the Senate Special Order Calendar so that the Senate will vote on it! Also contact your senator. Let’s show the Senate that the polls are right: over 70% of Alabamians want common core repealed.
Talking points for your contacts:
What is more basic than educating Alabama students in Math and English? Yet we dropped from 25thand rising in 2011 to dead last in 2015.
Protect all children from “irreversible damage” due to 4 years of CC Math documented by California data under Phil Daro CC Math. Alabama is ending its 4th year now! THIS TRAVESTY MUST STOP. See pre-eminent math standards writer Dr. James Milgram letter.
Experimenting with education in Alabama is failing our students. That failure correlates directly with implementation of common core. What higher priority can there be than to correct this problem?
The Alabama Senate must send a message to the State School Board to fast track replacement of common core standards with what was working in Alabama and nationwide prior to common core.
Alabama being dead last demands drastic, urgent action. Denial won’t fix the demonstrated problem.
The Senate must insist that we repeal common core and replace it with proven,superior traditional standards.
Parents, students and educators deserve better than a regimen imposed upon our children through the ordered Obama administration incentives and regulations.
Please instruct and enable educators in Alabama to restore sound education practices.
Alabama’s economic success and growth demands repeal of common core.