This article is over 6 years old


Video: Texas Governor Announces Plan To Take Power From Federal Government

Gov. Greg Abbott is proposing nine amendments to the U.S. Constitution aimed at strengthening states rights. He wants to achieve this through a convention of states.


To embed this piece of audio in your site, please use this code:

<iframe src="" style="height: 115px; width: 100%;"></iframe>

Gov. Abbott said the federal government is overreaching its authority, citing some of President Obama's recent executive orders on gun control and immigration, but also recent Supreme Court decisions and what he called violations of power by the Congress.

Abbott announced his Texas Plan at an event of the conservative Texas Public Policy Foundation.

"I want legislation authorizing Texas to join other states in calling for a convention of states to fix the cracks in our broken Constitution," Abbott said.

He pointed to Article V of the Constitution, which gives states the power to amend the founding document by a three-fourths majority.

Abbott's plan proposes nine amendments, for example one prohibiting federal agencies to preempt state law and others giving states the power to override federal law and Supreme Court decisions.

University of Houston political scientist Brandon Rottinghaus said the chances for a convention of states to happen, let alone Abbott's proposed amendments to become law, are small.

"It's unlikely that you could find enough willpower in the American system to make this happen," Rottinghaus said. "But in terms of the actual specifics, it's unlikely that you would see these dramatic, revolutionary changes take place. People just simply wouldn't be ready for that much change that quickly."

He said it's more so a play to Abbott's conservative base than an attempt to achieve change.

The ACLU of Texas released a two-sentence statement in response to Abbott's plan: "Governor Abbott, as Texans, we prefer the Framers' plan. Don't mess with the Constitution."


From the governor’s website, here’s the proposed constitutional amendments:

  1. Prohibit Congress from regulating activity that occurs wholly within one State.
  2. Require Congress to balance its budget.
  3. Prohibit administrative agencies—and the unelected bureaucrats that staff them—from creating federal law.
  4. Prohibit administrative agencies—and the unelected bureaucrats that staff them—from preempting state law.
  5. Allow a two-thirds majority of the States to override a U.S. Supreme Court decision.
  6. Require a seven-justice super-majority vote for U.S. Supreme Court decisions that invalidate a democratically enacted law.
  7. Restore the balance of power between the federal and state governments by limiting the former to the powers expressly delegated to it in the Constitution.
  8. Give state officials the power to sue in federal court when federal officials overstep their bounds.
  9. Allow a two-thirds majority of the States to override a federal law or regulation.

Subscribe to Today in Houston

Fill out the form below to subscribe our new daily editorial newsletter from the HPM Newsroom.

* required