The insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 showed the political divide in our country has reached dangerous and unprecedented levels. The intensity of this moment in our history creates considerable concern for me as I think about LR14 — a measure that would have Nebraska join several other states in calling for a constitutional convention.
Proponents of the measure say the convention would just focus on passing a balanced-budget amendment, which would create major problems on its own, including making recovering from crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic much more difficult. But of larger concern at this moment is that no real limitations exist to prevent the convention from extending its focus well beyond a balanced budget amendment and into any number of other areas of government. Our rights to free speech, freedom of religion, to bear arms and even to vote would be at risk. In fact, there’s nothing stopping convention delegates from completely rewriting the Constitution.
Given where we are as a country and the events of Jan. 6, I find this prospect terrifying and wholeheartedly encourage Nebraska lawmakers to reject LR14. Now is not the time to entertain any possibility of rewriting the document that serves as the basis of our democracy.