With little debate, Florida demands 2 more constitutional conventions
"Signing of the Constitution" by Howard Chandler Christy. Imave via Architect of the Capitol.

Constitutional Convention
The Senate spent all of 4 minutes of floor time on 2 measures late Monday night.

A constitutional convention hasn’t occurred since the Founding Fathers drafted the framework for America. But the Senate approved two more calls to amend that document in the span of four minutes.

Senators on voice votes approved a push to amend the U.S. Constitution to give presidents a line-item veto on budgets (HCR 7057), and to prohibit Congress from passing laws applying to citizens that don’t apply to federal lawmakers (HCR 7055). Discussion of the proposals consumed less than four minutes of time on the Senate floor.

Since the resolutions don’t require the Governor’s signature, nor are they subject to vetoes, that means the requests now head to Washington, D.C., where they can kick off an unprecedented evaluation of the U.S. Constitution.

That’s a far cry from the debate around two similar proposals approved by the Florida Legislature earlier this year. When resolutions seeking constitutional conventions on congressional term limits and a balanced federal budget passed in the Senate, Democrats argued such an action could open the door to a runaway convention. In near-apocalyptic terms, opponents of the resolution suggested delegates, once authorized to make changes to the U.S. Constitution, could rewrite any portions they want.

“The Article V convention is very dangerous, and opens us up to any number of topics,” said Sen. Geraldine Thompson, a Windemere Democrat, on Feb. 1.

She referred to the section of the Constitution that allows a constitutional convention to be called at the request of two-thirds of state Legislatures. That’s an alternative to a top-down method of amendment to the constitution, with Congress proposing language that must be ratified by states, that has been used to amend the Constitution 27 times in American history.

After the Legislature approved two petitions for a convention early in the Session, Speaker Paul Renner and Gov. Ron DeSantis held a rally in Naples calling for two more.

From there, Sen. Travis Hutson, a Palm Coast Republican, carried committee resolutions through the Senate but they received little discussion in committee or on the floor.

On the other hand, the bill has been debated in the House, if with less enthusiasm than earlier resolutions.

Rep. Danny Alvarez, a Tampa Democrat carrying the efforts in the House, argued Friday that the changes were important to get spending and Congress under control. “This may be what saves the union,” he argued.

Rep. Kelly Skidmore, a Boca Raton Democrat, complained that the issue consumed too much valuable energy on the floor. But she also voiced a concern that there’s a reason so many calls for a constitutional convention emerged in a single Legislative Session.

“It doesn’t matter what the content is, you’re trying to create an opportunity for a constitutional convention,” she said.

But Alvarez said fears of an uncontrollable convention are unwarranted. Every resolution made clear it wanted to call a convention for the sole purpose of addressing a single topic, and delegates sent to any such gathering on Florida’s behalf would remain beholden to that.

“Florida not only does have jurisdiction, it retains jurisdiction throughout as they are citizens of the state of Florida subject to the laws of Florida,” he said.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Dr. Franklin Waters

    March 5, 2024 at 4:37 pm

    Nah. I wouldn’t trust these ghouls anywhere near that document.

    • Christians Blame Anyone For Everything

      March 5, 2024 at 6:15 pm

      Well, the founding Christian fathers (slavers, one and all, especially George Washington, a notorious slaver) wanted a Christian land, so how’s it going with that?!?

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    • Steve Blogspot

      March 5, 2024 at 6:16 pm

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  • Christians Blame Anyone For Everything

    March 5, 2024 at 6:13 pm

    One of the two Moms for Liberty co-founders who made an appearance on this week’s 60 Minutes ran to Fox News within hours of the segment’s airing to complain that CBS had “censored” her by editing their conversation with correspondent Scott Pelley.

    The interview, recorded in October and released Sunday night, was at times contentious, with Pelley chiding them at various points for being “evasive,” dodging questions with “talking points” and avoiding his repeated questions about the group’s attacks on LGBTQ+ Americans.

  • Michael K

    March 6, 2024 at 12:24 am

    Not after everything the Republican-led Florida legislature has done to strip certain people of their dignity and basic human rights.

  • Gina

    March 6, 2024 at 11:27 am

    Hi Jacob, Danny Alvarez is a Republican, not a Democrat, as stated in this article.

  • MH/Duuuval

    March 6, 2024 at 2:21 pm

    Give the President a line-item veto? That would completely upset the checks and balances that presently exist between the branches of government. And, lead to a MAGA autocracy.

  • wake me up

    March 6, 2024 at 2:50 pm

    As if the GOP assclowns in Tallahassee have not done enough to trample our rights under our State Constitution! For example our right to privacy disgracefully diminished for the “babies” that rapists put into our teen girl victims. Or the separation of church and state negatively affected by putting pastors as school counselors

Comments are closed.


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