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2020 ballot: What's this about a 'constitutional convention'

A question appears by law on the ballot every 10 years about an Iowa constitutional convention. If voters approve the measure, the Iowa Legislature would create rules for electing delegates to the convention and a process for submitting the convention’s proposed constitutional amendments to the people for a vote.

The FAMiLY Leader doesn’t have an official position on this question, but we can share opposing perspectives on the idea:

On one hand, proponents of the constitutional convention argue it was designed by Iowa’s framers to bypass the Legislature’s gatekeeping power over constitutional amendments. The Protect Life Amendment, for example, was blocked in 2020, not by the people nor by the courts, but by the Iowa Legislature. Too many important issues, proponents argue, are being bottled up in the Legislature by influential interest groups that don’t represent the will of the people. A constitutional convention, or “ConCon,” proponents argue, could free up measures the Legislature has thus far impeded.

On the other hand, opponents of the convention share concern that because of the spiritual, moral, and philosophical decay of today’s American society, such a convention could “go off the rails” and pass more anti-God and/or pro-socialist reforms that would outweigh the good that might be passed through. It’s also worth noting, opponents argue, that the United States’ first constitutional convention was only supposed to give America a revised version of the Articles of Confederation … and it went completely off the rails, rewriting an entirely new system of government! Granted, it made the Constitution we still use, but the concern is … if a modern convention went off the rails again today, what new system of government would today’s generation dream up? The potential harm of a ConCon held in today’s political and social winds, opponents argue, outweighs the good that might be done.


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