Texas Governor Abbott calls for amendments to US Constitution

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Calling For a Constitutional Convention Is a Tall Order

AUSTIN, Texas, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Texas Governor Greg Abbott called for a conference of the states to add new nine amendments to the U.S. Constitution, saying the U.S. Congress, the President and U.S. Supreme Court are eroding the rule of law in the country.

Speaking at a conservative forum in Austin, Abbott, a Republican, said the federal government, courts and president were overreaching their constitutional bounds and he wanted legislation authorizing Texas to join other states in calling for a "Convention of States to fix the cracks in our Constitution."

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Amending the constitution, however, could prove difficult. Numerous past plans to change the document have been squashed over the decades. Article Five of the Constitution calls for approval by three-fourths of the states for a change, a tough barrier to cross in the current political climate.

"The cure to these problems will not come from Washington D.C. Instead, the states must lead the way," he said. "The Texas plan fixes this government run amok."

Abbott, formerly the Texas attorney general and now governor of the most-populous Republican-controlled state, has been a major opponent to Democrat President Barack Obama for years.

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He enlisted broad support from other Republican-dominated states for a lawsuit currently in federal court to block the president's executive order on immigration.

His nine amendments include requiring Congress to balance the budget, allowing two-thirds of the states to override a U.S. Supreme Court decision and allowing a two-thirds majority of the states to override a federal law or regulation - rights that the states do not have.

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Texas Governor Abbott calls for amendments to US Constitution
FILE - In this Nov. 4, 2014 file photo, Texas Attorney General and Republican Governor-elect Greg Abbott acknowledges the crowd after his victory speech in Austin, Texas. The first new Texas governor in 14 years is something of a city slicker: an articulate lawyer from Houston, who talks without a twang and campaigned with careful political discipline. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
Texas Governor-elect Greg Abbott delivers his victory speech Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Abbott defeated Democrat Wendy Davis to win the race for Texas governor. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Supporters cheer as balloons fall after Texas Attorney General and Republican candidate for governor Greg Abbott's victory speech Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Abbott defeated Democrat Wendy Davis to win the race for Texas governor. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Texas Attorney General and Republican Governor-elect Greg Abbott hugs his daughter, Audrey, as his wife Cecilia, left, joins them on stage for his victory speech in Austin, Texas on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014. Abbott defeated Democrat Wendy Davis. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Texas Attorney General and Republican candidate for governor Greg Abbott waves to crowd after his victory speech Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Abbott defeated Democrat Wendy Davis to win the race for Texas governor. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Texas Attorney General and Republican candidate for governor Greg Abbott waves to the crows before his victory speech Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Abbott defeated Democrat Wendy Davis to win the race for Texas governor. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
FILE - In this Nov. 4, 2014, file photo, Texas Attorney General and Republican Governor-elect Greg Abbott points to the crowd before giving his victory speech in Austin, Texas. The first new Texas governor in 14 years is something of a city slicker: an articulate lawyer from Houston who talks without a twang and campaigned with careful political discipline. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)
AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 4: Texas Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott celebrates during his victory party on November 4, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Abbott defeated Democratic challenger Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TX - NOVEMBER 4: Texas Governor-elect Greg Abbott celebrates with his wife Cecilia (L) and daughter Aubrey (R) during his victory party on November 4, 2014 in Austin, Texas. Abbott defeated Democratic challenger Texas State Sen. Wendy Davis. (Photo by Erich Schlegel/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Nov. 3, 2014 file photo is Texas Republican Greg Abbott, left, who elected the first new governor of Texas in 14 years on Tuesday, Nov. 4 defeating Democrat Wendy Davis. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)
Texas Attorney General and Republican candidate for governor Greg Abbott speaks during a campaign stop Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Texas Attorney General and Republican candidate for governor Greg Abbott, right, is greeted by supporters during a campaign stop Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott, right, poses with supporters at a campaign event Monday, Nov. 3, 2014, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
FILE- In this Oct. 14, 2014, file photo, Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott speaks to a group of supporters in Houston. Abbott will begin the final stretch Monday, Oct. 20, in East Texas, riding a comfortable lead in public polls and a 5-to-1 advantage in campaign cash over Democrat Wendy Davis.. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott speaks to a group of supporters Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014, in Houston. A TV ad from Democrat gubernatorial candidate Wendy Davis that focuses GOP opponent Greg Abbott’s use of a wheelchair is an act of desperation and distracts from issues that matter to Texas voters, Abbott said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Republican gubernatorial nominee Greg Abbott waves to a group of supporters Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
FILE- In this Sept. 30, 2014, file pool photo, Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, right, Democratic candidate, and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, left, Republican candidate, participate in the final gubernatorial debate in a KERA-TV studio in Dallas. Abbott will begin the final stretch Monday, Oct. 20, in East Texas, riding a comfortable lead in public polls and a 5-to-1 advantage in campaign cash over Davis. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Andy Jacobsohn, Pool, File)
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, Republican candidate, answers a question during the final gubernatorial debate with Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, Democratic candidate, in a KERA-TV studio in Dallas on Tuesday Sept. 30, 2014. Ebola, ethics and education were among the issues that dominated the final debate between the two. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Andy Jacobsohn, Pool)
Texas State Senator Wendy Davis, right, Democratic Gubernatorial candidate, and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, left, Republican Gubernatorial candidate, shake hands before the final gubernatorial debate in a KERA-TV studio in Dallas on Tuesday Sept. 30, 2014. Ebola, ethics and education are among the issues that dominated the final debate between the two. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Andy Jacobsohn, Pool)
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott speaks during the Rio Grande Valley Gubernatorial Debate between him and Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis in Edinburg, Texas on Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. The debate was the first of two scheduled before the November election. (AP Photo/The McAllen Monitor, Joel Martinez, Pool)
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