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House speaker Bill Howell co-authors op-ed for Wall Street Journal, proposing to allow states to overturn federal laws.
The amendment would require a constitutional convention, which Howell said can be forced if two-thirds of states petition Congress to hold one. That method has never been used. Three-fourths of states would have to ratify any amendment that came out of a convention.
Howell likened his proposal to giving the states veto power, rather like the president has, over laws passed by Congress.
“What this would do, it would be transferring some of the checks from 535 people inside the Beltway to thousands upon thousands of state legislators across the country,” he said.
He said it would be unlikely states would use that power frequently.
“It’s going to be very difficult to get two thirds of the states to agree on anything, so it’ll have to be pretty egregious” for them to do it, he said.
Asked if he would support giving Virginia local governments the power to do the same thing – band together to overturn laws passed by the General Assembly – Howell said yes.
“I think it’s fair, what’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” he said