Wisconsin became the 28th state to call for a convention to amend the U.S. Constitution, with a 19-14 vote Tuesday in the Republican-led state Senate.
Lawmakers also approved measures to limit the scope of the convention to the passage of an amendment requiring a balanced federal budget and to determine who would represent the state at such a convention. The first two resolutions do not require Gov. Scott Walker's signature to take effect; the third does.
Walker tweeted Tuesday morning that he supports the measures, which were approved by the Assembly in June.
Senate President Roger Roth, R-Appleton, joined Democrats in opposing the proposals. Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, had previously voiced hesitations about the effort, but said the members of his caucus ultimately lined up to support it.
Supporters say they would use the opportunity only to get the federal government's finances in order — in particular, the country's $20 trillion national debt.
"The founders put this in place specifically for times when the federal government was not taking action when there is severe risk," said Sen. Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield, the bill's Senate author.
Ahh, but of course those restrictions to limit the proceedings to "just a balanced budget" amendment would be unenforceable hogwash.
Critics of the effort fear a convention would open the door to major constitutional revisions in a "runaway convention," since delegates would not be required to abide by proposed limitations.
"To turn around and open that document up to a convention of people, I think, is extremely risky and dangerous," said Sen. Fred Risser, D-Madison.
Sen. Jon Erpenbach, D-Middleton, cited the current political climate, rife with disagreements between political parties and within them, as he argued the time is not right to open the Constitution.
"Do you want to leave the fate of our country in the hands of people on both sides right now who are more full of rage than they are of acceptance?" Erpenbach asked.
Asked later whether he believes restrictions on the scope of the convention can be enforced, Fitzgerald said "it should be a concern."
"It always should be a concern when you have something that could be wide open," Fitzgerald said. "It's just hard to really forecast that right now."
So Republicans need just six more states to agree in order to rewrite the Constitution as they see fit. Trump, Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell all aside, the very, very real threat to America at this point remains Republicans at the state level. Republicans now have more than a majority of states on record calling for the Constitution to be rewritten. Should they get to that three-fourths super-majority, all bets are off on America's continued existence.
This is why we need to take states back in 2018.