Constitutional convention idea should be on ballot
From the Opelika Auburn News
Editorial
Published February 12, 2009

We salute Ted Little. The Auburn state senator refuses to give up on reforming Alabama’s outdated constitution — a 107-year-old book of law that has been amended 800 times and is in dire need of stepping into the 21st century with the rest of America.

“The whole purpose is that Alabama has the oldest constitution of any state in America,” he said. “In reality, it does not take into consideration anything that any legislator considers as progressive.”

We need a doctrine of law that relates to today’s Alabama. Granted, some will claim that’s what amendments are for, but let’s get real and clean up this doctrine which still includes law that applies to times before the family automobile and television.

This is not 1901.

We claim we want to be progressive, not regressive.

Here’s another chance.

Little, a Democrat, made a resolution Tuesday in the Senate to hold a constitutional convention, complete with delegates, to decide how much of this antiquated constitution needs to be re-written.

If passed in the Senate, it must also be passed in the House and then approved by the Secretary of State before it can be placed as a referendum on a public ballot.
Little hopes this could happen by June of 2010.

If Alabamians feel such a convention is necessary, then it should come to pass.

If they do not, the point is practically moot, but Little can sleep well at night knowing he played a vital part in placing the idea in the hands of the people.

Some may claim that legislators elected to represent Alabamians in Montgomery are doing that job for them, but isn’t it time to give the voters a real say-so in this important matter rather than letting a small group of well-dressed men and women at the State House make this decision for them?

Little shouldn’t have to bring this issue before the Legislature each session only to have it shot down, but we commend him for championing this worthy cause.

It’s time the people of Alabama had a choice whether or not they feel a convention to re-write the constitution is necessary.

It’s time for our Legislature to recognize this need and do something about it for a change.

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