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Eye On Boise

Professor warns of dangers of Article V constitutional convention

Law professor William
Law professor William "Bill" Marshall speaks on the dangers of an Article V constitutional convention in a lecture and Q&A session at the state Capitol on Wednesday morning, Feb. 22, 2017 (Betsy Z. Russell)

William “Bill” Marshall, a University of North Carolina law professor, is speaking in room WW17 this morning on a potential Article V constitutional convention, saying it couldn’t be limited in scope to any particular topic. “There are no such guarantees,” Marshall said. “This is uncharted territory.”

More than 30 people are gathered for the lecture, including a half-dozen lawmakers; it runs from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. today. Last week, former Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn was here pitching the idea of an Article V constitutional convention; one bill already has been introduced calling for Idaho to petition for such a convention to enact a balanced budget amendment.

Marshall said, “We should not now abandon the very document that has held us together as a nation for over two and one quarter centuries. Rewriting the Constitution is a dangerous errand that would not only unravel the legal ties that have kept us together for so long but would also undermine our sense of national identity and the way that view ourselves as a people.”



Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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