Bill of Federalism 2.0:
After the voluminous response to my Wall Street Journal article calling for a Federalism Amendment, I began working on a Bill of Federalism consisting of ten amendments to restore a balance between state and federal power, as well as important aspects of the original meaning of the Constitution. I posted the initial draft of these amendments to elicit comments on Having read the hundreds of comments and suggestions, I have now published a significantly revised version of the Bill of Federalism, along with an explanation of each provision, on Here is the introduction to the proposals:
Lately some state legislatures have been considering so-called "sovereignty resolutions." Rather than pass strictly symbolic measures, however, I recommended--in an op-ed last month in The Wall Street Journal--that state legislatures exercise the power given them under Article V of the Constitution to petition Congress to call a convention to propose a "Federalism Amendment."

This idea clearly touched a chord among the public and elicited an outpouring of comments and suggestions, including here on Forbes. While many liked my original proposal, others wanted to see added provisions for balanced budgets, term limits and other constraints on federal power.

With this feedback in mind, I decided to draft a Bill of Federalism consisting of 10 amendments devised to restore the balance between state and federal power as well as the original meaning of the Constitution. By identifying 10 separate amendments, a coalition can be formed from people who support different constitutional reform measures that could not be combined into a single amendment. At the same time, opposition to any one provision cannot be used to sink the whole proposal.

The preamble makes explicit why such amendments are sorely needed and specifies that delegates are to be selected by procedures chosen by their state legislatures. The proposed amendments that follow are primarily designed to reverse Supreme Court rulings that have improperly expanded federal power.

At the same time, the Bill of Federalism was designed to ensure that current constitutional protections of civil rights would be preserved and strengthened.

Some fear that any amendments convention might exceed the limited purpose for which it was called. Under the Constitution, however, any amendments proposed by a convention would still need to obtain the approval of three-quarters of all the states.

And historically no convention has ever been convened because Congress, fearing a convention, itself proposed the particular amendments requested by the states before two-thirds of states had applied for a convention.

When the Equal Rights Amendment came close to final approval by the states, the Supreme Court rendered the ERA unnecessary by modifying the Court's treatment of sex discrimination. I fully expect that, should even a handful of states approve this proposal and submit it to Congress and to other states, it will markedly affect the terms of political debate.

It will become the rallying cry of Tea Parties and other citizen groups across the nation and, like the Contract with America, can provide an organizing document for candidates seeking state and federal office. Candidates to state legislatures can campaign on proposing it to Congress, and candidates for Congress can campaign on proposing it for approval by the states.

And I fully expect that the Supreme Court would try to forestall its adoption by moving toward the original meaning of the Constitution, which it is always free to do. After all, even without a Bill of Federalism, the federalism embodied in the written Constitution is still the Supreme Law of the Land.
You can read the entire proposal and explanation (as well as post comments) here.

PS: Here is a clip from my brief discussion of the Bill of Federalism with Andrew Napolitano who was guest-hosting the Glenn Beck show last night: