user Create your account


mail Sign in with email


Ebke: Let's hold convention of the states here

Sen. Laura Ebke's proposal to enlist Nebraska in a call for a convention of the states to propose constitutional limits on the power of the federal government finally made it to the floor of the Legislature this week.

And Ebke has a long-shot idea of where it ought to be held.

"It should be in the middle of the country," she said Wednesday during an interview.

"I think Nebraska would be a great place," Ebke said. "We have an extra chamber."

The State Capitol was built with two legislative chambers to house both a Senate and a House; Nebraska moved to a one-house legislature in 1937.

Ebke's resolution (LR35), is a latecomer to the floor, arriving in the early evening hours of the 75th day of a crowded 90-day legislative session.

"I don't know if we'll get to it this year," Ebke said. "I'm not in a huge hurry. If it waits until next session, that's OK. It might get more time for debate that way."

Ebke, a political scientist who hails from Crete, believes the time has come to consider limitations on a federal government that began to expand its reach during the Great Depression.

"It became more powerful then and we never went back," she said. "The Founders never intended for it to be the all-powerful center of the universe."

The convention of the states would be limited to proposing constitutional amendments to impose fiscal restraints, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and require term limits.

Any proposed constitutional amendments would require ratification by three-fourths of the states.

Ebke, who describes herself as a Republican and a conservative libertarian, said she has received considerable e-mail from Nebraskans expressing interest in the concept of a convention. 

If enough states demonstrate interest, she suggested, Congress might take steps on its own to respond to popular concerns, perhaps considering term limits and an amendment to require a balanced federal budget.

A number of states, including Florida, Georgia, North Dakota and Alaska, already have approved resolutions to call for a convention of the states.

Click here to read more from

Note: North Dakota has yet to approve the Convention of States resolution.