Texas Governor Abbott calls for amendments to U.S. Constitution

Texas governor Greg Abbott speaks during an interview on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 14, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (Reuters)

By Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Texas Governor Greg Abbott called for a conference of the states to add new nine amendments to the U.S. Constitution, saying the U.S. Congress, the President and U.S. Supreme Court are eroding the rule of law in the country. Speaking at a conservative forum in Austin, Abbott, a Republican, said the federal government, courts and president were overreaching their constitutional bounds and he wanted legislation authorizing Texas to join other states in calling for a "Convention of States to fix the cracks in our Constitution." Amending the constitution, however, could prove difficult. Numerous past plans to change the document have been squashed over the decades. Article Five of the Constitution calls for approval by three-fourths of the states for a change, a tough barrier to cross in the current political climate. "The cure to these problems will not come from Washington D.C. Instead, the states must lead the way," he said. "The Texas plan fixes this government run amok." Abbott, formerly the Texas attorney general and now governor of the most-populous Republican-controlled state, has been a major opponent to Democrat President Barack Obama for years. He enlisted broad support from other Republican-dominated states for a lawsuit currently in federal court to block the president's executive order on immigration. His nine amendments include requiring Congress to balance the budget, allowing two-thirds of the states to override a U.S. Supreme Court decision and allowing a two-thirds majority of the states to override a federal law or regulation - rights that the states do not have. (Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Editing by Sandra Maler)