Senate Joint Resolution No. 11
Introduced By _______________________________________________________________________________
A Joint Resolution of the Senate and the House of Representatives of the State of Montana requesting the United States Congress to submit to the several states an amendment to the United States Constitution providing that natural resources are the heritage of present and future generations and that each person's right to a clean and healthful environment not be infringed.
WHEREAS, the triumph of freedom and justice embodied in the Constitution of the United States of America gave current and future generations a structure for ordered liberty that has served this nation well. By historic decisions, augmented from time to time by amendment, the American people have a constitution that permits each generation to address timely issues. The rights of speech and assembly were protected against overbearing government. The liberation of enslaved Americans, the right of women to vote, restraints on the power of concentrated wealth, the intelligent use of government to protect the economic interests of all, and the use of national military power here and abroad, have all been achieved through this constitutional framework; and
WHEREAS, the American people have well understood their Constitution and the values and powers it embodies. Liberty, justice, and physical and material security remain the goals of our generation and hopes for future generations; and
WHEREAS, a constitution that protects the personal security of the American people is the heart of the American system. The Constitution of the United States seeks to ensure that each person is free of actions by others that diminish life, liberty, health, or property or that prevent the pursuit of happiness; and
WHEREAS, the threat to public health and the nation's natural resources is a challenge to our generation of the kind other generations faced and overcame; and
WHEREAS, the American people are obliged to protect each citizen and future generation from threats to the air, land, and water as surely as were previous generations obliged to enhance freedom, justice, and prosperity; and
WHEREAS, a constitutional remedy is necessary to clearly establish this goal; and
WHEREAS, the decision to seek a constitutional remedy is significant and necessary and the American people have historically been reluctant to amend the United States Constitution except for the most compelling reasons.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
That the Montana Legislature requests the Congress of the United States to submit to the several states the following amendment to the Constitution of the United States:
The natural resources of the nation are the heritage of present and future generations. The right of each person to clean and healthful air and water and to the protection of the other natural resources of the nation shall not be infringed upon by any person.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Montana Legislature is against a calling of a constitutional convention for this purpose and this resolution is not a call for a constitutional convention.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Montana Legislature also proposes that the legislatures of each of the several states comprising the United States apply to the United States Congress requesting the enactment of the above amendment to the United States Constitution; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Secretary of State of Montana send copies of this resolution to the members of the Montana delegation to the Congress of the United States; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Secretary of State of Montana send copies of this resolution to the Secretary of State and presiding officers of both houses of the legislature of each of the other states in the Union, the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, and the Secretary of the United States Senate.