The Convention of States Project
By de Andréa, Opinion Editorialist
for ‘THE BOTTOM LINE’:
for ‘THE BOTTOM LINE’:
Published August 27, 2015
Our Forefathers put Article V into the Constitution for just such a time as this. We must use it now and restore state sovereignty and the power of government to the people, or lose our freedom to the tyranny of Nationalism.
Article V of the U.S. Constitution:
“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.”
Article Five of the United States Constitution describes the process whereby the Constitution may be altered. Altering the Constitution consists of proposing an amendment or amendments and subsequent ratification.
Amendments may be adopted and sent to the states for ratification by either:
Two-thirds, a supermajority of both the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States Congress;
OR’ by a national convention assembled at the request of the legislatures of at least two-thirds (at present 34) of the states.
To become part of the Constitution, an amendment must be ratified by either (as determined by Congress):
The request of legislatures of three-fourths (at present 38) of the states;
OR’ State ratifying conventions in three-fourths (at present 38) of the states.
Nearly 1500 conservative state legislators from across the country gathered in San Diego for ALEC’s annual conference this past week, and Article V of the U.S. Constitution was the talk of the town. Several groups advocating for a convention of states were present at the event, but one stood out among the rest.
“The Convention of States is the one I have chosen to put my effort behind,” said Rep. Kelly Townsend of Arizona. “We need a balanced budget, but there are other issues at hand. (Convention of States) covers those issues, and it has the grassroots energy and support. That’s what’s going to get us to 34 states.”
The Convention of States Project resolution calls for a convention that would propose amendments dealing with fiscal restraints, term limits for federal officials, and other measures that would limit the power of the federal government.
“The other calls deal with single subject matters,” Delvis Dutton, a former state legislator from Georgia, told Red Millennial. “The only one that deals with federalism is Convention of States Project. This has to do with the authorities given to the states. We’ve ceded our authority to the other branches of government.”
In just its second year or operation, the COS resolution has been ratified by four states, (Georgia, Alaska, Florida, and Alabama), and was passed by one chamber in 10 other states this year.
“When we passed it, it was just an idea,” said Dutton. “This year, you’re seeing the awakening of this happen across the country.”
Before a room packed with about 150 state legislators, Convention of States also launched their COS Caucus, which is a network of current state legislators who will work to refine the rules for the future Article V convention. So far 200 members representing 40 states have joined.
In a speech Rep. Ken Ivory of Utah said, “I would encourage you to join the Convention of States Caucus and engage in this process to establish the procedures. Be leaders among leaders.”
“I appreciate what Convention of States has done in creating the rules, because they’ve stepped out of the way and allowed us to build on their rough draft,” Townsend told Red Millennial. “It’s really amazing.”
In a speech before about 1000 fellow state legislators, Texas Rep. Rick Miller laid out the case for Convention of States Project.
“It’s a call to action that has the potential to reverse the downward course the nation is on, especially the fiscal policy and overreach of federal agencies,” said Miller. “It’s clear to me the federal government is out of control, from Congress to the executive to the judiciary.”
Mike Huckabee, who has endorsed Convention of States Project, also urged state legislators to pursue this constitutional solution.
“Article V is that one fail-safe way to to keep our government from spiraling out of control and restore the balance of power,” said Huckabee.
“We’re seeing the calls for liberty percolate up from all over the place,” Ivory said, acknowledging the movement’s recent surge of momentum.
Convention of States Action, a project of Citizens for Self-Governance, is far and away the most organized Article V effort in the country with more than 200,000 participants, grassroots infrastructure in all 50 states, and legislative sponsors in 37 states.
Miller said that nearly 60,000 Texans have already joined COS.
“It’s amazing, the energy that’s behind this movement,” said Townsend. “It’s going to be the people getting out and contacting their state legislators. I see that with Convention of States. I believe in our people, and I believe we’re going to pull this off.”
Thanks for listening – de Andréa
This story originally appeared on the Red Millennial.
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