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Texas Becomes 11th State to Call for Article V Convention

Texas Becomes 11th State to Call for Article V Convention

The grassroots’ sleeping giant

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On Thursday, May 4, 2017, the Texas legislature passed a resolution calling for a Convention of States for the purpose of proposing amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The resolution (SJR2), having a total of 72 co-authors, was passed 217 to 213 as nearly 250 supporters watched from the Gallery.

The resolution comes after the Senate passed its own version on February 28, making the Lone Star State the 11th state to call for a convention as outlined in Article V of the Constitution.

As Legal Insurrection has explained, Article V details two procedures for amending the U.S. Constitution. The first and most familiar way requires that congress write and propose an amendment that is subsequently sent to the 50 states for ratification. The second process for proposing and passing amendments, however, requires that two-thirds of the state legislatures submit applications for a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments. 

As of yet, no amendments have passed via the latter process.

Article V (emphasis added) – 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;

In order to prevent what opponents call a “runaway convention,” each state’s application must specify an amendment subject matter or matters to be address. Should two-thirds of the states submit applications pertaining to the same subject matter, an Article V convention of the states shall be called by the U.S. Congress. The specified topics to be addressed are limited to the following three areas: imposing fiscal restraints on the federal government, limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and setting term limits for its officials and for Members of Congress.

In August of last year, legislators from all 50 states held a practice or “dry run” convention of states. Organized by the Convention of States Project, an arm of Citizens for Self-Governance, the simulated convention allowed legislators acting as commissioners or delegates to draft, debate, and vote on hypothetical, proposed amendments. These amendments, if passed in convention, would theoretically be sent on to state legislators for a vote on ratification.

As of Thursday, 11 states have called for an actual convention of the states:

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has been a vocal supporter of the Convention of States option and last year had declared the resolution’s passing his top priority for the 2017 legislative season. The Governor even went so far as to craft nine amendments himself in what Abbott called the Texas Plan.

Conservative talk show host and ardent Article V supporter Mark Levin said Texas’ passing of the resolution was bigger news than the GOP’s changes to the Affordable Care Act. “You wanna hear the biggest news today, the very biggest news today?” Levin asked his audience Thursday evening. “The Texas House just passed Article V Convention of States resolution. The Senate already passed it. So, Texas is state number 11, state number 11 out of 34 needed.”

“I am telling you, this is going to be an earthquake as we get closer and closer to this,” Levin added.

For more on the Article V process, visit the Convention of States Project.

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Comments

Ragspierre | May 6, 2017 at 7:38 am

This is a very good thing.

The Uniparty will destroy America if this comes to pass.

buckeyeminuteman | May 6, 2017 at 8:45 am

Neither party has the stones to actually do what is right for our country. The Convention is the way to go. Thanks for sharing this update!

Given there are 57 states what are the chances of ever getting 2/3 to vote on any kind of change let alone voting on the same changes??

This just seems like wishful thinking given democrats will have to be relied upon for help to get this through.

    If I recall correctly, with the balance of power changes from the 2016 election cycle, if ALL the Republican controlled Trifecta chambers and states acted to pass legislation calling for this, that gets it to half of the total States.

    Texas is a big leader in that regard, and the other Republican states will probably sit up and take notice.

    Once that happens, it should gain enough momentum on its own to get from 25 to 34 (an additional 9 states). The likely candidates for that would be: Colorado, New Mexico, Montana, Minnesota, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Louisiana and Nevada or Alaska.

Every time this comes up for discussion, the illiterate among us insist on arguing that it will lead to a runaway convention. No it won’t. It is NOT a constitutional convention. I can’t recall the Super Bowl ever morphing into the World Series. Two different games. It is a convention of states for the purpose of proposing of SPECIFIC amendments. Once the states agree, the door is closed for other amendments. Please read the book!

The 50 state legislatures, which Republicans DOMINATE!, then vote on the list of SPECIFICS. That requires 2/3 majority of states to agree and the Republicans are essentially the only team on the field. The Republicans legislatures CAN organize that Article V convention on their own. They can score at will! So do it! That’s the easy part.

Those states then ORDER Congress to immediately call for that convention. Congress has no choice. They cannot stop it from happening. If they refuse, the states do it themselves. Congress CANNOT function without he cooperation of the member states.

The Convention begins and they deliberate. Then they vote on ONLY those specific items. This isn’t Congress where the Senate can gut a House tax bill and rewrite is as a spending bill called ObamaCare. It’s an up or down vote on a list of SPECIFICS. No runaway convention.

We really need to have this convention and soon. We already have a corrupt runaway government that refuses to be accountable to the voters so we have nothing to lose. Let’s make it official and end this kabuki. Are we or are we not still a sovereign nation governed within the limitations of the Constitution? Straight up or down vote. If so, then Congress will affect these changes immediately to restore the checks and balances that protect our freedoms. If they refuse, then soft tyranny has in fact given way to hard tyranny and so we might as well get to the shooting part. If elections are pointless…..

So if I read this correctly, any new amendment(s) must still be ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures. It is an uphill battle, but one that we must pursue. I don’t see Congress reforming itself and reducing the power of the federal government. This seems the only way possible.

So, while we’re on this topic, what amendments would you like to see?

Among my wish list:

1) “Congress shall pass no law from which its members are exempt.”

2) I’d love to see serving in Congress made a part-time job with very little pay. Make these parasites work at real jobs and have to actually earn their money.

3) There are arguments on both sides of the term limits debate. I’d be good with limits, although I suspect number 2) above would take care of that problem without the need for them.

4) I’d like to see something limiting or preventing Congress from delegating its authority to federal agencies, or at least forcing Congress to have an annual up or down vote on all new and standing orders issued by any agency.

5) Limit executive orders in some way, if possible.

6) Eliminate the federal income tax and (perhaps) limit all federal revenues to a percentage of GDP.

Any other ideas?

    Have you read Mark Levin’s “Liberty Amendments”? Start there. The proposed amendments are clearly explained. The last we need is to “light up the Christmas tree” with everyone’s pet issue. Keep it big, simple and FOCUSED. Don’t make this even more difficult than it is already.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to Ken_LI. | May 6, 2017 at 6:00 pm

    I’d like to see something making it hard or impossible for members of the judiciary to serve as legislators. Such an amendment will never be introduced because most of the attendees of these conventions will be attorneys. I do not see them giving up the ability to write laws that make it necessary to buy lawyer time to do virtually anything.

    Ragspierre in reply to Ken_LI. | May 6, 2017 at 8:18 pm

    Make explicit the meaning of the Commerce Clause, which was clear to everyone until the FDR administration. Return it to its true intent.

    Milhouse in reply to Ken_LI. | May 6, 2017 at 10:40 pm

    4) I’d like to see something limiting or preventing Congress from delegating its authority to federal agencies, or at least forcing Congress to have an annual up or down vote on all new and standing orders issued by any agency.

    Not necessary. Simply make clear that any agency authority to make regulations is delegated from Congress, and therefore each house has the authority to disallow any regulation, by a simple majority, within six months of its publication.

    5) Limit executive orders in some way, if possible.

    Why? What is anyone’s objection to the president’s authority to instruct his employees? EOs are not laws, they don’t bind anyone who doesn’t work for the president.

BTW, has anyone approached Trump to discuss this? Seems to me that this could be a very valuable weapon in his arsenal for taking on everyone on his mission to drain the swamp. The same voters who elected him and his coattails are still available.

It would be interesting to see how this polls among those of us who voted for Trump. An Article V Convention would be far more effective in draining the swamp than the best of any artful deals Trump even hopes to pull off. We shouldn’t be negotiating about the existence of constitutional law in the first place. This convention would clear the battlefield for him. Someone please ask Trump if he has anything to say about this campaign.

A disaster in waiting. Anyone who thinks a few procedural niceties will prevent our Bolsheviks from seizing control of any convention must have been snoozing for the past hundred years or so.

“Should two-thirds of the states submit applications pertaining to the same subject matter, an Article V convention of the states shall be called by the U.S. Congress.”

Excuse me, but this is NOT what that Constitution says. Article V clearly says that the States “shall call a Convention for proposing Amendmenrts,” otherwise the Constitution would say “propose specific Amendments to be discussed during a Convention.”

Simply put, each State legislature could propose many different Amendments which would then be debated and amended by the delegates during the Convention. But even a more expansive reading that the Convention itself would propose Amendments would not be “runaway” since there still would be a requirement of getting 3/4 approval.

DeskJockey | May 9, 2017 at 9:27 am

“As of yet, amendments”…Shouldn’t it read “As of yet, no amendments”?

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