Tuesday, January 26, 2016

What is a Convention of States?

Pat Cryan-MartickThis article was submitted by:  Patricia Martick*

 Convention of States

Shaken by the events of September 11th, 2001, and then fully awakened by the election of Barack Obama and all that followed, I moved from my comfortable membership in the “Silent Majority” to join the numbers of frightened and angry Americans who could no longer remain silent in the face of a suddenly “foreign” U.S. Government. My lifelong assumption that our national foundation was solid and secure was no longer a safe assumption. The balance of powers of the federal Government was out of balance. The people no longer had much impact on the actions of a government growing increasingly out of control.

After the second election of Barack Obama I found myself in a dark place with no hope that we could restore what we have lost: many of our basic freedoms and the dependability of our Constitution to guide the government. Therefore I was very excited by the news (to me) of Article V of the Constitution which has been described as a safety valve put in place by our Founders. They had wisely anticipated that the day would come when the Federal Government would grow out of the controls which had been designed to prevent exactly what has happened today: Federal usurpation of power that belongs to the states. Article V is the mechanism built into the Constitution to allow the people to save the Constitution, and it is brilliant if we only would decide to use it.

Article V says that upon successful application by 2/3 (34) of the states, they may convene a convention (a meeting) of the states for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution. This process has been initiated in the past, but never achieved enough member states to sign on to hold a convention. (The history is very interesting, but must be the subject of another discussion.) All states must agree to the terms of the application, and those are the only subjects which may be addressed during the Convention. Every state may send as many delegates as they wish individually, but each state gets only one vote. When agreement is reached by the state-appointed delegates, ratification must then be accomplished in ¾ (38) of the states before the new amendments become part of the Constitution. 38 states agreeing to such amendments is not an easy threshold to pass, but it assures a mandate of the people, not a “runaway” convention.

In the Convention of the States project Resolution currently being debated across the country, these amendments would be limited to the broad topics of imposing fiscal restraints on the Federal Government, limiting the power of the Federal Government, and mandating term limits. This would allow proposed amendments that limit executive orders, federal spending and taxation and terms of office for Congress and the Supreme Court.     

The Convention of States Project is currently recruiting and mobilizing a permanent army of trained political activists in 3,000 state house and legislative districts across the country. These district captains will each recruit 100 people who will call or write their state legislators, voicing their support for the Convention of States. The clearest explanation that I’ve found to understand Article V’s history and purpose is in Mark Levins’s book: “The Liberty Amendments”. To learn about the Convention of States Project, visit the website COSAction.com to sign the petition and learn how to become involved with this last, best chance to restore liberty in America. No President can make the kind of repairs we need, but “We the People” can do it if we band together. In my opinion the COS is more important to the future of the country than the next Presidential election, and each of us can have more power to affect it.

Florida, Alaska, and Georgia have already passed the bills of application and it’s presently being debated and passed in one or more houses of many other states. Every citizen who becomes educated and spreads the word can help in this effort to slowly right the Ship of State. Don’t remain in the silent majority, but please step up and add your voice to this growing national movement. 

Formerly of Meriden, CT Pat now resides in Tennessee.  The Tennessee Senate has passed the Article V Petition and the Government Committee in the House is voting on January 26th.  She will be there to watch the debate and the vote.

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