Alabama’s House of Representatives just passed a resolution calling for a Convention of the States under Article V of the Constitution.
The resolution would explicitly limit the purpose of the Convention to three issues, hushing critical concerns for a “runaway Convention”: (1) Proposing a balanced budget amendment; (2) Reining in power/jurisdiction of the federal government; and (3) Implementing federal officials’ term limits.
While an amendment has never been added to the Constitution using this method, serious support for it has been growing explosively in light of Congress’ 9% approval rating and our unruly (to say the least) president. An Article V Convention, some say, is our last hope in taming Washington DC.
Yellow Hammer News reports:
Rep. Ken Johnson, R-Moulton, told Yellowhammer that he introduced the resolution because he believes a convention is the last available option to force the federal government to live within its means.
“We’re calling for restraints on the federal government,” Johnson said. “That means an amendment that forces them to balance the budget and stops these overreaching federal mandates. We’re also calling for term limits on federal elected offices.”
Johnson said it is important that the states are able to limit the scope of the convention ahead of time, which his resolution does, to mitigate the risk of a “runaway convention.”
“Because we’ve never done it, the idea that there could be a ‘runaway convention’ is always brought up as a concern,” Johnson said. “The convention would be limited to a small set of issues. But on top of that, the safeguard is that it only takes 13 states to kill any runaway convention. If there aren’t 13 conservatives states left, we’re in trouble, period. And Washington is a runaway train right now anyway. How much more damage could be done?”
This resolution, unless rescinded by a succeeding Legislature, constitutes a continuing application until at least two-thirds of all State Legislatures have made application for a convention to provide for these purposes.
It now goes up to the Senate, where several legislators have already been actively involved in the process leading up to a potential Constitutional Convention.
Late last year, nearly one hundred state lawmakers met at Mount Vernon, George Washington’s home, to discuss the possibility of holding a Constitutional Convention. They were joined by several other prominent conservative activists including Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, and Michael Farris.
“We are beginning to reach critical mass in our efforts to use Article V of the Constitution to rein in the power of the federal government,” Farris said. “The Mount Vernon Assembly is one of the major steps in that effort.”
Here is the full text of the resolution passed by Alabama’s House:
WHEREAS, the Founders of our Constitution empowered state legislators to be guardians of liberty against future abuses of power by the federal government; and
WHEREAS, the federal government has created a crushing national debt through improper and imprudent
WHEREAS, the federal government has invaded the legitimate roles of the states through the manipulative process of federal mandates, most of which are unfunded to a great extent; and
WHEREAS, the federal government has ceased to live under a proper interpretation of the Constitution of the United States; and
WHEREAS, it is the solemn duty of the states to protect the liberty of our people, particularly for the generations to come, to propose amendments to the Constitution of the United States through a Convention of the States under Article V to place clear restraints on these and related abuses of power; now therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF ALABAMA, BOTH HOSUES THEREOF CONCURRING, That the Legislature of the States of Alabama hereby applies to Congress, under the provisions of Article V of the Constitution of the United States, for the calling of a convention of the states limited to proposing amendments that impose fiscal restrains on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Secretary of State is hereby directed to transmit copies of this application to the President and Secretary of the United States Senate and to the Speaker and Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, and to the members of the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States Congress from this state; and to also transmit copies hereof to the presiding officers of each of the legislative houses in the several states, requesting their cooperation.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this application constitutes a continuing application in accordance with Article V of the Constitution of the United States until the Legislatures of at least two-thirds of the several states have made applications on the same subject.
It would be very difficult to disagree with the fact that we can’t count on Washington DC to “right” itself; this is why the Founders put this safe guard into the Constitution in the first place.
One of our best chances — if not the best chance — of suppressing the power of the federal government is for state legislators to stand up and fight back.
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