Georgia Leads the Way on States’ Rights: 1st to Pass Article V Resolution

Liberty Bell Geogia Gusrdians of Liberty

Somebody tell the good folks in Philadelphia to ring the Liberty Bell because Georgia is the first state in history to pass a resolution that calls for a Convention of States which proposes Constitutional amendments. A Convention of States, called a constitutional convention by many,  can be convened when requested by two-thirds of the states.

The Georgia Resolution states:

 NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF
 GEORGIA that the General Assembly of the State of Georgia 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 to the United States Constitution
 that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of
 the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of
 Congress.

Citing that “the founders of the Constitution of the United States empowered state legislators to be guardians of liberty against future abuses of power by the federal government,” the legislators have started the ball rolling to use one of the two ways that proposals to Constitution may be made as described in Article V of the Constitution.

Up until now the tried and true method of proposing amendments to the Constitution has been the domain of Congress where two-thirds of both the Senate and the House of Representatives are required. Ratifying an amendment then requires three-fourths of the states for approval.

Not all amendment proposals are approved. Remember the ERA Amendment? Only 35 states of the required 38 ratified that amendment. Congress had put a time limit on ratification and it expired in 1982 before it could be approved.

Best-selling author and nationally syndicated conservative radio talk show host Mark Levin first proposed a constitutional convention using Article V of the Constitution to add amendments in his book “The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic,” where he suggested adding eleven.

State Representative Buzz Brockway (R-Lawrenceville), the resolution’s primary sponsor in the Georgia House said,

“I’m proud Georgia has taken the lead on the very important work of restoring our Republic. An Article V Convention of States would provide an opportunity for the citizens of this great nation to restore the balance of power between the States and the Federal government. I urge Legislators in the other 49 states to join Georgia and call for a Convention of States for the purpose of proposing amendments to the U.S. constitution.”

Georgia may not be alone for long. So far legislation has been submitted by several other states according to the grassroots, non-profit organization Convention of States (COS). Thirty-four state legislatures must pass a bill called an “application” calling for a convention of states. The applications must request a Convention of the States for the same subject matter. The applications are delivered to Congress. COS hopes that enough states pass bills and submit their applications to Congress in time for a convention to be held in 2016.

The COS Project’s plan is twofold:

1) We want to call a convention for a particular subject rather than a particular amendment. Instead of calling a convention for a balanced budget amendment (though we are entirely supportive of such an amendment), we want to call a convention for the purpose of limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government. Our approach is similar to the adoption of the Bill of Rights. We seek a package of amendments to rein in the abuses of power by all branches of the federal government.

2) We believe the grassroots is the key to calling a successful convention.  The goal is to build a political operation in a minimum of 40 states, getting 100 people to volunteer in at least 75% of the state legislative districts—3000 districts.  We believe this is very doable. The most important task is to find our 3000 District Captains. The support of the American people will ensure the success of this project.

A good overview of their plan is available here and here.

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