New convention sought to restrict federal power, bring it back to the people and the states
(Tea Party) – There’s an interesting proposal on the table that’s constitutional and actively being pursued by an organization called the Convention of the States. The organization bills itself as the “project of citizens for self-government.”
Under this new convention, states would meet to agree to a strategy and then give marching orders to DC. There would be no hearings in Congress nor would such hearings be allowed. Beltway lobbyists would be cut out and no agency influence would be permitted. It’s a novel and legal way to clean up the government mess that has proliferated under the Obama administration.
Term limits could be enacted as well as a ban on taxpayer dollars going overseas. There could even be a move to disband federal agencies that have no foundation in the Constitution.
Michael Farris, chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association and chancellor of Patrick Henry College outlines the specifics on the website.
“Washington, D.C., is utterly broken. Washington, D.C., will never voluntarily relinquish power,” Farris writes. “If we allow Washington, D.C., to continue on its current course of big government it will utterly destroy American liberty. Debt is the most tangible method of destruction. But big government complete with spying on the American public, the improper use of executive orders, over-regulation, etc., etc., will most certainly destroy American liberty relatively soon.”
American voters have tried to elect more conservatives, but it has not been the solution. Convention of the States does not want people to fear that Constitution would be destroyed. Any changes would be required to be approved by votes in 38 states.
“The Founders gave us Article V for the very purpose of creating structural change when the federal government abuses its power,” says Farris. “State legislatures control this process from beginning to end. Governors are irrelevant. Congress can only name the time and place. State legislature name the delegates and give them their instructions.”
Considering that 38 states would be required to ratify any changes “the idea that anything crazy could make it through that process is simply untenable,” explained Farris.
“We will either get good amendments or we will get nothing,” he said. “The people who must approve the work product – state legislatures – are the ones who name the delegates. They are also the ones who give the convention its subject matter.”
This causes one to ask: would there be interest is the idea of removing federal officials? Farris said:
“State legislatures currently have no power to impeach federal officials from their states. This is not a viable option. This would, however, be a proper amendment to suggest at the Convention of States we are proposing. I like the idea of giving the state governments the power to impeach congressman and senators from their states.”
Another possibility that arises says Farris: “The federal courts regularly refuse to rule on constitutional issues they want to avoid by calling them ‘political questions’ or by claiming that no one has standing to sue … One of my ideas for an amendment would be to automatically grant state legislatures standing to challenge any action of the federal government as violating its constitutional limitations.”
Farris is also proposing a solution to the Supreme Court that has become entrenched:
“I [would] propose reconfiguring the Supreme Court after the model of the European Court of Human Rights. There are 46 nations in that court’s jurisdiction, and every nation appoints one judge. We should expand the Supreme Court to 50 justices and have the states appoint the justices for a specific term (6 or 8 years) with no right of reappointment. That one change would do more to ensure a constitutional government than anything I know.”
Citizens for Self-Governance launched the Convention of States Project. Currently the group is working toward having state lawmakers call for a convention through Article V of the Constitution.
Americans appear to be open to the idea that We the People need to address Washington’s mass overspending, regulations that put a stranglehold on everyone from lemonade stands to nonprofits as well as continued attacks on states’ rights and the “federal takeover of the decision-making process.” Thousands of Americans have already signed on in support.
The organization states: “Who decides what the law shall be is even more important than what is decided. The protection of liberty requires a strict adherence to the principle that power is limited and delegated.”
The federal government overreach has already been recognized by the Supreme Court, stating in a 1992 case:
“The federal government undertakes activities today that would have been unimaginable to the Framers in two senses; first, because the Framers would not have conceived that any government would conduct such activities; and second, because the Framers would not have believed that the federal government, rather than the states, would assume such responsibilities.”
Details about what state legislatures need to know and what to do to get the project moving has been posted online by the organization.