- New Article V Congressional Term Limits Drive Announced
- Oklahoma Senator Coburn Registers as CoS Lobbyist in MO
- New Heartland Initiative Seeks Constitutional Reform
- Florida College Students Celebrate Constitution Day
- Gov Failure to Honor Boundaries Spurring Article V Efforts
- Article V Groups Gain Endorsements
- Assembly of State Legislatures to Meet In Salt Lake City
- Smaller Deficits Are Still Deficits
- SCOTUS Grabs More Power from State Governments A commentary by Article V Caucus National Co-Chair Senator Kevin Lundberg
New Article V Congressional Term Limits Drive Announced –
An August 31 fundraising letter from Philip Blumel, President of U.S. Term Limits (USTL), announces that the group will use the provisions of Article V to seek a Constitutional amendment through a convention of states, imposing term limits on members of Congress
On September 10 USTL announced that Presidential Candidate Senator Marco Rubio of Florida has signed their Term Limits Presidential Pledge.
Blumel says, “U.S. Term Limits is launching a massive nationwide campaign to convene an amendment convention as prescribed by Article V… a single amendment convention committed to specifically and exclusively imposing term limits….”
He notes that currently 15 states have term limits on their state legislators, “Plus, nearly 80% of the American people want Term Limits for Congress.”
The group has been working since 1991, advocating for term limits at all levels of government. In 1995 the Supreme Court ruled that state-enacted term limits for members of Congress were unconstitutional.
In 2008 then Senator (now Heritage Foundation President) Jim DeMint (R-SC) introduced S.J.R. 21, a proposed Constitutional amendment that if passed would have placed limits of three terms on the U.S. House of Representatives and two terms on the U.S. Senate.
For more information about the USTL Article V effort contact Philip Blumel at http://www.termlimits.org, or 561-578-8636.
Meanwhile, an August 22 article on the American Thinker blog by Professor Rob Natelson discusses the reasons some form of Supreme Court term limits might be desirable. That concept is included in the multi-point Convention of States Article V proposal.
Read Natelson’s article HERE.
OK Senator Coburn Registers as CoS Lobbyist in MO –
The August 13, 2015 edition of The Missouri Times reported that U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (Oklahoma) has formally registered as a lobbyist in Missouri for Convention of States Action.
Missouri was one of the states where the Convention of States movement (CoS) made a strong effort to get the legislature to adopt their proposed Article V resolution this past session. The MO Senate did pass a CoS-like resolution, and the MO House came up one vote short.
Robert Kelly, chief counsel for CoS said of the recent Missouri effort, “We literally just ran out of time before the end of the session.” With Senator Coburn’s help Kelly reports that CoS hopes to add a dozen more states during the 2016 sessions to the four that have so-far adopted their Article V resolution. Colburn has also signed on as a Senior Advisor to CoS.
Read The Missouri Times article HERE.
New Heartland Initiative Seeks Constitutional Reform –
The 34-year-old Wisconsin-based Heartland Institute has formed a new Center for Constitutional Reform.
As a reason for the new Center, the Heartland web site says: “America is facing a constitutional crisis. Limits on the size and power of the national government intended by the Founding Fathers and placed in the Constitution have been violated repeatedly and with devastating consequences. The national government has grown to the point that it is now a clear and present danger to American life, liberty, and happiness.”
Among other things the new Center will educate state legislators about current efforts to use Article V to bring about Constitutional reforms. Visit their site HERE.
Florida College Students Celebrate Constitution Day –
The James Madison Institute has produced a brief video that reflects how Florida college students view the U. S. Constitution. It was one of their projects to help celebrate Constitution Day (September 17).
What is your community doing to celebrate Constitution Day? This video shows why reaching the upcoming generation is just as important as impacting current policymakers on the power of free markets and liberty.
See the 3½ minute video HERE.
Gov Failure to Honor Boundaries Spurring Article V Efforts –
In mid-August the widely syndicated op-ed columnist Cal Thomas wrote The Summer of Our Discontent for Townhall.com.
He talked about the high levels of support non-traditional candidates (both Republican and Democrat) are receiving for the Presidential race. He credited it to citizen discontent.
He pointed out that, “In sports, boundaries determine the limits of a playing field and rules define how the game is played. The Constitution was written to put boundaries on government and provide the maximum amount of liberty under the law to its citizens.” He stated that the federal government has not been honoring Constitutional boundaries.
“Perhaps,” he says, “that’s why a proposal for an ‘Article 5; constitutional convention to put government back within its constitutional boundaries appears to be gaining momentum. According to the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force, which tracks petitions, 27 states have filed active petitions with Congress. Seven more are needed.”
Read his piece HERE.
Article V Groups Gain Endorsements –
On September 1 West Virginia’s MetroNews reported that the West Virginia GOP Executive Committee has endorsed the Convention of States (CoS) proposal that will again come before the WV legislature in the coming session.
It is believed that the West Virginia legislature will adopt resolutions supporting both the CoS and BBA efforts during its 2016 session.
Read the entire story HERE.
According to Kay Ravoli, National Grassroots Director for Tea Party Express, the large Tea Party organization is ready to work in support of the Balanced Budget Amendment effort. She said, “I believe we have the ability to get this done.”
Assembly of State Legislatures to Meet In Salt Lake City –
The Assembly of State Legislatures (ASL) has notified state legislators across the country that it will hold its next meeting on November 11 through 13 at the Utah State Capitol.
ASL bills itself as a bipartisan association of currently serving state legislators, formed due to the increasing state legislative activity authorized under Article V of the US Constitution.
The purpose of ASL is to address potential rules and procedures under which a convention for proposing amendments would operate. ASL is strictly focused on the proposed rules for a convention of states, and does not advocate for any specific resolution issues.
The November meeting is the culmination of two years of work by hundreds of state legislators from 32 states. According to ASL bylaws, the ranking member of the majority party in each state is entitled to appoint two delegates, and the ranking minority party member one delegate, to participate in the meeting.
Smaller Deficits Are Still Deficits –
“Has Congress Gone Deaf on Deficits?” asks Patrick Hedger, the policy director of American Encore, a group dedicated to promoting free markets and free speech, in a TheFederalist.com posting on September 1.
Hedger notes that, “The current deficit for 2015 is projected at $426 billion. Compared to the $1.4 trillion deficit in 2009, that is certainly a very large improvement, but it shouldn’t be considered a finish line. That is still an enormous amount of money we are borrowing that we must ultimately pay back some day. Further, that $426 billion will grow because of the associated interest on that debt. Current interest payments on the accumulated national debt of over $18 trillion are projected to be roughly $230 billion for 2015 alone. All we’re doing is adding nearly half a trillion a year to the accumulated national debt of $18 trillion, which is still a major failure of fiscal policy.”
Read his entire post HERE.
SCOTUS Grabs More Power from State Governments –
A commentary by Article V Caucus National Co-Chair Senator Kevin Lundberg
The story about Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis is about much more than a county clerk in Kentucky. It is also much more than the very significant issue of the legal meaning of marriage.
This is a battle between the autocratic power which the Judiciary has accumulated throughout our nation’s history and the Constitutional principle of balancing power between all branches and all levels of government. Our nation’s founders knew this balance of power was absolutely essential to restrain the perpetual tendency of government to become the despotic ruler of the people. It is critical that we defend the proper jurisdictional authority of all levels and all branches of government, and resist when they step out of their jurisdictional limits.
Additionally, many are saying that the clerk is not following the “rule of law.” I submit it is more accurate to say she is not following the rule of the Court. If anyone is actually following the rule of law, it is Kim Davis.
Kim Davis is not just an employee of the government, she is an official who was elected by the people. As an elected county clerk she has the responsibility of issuing marriage licenses through her office. Long after she was sworn into that office the Supreme Court turned the “legal” meaning of the word “marriage” on its head and made her original responsibility impossible to fulfill. For Clerk Davis, she could no longer put her signature on a document that makes a mockery of the original concept of marriage and therefore she refused to issue any more “marriage” licenses. Consistent with that perspective, she has not issued any of these licenses to anyone after the Supreme Court changed the “legal” meaning of marriage.
Kim Davis is not violating any law duly created by the state or Federal legislature. She is refusing to go along with the court’s dramatic reinvention of the word marriage.
The Supreme Court has no constitutional authority to create new laws. That is the jurisdiction of Congress. Further, no branch of the Federal government has constitutional authority to create laws concerning marriage licenses. Laws of this sort are reserved for the states (Article I, Section eight, and the Tenth Amendment). And the court is ignoring her First Amendment religious rights, for putting her signature on the new “marriage” licenses would require her to violate her religious values.
Have Federal judges become kings and queens who can fabricate law out of thin air and then throw state government officials in jail for daring to oppose their plans? What Constitutional authority does the Federal Court have to jail this elected official because she is exercising her best judgement in fulfilling her duties as county clerk?
Kim Davis is an elected official, responsible to those who elected her. It is up to them, if they so choose, to remove her from that elected office (within the laws of the State of Kentucky). The Federal Courts should stay out of jurisdictions clearly reserved for the States and the people.
The courts have certainly seized this power and demonstrated their autocratic proclivities long ago, but they do not derive this authority from the Constitution, which is the true law of the land.
The clerk is abiding by the laws of God and man. The Supreme Court and their inferior courts are the ones in violation of the rule of law.
The Supreme Court made an incredibly bad decision, by a slim majority, of a magnitude that exceeds the Dread Scott decision. The Court ignored the jurisdiction of their authority, ignored the First and Tenth Amendments, ignored and then trashed parts of 34 state constitutions, and twisted the Fourteenth Amendment out of recognition. Their decision did not create any law which they actually have the constitutional authority to create or enforce. I am aware that they have been doing this for a long time, but their bad habits will never make it constitutionally right.
This is a stark example of the colossal damage today’s Supreme Court is doing to the rule of law, our culture, and their legitimacy.
Colorado State Senator and
Assistant Majority Leader
We will preserve for our children this,
the last best hope of man on earth,
or we will sentence them
to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness.
If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children
say of us we justified our brief moment here.
We did all that could be done.”
President Ronald Reagan