Have you heard of a Convention of States?

The Waynesboro Republicans are men and women of principle. Their goal is to defend the Constitution, with energy, courage and good humor.

Published in the News Virginian, October 22, 2014

Constitutioal Convention 2The Federal government is on a path to control every activity and every behavior of every American. Health care, Washington dictates. Marriage, Washington dictates. Illegal immigration, Washington dictates. Religious expression, Washington dictates. Even toilets, Washington dictates.

The goal is total control, and the people be damned. But, there is a way to restrain those who lust for power. And that way is Article 5 of the Constitution.

Article 5 reads, “The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case, shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States…”

James Madison, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin and the others who drafted the Constitution provided two methods to amend the Constitution: Congress may propose amendments and the States may propose amendments.

You have heard a thousand times that our government is restrained by checks and balances. Well, the two methods of amending the Constitution are a couple of those checks and balances.

Polls repeatedly demonstrate that the American people believe that the Federal government has become overwhelmingly corrupt. Because of that, it is impossible for Washington to reform itself. Congress will never pass common sense amendments such as those for term limits or a balanced budget. Most of the members of Congress and all of its leaders are unwilling to change.

The remedy, then, is for the States to propose amendments as authorized by Article 5.

The Constitution, in Article 5, limits both Congress and the States from proposing unwise amendments in three ways. First, two thirds of Congress or two thirds of the States must initiate the process of proposing amendments. Second, only amendments may be proposed, not a re-write of the Constitution. And third, three fourths of the States must ratify an amendment for it to be valid.

In 1988, thirty-two States called for a Convention to propose a Balanced Budget Amendment. Only two additional States were needed to cause a Convention to be convened. Regrettably, the final two State Legislatures did not complete the process.

Some of the people who have recently endorsed a Convention of States are Lawrence Lessig, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School, Sanford Levinson, Professor and Constitutional Scholar at the University of Texas Law School, Larry Sabato, Director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics and Jonathon Turley, Professor of law at the George Washington University Law School.

If you think that a Convention of States has merit, then you are in very good company.

On Thursday, November 13th, Cindy Barrett, Vice Chair of the Waynesboro Republican Committee, will give a presentation on the Convention of States. You are cordially invited to attend the meeting, at the Waynesboro Library, at 7:00 pm.

Cindy will discuss the legal and political implications of such a Convention and what it might mean for America.

At the conclusion of her talk, the Committee will take a vote on whether Virginia should consider a Convention of States. All those who are present will be eligible to vote. The results of that vote will be sent to Delegate Dickie Bell, Delegate Steve Landes and State Senator Emmet Hanger.

If you want your voice to be heard, this is your opportunity.

Ken Adams is the Chairman of the Waynesboro Virginia Republican Committee.