The Convention of States project hit a milestone this week as 17 states have now officially joined in the call for a convention of the states to propose amendments to the federal Constitution. Wisconsin and Nebraska were added to the number, which now stands halfway to the required number of 34 states.
Convention of States President Mark Meckler said that in addition to Wisconsin and Nebraska joining in to reach the halfway point, South Dakota is nearing approval of its measure to join the movement. He added that the question is not now if there will be enough states to call for a convention, but when. He stated that Americans are “sick and weary” of Washington and understand that it is up to them to restore power to the states.
The project is a movement to seek amendments to the Constitution that will add limits to the federal government’s powers and restore state power in explicit constitutional language. Article V of the Constitution permits states to call a convention to propose amendments. Two-thirds of the states must join in the call, providing the required number of 34 states.
The Nebraska resolution calling for the conventions was sponsored by Republican state Senator Steve Halloran, who told reporters that his constituents say to him about the skyrocketing federal debt and the need for states to reassert the power to control the federal government. Halloran said that he believes the founders intended for the states to have “equal footing” with Congress.
Some critics of the Convention of States Project have warned that a “runaway convention” could lead to the proposal of radical amendments from some states that could take away protections enshrined in the Bill of Rights. When a convention of the states is called, there is no constitutional limitation on the number or types of amendments that can be proposed.
Even if amendments are submitted in a successfully called convention, they must still be passed by three-fourths of the states. The Constitution has only been amended 27 times in the history of the United States.
The 17 states that have joined in calling for a convention include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wisconsin.
Meckler said that the project’s “grassroots are on the march and can’t be stopped.”