The 2023 Simulated Article V Convention adjourned on Friday afternoon after agreeing on six constitutional amendment proposals.
Convention of States Foundation hosted the three-day event as a practice run for a future Article V convention once 34 states agree to meet, as directed in the U.S. Constitution. Commissioners from 49 states worked hard to craft constitutional amendments and demonstrated the depth and potential of what a real Article V convention would bring.
"This was an educational endeavor and it was absolutely educational to everyone here and everyone watching," said COSF constitutional attorney Rita Peters.
Three committees spent Thursday forming and debating amendment proposals. Then on Friday, all commissioners came together to vote on each committee's proposals.
The Term Limits & Federal Judicial Jurisdiction Committee presented two proposals to the full assembly. The first amendment centered around term limits in the House of Representatives and the Senate. The second amendment focused on capping the number of seats on the Supreme Court bench.
Minnesota Rep. Walter Hudson argued that restraining lifelong government staffers and unelected bureaucrats would take "an axe to the root of the administrative state, or as some call it, the deep state.”
“We have to be real about what government actually is. It is not our elected officials, not currently,” Hudson asserted. “The government is the administrators, it is the bureaucrats, it is the staff.”
The Fiscal Restraints Committee brought one amendment to the table: a balanced budget based on the average annual revenue.
Finally, the Federal Legislative & Executive Jurisdiction Committee produced three proposals. They sought to redefine the Commerce Clause, allow a simple majority of the states to rescind actions by Congress, the President, or administrative agencies, and forbid the federal government from owning, regulating, or controlling land or mineral rights, except when granted permission by a state's legislature.
"So commissioners, I would submit that to end the day, we do have the opportunity to unleash an economic, environmental, and constitutional renaissance in the United States by passing this proposal and putting this before the people," said Utah Rep. Ken Ivory, who was the committee chair.
Commissioners agreed on all six amendments proposed, and the packed room ignited into cheers and applause throughout the day as amendments succeeded after serious deliberation. The diplomatic discussions and considerate modifications to the proposals proved just how effective an Article V convention would be.