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Assembly of State Legislatures meets to discuss rules for Convention of States process

Published in Blog on July 17, 2017 by Convention Of States Project published an article covering the third meeting of the Assembly of State Legislatures. We've posted an excerpt below.

On Monday, at the third meeting of the Assembly of State Legislatures (ASL), the constitutional convention advocacy group executed articles of incorporation, debated by-laws, and elected two co-presidents. Missouri State Senator Jason Holsman, a Democrat from Kansas City, and Wisconsin Republican State Representative Chris Kapenga will both share the gavel for the new group. The Assembly of State Legislatures was formerly known as the "Mt. Vernon Assembly" but officially changed their name last June at the group's second meeting in Indiana.

75 legislators from around the country gathered at the Naval Heritage Center in Washington D.C. to discuss the need for an "Article V Convention" to address challenges facing our nation that Congress has shown an inability or unwillingness to correct. In particular, the stated goal of ASL is determine the form and function of the Article V Convention, a process that has inspired numerous competing legal interpretations. The Article V Convention movement has been steadily growing over the last ten years. [...]

Rep. Kapenga, the group's Republican co-president, commented, “History shows there is this centralization of power [in Washington D.C.] which always ends up leading to abuse, and [our Founders have] put this mechanism in place for us... to deal with the root causes of the problem.”

Kapenga described historically how most states have tried to pull together an Article V Convention but all have failed. These attempts, explained Kapenga, never got to the question of "what" because they've always stumbled on the question of “how.” In other words, because the constitution offers no structural framework or process for the convention, every prior attempt to convene has suffered a confusing, technocratic death of red tape. It is for this reason that Kapenga was inspired to get ahead of issue and help start ASL, which held its inaugural meeting a year ago at George Washington's famed Mt. Vernon estate.

Click here to view coverage of the Assembly of State Legislatures on CSPAN.

To ensure everyone is on the same page, you should know that the Convention of States Project is supportive of the mission of ASL to define rules for a convention. No formal alliances have been made. ASL is currently not endorsing any specific Article V group.

For more information on ASL, check out their website here.


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