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'Nation-shaping': Michael Farris and the Article V solution

Published in Blog on August 02, 2023 by Jakob Fay

This week, Convention of States co-founder Michael Farris will be in attendance at Convention of States Foundation’s Article V Simulated Convention in Colonial Williamsburg. Farris, a renowned lawyer, has often been compared to a modern-day Founding Father for his tireless efforts to preserve liberty in America. His contributions to the Article V movement are invaluable.

At the simulation, he explained that it’s his concern for his family and their future that led him to start COS, which he called a “nation-shaping, generational-changing” endeavor that requires “persistence and diligence and faith.”

“Ten years ago,” he said, “we started the Convention of States process... In ten years, we’re simply closer to the end of the cliff…. The need for Article V has only intensified.”

In 1983, the attorney founded the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), which campaigned for the legalization of homeschooling in all 50 states. Through the advocacy of HSLDA, the practice, severely restricted and virtually unheard of prior to the 1980s, soon became legal nationwide. Today, the organization supports over 100,000 member families. For his irreplaceable role in advancing the movement, Farris holds a special place in the homeschool community.

From there, he went on to found Patrick Henry College, a conservative, classical liberal arts school in Virginia. Farris served as the celebrated school’s president before transitioning into the role of Chancellor, teaching Constitutional Law and coaching the award-winning Patrick Henry Moot Court team.

In 2013, Farris helped launch Convention of States with Mark Meckler, serving as Senior Advisor to the organization. His constitutional expertise lent itself to great repute for COS, helping to advance the Article V cause. According to the organization’s co-founder, calling a convention is “our moral obligation to protect liberty for ourselves and our posterity."

In 2017, Dr. Farris left COS to serve as president of Alliance Defending Freedom, “the world’s largest legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, marriage and family, parental rights, and the sanctity of life,” before returning to the Article V movement in 2023. Since then, he has traveled the country, speaking to state legislators about the Convention of States resolution. 

Additionally, Farris has argued many cases before appellate courts, federal circuit courts of appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. He played an important part in overturning Roe v. Wade, served as general counsel to the National Religious Broadcasters Association, founded a church and served as its pastor, and has written many books. Moreover, he is a loving husband to his wife of over 50 years, father to their ten kids, and grandfather to almost 30 grandkids.

Michael Farris’s life is an inspiring reminder of all that one man can accomplish when he sets his heart and mind to the calling God has placed on his life.

"Walk with courageous hope," Farris declared at last year’s Reclaiming Liberty Summit. "When the time's right, God's gonna deliver the victory."

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