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Op-Ed: Convention of States is "necessary" to fix America's "most difficult problems"

Published in Blog on December 05, 2017 by Convention of States Project

The following excerpt was written by Chris Talgo and originally published in

Fifty-five percent of Americans believe the national government has too much power, and just 13 percent approve of Congress, according to a recent Gallup Poll. The national debt exceeds $20 trillion. Federal agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency and Internal Revenue Service, are running roughshod over ordinary Americans. Career politicians have turned Washington, DC into a cesspool of corruption and malfeasance.

Amidst these dark forces, a bright light is shining through: Proposals to call for a convention of the states to propose amendments to the Constitution, which would return power to the people, are gaining traction in states across the nation.

Article V of the U.S. Constitution lays out the methods by which the Constitution can be amended. Under Article V, amendments can be proposed either by two-thirds of both houses of Congress or by two-thirds of the states. Regardless of which body proposes the amendment, three-fourths of the states must vote to ratify the amendment for it to become part of the Constitution. To date, the Constitution has been amended 27 times (including the Bill of Rights). So far, every single amendment has been proposed by Congress, with none proposed by the states.

It is far-fetched to believe at this point Congress would ever propose an amendment to address the nation’s most vexing problems. Amendments that would require a balanced budget or institute term limits seem unlikely to originate from those who believe they would personally be harmed by such proposals. Hence, there is a great need for a convention of the states to propose such amendments.

The Framers intended states to have a role in amending the Constitution to preserve the balance between the national and state governments. The principle of federalism was sacrosanct to many of the Founding Fathers. As James Madison points out in The Federalist Papers, “If we try the Constitution by its last relation to the authority by which amendments are to be made, we find it neither wholly national nor wholly federal.”

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