Senator Sawyer has not committed to support the COS resolution. While she remains open to ultimately supporting it, she continues to use arguments against a Convention of States that are not true.
If you are interacting with her at political events, below are her objections and how to address them. With redistricting, Senate District 37 now includes Iredell County and the northwestern corner of Mecklenburg County. If you live in Mecklenburg County, you can go to this link, enter your address, and see if you are voting in NC Senate District 37.
Objection #1: "As a matter of principle, Senator Sawyer supports term limits. She feels similarly to many who support the Convention of States movement that legislators in Washington have gotten out of hand. However, she feels that support at the grassroots level for politicians who support things like term limits would be more effective than a Convention of States in the long term."
The fact is term limits on Congress, federal officials, or SCOTUS justices will require a constitutional amendment. Every U.S. Congressman or Senator who supports and campaigns on term limits knows full well that under no circumstances will 2/3 of the U.S. House and Senate approve a term limit amendment and send to the states for ratification. It is a talking point and a way to raise money.
The only way to get a term limit amendment, which is supported by 80-85% of the population, is through the Article V convention process. If you read the history of Article V you will discover the Founders knew this day would come. They understood human nature and the federal government, made up of fallible humans, would always tend toward amassing more power.
Objection #2: "Once a convention starts, delegates have complete autonomy to set any agenda they want. We have a long way to go before the necessary 34 states have passed legislation to invoke a Convention of States. By that time, the political makeup of a population can change – and the agenda once initially agreed upon may drastically shift as well. There’s really no way to tell at this point and that is a very large blank check to sign."
This is simply not true. It is not true based on legal jurisprudence, and not true from the perspective of historical precedence. We have had 39 interstate conventions since before our founding era. Not one has run away. In fact, political parties run conventions all the time. Those conventions do not "run away". The NC Constitution in Article XIII defines the state convention process. The convention process is in our historical DNA. Convention rules are well established. Our history is clear on that point.
Importantly, the COS resolution HJR 233 defines the scope of the convention. Every convention has that kind of controlling document. The delegates from each state are given a legal commission and controlled by the legislature, and it matters little on the political makeup as the resolution provides the guardrails. A future legislature cannot change the scope of the convention.
Further, some states have enacted “faithful delegate” legislation that can define how delegates are chosen and controlled, including recall of the commissioner and criminal prosecution for failure to follow the terms of the commission. Most states make a violation of the commission a felony. Rep. Dennis Riddell, a lead sponsor on HJR 233, has plans to introduce a faithful commissioner law in NC, and our grassroots will work to get it passed.
A primary resource, among others available, is The Law of Article V, Second Edition, by Professor Rob Natelson, a recognized constitutional expert on Article V. This book is the only such publication on Article V, and it is well researched and well footnoted.
Objection #3: "As history points out – prior to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, delegates attended the convention under the impression they would be working on revising existing Articles of Confederation. Many delegates only agreed to attend the convention under the impression that this would be the agenda for the convention. When the convention actually started, the initial plan was diverted from completely and the delegates ended up writing and adopting our U.S. Constitution. Our main focus in citing this example from history is to note that delegates came with a plan, and once the convention started the plan completely changed."
This is also not supported by modern research. It was a lie propagated by the left in the 60’s and 70’s to defeat movements for an Article V to rein in an out-of-control SCOTUS, particularly related to Roe v. Wade. The 1787 delegates did exactly what their states instructed them to do. Here is a paper in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, a peer-reviewed journal that addresses the issue. Article V expressly provides for a convention of the states as one of the two ways to amend "this Constitution". There is no provision in Article V permitting the commissioners to a convention to toss out the existing Constitution and start over. See also, Debunking Anti-Article V
Bear in mind many who oppose this effort position themselves as a “constitutional expert”. Maybe they are an attorney. Or a history professor. Perhaps a blogger. It does not mean, however, that they are a recognized constitutional expert who has published in peer-reviewed journals or argued in front of the SCOTUS. The two papers cited above are authored by recognized constitutional scholars, and just two of the many well-known conservative political figures, conservative voices, and constitutional experts who support this effort, including North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson.
Objection #4: "We would also like to note that in 2017, the North Carolina Senate did passed legislation for North Carolina to adopt a Convention of States. The legislation did not go anywhere because the House Chamber decided not to take up the bill."
That is absolutely true. But the NC House passed HJR 233 in 2021. That was a result of two primary factors: 1) COS campaigned in the 2020 election cycle for pro-COS candidates. We will continue that effort in 2022 election cycle, supporting those who support COS, and 2) our growth in the grassroots who now number about 90k and growing. Why? Because we are fed up with the status quo in D.C. and Senator Sawyer should be as well.
And the real question is: If not this solution, what does the Senator Sawyer propose? Electing good people? Necessary but not sufficient. Nullification? Again, necessary but not sufficient. If she does not agree that Article V can be used in this way, then explain why it is the Constitution, when can it be used, and if it is “dangerous”, were the Founders wrong when they wrote Article V? Not one opponent to this process has answered that question.