Texas House passed SJR#2: A call for a convention of States on Thursday. Texas is the 11th state to pass the landmark resolution. Senate Joint Resolution is a bold, liberty minded, call to convention under Article V of the U.S. Constitution that puts the bloated federal government and associated professional politicians on notice. Governor Greg Abbot is hopeful that several more states will jump on board now that Texas has show their cards.
The Texas resolution is short and reads like a revolutionary manifesto. The full document can be found on line HERE. Normally I would paraphrase text from a government document in order to make the legal speak more clear, however; SJR #2 is a clear and to the point as it gets.
The following passages are taken straight out of Texas SJR #2:
“The drafters of the United States Constitution empowered state legislatures to be guardians of liberty against abuses of power by the federal government”
“The federal government has abused it’s power by creating crushing national debt…”
“invading the legitimate role of the states through the manipulative process of federal mandates”
“It is the solemn duty of state legislatures to protect the liberty of the people and of future generations by proposing amendments to the United States Constitution that place clear restraints on federal power”
SJR #2 describes the general purpose of the proposed amendments which include placing fiscal restraints on and limiting the power of the federal government. The bill also states the desire to impose term limits on federal officials and members of congress.
The following is a list of states that have fully passed resolutions.
- Georgia – March 6th, 2014
- Alaska – April 19th, 2014
- Florida – April 21st, 2014
- Alabama – May 21st, 2015
- Tennessee – February 4th, 2016
- Indiana – February 29th, 2016
- Oklahoma – April 18th, 2016
- Louisiana – May 25th, 2016
- Arizona – March 13th, 2017
- North Dakota – March 24th, 2017
- Texas – May 4th, 2017
There are at least 10 other states that have passed the same bill in one side of their state legislature. This call to convention follows a more focused call to convention aimed at requiring the federal government to always maintain a balanced budget. Starting mainly in the early 1970s, the “Balanced Federal Budget” call to convention has 28 of the 34 states required to enact the process.
Cooperation of two-thirds of the fifty states is needed to call a convention, however; affirmation of three-quarters of the state legislatures is needed to ratify amendments to the Constitution. The great aspect of this process is that it is outside the power of the U.S. Legislative, Judicial, and Executive branch to block any amendments fully ratified by the states during convention.
The fact that Article V is in the constitution shows that all power of the federal government is granted by the individual states and may be taken back by the states whenever it is deemed necessary. The drafters of the Constitution, having just lived through a violent revolution to gain independence from an oppressive British Monarchy, intended to give the people of the newly united states a decentralized ability to limit the power of the proposed Federal Government.
The reason the founders of the republic decided to create a limited federal government is discussed at length in The Federalist Papers. The Federalist Papers are a collection of essays written by Publius, a pseudonym for Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison, between October 1788 and October 1789. If you are interested in reading this collection and prefer to have it in sturdy hard cover to pass on to your children click on the picture below.
Free electronic versions can be found HERE and also on Apple iBooks book store.
The Article V convention of states to amend the constitution has never been used although every state except Hawaii has called for one at least once in history. Most calls for convention have occurred in the 20th century. This relatively new trend is probably due to the fact that the federal government began overtly abusing the power granted them by the states in the early 1900s. The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution authorizing a federal income tax was ratified on February 3rd, 1913. This is the same year that the Federal Reserve was created by the Federal Reserve Act: December 23rd, 1913.
I hope to see a successful Article V Convention of States in action during my lifetime. It will prove to me that the states are still in control of the federal government and that the vision of the founders is alive and well. It takes bold people and bold action to ensure that freedom, liberty, and happiness remains available for all United States citizens. For this reason I salute the Texas legislature and all other state legislatures that choose to support a call to Article V convention.
Also published on Medium.