By Mark Wachtler
January 15, 2015. Purcellville, VA. (ONN) Are you one of the many that believe the federal government in Washington DC has overstepped its bounds? If so, you’re not alone. In America, it’s against the law to overthrow the government. But an ever growing group of State Representatives and State Senators have joined together to do just that - alter or abolish the US federal government - peacefully, legally and using the steps embedded in the US Constitution.
The Assembly of State Legislatures gathered last month to incorporate itself and select co-presidents. Image courtesy of RedMillennial.com.
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Convention of States
The idea of state legislators gathering together to abolish or amend their federal government is not new. America’s founders did it with the Continental Congress that severed ties with their national government. And they did it again when it was apparent that the new United States federal government they’d created would be a tyrannical monster if a Bill of Rights wasn’t added to protect personal freedom and individual liberty.
Today, a movement is growing across America to wage another peaceful, legal revolution to again reign in the federal government. As explained by Convention of States, ‘We want to call a convention for the purpose of limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government. Our approach is similar to the adoption of the Bill of Rights. We seek a package of amendments to rein in the abuses of power by all branches of the federal government.’
The group has an online petition where citizens can send their State Representative or State Senator a request to join the cause. The petition reads in part, ‘Article V of the US Constitution gives state legislatures the power to act as a final check on the abuse of power in Washington, DC. Under Article V, state legislatures have authority to hold a limited convention that can propose much-needed amendments to our Constitution. Once 34 states pass a resolution applying for such a convention, Congress must call one.’
The movement spreads
Illustrating just how popular this idea is and how fast the grassroots movement is growing, a large group of elected state legislators from around the country gathered last month and created an official organization dedicated to the goal of calling another historic Assembly of State Legislatures. According to organizers, there are 4,681 local legislative districts in America and they have grassroots activists registered in 4,412 of them.
That widespread and growing support has translated into the recruitment of no less than 75 currently elected state legislators into the movement to create another Bill of Rights to reign in an out-of-control federal government. While that number seems small compared to 4,681 total legislators, it actually represents 1.5% of the entire United States. And if the elected representatives from 1 out of every 75 local legislative districts in America has already joined the cause, it’s not out of the question to imagine that number growing rapidly in the days to come.
Assembly of State Legislatures
The 75 state legislators from across the US call themselves the Assembly of State Legislatures. Conjuring up images of George Washington and the Continental Congress, the group displayed giant images of our first President and the founders when they gathered at the Naval Heritage Center in Washington DC last month. The five-hour meeting was even telecast on C-SPAN.
This was the third meeting of the group with the previous gathering taking place this past summer in Indiana. This time, the gathered elected representatives turned their ideas into action. The 75 attending State Representatives and State Senators officially incorporated themselves into a non-profit organization called, ‘The Assembly of State Legislatures’.
The organization’s Articles of Incorporation state, ‘The purpose of The Assembly shall be to draft and define rules and procedures for and to conduct a convention of The States pursuant to Article V of The Constitution of the United States of America and to consider and act upon all other matters of relevance for such a convention.’
Reigning in the federal government
At the group’s meeting last month, not only did they incorporate themselves and introduce bylaws, they also elected two co-Presidents of The Assembly of State Legislatures from among the 75 members. They were Missouri Democratic State Senator Jason Holsman and Wisconsin Republican State Representative Chris Kapenga.
The organization also explained what their goal is and how they intend to accomplish it, ‘We want to call a convention for a particular subject rather than a particular amendment. Instead of calling a convention for a balanced budget amendment (though we are entirely supportive of such an amendment), we want to call a convention for the purpose of limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government. Our approach is similar to the adoption of the Bill of Rights. We seek a package of amendments to rein in the abuses of power by all branches of the federal government.’
Congress sets the stage
One might think that members of the US Congress in Washington DC would be resistant to the idea of reigning in their seemingly unlimited power. But surprisingly, just last week news reports confirmed that Rep. Steven Stiver (R-OH) had successfully attached an Amendment to the US House Rules that finally creates a working system for collecting petitions for a Constitutional Convention and other Article V related causes.
Organizers explain that until now, petitions to the US Congress for a Convention of States went into a bottomless hole because there was no procedure for collecting and managing the petitions. They quote Rep. Stiver’s press release after passage of his Amendment, “The rule creates a process for the intake of the petitions through the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee and gives the Clerk’s Office the responsibility of making the petitions electronically available and organized by the subject, state of origin and year of receipt. This will allow Congress, as well as the American people, to better track the progress of specific Article V efforts. Prior to Stivers’ rule update, no formal process for cataloging the petitions existed.”