Indiana Becomes 6th State to Call for Article V Convention of States

By Barbara Hollingsworth | March 2, 2016 | 11:54 AM EST

 

Indiana statehouse. (Wikipedia)

 

(CNSNews.com) -- Indiana became the sixth state to pass a resolution calling for an Article V Convention of States to propose amendments to the U.S. Constitution that rein-in federal power.

Senate Joint Resolution 14, which was passed by the Indiana Senate on February 26, easily cleared the Indiana House Monday on a 61-36 vote.

The resolution is “limited to proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United States that impose fiscal restraints of the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress.”

"We just passed $19 trillion in debt at the federal government level," said Indiana state Sen. Travis Holdman (R-Markle), who sponsored the bill. "It's time for us to get control of our federal government."

In accordance with Article V, Indiana’s application will remain open until the legislatures of at least two-thirds of the states (34) pass similar or identical legislation.

So far, five other states – Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee – have passed Article V resolutions.

They were introduced in 37 states during the current session and have passed in at least one legislative chamber in Arizona, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia, Mark Meckler, a leader of the Convention of States Project, told CNSNews.com on Tuesday.

“We’re definitely gathering steam,” Meckler added. “In fact, just this morning we got a big victory in the Utah House, and it will be moving over pretty quickly to the Senate over there, so I expect we’re going to make it out of Utah here in the next ten days to two weeks.”

CNSNews.com asked Meckler if the presidential election has had any impact on the movement to call an Article V Convention of States.

“It’s been building for a long time, and certainly we’ve been working on building a grassroots army. The movement comes from the grassroots, and there’s a million and a quarter people involved in the sort of grassroots army behind this now. So that’s the foundation for all of this,” he replied.

“The presidential election though has accelerated it in a couple of senses. One is that every candidate, with the exception of Donald Trump, has talked about Article V and talked about their support for the use of Article V. So that’s brought the use of Article V into the mainstream political lexicon in a way that wouldn’t have happened so quickly in a non-presidential year. So I think that’s been a very positive thing.

“And the second thing is I think most people that I talked to as I traveled around the country, I’ve been in 10 states already this year, 34 last year, most people believe that regardless of who is elected president, it’s not going to change things that much.

"What they want, 72 percent of Americans say that our federal government is too big and does too much,” Meckler added. “And nobody really believes, regardless of who’s in power, that they’re going to give the power back to the people and the States."

Once a Convention of States is convened, any constitutional amendments it passes must then be ratified by three-fourths of the states (37) before they go into effect.

Such a convention would be the first in American history, as all 27 Amendments to the Constitution so far have originated in Congress.

But the Founding Fathers forsaw the possibility that the states might need to push back the power of the federal government and included the mechanism for a Convention of States in the body of the Constitution.

“That useful alterations will be suggested by experience, could not but be foreseen,” James Madison wrote regarding Article V in Federalist 43. “It was requisite, therefore, that a mode for introducing them should be provided.

“The mode preferred by the convention seems to be stamped with every mark of propriety. It guards equally against that extreme facility, which would render the Constitution too mutable; and that extreme difficulty, which might perpetuate its discovered faults. It, moreover, equally enables the general and the State governments to originate the amendment of errors, as they may be pointed out by the experience on one side, or on the other.”

Related: Tennessee Becomes 5th State to Pass Resolution Calling for Article V Convention

Related: Convention of States Activists Praise Gov. Abbott’s ‘Texas Plan’