This year, I made just one New Year’s Resolution: to press for an Article V Amendments Convention.
Talk of a convention has brewed in political circles for years. But given the massive growth of the federal government in recent years, with spending nearly doubled from $2.1 trillion in 1995 to $4 trillion in 2010, an amendments convention cannot come too soon.
Under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, 34 states can call for a convention to amend the Constitution. This would be an effective way for the states to stand up against federal power. An Article V amendments convention would give the states the opportunity to introduce amendments that would restore the original meaning of our Constitution and put the federal government back within its constitutional limits. Amendments proposed at a convention of the states can include ideas such as the National Debt Relief Amendment, which would require a majority of state legislatures to approve any increase in the federal debt. That would be a solid constraint on the main source of growth in federal government power—its ability to spend money. The National Debt Relief Amendment is policy neutral enough to have bipartisan appeal. I think it can pass in 34 states and get ratified in 38.
Therefore, I resolve to do everything I can to help states embrace their Article V powers, call for a convention, and pass the National Debt Relief Amendment.
Nick Dranias holds the Clarence J. and Katherine P. Duncan Chair for Constitutional Government and is director of the Joseph and Dorothy Donnelly Moller Center for Constitutional Government at the Goldwater Institute.
Goldwater Institute: 10 Facts to Rebut the Mythology of a Runaway Convention
Goldwater Institute: Amending the Constitution by Convention: A Complete View of the Founders’ Plan
RestoringFreedom.org: Help us to solve our federal debt crisis