Mark Meckler of Citizens for Self-Governance spoke about Article V of the Constitution on the Glenn Beck Program Wednesday. It is a subject that is growing in popularity, particularly after nearly 100 lawmakers descended on Mount Vernon earlier this month to discuss the once-remote topic of a convention of states.
Article V is often described as the last "in case of an emergency, break glass" mechanism in the Constitution written in by our Founding Fathers -- a way to limit the power in Washington without having to go through Congress.
"Under Article V, the states, via the state legislatures, have the right to call for an Amending Convention," Meckler explained. "And it's important that we get our language right. It's not a Constitutional Convention. It does not open the whole Constitution up. This is an untruth that is stated by those people that are against it ... It is an Amending Convention which must take place under the rubric of the Constitution itself. And the way it happens is, 34 states issue a call for a convention."
Congress' primary role is designating a time and a place.
"What we expect is, somewhere between 15 and 20 states will pass this in 2014," Meckler. "We expect to finish off to 34 in 2015. And the goal is to hold the convention in 2016 -- great year, presidential year."
Meckler said that "the purpose of the convention is ... to limit the scope, power, and jurisdiction of the federal government," and "that's a debate we should be having during a presidential year."
Beck added that when he has spoken with lawmakers about the topic, they have told him that "the most important thing you can do is restrain our power." But Congress will never willingly impose term limits on itself, they add. It must happen through the states.
"Our role is to organize the citizenry," Meckler concluded. "My background is in the Tea Party movement, and so we know how to organize. We have citizens in every state, and we're organizing literally at the state legislative level in all 50 states right now."
Those interested in getting involved or learning more about the topic can visit www.conventionofstates.com
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