LOS ANGELES — The level of control the government exerts over so many aspects of American’s lives is staggering—from what toilets can be used in homes to washing machines to school lunches. Congress just passed the largest budget in American history, another indication of how out of touch the Washington elite is today. In 2018, federal spending is projected to be $4 trillion dollars, or five times larger than it was in 1965. In the process, the national debt has accumulated to $20 trillion dollars. In PragerU’s newest video, How the States Can Save America, senior advisor to the Convention of States Project and former U.S. Senator from South Carolina, Jim DeMint, shows how the states can restrain Washington by going around Congress and amending the Constitution. DeMint believes change is possible if the states reclaim their power by calling an Article V Convention, also known as a Convention of States.
The Founding Fathers foresaw the danger of oversized government and wrote preventive measures in the Constitution. Article V stipulates that two-thirds of both houses in Congress must ratify a proposed amendment before its adoption to the Constitution. However, this is not the only way to amend the Constitution. Article V also states that Congress, “on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments.”
Simply put, Congress only has one role in an Article V amending convention and that is to call convention once 34 states demand it. Already in 2017, Arizona, North Dakota, Texas and Missouri became the latest states to pass an Article V resolution bringing the total number of Article V states to 12.
DeMint explains the procedure of a convention:
“Once the 34 states call a convention, all 50 states send a delegate to represent their interests. For any constitutional amendments proposed, each state gets one vote…an amendment only passes out of the convention and to the states for ratification if a majority of the states’ delegates vote in the affirmative.”
Following this process, Congress would have no say in the amendments passed. The final decisions would be completely in the hands of the states and thus closer to the people. “We’ve never once amended the Constitution this way,” says DeMint. “But that doesn’t mean we can’t.”
Could this result in rewriting the entire Constitution? The late Supreme Court Justice Scalia said this risk was “minimal” and “reasonable” because the approval of 38 states is difficult to secure. The majority would never agree to a radical amendment such as a removing free speech.
DeMint again quotes Justice Scalia regarding his opinion on a Convention of States. “The Founders,” said Scalia, “knew the Congress would be unwilling to give attention to many issues the people are concerned with, particularly those involving restrictions on the federal government’s own power… [so] they provided the convention [of states] as a remedy.”
“This should not be a partisan, left/right, Democrat/Republican issue.” says DeMint. “This should be a ‘who controls your life’ issue: you or the government?”
The American Revolution was fought so that the people could have a truly representative voice in government. Whether it’s federal spending, term limits, or returning the federal bureaucracy to limited government, the American people should decide. A Convention of States will not solve all of America’s problems, but it will facilitate an opportunity for the people to speak.
“[The Founders] knew a time would come when Washington would become so big, and so intrusive, that only we the people could cut it down to size,” concludes DeMint. “That time is now.”
To learn more about the Convention of States, visit www.conventionofstates.com.
MEDIA NOTE: PragerU contributor, Jim DeMint, is available for interview as is PragerU’s Founder, Dennis Prager and CEO, Marissa Streit. Contact: MediaInquiries@theKcompany.co
PragerU, founded by Dennis Prager in 2011, is a not-for-profit organization that helps millions understand the values that shaped America and provides millions of Americans and people around the world with the intellectual ammunition they need to advocate for limited government, individual responsibility and economic freedom. In 2016 alone, PragerU’s videos received over 250 million views, a figure that will eclipse 350 million in 2017. PragerU is a resource for all who value liberty. It is a threat to all those who do not.