Federalism

Article V Simulation

Representative Phil King's message following his visit to the simulated Article V Convention of States in Williamsburg, VA

Friends, last week I traveled to Williamsburg, VA to participate in a first ever, simulation of an Article V Convention of States.  This is a process, set out in Article V of the U.S. Constitution, through which states initiate amendments to our constitution.  Our Founders’ intent was that states have an avenue through which to reign in an overreaching federal government should Congress fail to do so.  To date, eight of the necessary 34 states have passed resolutions calling for an Article V convention to be convened.  More states are expected soon.

Legislative delegates were present from almost every state.  It was a successful, and quite possibly, historic exercise.  The process was taken very seriously by all participants and proposed amendments were vetted through the convention.  Bear in mind that this was a simulation, a dry run, more about process than content.

With that caveat, I wanted to share with you the amendments that came out of the simulation.  In a true Article V Convention of States, these amendments would be sent to the states for ratification.  It takes 38 states, 3/4, to ratify a constitutional amendment.  Once ratified it is the law of the land.

 


Model amendments agreed upon at the Williamsburg, VA simulation are as follows:

Fiscal Restraints  – 1 

SECTION 1. The public debt shall not be increased except upon a recorded vote of two-thirds of each house of Congress, and only for a period not to exceed one year.

SECTION 2. No state or any subdivision thereof shall be compelled or coerced by Congress or the President to appropriate money.

SECTION 3. The provisions of the first section of this amendment shall take effect 3 years after ratification.
Fiscal Restraints – 2

SECTION 1. Congress shall not impose taxes or other exactions upon incomes, gifts, or estates.

SECTION 2. Congress shall not impose or increase any tax, duty, impost or excise without the approval of three-fifths of the House of Representatives and three-fifths of the Senate, and shall separately present such to the President.

SECTION 3. This Article shall be effective five years from the date of its ratification, at which time the Sixteenth Article of amendment is repealed.

Federal Legislative & Executive Jurisdiction – 1

SECTION 1. The power of Congress to regulate commerce among the several states shall be limited to the regulation of the sale, shipment, transportation, or other movement of goods, articles or persons. Congress may not regulate activity solely because it affects commerce among the several states.

SECTION 2. The power of Congress to make all laws that are necessary and proper to regulate commerce among the several states, or with foreign nations, shall not be construed to include the power to regulate or prohibit any activity that is confined within a single state regardless of its effects outside the state, whether it employs instrumentalities therefrom, or whether its regulation or prohibition is part of a comprehensive regulatory scheme; but Congress shall have power to define and provide for punishment of offenses constituting acts of war or violent insurrection against the United States.

SECTION 3. The Legislatures of the States shall have standing to file any claim alleging violation of this article. Nothing in this article shall be construed to limit standing that may otherwise exist for a person.

SECTION 4. This article shall become effective five years from the date of its ratification.

Federal Legislative & Executive Jurisdiction  – 2 

SECTION 1. The Legislatures of the States shall have authority to abrogate any provision of federal law issued by the Congress, President, or Administrative Agencies of the United States, whether in the form of a statute, decree, order, regulation, rule, opinion, decision, or other form.

SECTION 2. Such abrogation shall be effective when the Legislatures of three-fifths of the States approve a resolution declaring the same provision or provisions of federal law to be abrogated. This abrogation authority may also be applied to provisions of federal law existing at the time this amendment is ratified.

SECTION 3. No government entity or official may take any action to enforce a provision of federal law after it is abrogated according to this Amendment. Any action to enforce a provision of abrogated federal law may be enjoined by a federal or state court of general jurisdiction in the state where the enforcement action occurs, and costs and attorney fees of such injunction shall be awarded against the entity or official attempting to enforce the abrogated provision.

SECTION 4. No provision of federal law abrogated pursuant to this amendment may be reenacted or reissued for six years from the date of the abrogation.
Federal Legislative & Executive Jurisdiction – 3

Whenever one quarter of the members of the United States House of Representatives or the United States Senate transmits to the President their written declaration of opposition to any proposed or existing federal administrative regulation, in whole or in part, it shall require a majority vote of the House of Representatives and Senate to adopt or affirm that regulation. Upon the transmittal of opposition, if Congress shall fail to vote within 180 days, such regulation shall be vacated. No proposed regulation challenged under the terms of this Article shall go into effect without the approval of Congress. Congressional approval or rejection of a rule or regulation is not subject to Presidential veto under Article 1, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution.

Federal Term Limits & Judicial Jurisdiction – 1

No person shall be elected to more than six full terms in the House of Representatives. No person shall be elected to more than two full terms in the Senate. These limits shall include the time served prior to the enactment of this Article.


In Depth: Federalism

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