Article V convention moves a step closer

Long dismissed as a crackpot idea, a convention of states to propose amendments to the Constitution to restore the limited government vision of the Founders is moving toward realization. It will not be an easy or quick process, but some great minds are working together to make it happen.

Via the PR Newswire and CNBC, we learn of the new Jefferson Statement in support of an Article V Convention and the formation of a stellar “Legal Board of Reference”:

The Convention of States project (a project of Citizens for Self-Governance) announces the creation of a Legal Board of Reference, made up of well-known lawyers, law professors, and constitutional scholars who have signed the Jefferson statement (see below) endorsing the Convention of States initiative to call an Article V Convention to propose amendments to the Constitution to restrain the federal government.

"The federal government has exceeded the bounds placed by the Framers of the Constitution, and it's time for the States to exert their authority by calling a Convention to propose Amendments pursuant to the authority granted to them in Article V," said Mark Meckler, President of Citizens for Self-Governance and the Co-Founder of the Convention of States project. "An Article V Convention to propose restraints on an ever-expanding federal behemoth which refuses to restrain itself is exactly what the nation needs right now."

Michael Farris, Senior Fellow for Constitutional Studies at Citizens for Self-Governance, and the Co-Founder of the Convention of States Project said, "We are extremely gratified that such an impressive group of nationally known, experienced lawyers, law professors, scholars and conservative public opinion leaders have agreed to support the Convention of States project by endorsing the effort, signing the Jefferson Statement (see below) and serving on our Legal Board of Reference. This is a historic moment for the country. "

The Convention of States Project currently has organized leadership in 43 states around the country, including thousands of volunteers committed to stopping the federal government's abuse of power. Three Article V applications have already been passed in Alaska, Florida and Georgia. For more information visit

The Jefferson Statement

The Constitution's Framers foresaw a day when the federal government would exceed and abuse its enumerated powers, thus placing our liberty at risk. George Mason was instrumental in fashioning a mechanism by which "we the people" could defend our freedom -- the ultimate check on federal power contained in Article V of the Constitution.

Article V provides the states with the opportunity to propose constitutional amendments through a process called a Convention of States. This process is controlled by the states from beginning to end on all substantive matters.

A Convention of States is convened when 34 state legislatures pass resolutions (applications) on an agreed topic or set of topics. The Convention is limited to considering amendments on these specified topics.

While some have expressed fears that a Convention of States might be misused or improperly controlled by Congress, it is our considered judgment that the checks and balances in the Constitution are more than sufficient to ensure the integrity of the process.

The Convention of States mechanism is safe, and it is the only constitutionally effective means available to do what is so essential for our nation -- restoring robust federalism with genuine checks on the power of the federal government.

We share the Founders' conviction that proper decision-making structures are essential to preserve liberty. We believe that the problems facing our nation require several structural limitations on the exercise of federal power. While fiscal restraints are essential, we believe the most effective course is to pursue reasonable limitations, fully in line with the vision of our Founders, on the federal government.

Accordingly, I endorse the Convention of States Project, which calls for an Article V Convention for "the sole purpose of proposing amendments that impose fiscal restraints on 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."

Legal Board of Reference

Each of the following individuals has signed onto The Jefferson Statement, endorsing the Convention of States Project, and serves as a legal advisor to the Project:

Randy E. Barnett is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Legal Theory at the Georgetown University Law Center.

Charles J. Cooper is a founding member and chairman of Cooper & Kirk, PLLC.

Dr. John C. Eastman is the Henry Salvatori Professor of Law & Community Service at Chapman University Fowler School of Law.

Michael Farris, head of the Convention of States Project, is the Chancellor of Patrick Henry College and Chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association.

Robert P. George holds Princeton's celebrated McCormick Chair in Jurisprudence and is the founding director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions.

C. Boyden Gray is the founding partner of Boyden Gray & Associates, in Washington, D.C. Prior to founding his law firm, Ambassador Gray served our nation in various capacities

Mark Levin is one of America's preeminent conservative commentators and constitutional lawyers. Mark is the author of several New York Times bestselling books including Men in Black (2007), Liberty and Tyranny (2010), Ameritopia (2012) and The Liberty Amendments (2013).

Andrew McCarthy is a bestselling author, a Senior Fellow at National Review Institute, and a contributing editor at National Review.

Mark Meckler is President of Citizens for Self-Governance, the parent organization of the Convention of States Project.

Momentum is building and great minds have been harnessed

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