Georgia took the first step Friday in joining a number of other states calling for a federal constitutional convention when Senate Resolution 736 made it through the state Legislature’s Senate Rules Committee.
Filed by Republican Majority Whip Cecil Staton of Macon, the resolution was sponsored by five other lawmakers, including Sen. Chuck Hufstetler, according to The Cartersville Daily Tribune.
“I am confident it will pass the Georgia Senate, and I believe that it will also pass in the House when it gets over to them, and hopefully, the governor will sign it as well,” Hufstetler told The Daily Tribune. “I think Georgia is going to be one of the 34 states that will sign on to this.”
According to The Daily Tribune, the resolution says:
“Whereas, the founders of the Constitution of the United States empowered state legislators to be the guardians of liberty against abuses of power by the federal government; Whereas, the federal government has created a crushing national debt through improper and imprudent spending; and whereas the federal government has invaded the legitimate roles of the state through the manipulative process of federal mandates, most of which are unfunded to a great extent; and whereas the federal government has ceased to live under a proper interpretation of the Constitution of the United States;
“And whereas, it is the solemn duty of the states to protect the liberty of our people, particularly for the generations to come, by proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United States through a convention of the states under Article V of the United States Constitution to place clear restraints on these and related abuses of power.”
Bartow County Tea Party founder Gail Englehardt spoke to the committee as a private citizen prior to its vote.
“I basically spoke on the fact that, number one, as a grass roots activist and as a citizen, that I was very concerned in that where the direction was going of our federal government and that everyone knows what the situation is with the economy and with the deficit, and that it’s just going on,” she told the Daily Tribune. “Our Founding Fathers gave us a mechanism to use, which is Article V, a convention of the states. When all three branches of government are not keeping the proper checks and balances on each other and they’re not following the constitution.”
Proponents of a constitutional convention generally call for amendments supporting a balanced budget, restricting members of Congress to term limits and placing limits on taxation.
Although the convention of states is a grassroots movement, it receives much-needed support and coordination from a national organization, ConventionofStates.com.
Conservative talk show host Mark Levin gave the project a shot in the arm when he proposed the idea in his book, “The Liberty Amendments: Restoring the American Republic.” He saw it as the only way to put a leash on an out-of-control federal government.
“The federal government, Congress, the Supreme Court, the president, the bureaucracy, they are not going to reform themselves, they are not going to limit their activities,” Levin told CNS News in August. “Only we can — through our state representatives from the bottom up.”
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