PRESS RELEASE: Convention of States Project Announces Historic Article V Convention Simulation

Published August 26, 2016

The Convention of States Project announced on Thursday a simulated convention for proposing amendments under Article V of the U.S. Constitution will take place in September in historic Williamsburg, Virginia. Legislators from all 50 states will participate in this historic convention simulation.

Elected officials, the general public, members of the media, and other opinion leaders will get their first glimpse on how an Article V convention is conducted. Eight states have already enacted resolutions calling on Congress to hold a convention for proposing multiple constitutional amendments; 28 states have enacted applications calling on Congress to hold a convention strictly for the purpose of enacting a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Convention of States is a project of Citizens for Self-Governance, an organization dedicated to greater citizen participation in government. It advocates for a balanced budget amendment, term limits on members of Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court, along with reductions in federal regulations. Louisiana was the last state to pass a resolution calling for an Article V convention, which it did back in May. The Heartland Institute does not endorse a particular Article V effort.

The following statements from education policy experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Jim Lakely, director of communications at The Heartland Institute, at [email protected] or 312/377-4000.

“The Convention of States Project should be applauded for taking a giant step forward in its support of a growing grassroots movement calling for true constitutional reform in the United States. The historic simulation of an Article V convention will give academics, elected officials, the general public, reporters, and opinion leaders an opportunity to see how the process works in black and white.

“The simulation will demonstrate to critics and supporters that an Article V convention can be properly conducted while protecting the civil rights of every American citizen. Legislators from every state should seize this opportunity to see how effective an Article V convention can be.”

Kyle Maichle
Project Manager, Constitutional Reform
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“The Citizens for Self-Governance ‘Convention of States’ simulation will contribute to public knowledge about our Constitution and how to amend it. During America’s first two centuries, interstate convention procedures were well understood. This was because states regularly met in convention; there were at least 16 formal interstate conventions between 1776 and 1922.

“But because we have not such a gathering since 1922, myths have sprung up, such as the ludicrous claim a convention of states is a ‘constitutional convention’ that cannot be controlled. Anyone who knows of the long history of interstate conventions – which, unfortunately, many academic commentators do not – understands the claim is nonsense.

“A convention of states is merely a diplomatic-style assembly for a limited purpose. The Constitution provides for such a gathering. The Citizens for Self-Governance Convention of States simulation will show how the process works. Even the simulation’s rules will be modeled on those used successfully in prior conventions. This event will be historic and well worth the close attention of the public and the media.”

Rob Natelson
Senior Fellow 
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“The simulated convention assembly being held in Williamsburg, Virginia next month will be an excellent opportunity for lawmakers to get ready for the coming convention of states assembly. Currently, 28 out of the needed 34 states have called for an amendments convention, so the time to get ready for the real thing is now.

“Washington, DC is broken, and the federal government needs a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution now more than ever. Not only will lawmakers attending the simulated convention be able to prepare to make history, but lawmakers who may be skeptical or have questions about the Article V movement will be able to see for themselves how the process works. People all over the country should get excited – and be prepared to make history. The simulated assembly is a key way to do just that.”

Jesse Hathaway
Managing Editor, Budget & Tax News
Research Fellow, The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“This is an important step in the education of our state elected leaders. Campaign Constitution has engaged leaders from across the country because there is a lack of understanding as to what these elected officials have swore to up hold. I would have to say many are constitutionally illiterate.

“I hope this event will engage those outside of the true believers of the Article V movement. It requires two-thirds of our states to begin the conversation. Harmony among the states is the goal, so what are the issues that two-thirds of our several states can agree on to right our political ship? Only time will tell, and this simulation is a good first step. “

Neal Schuerer
Executive Director
Campaign Constitution
[email protected]

 “Washington, DC politicians are not going to clean up their own mess. That’s why it’s great to see Convention of States giving folks an opportunity to come to Williamsburg and get hands-on experience with the tool states will use to restore our nation. The Article V convention offers Americans the last best hope to obtain congressional term limits and other reforms that can make government accountable again.”

Nick Tomboulides
Executive Director
U.S. Term Limits
[email protected]

 The Heartland Institute is a 32-year-old national nonprofit organization headquartered in Arlington Heights, Illinois. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our website or call 312/377-4000.