PRESS RELEASE: Heartland Institute Experts Comment on Simulated Article V Convention in Williamsburg, Virginia

Published September 22, 2016

The amendments proposed by Convention of States include a balanced budget requirement for the federal government, imposing term limits on Congress and the Supreme Court of the United States, and reducing federal regulations. Many prominent elected officials – including Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas); David A. Clarke, sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin; U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin); and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) – have endorsed the Convention of States approach to amending the constitution through Article V. Convention of States is a project of Citizens for Self-Governance, an organization promoting greater citizen involvement in government. The Heartland Institute does not endorse any particular Article V effort.

The following statements from constitutional reform 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 Director of Communications Jim Lakely at [email protected] and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 312/731-9364.

“The Convention of States Project is embarking on a historic moment this week by hosting the first ever simulated Article V convention. Michael Farris and Mark Meckler must be commended for taking the initiative to show to the American people that constitutional reform can be achieved through a state-led effort.

“Convention of States contains solutions – including a balanced budget amendment and term limits – that have already earned broad, bipartisan support nationwide. Congress is earning record-low approval rankings because of its failure to pass popular constitutional amendments. Leaders of state legislatures nationwide who witness this simulation should be motivated to enact constitutional reform legislation in 2017. Action by the states is the only avenue for fixing the problems created by the current class of Washington politicians.”

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

“This simulation hosted by the Convention of States Project is a good first step in the process of educating Americans on the rights and responsibilities afforded to us in our founding document: the United States Constitution. ‘We the people’ must stand up to a federal government that is sucking this republic dry of our freedoms guaranteed by the words in the constitution. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are the cornerstones that make this nation different from all other human-created civil governments.

“Article V of the U.S. Constitution provides a way – an app, if you will – to reorder the relationship between the several states and the federal government. We the American people must take this step as the last legal revolution protecting what we hold dear.

“More work needs to be done in the effort to bring harmony to the convention of states movement and the 34 states required to protect this successful experiment in self-government. Campaign Constitution is committed to work in harmony alongside any and all who desire the same goal: Liberty and Justice for All!

“We at Campaign Constitution applaud Michael Farris and the Convention of States Project on this bold step.”

Neal Schuerer
Executive Director
Campaign Constitution
[email protected]

“This simulated convention, like the Assembly of State Legislatures in its earlier meetings, is a key step in re-educating state lawmakers and citizens about a valuable constitutional right: The right of the people, through their state legislatures, to reform the federal government by constitutional amendment.

“Previous generations enjoyed the advantage of knowing about the interstate convention process because conventions were held so often – at least 37 times in the years leading up to 1922. Because we have not held an interstate convention since 1922, however, most citizens are unaware of the process, and sometimes are even misled by commentators who claim the 1787 Constitutional Convention was the only interstate gathering of its kind ever held.

“A convention for proposing amendments is not a ‘constitutional convention,’ but it is – like this simulation – a gathering of state representatives to discuss possibilities for reform.”

Rob Natelson
Retired Law Professor
Director, Article V Information Center
The Independence Institute
[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 Web site or call 312/377-4000.