Convention of States Project recently unveiled its proposed legislative rules for a future Article V convention before a packed room of some 150 state legislators from around the country.
“I appreciate what Convention of States has done in creating the rules, because they’ve stepped out of the way and allowed us to build on their rough draft,” said Rep. Kelly Townsend of Arizona. “It’s really amazing.”
“Not since the founding of our great nation have state representatives had an opportunity like this,” said Mark Meckler, President of Citizens for Self-Governance and co-founder of the Convention of States Project. “A Convention of States allows them to follow the footsteps of Madison, Jefferson, and Mason as they fight to save our country from the continual, expanding, unconstitutional overreach of the federal government.”
The rules are the first of their kind in the modern era and draw heavily from Mason’s Manual, which most state legislatures utilize. The document was co-authored by Rob Natelson, a Senior Fellow in Constitutional Jurisprudence at the Independence Institute and the nation’s preeminent scholar on the text and history of Article V.
“You are the real experts here,” Natelson said before a captive room of state legislators.
Additionally COS launched its Convention of States Caucus, a network of contemporary state legislators who will work to refine the rules via a custom-built website. In its first week, the COS Caucus has added over 200 members, representing 40 states, who can collaborate and edit the rules in real time.
In a speech Rep. Ken Ivory of Utah said, “I would encourage you to join the Convention of States Caucus and engage in this process to establish the procedures. Be leaders among leaders.”
“Any legislator who has decided to become part of the caucus of the Convention of States can enter into the website, adjust the rules, and make recommendations without raising their hand or sending an e-mail,” said Townsend. “That’s important. We have a lot of great minds across this country, so why wouldn’t we be tapping into that?”
“These rules are for you,” Mark Meckler told state legislators.
Since its inception in December 2013, the Assembly of State Legislatures has been working to craft their own set of rules for an Article V convention but have yet to release a first draft. A representative of ASL said they would have their own first draft ready by their next meeting in November.