Article V. empowers states to limit the federal government and is the megaphone for the peoples’ voice. This is part one of a how-to manual on limiting the federal government, skipping congress, and going straight to the constitution.
We want to thank Nicole R. Fortune for this Op-Ed. If you have an Op-Ed or LTE
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Approximately 74 million Americans believe they no longer have a voice after the election. They fear that they must sit sidelined while Congress destroys America. They want term limits, reasonable pay, and benefits for their representatives, a balanced budget, and do not want the Supreme Court stacked.
If asked, most Americans do not know of Article V or that it is the tool to address these very grievances. Losing the Presidency and Congress does not mean Americans have lost their voice, they just need to vocalize through Article V.
Article V states in pertinent part that, “The Congress, whenever two-thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several states, or by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress … and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.” (Emphasis added.)
Accordingly, there are two methods of proposing amendments. The first requires 359 of the 538 members of Congress to agree on their proposed amendment(s). The second requires that 34 of the 50 states agree to call a convention to propose amendment(s). A proposal will only become a Constitutional amendment if either 38 states or three-fourths of the convening states ratify the proposal.
Put another way, we do not need Congress to amend the Constitution!
Article V grants the states the uninfringible right of checks and balances on the federal government by first, ensuring states have an equal ability to seek amendments and second, granting ratification power solely to the several states or states’ conventions. Therefore, when Congress fails to limit itself, we the people, through our state legislators, can and should do it for them.
Moreover, Congress can’t stop us!
As previously stated, the states’ right of checks and balances is uninfringible, but it is also renounceable. That is, Article V permits states to consent in foregoing its equal suffrage. In other words, any state can opt-out of Article V.
So, what happens when a state opts out? That will be addressed in the next article, “Article V, opting out means you have no voice.”