Oppose Article V Con-Con Resolutions in Washington Legislature

Alert Summary

Members of the Washington State Legislature are seeking to pass resolutions — including SJM 8000, SJM 8004, and HJM 4002 — applying to Congress to call a convention to propose amendments under Article V of the Constitution, otherwise known as a constitutional convention (Con-Con).

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Washington state lawmakers are seeking to pass a resolution applying to Congress to “call a Convention for proposing Amendments,” under Article V of the Constitution, otherwise known as a constitutional convention (Con-Con) or “convention of the states.”

Senate Joint Memorial 8000 (SJM 8000) applies for a convention to propose constitutional amendments to allow Congress and state legislators “to regulate the size and timing of contributions to election campaigns,” including “requir[ing] timely public disclosure of the source and amount of all such contributions.” It is worded in such a way as to also urge Congress to pass such an amendment itself.

If passed, this application would be considered along with the existing Wolf-PAC applications of three other states (although the resolution erroneously names five states — two of those have since rescinded their applications).

Unlike most other Article V convention applications, the Wolf-PAC Con-Con application is sponsored and supported by leftists and claims to seek leftist policy outcomes, namely campaign finance “reform” that would restrict the First Amendment. As Joe Wolverton’s 2015 TNA article “Citizens United for Free Speech” points out, a Wolf-PAC Con-Con would have a detrimental effect on free speech and the individual liberty of ordinary Americans.

SJM 8000 and other Wolf-PAC resolutions illustrate the danger of a Con-Con, particularly that the Left supports a Con-Con and would use one to curtail our God-given liberties.

Additionally, Senate Joint Memorial 8004 (SJM 8004) and House Joint Memorial 4002 (HJM 4002) have been introduced. They follow the wording of Mark Meckler’s Convention of States (COS) Project application, urging Congress to call a convention to propose amendments “that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress.”

Any Article V convention could lead to a runaway convention, which could reverse many of the Constitution’s limitations on government power and interference. In other words, a Con-Con could accomplish the same goals that many of its advocates claim to be fighting against. As evidence, a 2016 Convention of States (COS) controlled simulation resulted in amendments massively increasing the federal government and expanding its spending powers.

The late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia understood the danger of a constitutional convention. While he voiced support for one at a 1979 event, the justice had reversed his opinion by 2014 due to the uncertainty of what could come out of it. In 2015, Scalia reiterated his opposition to an Article V convention, stating “this is not a good century to write a constitution.”

In particular, James Madison noted in a 1788 letter how extremists and special-interest advocates would hijack a potential second constitutional convention and cause great damage to the nation in the process:

“If a General Convention were to take place for the avowed and sole purpose of revising the Constitution, … it would consequently give greater agitation to the public mind; an election into it would be courted by the most violent partizans [sic] on both sides; it wd. probably consist of the most heterogeneous characters; would be the very focus of that flame which has already too much heated men of all parties; would no doubt contain individuals of insidious views, who under the mask of seeking alterations popular in some parts but inadmissible in other parts of the Union might have a dangerous opportunity of sapping the very foundations of the fabric.”

The violent riots observed in multiple American inner cities in mid-2020, along with the increasingly extreme and blatantly Marxist agenda of the Democrat Party — including just in the past several months — help illustrate what the Left’s reaction would be if a Con-Con is successfully called.

It is essential that we preserve the U.S. Constitution since it — as currently written — contains all the tools needed to prevent tyranny. The massive expansion of government and growing infringements on our liberties is not because of “problems” or “flaws” with the Constitution, but rather due to misinterpretation, wrongful application, or lack of enforcement altogether. If applied faithfully and accurately, in accordance with its original meaning, at least 80% of the federal government’s programs would likely be found unconstitutional.

Rather than passing Article V convention applications, which risk a runaway convention threatening our individual freedoms, the State Legislature should consider Article VI and nullify unconstitutional laws. Furthermore, state lawmakers should also consider rescinding any and all previously passed Article V convention applications to Congress, regardless of the desired amendment(s).

Above all, urge your state representative and senator to oppose SJM 8000, SJM 8004, HJM 4002, and all other pro-Article V convention resolutions and to instead consider nullification as a safe and constitutional means to limit government.

TIP: Click Video Titles to Enlarge.
Robert Brown: The Harsh Reality of a “Convention of States”

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Contact your state legislators

Please help stop all Con-Con applications in Washington — including SJM 8000, SJM 8004, and HJM 4002 — by contacting your state representative and senator. Urge them to oppose an Article V constitutional convention and to vote against all resolutions calling for one. Inform them of the dangers of a Con-Con and of the benefits of using nullification instead.

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