NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee has become the fifth state to call for a Convention of States that would amend the U.S. Constitution in an effort to take back states’ rights and limit the power of the federal government.
The Tennessee House of Representatives voted 59-31 on Feb. 4 in favor of SJR 0067, a resolution “to make application to the Congress of the United States to call an Article V convention for the purpose of proposing amendments to the United States Constitution.”
Article V states in part, “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…”
SJR 0067 outlines the belief that a convention is necessary as the federal government has “invaded the legitimate roles of the states through the manipulative process of federal mandates and has”ceased to operate under a proper interpretation of the United States Constitution.”
“Be it resolved … that this legislative body does hereby apply to Congress under the provisions of Article V of the United States Constitution for the calling of a convention of the states, limited to proposing amendments to the United States Constitution 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,” it reads.
The resolution was signed by Gov. Bill Haslam on Tuesday. It had been approved by the state Senate 23-5 last April.
“Our Founding Fathers would be appalled by today’s federal overreach,” Rep. Jay Reedy, R-Dist. 74, said in a statement. “In their wisdom, the delegates at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 unanimously inserted into Article V the power of the States to be the final check on the federal government.”
“Since our founding, the Article V convention process has only been used by the Congress and not by the States,” he continued. “It is clear that Congress does not have the political will to solve our country’s problems, but thankfully, we the people of the Volunteer State do.”
Passage of a resolution calling for a convention is necessary in 34 states for Congress to act. According to reports, 33 other states are considering the move. Alabama, Alaska, Florida and Georgia have already passed resolutions and Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called for a convention last month.
If formed, the convention would be the first since 1787.