Rein in the Federal government: Convention of the States

EditorialBy Logan McFadden

On November 6, 2015, the 114th Congress gathered to elect the Speaker of the House and take the oath of office. The oath states “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God”.

While the Founders wrote the Constitution with the expectation that it would govern the Nation across time, the Courts have deviated from interpreting the Constitution by deciding cases based upon a moving target, the “organic constitution”. Many believe that presidents have exceeded their constitutional authority through signing Executive Orders which circumvent the role of Congress to “make laws”. The Constitution was written such that the three branches of government would operate within the limitations of “checks and balances”.

Regardless of your politics, you most likely believe that the Executive and Judiciary have usurped the powers delegated to Congress. Likewise, Congress has passed laws which usurp powers reserved to the states. The Republic that the Founders established has been compromised by a federal government bent on centralizing power. Put simply, the federal government is out of control. The People cling to the hope that electing new representatives will somehow correct the abuse of power. The primary drivers of change are thought to reside, for the most part, with the Republican and Democratic parties. While the ship may turn from right-center to left-center and/or to the extreme right or left, the excesses of the federal government are sinking the ship. Let’s not fail to credit the governmental agencies run by bureaucrats who never cease writing regulations which are both onerous and costly and often exceed the “spirit of the laws” they enforce.

So is the country on the right track or the wrong track? I submit that it is off the track. So what did the Founders provide within the Constitution to address such a time as this? Ideally, the People should have a mechanism to interpret the Constitution when the Supreme Court fails to protect the rights of the individual states, and ultimately the People, when it deems a law the “supreme law of the land” based upon the Court’s mis-interpretation of the Constitution.

Can a state(s) or the People “nullify” an act of Congress? Some argue that the Tenth Amendment supports the idea of nullification by a State(s). The Tenth Amendment may support the principle of nullification, but it does not establish a remedy or process. Article V defines the Amendment process. First, it can be by a two-thirds majority of both the House of Representatives and the Senate. To date, all Amendments have been established by Congress. But what is the remedy if Congress cannot be expected to rein in abusive power? The second method of proposing Amendments can be done when two-thirds of all State legislatures request that Congress convene a special Constitutional Convention that will be made up of delegates that will propose Amendments. In both cases, any proposed Amendments will then be sent on to the State legislatures for ratification.

A grassroots movement is currently underway. Convention of States is a project of Citizens for Self-Governance. Thirty-four states must approve an Application to require Congress to set a “time and place” for a Convention. Each state sends a delegate(s) to the Convention to propose Amendments.   However, regardless of the number of Convention delegates, each State has only one vote. Under the Convention of States (COS) Project plan, the scope of the Convention is for the purpose of limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government. Only Amendments that fall under this category would be germane and up for debate.

By definition, a grassroots movement is supported by the People. The COS Project has national leadership and a Director for each State. The Project is recruiting District Captains to lead the charge in each Assembly District. You can make a difference. Participation ranges from signing a Petition to send a letter to your district legislator to volunteering as a District Captain. If you have 15-30 minutes over the next two years to directly contact your district legislator by letter, email, phone or fax, please volunteer by going to the COS website HERE.  Go to the Get Involved drop down menu and complete the VOLUNTEER section.

I believe a Convention of States is our last chance to halt the runaway power of the federal government and restore the Founder’s vision. This will be the most important project of this generation, and I hope you’ll consider getting involved!

convention of the states




Logan McFadden is a city reporter and a recently retired banker, residing in Camarillo. He volunteers for the Heritage Action Sentinel team and serves as the AMAC Delegate to the 26th Congressional District and a Convention of States District Captain.

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4 Responses to Rein in the Federal government: Convention of the States

  1. Charles Muller January 7, 2015 at 11:19 am

    BIG mistake Mr. McFadden. Learn more:


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