Constitutional Convention Rescission Resolution
Summary: The Constitutional Convention Rescission Resolution would repeal and withdraw all applications to Congress which have called for a federal constitutional convention.
Note: This model is based Maryland Senate Resolution 2
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE
This shall be called the “Constitutional Convention Rescission Resolution.”
SECTION 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE
(A) FINDINGS—The legislature finds that:
- The Constitution of the United States has been, since its creation in 1787, the bulwark of American liberty and strength. It was the first written national Charter to clearly set forth the respective duties and powers of the Chief Executive, the Legislature, and the Judiciary, and is the basis of America’s checks and balances system of government, assuring the rule of the majority while protecting the rights of the minority. It provides for the peaceful resolution of our basic political disputes and allows for an orderly succession of political leaders without bloodshed or revolution.
- Since its ratification, the Constitution has been amended 27 times, each time by the proposal of an amendment by the Congress, often on initial petition by the states and always with subsequent ratification by the requisite number of state legislatures. Despite wrenching debate, political turmoil, and many grave political and economic problems – including the Great Depression – our nation has not had another Constitutional Convention since 1787.
- The first Convention was called to make corrections in revisions to the Articles of Confederation and decided instead to discard that governmental system altogether and create an entirely new and extremely different one. In recent years, we have heard such diverse proposals as the elimination of portions of the Bill of Rights or granting the President the power to dissolve Congress.
- The [YOUR LEGISLATURE] has passed the following calls for a Constitutional Convention since the 1930s: [LIST THEM HERE]. It is generally believed that these calls may never expire, and current generations may now be bound by decisions made in a different time and culture. That is unwise and inappropriate. Any of these constitutional changes must be debated anew. Prior resolutions should not bind future generations.
(B) PURPOSE—This Resolution is enacted to protect the integrity of the United States Constitution and ensure that current generations are not now bound by old constitutional resolutions.
SECTION 3. RESCISSION OF PRIOR CALLS FOR CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION
- The [LEGISLATURE] does hereby rescind, repeal, cancel, void, nullify, and supersede, to the same effect as if they had never been passed, any and all prior applications by the [LEGISLATURE] to the Congress of the United States of America to call a convention to propose amendments to the Constitution of the United State States of America, pursuant to the terms of Article V thereof, regardless of when and regardless of whether such applications were for a more limited convention to propose one or more amendments regarding one or more specific subjects and purposes or for a general convention to propose an unlimited number of amendments upon an unlimited number of subjects.
- The [LEGISLATURE] urges the legislatures of each and every state which has applied to Congress to call a convention for either a general or limited Constitutional Convention to repeal and withdraw such applications.
- A copy of this Resolution shall be forwarded by the [Department of Legislative Services] to the [Governor, President of the Senate, and Speaker of the House].
- Certified copies of this Joint Resolution shall be sent by the Secretary of State to: the Honorable Michael R. Pence, Vice President of the United States, President of the United States Senate, Suite S–212, United States Capitol Building, Washington, D.C. 20510; the Honorable Orrin Hatch, President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate, 104 Hart Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20510; and the Honorable Paul D. Ryan, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, 1233 Longworth House Office Building, Washington, D.C. 20515; the [STATE] Congressional Delegation; the Honorable David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, National Archives and Records Administration, 709 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20408; the Honorable Julie E. Adams, Secretary of the United States Senate, United States Capitol Building, Suite S–312, Washington, D.C. 20510; the Honorable Elizabeth MacDonough, Parliamentarian of the United States Senate, United States Capitol Building, Suite S–133, Washington, D.C. 20510; the Honorable Karen L. Haas, Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, Suite H–154, United States Capitol Building, Washington, D.C. 20515; and the Honorable Thomas J. Wickham, Jr., Parliamentarian of the United States House of Representatives, Room H–209, United States Capitol Building, Washington, D.C. 20515, requesting that they publish this Joint Resolution in the Congressional Record and list this application in the official tally of state legislative applications that repeal and withdraw any prior application by a state legislature that calls for the Congress of the United States of America to call a convention to propose amendments to the Constitution of the United States, pursuant to the terms of Article V thereof, regardless of when and regardless of whether such applications were for a more limited convention to propose one or more amendments regarding one or more specific subjects and purposes or for a general convention to propose an unlimited number of amendments upon an unlimited number of subjects.