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Constitutional convention proponents to meet in Indiana Statehouse

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The movement to convene a constitutional convention aimed at reining in the power of the federal government is coming to Indianapolis June 12 and 13.

The Mount Vernon Assembly, an organization actively pushing states to hold a convention as allowed under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, will be meeting at the Statehouse. More than 100 state legislators from 33 states are expected to attend the two-day event.

Indiana Senate President Pro Tempore David Long will open the meeting Thursday by welcoming the visitors and offering brief remarks in the House of Representatives chamber.

The Fort Wayne Republican launched his own effort during the 2013 legislative session for an Article V constitutional convention. He proposed that the convention would offer amendments to limit both the commerce clause and the federal taxing authority.

At the time, Long framed his effort as a “thoughtful and constitutionally based approach to how we can protect states’ rights.”

Long’s twin bills pertaining to a constitutional convention sailed through both chambers and were signed by Gov. Mike Pence in May 2013. Senate Enrolled Act 224 described the duties of the delegates who attend the convention while Senate Enrolled Act 225 outlined the method for appointing delegates and alternative delegates.

The Senate president touted the bills as keeping a tight control on the delegates and preventing a runaway convention.

His resolution, that would have made an application to Congress to call for a Constitutional convention, stalled in the House Committee on the Judiciary.

During the Indianapolis meeting, the Mount Vernon Assembly will be continuing to establish the rules and procedures needed to hold a state-led constitutional convention. The attendees will not be considering any proposed amendments.

The Mount Vernon Assembly, which describes itself as a bipartisan group of state legislators from across the country, was founded in December 2013 at George Washington’s Mount Vernon home in Virginia.

A resolution that established the organization asserted states have “slowly relinquished power to the national government” which has led to the federal government being unresponsive and unaccountable. The group sees an Article V constitutional convention as a way for states to regain the power to resolve national issues.

 

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