Sen. Clay Scofield, R- Red Hill, spent last week in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, learning, and testing out a hypothetical Article V convention of states.
Citizens for Self-Governance, a group which claims to fight against federal government overreach by advocating for an Article V convention of states, hosted the convention, and invited Scofield to represent the State of Alabama on their dime.
Scofield was hopeful the event would show it’s feasible, and according to him, it’s not only feasible, but he said if the federal government continues on its current path, it’s likely.
“It went terrific,” he said. “We learned that an Article V convention is very possible and attainable to do.
“I think if the federal government continues to get out of control, it will probably happen.”
Article V of the Constitution allows for Congress to propose amendments to the Constitution as long as two-thirds of both houses deem it necessary. Article V also allows for two-thirds of the states to call a convention for proposing amendments. All proposed amendments would have to be approved by the legislatures of three-fourths of the United States of America or by conventions representing three-fourths of the United States of America.
“Three-fifths of the states have to be represented to call a resolution, so it has a very high threshold,” Scofield said. “The last time I checked, 24 states have done it, but you will probably have to look into it. Different state legislatures meet at different times.”
Among the things Scofield and Citizens for Self-Governance would like to see accomplished, is a balanced budget amendment and an amendment that would specify certain duties and responsibilities of the federal government.
At the convention, a mock Fiscal Restraints Proposal was passed, saying the public debt could not be increased without the approval of two-thirds of each house of congress and no state or any subdivision thereof shall be compelled or coerced by Congress or the President to appropriate money.
They also “passed” three Federal Legislative and Executive Jurisdiction Proposals, a federal Term Limits and Judicial Jurisdiction Proposal and another Fiscal Restraints Proposal.
“I would like to see them get back to the way, that I believe the founders thought the country should be,” Scofield said. “As far as the states playing a major roll in certain aspects, while the federal government stays in the lane the constitution allows.
“That’s not my interpretation, that’s most people’s interpretation of the Constitution. The federal government has gotten so far away from their constitutional responsibilities.”
Scofield represents District 9, which includes Marshall County and portions of Madison, Blount and DeKalb Counties. He serves as Chairman of Confirmations, and sits on several committees including, but not limited to: the Agricultural Conservation and Forestry Committee, the Banking and Insurance Committee, the Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee and the Rules Committee.
In all, Citizens for Self-Governance brought out legislators from 48 states to perform the test run of an Article V convention. Along with Scofield, Sen. Greg Albritton, R-Montgomery, and Rep. Jack Williams, R-Vestavia, also attended.