Do you know what today is?
Monday, September 17, is, of course, a very important and underappreciated occasion which I believe should be a national holiday — Constitution Day, the anniversary of the adoption of the U.S. Constitution in 1787.
But it was on this date, September 14, that one of the most important provisions came into being, thanks to George Mason. It was Article V.
“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, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.”
The Founders were smart enough to know that Congress would never propose amendments limiting Federal power, so if it became tyrannical, the only way was to give the sovereign states that power as well, when the people demanded it.
They wanted to make sure that the people had the power to amend the Constitution when Congress would not do what was necessary. That’s why they wrote Article V. Several states have called for an Article V convention to consider amendments on subjects such as term limits, balanced budgets, and many other necessary protections of the people’s liberties. Although this article has never been invoked, there is a rising movement to put it to use now so that we can protect ourselves from an overbearing government.
It’s time to claim that power and make use of it.