Convention Of States Legislation Moves Forward In Arkansas

Legislation calling for a Convention of States passed the House vote in Arkansas yesterday, perhaps in part due to support from Sarah Palin and Bristol Palin. The pair both pressed their followers on Thursday to contact their state representatives and push for passage of the Convention of States resolution. However, this doesn’t mean you should start preparing for changes to the Constitution.

Today, Sarah Palin cried victory, announcing that this resolution shows a step toward a reversal.

“Congratulations to all the grassroots patriots of Arkansas who scored a huge victory today! The Convention of States legislation passed thanks to the hard work of everyone who contacted their lawmakers at the last minute to turn things around. Folks, this is how we’re going to take back our country and ultimately rein in our out-of-control federal government. Good work, Arkansas!”

The purpose of a Convention of States is to modify the Constitution — in this case, conservative groups are moving for amendments that would fight against debt ceiling increases and what the groups call “abuse of federal authority” — which may refer to amnesty for immigrants, federal judges ruling that same-sex marriage bans are unconstitutional, and attempts at federal gun control laws, among other things.

The site for the project includes a page explaining why the project will succeed — though it reads more as a list of reasons that you needn’t worry there will be any grand-scale changes from this. They include the fact that there has never been such a convention, since there has never been a call for one by a two-thirds majority of the states, and the fact that any proposed amendment must have a two-thirds majority support to pass.

“It only takes 13 states to vote ‘no’ to defeat any proposed amendment, and the chances of 38 state legislatures approving a rogue amendment are effectively zero.”

While these all seem to be reasons that the Convention of States is unlikely to go far, another notable point is that it isn’t even official in Arkansas yet — it still has to pass the state’s Senate. If there is success in that, then the project can start seeking more states to join — but again, unless 37 more states pass the Convention of States resolution, this is nothing more than grandstanding for political support.

In the meantime, how proud is Bristol Palin that Arkansas’ Representatives approved the resolution?

“Way to go, Arkansas! Maybe now we can forgive you for giving us the Clintons!”

Can you see a Convention of States having success in turning back the momentum of the past several years?

[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]