WATCH LIVE

Maine Could Be 13th State to Push for Convention of States to Limit Power of Federal Government 

A resolution calling for an Article V Convention of States to propose amendments to the US Constitution is now before Maine lawmakers.

12 states have passed the application so far, and Maine may become the 13th.

States across the nation are considering whether or not to convene to amend the US Constitution to limit the power of the federal government.

“Congress, since 1781, has tried 11,700 times to change the Constitution, and the states have not been allowed to change the Constitution at all.”

Rep. Stephen Stanley says the last eight years of federal government politics has been filled with turmoil. Regardless of political affiliation, he says both sides of the aisle have experienced frustration with the U.S. government’s overreach.

“Before, I think Democrats were against this. Now with what’s going on in Washington, the Democrats probably are more for it. With the previous administration, the president was the Democrat, the Republicans were more in favor of it,” said Stanley, (D).

Stanley has proposed a resolution calling for a state convention to propose amendments to the Constitution. It’s supported by the Convention of States Project.

“We would like to see the states propose amendments under three categories: the first category is imposing fiscal restraints in the federal government, the second is limiting the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and the third is term limits on federal officials as well as members of Congress- so that could include the Supreme Court,” said Ken Quinn, State Director of the Convention of States Project.

34 states would need to pass the exact same application in order to call for an Article V Convention of States. Maine is one of only three states in the country that needs two-thirds support from both legislative bodies to pass a proposal to amend the constitution.

If two-thirds of the country support the measure, Congress would then need to call for the convention where state commissioners would attend to represent their state.

“Whatever comes out of convention then goes through the ratification process and Congress will determine whether it’s ratified by state legislatures or state conventions by the people. It takes 38 states to ratify any amendment before it becomes part of the U.S. Constitution. So it’s a very high bar,” said Quinn.

Supporters of the convention say it’s time to ensure no president can exceed his or her constitutional authority through overreaching executive orders. Opponents fear a Convention of States might go too far in proposing amendments to our nation’s founding document.

Despite Article V of the Constitution saying Congress calls the convention, Congress would not have any control of it or the delegates.