United States Constitution; application for a convention of the states. (HJ3)

Introduced By

Del. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Woodbridge) with support from co-patron Del. Lee Ware (R-Powhatan)

Progress

Introduced
Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate

Description

U.S. Constitution; application for a convention of the states. Makes application to Congress to call a convention of the states to propose amendments to the United States Constitution to restrain the abuse of power by the federal government. Read the Bill »

Status

02/16/2016: Passed the House

History

DateAction
11/16/2015Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/16 16100011D
11/16/2015Committee
11/16/2015Committee
11/16/2015Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/13/16 16100011D
11/16/2015Referred to Committee on Rules
02/09/2016Assigned Rules sub: Special Subcommittee
02/11/2016Subcommittee recommends reporting with amendment(s) (4-Y 1-N)
02/11/2016Reported from Rules with amendments (9-Y 6-N) (see vote tally)
02/15/2016Passed by for the day
02/16/2016Taken up
02/16/2016Committee amendments agreed to
02/16/2016Engrossed by House as amended HJ3E
02/16/2016Printed as engrossed 16100011D-E
02/16/2016Agreed to by House (52-Y 47-N)
02/16/2016VOTE: ADOPTION (52-Y 47-N) (see vote tally)
02/17/2016Reading waived
02/17/2016Referred to Committee on Rules
03/04/2016Continued to 2017 in Rules

Video

This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 1 clip in all, totaling 19 minutes.

Transcript

This is a transcript of the video clips in which this bill is discussed.

UP, HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION THREE, APPLYING TO THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES TO CALL AN AMENDMENT CONVENTION OF THE STATES PURSUANT TO ARTICLE V OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION LIMITED TO PROPOSING AMENDMENTS TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION THAT IMPOSE FISCAL RESTRAINTS ON THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, LIMIT THE POWER AND JURISDICTION OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, AND LIMIT THE TERMS OF OFFICE FOR ITS OFFICIALS AND FOR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS. REPORT FROM THE COMMITTEE ON RULES WITH AMENDMENTS.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): THE GENTLEMAN FROM PRINCE WILLIAM MR. LINGAMFELTER.

Del. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Woodbridge): MR. SPEAKER, I MOVE THE COMMITTEE AMENDMENTS.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): THE QUESTION IS ON ADOPTION OF THE COMMITTEE AMENDMENTS, AS MANY AS FAVOR THAT MOTION WILL SAY AYE, THOSE OPPOSED, NO. THE COMMITTEE AMENDMENT IS AGREED TO, THE GENTLEMAN FROM PRINCE WILLIAM.

Del. Scott Lingamfelter (R-Woodbridge): THANK YOU MR. SPEAKER. MR. SPEAKER, HOUSE JOINT RESOLUTION THREE IS A RESOLUTION WE'VE HEARD NOW FOR TWO SESSIONS. SO WE'VE HEARD JUST ABOUT EVERY DEBATE ON ONE SIDE OR THE OTHER ON WHETHER OR NOT TO PROCEED. THE RESOLUTION IS AN APPLICATION TO CONGRESS TO CALL A CONVENTION OF THE STATES UNDER THE PROVISION OF ARTICLE V OF THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION. TO PROPOSE AMENDMENTS TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION, TO REFRAIN FROM THE ABUSE OR TO RESTRAIN THE ABUSE OF POWER BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. THE RESOLUTION HAS ACTUALLY BEEN MODIFIED FROM LAST YEAR'S VERSION TO INCLUDE SOME EXPLICIT SAFEGUARDS THAT WE NOTED LAST YEAR, BUT PEOPLE PREFERRED TO SEE IN THE ACTUAL RESOLUTION. FIRST IS THAT CONGRESS' ROLE IN THIS IS MINISTERIAL. IF ENOUGH STATES SEND IN APPLICATION, THEY HAVE TO CALL A CONVENTION. THE CONGRESS DOESN'T SET THE RULES. AND HISTORY HAS SHOWN THAT IN CONVENTIONS PAST. THERE'S A ONE-STATE, ONE VOTE RULE, AND THAT'S ALWAYS BEEN THE CASE. EVEN IN RATIFICATION. THE PETITION IS LIMITED TO LIMITING FEDERAL POWER, AND IF THEY TRY TO AMEND ANY OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS, THIS APPLICATION BECOMES VOID, ABINICIO, WHICH MEANS LIKE IT DOESN'T EXIST. THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, THIS GENERAL ASSEMBLY, HAS THE AUTHORITY TO INSTRUCT AND RECALL DELEGATES IF THEY DO NOT FOLLOW THOSE AND THE GENTLEMAN FROM INSTRUCTIONS. ROCKBRIDGE JUST PASSED A BILL I THINK THAT MAKES IT VERY CLEAR THAT THIS BODY TAKES VERY SERIOUSLY THE CHARGE THOSE DELEGATES WOULD HAVE. FINALLY, THERE'S AN AMENDMENT THAT HAS A SUNSET FOR 2016, AND YOU WILL NOTE THAT ONE OF THE OTHER AMENDMENTS IS THAT THE DELEGATES REPRESENTING NOT TO SUPPORT CONGRESSIONAL VIRGINIA WILL BE INSTRUCTED TERM LIMITS, WHICH WAS NOT THE WILL OF THE COMMITTEES AS THEY CAME FORWARD. AND I AM SUPPORTIVE OF THAT. MR. SPEAKER, WE HAVE DEBATED THIS BILL A LOT. I DON'T WANT TO TRESPASS ON THE TIME OF THE HOUSE, BUT I DO WANT TO SAY A FEW THINGS BEFORE WE GO TO THE BOARD AND VOTE. IN 1973, I TOOK AN OATH TO THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES TO SUPPORT AND DEFEND IT FROM ALL ENEMIES FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC. IT WAS NEVER MY DESIRE TO ACTUALLY GO INTO COMBAT, BUT I WAS PREPARED TO DO IT, EVERY DAY THAT I SERVED. AND I DID. AND I WAS PREPARED TO DIE FOR THIS CONSTITUTION. THE CRITICISMS THAT HAVE COME FORWARD WITH RESPECT TO THIS RESOLUTION HAVE BEEN DISTORTED AND FALSE. BUT THOSE OF US WHO SUPPORT APPROPRIATING ARTICLE V SOMEHOW WANT TO DO GREAT VIOLENCE TO THE BILL OF RIGHTS, AND IN PARTICULAR, NOW, FOLKS, YOU KNOW ME. THE SECOND AMENDMENT. I KIND OF SUPPORT THE SECOND AMENDMENT. BUT THOSE ARE THE CRITICISMS. CRITICISMS OF FEAR. LET ME TELL YOU WHAT I FEAR, MR. SPEAKER. I FEAR THE DAY WILL COME WHEN THE BALANCE IN FEDERALISM IS SO OUT OF KILTER THAT EVERY MEMBER IN THIS CHAMBER, DEMOCRAT AND REPUBLICAN ALIKE, WILL WORRY AS TO WHETHER OR NOT STATES HAVE THE ABILITY TO DO WHAT STATES NEED TO DO TO MAKE THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE THEY SERVE GOOD I'M VERY FEARFUL OF WHAT'S HAPPENING TO THE BALANCE THAT OUR FOUNDERS STRUCK, AND THAT WE HAVE, INDEED, PERFECTED OVER TIME, TO INCLUDE RECOGNIZING THE RIGHTS OF PEOPLE THAT WE EXCLUDED WRONGLY. THIS CONSTITUTION HAS GREAT RESILIENCE, BUT IT HAS ALSO BEEN FRAYED, BY COURT DECISIONS AND INACTION AND OVERREACH. ALL TOGETHER, SOMEWHAT CONTRADICTORY. BUT I KNOW THIS: LAST YEAR, I HAD, WE HAD, OUR FIRST GRANDSON, AND THE THOUGHT HAS CROSSED MY MIND, 10 OR 15 YEARS FROM NOW, WHEN HE IS OLD ENOUGH TO BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND SOME THINGS, AND IF WE DON'T TAKE THIS ACTION W. WHAT WILL HIS WORLD BE WHAT WILL THE BALANCE THAT LIKE? OUR FOUNDERS WANTED FOR TRUE FEDERALISM LOOK LIKE? AND WHEN HE ASKS ME, GRANDDADDY, WHAT DID YOU DO DURING THE GREAT CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS? WHEN OUR FREEDOMS WERE THREATENED, I'M GOING TO SAY I THOUGHT BACK. -- I FOUGHT BACK.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): THE GENTLEMAN FROM PRINCE WILLIAM, MR. MARSHALL.

Del. Bob Marshall (R-Manassas): MAY I ADDRESS THE RESOLUTION.

[Unknown]: SPEAKING TO THE MEASURE.

Del. Bob Marshall (R-Manassas): THE GENTLEMAN HAS THE FLOOR.

[Unknown]: THANK YOU MR. SPEAKER. MR. SPEAKER, I APPRECIATE WHAT I BELIEVE ARE THE INTENTIONS OF THE GENTLEMAN FROM PRINCE WILLIAM TO ADDRESS SOME OF THE -- WHAT WE BOTH WOULD AGREE ARE ABUSES, OR DIRECTIONS THAT WE WON'T WANT -- WE DON'T WANT THE COUNTRY TO GO IN, BUT I REALLY QUESTION THE METHOD HERE. THIS IS AN ARTICLE, SEVERAL YEARS AGO, BY A GENTLEMAN, MR. SPEAKER, AT ONE POINT, YOU CO-AUTHORED IN THE ARTICLE, RANDY BARNETT, A LAW PROFESSOR AT GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY. HE SAYS AN AMENDMENTS CONVENTION IS FEARED BECAUSE THE SCOPE CANNOT BE LIMITED IN ADVANCE. THE CONVENTION CONVENED, A CONGRESS TO PROPOSE AMENDMENTS TO THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION PRODUCED INSTEAD AN ENTITY DIFFERENTLY, AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT CONSTITUTION UNDER WHICH WE NOW LIVE, YET IT IS PRECISELY THE FEAR OF A RUNAWAY CONVENTION THAT STATES CAN EXPLOIT TO BRING CONGRESS TO HEEL. THIS IS AN ARTICLE FROM THE COLUMBIA, MISSOURI NEWSPAPER, FROM LAST YEAR, AND IT'S REFERENCING A STATE SENATOR, KIRK SCHAFER, WHO IS PROPOSING ONE OF THESE AMENDMENTS, CONVENTIONS OF STATE'S PROJECT. HE IS TALKING ABOUT EFFORTS TO LIMIT EXPENDITURES FOR CAMPAIGNS AND TERM LIMITS. ALL RIGHT, BALANCED BUDGET. HE SAYS THESE TWO PROPOSITIONS ARE NOT REALLY EXCLUSIVE. HE SAYS, QUOTE, MY FEELING, I DON'T KNOW ABOUT HIS JUDGMENTS, BUT HE IS TELLING US ABOUT HIS FEELINGS, IS THAT ONCE A CONVENTION IS CALLED, WE WILL HAVE TO HAVE SOME SORT OF GRAND BARGAIN, SUCH AS THE CONVENTION OF '78. NOW, MR. SPEAKER, I'M HOLDING IN MY HAND THE IPAD HERE WHICH REFERENCES A LISTING OF CONVENTION APPLICATIONS, CURRENT, AND IF YOU GO TO THE HOUSE OF THE REPRESENTATIVES OF CONGRESS, YOU CAN FIND THIS. THIS IS A REFERENCE TO A REQUEST FOR A BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION PURSUANT TO ARTICLE V. IT WAS RECEIVED BY THE CLERK OF THE HOUSE IN 2016. WELL, WHEN WAS THIS MEASURE PASSED? IT PASSED MARCH SEVEN, 1978, IN THEIR STATE HOUSE, AND IN THEIR STATE SENATE, APRIL 28, 1978, SO I GUESS THE MAIL IS A LITTLE SLOW FROM MISSOURI, MR. SPEAKER. ADDITIONALLY, I ASKED CONGRESSMAN GOODLOT, WHO IS CHAIRMAN OF THE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE, DO YOU HAVE RULES, STANDARDS, PROCEDURES, WHATEVER, FOR COUNTING, EXCLUDING OR INCLUDING APPLICATIONS FOR CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION CALL. I WROTE A LETTER TO CHAIRMAN GOODLOT, TO CHAIRMAN GRASSLEY, SENATOR FROM IOWA. I DIDN'T GET A RESPONSE FROM EITHER OF THEM. SO I GOT TO USING MY FINGER, MADE A PHONE CALL AND TALKED TO AN ASSISTANT TO GOODMAN GOODLAT. THEY DIDN'T WANT TO PUT ANYTHING IN PRINT BUT THEY ACKNOWLEDGED THEY HAVE NO RULES. IT IS TOTALLY WIDE OPEN AS TO HOW THESE THINGS WILL BE COUNTED. SO MR. SPEAKER, HERE'S AN APPLICATION FROM 1978. DOES THIS SATISFY AT LEAST THE DECISIONS OF THE SUPREME COURT THAT ACTIONS MUST BE SOMEWHAT CONTEMPORANEOUS? I DON'T THINK SO. BUT THE CLERK OF THE HOUSE POSTED AN APPLICATION PASSED 37 YEARS AGO ON THE CLERK OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES' WEBSITE. IS THIS TO BE COUNTED? WELL, THERE'S NO INDICATION. IT JUST IS THERE. MR. SPEAKER, THE ORIGINAL CONSTITUTION WAS DEVISED UNDER THE ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION. NOW, LET'S TALK ABOUT WHAT CHANGES WERE THERE, HOW RADICAL THEY WERE. THE ARTICLES OF CON FEDERAL -- OF CONFEDERATION HAD TERM LIMITS. THIS DOESN'T. UNDER THE ARTICLES YOU COULD RECALL A MEMBER OF CONGRESS. THIS DOESN'T. UNDER THE ARTICLES YOU VOTED BY STATE. THIS CONSTITUTION DOESN'T, EXCEPT FOR ONE CONDITION, ONE CIRCUMSTANCE. WHEN YOU ARE VOTING FOR THE ELECTORAL COLLEGE. NOWHERE ELSE DO YOU FIND A REQUIREMENT THAT THE MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE RESOLVE THEMSELVES IN TWO STATES FOR PURPOSE OF VOTING AND ONE STATE, ONE VOTE. IS THERE A -- THEIR TERM OF OFFICE CHANGED, YOU WERE A CONGRESSMAN FOR ONE YEAR, UNDER THE ARTICLES, FOR TWO YEARS, A SENATOR FOR SIX YEARS. THE COMPOSITION OF THE LEGISLATURE UNDER THE ARTICLES WAS ONLY A HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. UNDER THE NEW CONSTITUTION, THERE WAS A HOUSE AND SENATE. STATES COULD FORM TREATIES, WITH THE CONSENT OF CONGRESS. VIRGINIA CAN'T DO THAT NOW. NOBODY CAN. STATES COULD SEND AMBASSADORS TO FOREIGN NATIONS. CAN'T DO THAT NOW. THE DIRECT TAXING OF CITIZENS WAS NOT ALLOWED. THAT IS ALLOWED UNDER THE NEW CONSTITUTION. THERE WAS NO JUDICIARY UNDER THE ARTICLES OTHER THAN THE UNDER THE NEW CONSTITUTION, CONGRESS. IT'S A SEPARATE JUDICIARY. DISPUTES BETWEEN THE STATES WERE DECIDED BY CONGRESS UNDER THE ARTICLES. THEY ARE NOW DECIDED BY THE SUPREME COURT. THE MILITIA WAS UNDER THE BALANCE OF STATE CONTROL. HERE IT MAY BE FEDERALIZED. MORE POWERS, CONGRESS, PLUS, 3/4 OF THE STATES. NOW, IT'S JUST CONGRESS. ISSUING BILLS OF CREDIT? CONGRESS, PLUS 3/4 OF THE STATES. UNDER THE NEW CONSTITUTION, NOT SPECIFIED, THE GREENBEING PAPER MONEY WAS ISSUED IN THE WAR BETWEEN THE STATES, THE CIVIL WAR, UNDER THE WAR POWERS. BORROWING MONEY REQUIRED CONGRESS UNDER THE ARTICLES, PLUS 3/4 OF THE STATES. HERE, IT'S JUST CONGRESS. THE SIZE OF THE EARLY AND NAVY WAS DETERMINED BY CONGRESS, PLUS 3/4 OF THE STATES. HERE, IT'S DETERMINED BY CONGRESS. A TREATY OR ALLIANCE WAS CONGRESS, PLUS 3/4 OF THE STATES. UNDER HERE, IT'S THE SENATE. AN AMENDMENT WAS UNANIMOUS BY CONGRESS AND THE STATES. HERE, IT'S 3/4 OF THE STATES. MR. SPEAKER, THIS IS A SIGNIFICANT SHIFT IN POWER. THIS WAS WHAT WAS CALLED SIMPLY AMENDING THE CONSTITUTION. EVEN MR. MADISON ACKNOWLEDGED THAT THEY ACTED BASED UPON THE REVOLUTIONARY POWERS ASSERTED IN THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE OF THE RIGHT OF ANY PEOPLE, AND IT'S CORRECT TO CHANGE THEIR GOVERNMENT, BUT THEY CLEARLY EXCEEDED A NUMBER OF THE INSTRUCTIONS. SO WHILE WE JUST PASSED I THINK A LIFE BOAT THAT'S FULL OF HOLES, I DON'T KNOW THAT WE CAN TAKE ANY COMFORT IN THAT BILL. WE HAVE ANY NUMBER OF LEGAL EXPERTS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE IDEOLOGICAL SPECTRUM SAYING YOU CANNOT LIMIT A CONVENTION. WE ARE GAMBLING WITH OUR FUTURE, MUCH WORSE THAN HOLDING ELECTIONS FOR MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE. MR. SPEAKER, THERE IS NO THERE'S NOTHING CERTAIN ABOUT CERTAINTY HERE OTHER THAN THIS. AND TO THINK THAT CONGRESS IS GOING TO FORM ITSELF UNDER THE RULE OF THE STATES, WELL, IT'S ABOUT A 1400 PAGE BOOK WHICH I HAVE IDLE TILE AND I READ THESE THINGS. WHAT IS THIS? THIS IS A HEARING ON CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION PROCEDURES, NOVEMBER 29, 1979. EVERY BILL THAT I SAW FOR CALLING OF A CONVENTION AND THE ORGANIZING OF IT WAS PURSUANT TO THE POWERS FORING IS TO IMPLEMENT THE ENUMERATED POWERS. NONE OF THEM HAD THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION OR CONVENTION OF -- AMENDMENTS CONVENTION, ORGANIZED BY STATES, VOTING BY STATES. IT WAS VOTING BY INDIVIDUAL. THE SELECTION PROCESS WAS EQUAL TO THE NUMBER OF ELECTORATES FROM THE STATE BUT THAT WAS IT. BUT WHEN YOU GOT TO CONGRESS, YOU WERE ON YOUR OWN. EVEN MR. NADELSON, ONE OF THESE GENTLEMEN WHO SUPPORTS THIS, ACKNOWLEDGED THAT EVEN IF YOU FORMED YOURSELF IN STATES TO GET TO THIS THING, AND AGAIN, THERE'S NO RESOLUTION REQUIRING THAT YOU FORM YOURSELF BY STATES, THAT THE STATES ARE SENDING TO CONGRESS, NOR IS IT BINDING, YOU COULD CHANGE IT ONCE YOU'RE THERE. MR. SPEAKER, THIS IS A PIT OF UNCERTAINTY, EVEN THOUGH THERE ARE GENUINE MOTIVES THAT I BELIEVE ARE OF GOOD WILL. WE NEED NOT GAMBLE WITH OUR CONSTITUTION.

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): GENTLEMAN FROM CHARLOTTESVILLE, MR. TOSCANO.

Del. David Toscano (D-Charlottesville): THANK YOU MR. SPEAKER. SPEAKING BRIEFLY TO THE MEASURE?

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): GENTLEMAN HAS THE FLOOR.

Del. David Toscano (D-Charlottesville): THANK YOU MR. SPEAKER. MR. SPEAKER, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF THE HOUSE, THE GENTLEMAN FROM PRINCE WILLIAM HAS ARTICULATED SOME REASONS FOR WHY WE SHOULD DO THIS, AND LET'S JUST ACCEPT THAT HE IS RIGHT ON HIS ANALYSIS. THERE ARE SOME OF THE POINTS I AGREE WITH, SOME THAT I DON'T. THE GENTLEMAN, THE OTHER GENTLEMAN FROM PRINCE WILLIAM, HAS MADE SOME PRETTY COGENT ARGUMENTS AS TO WHY THIS WOULD BE DANGEROUS, THE RISK OF A RUNAWAY CONVENTION, THE RISKS THAT WE NOT ONLY GET RID OF THE SECOND AMENDMENT BUT GET RID OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT. THERE ARE A LOT OF RISKS. BUT ALL I WANT TO DO IS LEAVE THIS CHAMBER AND SEE IF YOU CAN ANSWER THIS QUIZ, RIGHT? YOUR MISSION, SHOULD YOU DECIDE TO ACCEPT IT, IS TO DETERMINE WHICH SUPREME COURT JUSTICE ARTICULATED THESE WORDS: QUOTE, I CERTAINLY WOULD NOT WANT A CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION. WHOA, WHO KNOWS WHAT WOULD COME OUT OF THAT? SO THE QUESTION IS, IS IT JUSTICE GINSBURG? SOMEBODY WILL RAISE THEIR HAND ON THAT ONE? OR JUSTICE ANTONIN SCALIA? THANK YOU MR. SPEAKER, I HOPE WE WILL DEFEAT THE MEASURE.

[Unknown]: BEFORE I CALL ON THE NEXT PERSON, HAS ANYBODY IN HERE NOT MADE UP THEIR MIND YET? [LAUGHTER]

Del. Bill Howell (R-Fredericksburg): THE GENTLEMAN FROM FAIRFAX, MR. LEMUNYON.

Del. Jim LeMunyon (R-Oak Hill): [CAPTIONING WILL CONTINUE MOMENTARILY]