Six weeks before Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election, more than 100 state lawmakers gathered in Williamsburg, Virginia, for a week of Founding Fathers cosplay. Their task, over three days in the town that bills itself as a living museum to America’s colonial period, was to approve a dramatic overhaul of the United States’ foundational text.
The lawmakers, nearly all Republicans, ratified six new Constitutional amendments: They imposed term limits on members of Congress, abolished the federal income tax and placed severe limits on the federal government’s ability to levy taxes, implement new regulations or spend money. While the rest of the country focused on the presidential election, the Virginia gathering partied like it was 1787.
“The events at Williamsburg will be remembered as a turning point in history,” Michael Farris, a co-founder of the Convention of States Project, the conservative group that organized the event, said as the mock convention closed.
That may have been a comically grandiose statement at the time. But nobody should be laughing today. The project to overhaul the Constitution is much closer to fruition than most people realize.
Since 2014, the Convention of States Project and other conservative groups, including the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have helped persuade lawmakers in 15 states to pass resolutions that call for a new constitutional convention. [Continue reading…]