Inside conservatives’ next big dream: A constitutional convention

Inside conservatives’ next big dream: A constitutional convention

Insider reports:

As former Republican senator Rick Santorum addressed Republican lawmakers gathered in San Diego at the American Legislative Exchange Council policy summit, he detailed a plan to fundamentally remake the United States.

It would become a conservative nation.

And the transformation, Santorum said, culminates with an unprecedented event: a first-of-its-kind convention to rewrite the Constitution.

“You take this grenade and you pull the pin, you’ve got a live piece of ammo in your hands,” Santorum, a two-time GOP presidential candidate and former CNN commentator, explained in audio of his remarks obtained by the left-leaning watchdog group the Center for Media and Democracy and shared with Insider. “34 states — if every Republican legislator votes for this, we have a constitutional convention.”

The December 2021 ALEC meeting represents a flashpoint in a movement spearheaded by powerful conservative interests, some of whom are tied to Trumpworld and share many of Trump’s goals, to alter the nation’s bedrock legal text since 1788. It’s an effort that has largely taken place out of public view.

But interviews with a dozen people involved in the constitutional convention movement, along with documents and audio recordings reviewed by Insider, reveal a sprawling, well-funded, at least partly by cryptocurrency, and impassioned campaign taking root across multiple states.

Notably fueling them: success.

During an extraordinary few weeks in June, the Supreme Court’s three new Trump appointees powered the reversal of Roe v. Wade. They fortified gun rights and bolstered religious freedoms. Future presidents now have less power to confront the climate crisis. Each win is the product of a steady, and in some cases, decades-long quest by conservatives to bend the arc of history rightward.

This isn’t an exercise, either. State lawmakers are invited to huddle in Denver starting on Sunday to learn more about the inner workings of a possible constitutional convention at Academy of States 3.0, the third installment of a boot camp preparing state lawmakers “in anticipation of an imminent Article V Convention.” [Continue reading…]

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