Constitutional Convention still a long way off

June 13th, 2014 at 2:13 pm by under Jim Shella's Political Blog

Two days of planning for a constitutional convention ended here in Indianapolis on Friday.  While organizers are calling The Mount Vernon Assembly a success, it’s clear that their goal is a long way off.

Lawmakers from 33 states came here and their main accomplishment is a one-page resolution that points out, among other, things that they need to get more states involved in order to move forward.

That’s because, while 33 states were represented here, only 22 have endorsed the pursuit of a constitutional convention.  34 are required.

Organizers know they have challenges.  “This is something that started with one person, went to 5 people,” said state Rep. Chris Kapenga of Wisconsin.  “We’re at 105 people now.”

“But we are far, far short,” said state Rep. Matt Hoffman of Ohio, “of where we should be.”

And there were differences over simple wording in the final resolution.  A proposed one-word amendment led to a break in the action, private huddles, and eventually a contested vote.

When it all ended there was applause.  But afterward, the assessment from organizers included harsh realizations.

“We had some of the fits and starts that you have in democracy,” said Indiana State Senate Leader David Long.  “There’s no question that it will take time and it will be a difficult process.  It was that way in 1787.”

The next meeting will take place in December at a location still to be determined and the group is already changing its name in the effort to attract more participation.  Going forward it will be known as “The Assembly of State Legislatures” rather than The Mount Vernon Assembly.”

Meantime, there still has been no discussion of topics that might come up at a constitutional convention.  Said one organizer, “We’re not pushing the what.  We’re focusing on the how.”

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