SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 4
(By Senators Beach and Romano)
[Introduced January 19, 2016]
Petitioning Congress to call a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America.
Whereas, The first President of the United States, George Washington, stated, “The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government”; and
Whereas, It was the stated intention of the framers of the Constitution of the United States of America that the Congress of the United States of America should be “dependent on the people alone.” (James Madison, Federalist 52); and
Whereas, That dependency has evolved from a dependency on the people alone to a dependency on those who spend excessively in elections, through campaigns or third-party groups; and
Whereas, The United States Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U. S. 310 (2010), removed restrictions on amounts of independent political spending; and
Whereas, The removal of those restrictions has resulted in the unjust influence of powerful economic forces, which have supplanted the will of the people by undermining our ability to choose our political leadership, write our own laws and determine the fate of our state; and
Whereas, Article V of the United States Constitution requires the United States Congress to call a convention for proposing amendments upon application of two thirds of the legislatures of the several states for the purpose of proposing amendments to the United States Constitution; and
Whereas, The State of West Virginia sees the need for a convention to propose amendments in order to address concerns such as those raised by the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2010), 130 S.Ct. 876, and related cases and events, including those occurring long before or afterward or for a substantially similar purpose, and desires that the convention should be so limited; and
Whereas, The State of West Virginia desires that the delegates to the convention shall be comprised equally from individuals currently elected to state and local office, or be selected by election in each congressional district for the purpose of serving as delegates, though all individuals elected or appointed to federal office, now or in the past, be prohibited from serving as delegates to the convention, and intends to retain the ability to restrict or expand the power of its delegates within the limits expressed above; and
Whereas, The State of West Virginia intends that this be a continuing application considered together with applications calling for a convention passed in the 2013-2014 Vermont Legislature as R454 and the 2013-2014 California Legislature as Resolution Chapter 77 and all other passed, pending and future applications, the aforementioned concerns of West Virginia notwithstanding, until that time as two thirds of the several states have applied for a convention and the convention is convened by Congress; therefore, be it
Resolved by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Legislature hereby petitions Congress to call a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America; and, be it
Further Resolved, That the Clerk of the Senate is hereby directed to forward a copy of this resolution to the President and Vice President of the United States, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives, the President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate, to each senator and representative from West Virginia in the Congress of the United States, to the Governor of each state and to the presiding officers of each legislative body of each of the several states, requesting the cooperation of the states in issuing an application compelling Congress to call a convention for proposing amendments pursuant to Article V of the U. S. Constitution.