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ATLANTA - State Representative Jason Spencer (R-Woodbine) will join legislators from across the country to attend the Mount Vernon Assembly meeting on December 7, 2013 at George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, near Washington D.C. The Assembly is a bipartisan gathering of state legislators whose purpose is to discuss the state-led process for crafting amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
“The Mount Vernon Assembly is an opportunity where state legislators from around the country can come together to discuss ways the states can limit federal government overreach,” said Rep. Spencer. “It is the responsibility of the states to check all branches of the federal government when they have exceeded their constitutional authority, like in the case of the Affordable Care Act. Because the federal government abuses its powers and exceeds its constitutional authority, there is now momentum among the state legislatures to move forward in planning an Article V Convention. In the midst of a recent embarrassing government shutdown, Congress’ approval rating is 5% and it is obvious they can no longer be trusted to do the right thing. Now, the states are stepping forward to fill the leadership void in Washington. An Article V Convention will adequately threaten Congress’ power and hopefully this action among the states will convince Congress to act within the bounds of the Constitution. It was the states who created the Republic, and it will be the states, once again, who remedy what ills the Republic. I look forward to representing the people of Georgia at this historic assembly in Mount Vernon.”
The meeting will lay the groundwork for a Convention of the States that would, when established by Congress, propose amendments to change various provisions of the Constitution. The initial meeting will not consider potential amendment topics; instead, it is intended to set up the rules to be followed if and when a constitutional convention is called.
The purpose of the Assembly is to foster communication and interaction between the states. In addition, the Assembly will discuss and consider a Convention of the States in 2014 that is solely focused on the task of writing the rules for an Article V Convention.
An Article V Convention is one of two methods for changing the U.S. Constitution. The only one that has been used is when two-thirds of Congress proposes an amendment and three-fourths of the states ratify it. However, the Constitution also permits what has come to be known as an "Article V Convention," named for its placement in the fifth section of the Constitution. Under that scenario, two-thirds of state legislatures ask Congress to call a Convention of the States for proposing constitutional amendments. If the convention approves an amendment, it then can be ratified by three-fourths of the states and added to the Constitution without congressional approval.
The Mount Vernon Assembly was organized based on conversations between various legislators from across the country on the subject of Article V of the Constitution. The common theme in those discussions was the uncertainty of the process. The goal was to find a bipartisan solution, and the consensus was that writing the rules around a Convention of the States would best fit that goal.
Representative Jason Spencer represents the citizens of District 180, which includes Camden, Charlton, and Ware counties. He was elected into the House of Representatives in 2010, is currently serving on the Game Fish & Parks, Human Relations & Aging, Juvenile Justice, and Special Rules committees.
[Note from the Editor: Rep. Jason Spencer is not in our district, but it is interesting to know that this assembly is going on!]