Kentucky May Join Movement to Amend U.S. Constitution

Feb 14, 2017

Credit Flickr/Creative Commons/Adam Theo

A growing movement to amend the U.S. Constitution is making its way to Kentucky.  A group called Convention of States will be in Frankfort Tuesday to lobby members of the General Assembly. 

State Representative Jim DeCesare has filed a resolution on the group’s behalf that calls for a national convention under Article 5 of the Constitution. 

The Warren County Republican says the resolution calls for two amendments.  One would require federal budgets to be balanced, and the other would give states sovereignty from federal mandates.

"There's always a lot of fear that this could be a run-away convention or a constitutional convention, which our current Constitution doesn't allow.  Article 5 doesn't allow that.  People say 'That's how we got the Constitution we have now.'  That was under the Articles of Confederation, and that document was not as tights as our current Constitution.  A lot of folks think this could turn into a run-away convention where you can rewrite the Constitution, but that's totally not the case.

DeCesare has introduced similar resolutions in the past.  He feels the environment may be right this year with a GOP governor, House, and Senate. 

Opponents say the Convention of States and other groups pushing Article 5 resolutions in state governments say the movement is funded by corporations and wealthy businessmen, and would give citizens little input in how the Constitution is amended.

If 34 states pass resolutions, a national convention of states could be held to amend the founding document’s language without going through Congress.  So far, resolutions have been approved by 28 state legislatures, Tennessee being the most recent. 

If the proposed amendments were approved by a convention of states, they would still have to be ratified by voters.