In January, two bills were filed in the South Carolina legislature that I consider the most important legislation ever filed in Columbia.
Sound like hyperbole to you? Think again. The sole purpose of the legislation is to rescue America from its downward spiral.
The primary sponsors of the legislation (S-198 and H-3177) are Sen. Larry Grooms, R-Berkeley, and Rep. Bill Taylor, R-Aiken. The bills call for a Convention of States to amend the United States Constitution to limit the power, scope and influence of the federal government. Taylor was joined by 30 co-sponsors.
The vast majority of Americans realize, like me, that our republic is in great peril. Numerous polls show a majority of people agree. Our government has abandoned the core beliefs of our founding fathers who gave us the most inspired secular document ever written, the United States Constitution. Only the Bible has had more influence on the world as we know it.
Unfortunately, we are not being governed by the Constitution enshrined in the National Archives. For many decades, the U.S. Supreme Court has stretched and redefined the original intent of our founders. They have used the Commerce and General Welfare clauses to justify nearly every government overreach including Obamacare. This has created a “Shadow Constitution” in which the federal government regulates and controls every aspect of our lives.
The original intent of our founders was that the states would be in control of how we were governed and the federal government would do things like wage war, handle international relations, deliver the mail and keep the national monuments tidy.
This behemoth federal government means there is no longer a separation of powers as envisioned by the founders. All this bureaucracy falls under the executive branch and operates at the pleasure of the president. Congress has become impotent and can do little more than hold hearing after hearing, with no meaningful results. The bureaucrats carry over from administration to administration and continue to run the country as they see fit.
It’s time for “We The People” to reclaim our rightful position of governance. Our founders gave states the option to restore the republic and throttle back the runaway federal government when they included Article V in the Constitution.
A COS is a solution as big as the problem. It can propose to balance the government’s budget to stop its out-of-control spending, redefine the Commerce and General Welfare clauses to stop their intrusion into every aspect of our lives, establish term limits on Congress and federal judges including the Supreme Court, restrict executive orders and put a halt to federal agencies making law, to name the most obvious potential amendments.
You are the safety factor in a COS. Each proposed amendment must be ratified by 38 states, the same manner in which all 27 amendments have been adopted. That means 13 states have veto power to send an amendment into the dark closet of failed amendment proposals.
This session our Senate Bill 198 made significant progress by not only passing the Constitutional Laws Subcommittee, but it passed the full 23-member Judicial Committee by a 13-8 margin. However, Sen. Brad Hutto, D-Orangeburg, placed a minority report on it which will take the Rules Committee to override it to get S-198 to the floor for a vote. We feel we have the votes to get it passed if we can get it to a vote.
The House has been slower to move and we have been stalled in the Constitutional Laws Subcommittee by a key House member opponent. We are working diligently to get past this blockage.
Come join us in this momentous task. Go to www.conventionofstates.com, sign the petition for a COS — and better yet, become a COS volunteer. Tell your House and Senate legislators to get off the dime and support S-198 and H-3177.
Help us save America!
Claude O’Donovan is legislative liaison for the South Carolina Convention of States. He lives near Wagener, where he is the former vice chairman of the Aiken County GOP. O’Donovan received the South Carolina GOP’s Volunteer of the Year award in 2011.