Hawaii Democratic-controlled Senate Committee Passes COS Resolution
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Hawaii State Capitol in Honolulu
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A Hawaii Senate committee controlled by Democratic Party legislators has passed two resolutions applying for an Article V constitutional convention.

On Wednesday last week, the Senate Committee on Public Safety and Intergovernmental and Military Affairs voted in favor of Senate Resolution No. 168 (S.R. 168) and Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 196 (S.C.R. 196).

These resolutions, which are nearly identical, follow the wording of Mark Meckler’s Convention of States (COS) Project application, which applies to Congress to call a convention to propose amendments that “(1) Impose fiscal restrains [sic] on the federal government; (2) Limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government; and (3) Limit the terms of office for federal officials and members of Congress.”

The committee passed S.R. 168 unanimously. Senators Glenn Wakai (D-15) and Carol Fukunaga (D-11) voted “Aye,” while Brandon Elefante (D-16) and Karl Rhoads (D-13) voted “Aye with reservations.” Brenton Awa (R-23), the sole Republican on the committee, did not vote. The vote margin for S.C.R. 196 was similar, except that Senator Elefante voted “No.”

According to The New American’s Hawaii state Legislative Scorecards, which score state legislators based on constitutional and limited-government principles, Senators Wakai and Rhoads scored zero percent. (Senators Fukunaga, Elefante, and Awa are newly elected, and haven’t yet been scored.)

The Hawaii Senate committee’s approval of S.R. 168 and S.C.R. 196 is another example of how the Left supports an Article V convention and would use one to push radical, anti-American revisions to the U.S. Constitution.

In 2012, Hawaii legislators illustrated how far they are willing to go with an Article V Convention by introducing House Concurrent Resolution No. 114 (H.C.R. 114), which called for:

(1) The repeal or modification of the Second Amendment to strengthen firearms restrictions;

(2) A declaration of the constitutionality of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, including the individual mandate requiring the purchase of health insurance;

(3) An amendment to Article I, Section 5, to prohibit the supermajority cloture requirement under Rule 22 of the United States Senate for ending floor debates and filibusters, to facilitate a more reasonable voting standard for cloture;

(4) An amendment abolishing the electoral college established under Article II, Section 1, and providing for the direct election of the United States President and Vice President by voters; and

(5) An amendment to Article II, Section 2, Clause 2, to require that Senate confirmations of appointments of officers of the United States be made by a simple majority vote within sixty days of the nomination.

More recently, in September 2023, the California Legislature — at Governor Gavin Newsom’s behest — passed Senate Joint Resolution No. 7 (S.J.R. 7), which applied for a convention to propose a radical gun-control amendment to the Constitution.

Meanwhile, conservatives pushing for an Article V Convention haven’t done much better. For example, two “Convention of States” simulations in 2016 and 2023 — attended almost entirely by Republican state legislators — resulted in amendments massively increasing the federal government and expanding its spending powers.

And in 2021, COS board member Robert P. George authored a “Conservative Constitution” that included significant restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms.

With friends like these, who needs enemies?

State legislators would be wise to oppose resolutions applying for an Article V constitutional convention, rescind existing Con-Con applications, and instead push for sound methods — such as nullification — for reining in the federal government.

To urge your state legislators to oppose resolutions applying for an Article V constitutional convention, visit The John Birch Society’s legislative alert here. Also, to view and contact legislators on specific resolutions in your state, click here.

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