California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly Joint ResolutionNo. 30


Introduced by Assembly Member Grove

February 17, 2016


Assembly Joint Resolution No. 30—Relative to a convention of states.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AJR 30, as introduced, Grove. Federal constitutional convention: application.

This measure would constitute an application to the United States Congress to call a constitutional convention pursuant to Article V of the United States Constitution limited to proposing amendments to the United States Constitution that impose fiscal restraints on the federal government and limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government.

This measure would constitute a continuing application for such convention until the legislatures of 2/3 of the states have made applications on the same subject and the convention has been called by the Congress of the United States.

Fiscal committee: no.

P1    1WHEREAS, The Founders of the United States Constitution
2empowered state legislators to be guardians of liberty against
3excessive use of power by the federal government; and

4WHEREAS, The federal government has created a mounting
5national debt exceeding $17 trillion through improper and
6imprudent spending; and

P2    1WHEREAS, The federal government has usurped the legitimate
2roles of the states through unfunded federal mandates; and

3WHEREAS, The federal government has ceased to operate
4under a proper interpretation of the Tenth Amendment to the United
5States Constitution; and

6WHEREAS, It is the solemn duty of the states to protect the
7liberty of our people, particularly for the generations to come, by
8proposing amendments to the United States Constitution through
9a convention of the states under Article V to place clear restraints
10on these and related excessive uses of power; now, therefore, be
11it

12Resolved by the Assembly and the Senate of the State of
13California, jointly,
That the Legislature of the State of California
14hereby make application to the Congress of the United States to
15call an amendment convention pursuant to Article V of the United
16States Constitution limited to proposing amendments to the United
17 States Constitution that impose fiscal restraints on the federal
18government and limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal
19government; and, be it further

20Resolved, That pursuant to Article V of the Constitution of the
21United States, the Legislature of the State of California joins in
22the application of the states of Georgia (SR 736 (2014)), Florida
23(SM 476 (2014)), Alaska (HJR 22 (2014)), Alabama (HJR 112
24(2015)), and Tennessee (SJR 67 (2016)) for a convention for the
25sole and exclusive purpose of proposing amendments to the
26Constitution of the United States limited to the purposes stated
27therein, provided, however, that the delegates from California to
28said convention are expressly limited to consideration and support
29for amendments that impose fiscal restraints on the federal
30government, and which limit the power and jurisdiction of the
31federal government. It is the express intention of this Legislature
32that this application shall be aggregated with the subsequent
33applications of other states limited to the purposes identified in
34 this application or those of the states named above; and, be it
35further

36Resolved, That the other states be encouraged to make similar
37applications for an amendment convention pursuant to Article V
38of the United States Constitution; and, be it further

39Resolved, That this application shall constitute a continuing
40application for such amendment convention pursuant to Article V
P3    1of the United States Constitution until the legislatures of two-thirds
2of the states have made applications on the same subject and such
3convention has been called by the Congress of the United States;
4and, be it further

5Resolved, That the Legislature of California adopt this
6application with the following understandings (as the term
7“understandings” is used within the context of “reservations,
8understandings, and declarations”):

91. An application to Congress for an Article V convention
10confers no power on Congress other than to perform a ministerial
11function to “call” a convention;

122. This ministerial duty shall be performed by Congress only
13when Article V applications for substantially the same purpose
14are received from two-thirds of the legislatures of the several states;

153. The power of Congress to “call” a convention solely consists
16of the authority to name a reasonable time and place for the initial
17 meeting of the Convention;

184. Congress possesses no power whatsoever to name delegates
19to said convention, as this power remains exclusively within the
20authority of the legislatures of the several states;

215. Congress possesses no power to set the number of delegates
22to be sent by any state;

236. Congress possesses no power whatsoever to determine any
24rules for said convention;

257. By definition, a convention of states means that states vote
26on the basis of one state, one vote;

278. A convention of states convened pursuant to this application
28is limited to consideration of topics specified herein and no other;

299. The Legislature of California may provide instructions to its
30delegates (commissioners);

3110. The Legislature of California may recall its delegates at any
32time for breach of their duties or violation of their instructions;

3311. Pursuant to the text of Article V, Congress may determine
34whether proposed amendments shall be ratified by the legislatures
35of the several states or by special state ratification conventions;
36the Legislature of California recommends that Congress specify
37its choice of ratification methodology contemporaneously with
38the call for the convention;

P4    112. Congress possesses no power whatsoever with regard to the
2Article V convention beyond the two powers acknowledged herein;
3and

413. The Legislature of California places express reliance on
5prior legal and judicial determinations that Congress possesses no
6power under Article I of the United States Constitution relative to
7the Article V process and that Congress must act only as expressly
8specified in Article V; and, be it further

9Resolved,That the Chief Clerk of the Assembly transmit copies
10of this resolution to the President of the United States, the Speaker
11and the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, the
12President and the Secretary of the United States Senate, each
13member of the California Congressional Delegation, and the
14legislatures of each of the several states, attesting the adoption of
15this resolution by the Legislature of California.



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