To: David Lifferth,
Subject: Assembly of State Legislators Article V Rules
Date: Wed Nov 11 02:42:40 MST 2015
Rep. David Lifferth
I am sure that you are interested in the Assembly of State Legislatures Article V draft rules and their meeting tomorrow to consider the draft rules.
I have reviewed these rules and have many serious concerns. I am sending some proposed changes to you. Feel free to do with them as you please.
Here is a summary. The actual language is in the attachment.
1) 8.2.3 Committee on Credentials and Privileges
The Committee should not examine a Delegates instructions from the State Legislature. The draft requires it to.
2) 2.6.1 Recall Authority
The draft requires a joint resolution of the State Legislature presented in written form. Alternatively, a majority vote of the State's Delegation should be sufficient to recall a Delegate. The State Legislature could require Delegates to swear an oath to obey its instructions and to vote to recall any Delegate that disobeyed its instructions.
3) Openness to the Public
In Wisconsin 100,000 protesters laid siege to the State Legislature. Intimidation of Convention Delegates is not appropriate. Ratification of Amendment Proposals by 38 State Legislatures provide ample opportunity for public demonstrations of support or opposition.
All general sessions and Committee meetings are closed to the public. The Committee of the Whole must approve all press releases and publications.
In an emergency, a motion by either CoPresident to suspend and/or relocate the Convention will be determined by a 3/5 vote of the States present.
The draft quorum is 34 States having at least 270 electoral college votes. Alternatively, the quorum is 3/5 of the States or 30 States.
The draft requires 34 States having at least 270 electoral college votes to adopt the rules. After the first convention, the second convention can not proceed without a vote to adopt the rules by 34 States having at least 270 electoral college votes. Alternatively, the rules will be determined by 3/5 of the States present.
The Rules Committee shall report within 2 days and any ruling can be reconsider by the Committee of the Whole. The Draft does not address these points.
5) Committee Membership
In the Draft, the CoPresidents each select 5 States for each Committee.
Alternatively, CoPresidents shall randomly select States for Committee membership. No State shall be selected twice before all States are selected once.
6) 5.6 Subject of Proposals
The Committee of the Whole shall decide whether a proposal is germane to the Convention. The draft does not address this point.
7) Limits on Debate
In the draft each State has 12 minutes for a total of 5 hours per motion. It is undecided how to close debate but one choice is for 2/3 of the States that have at least 270 electoral votes; another choice is simple majority.
Alternatively, a majority of the States present is required to close debate. Each State shall have 2 minutes to speak on any motion for a total of 1.5 hours per motion. Committees shall report within 2 days on any matter referred.
8) New Standing Committees
The Communications Standing Committee provides Delegates with an email and instant messaging system and online access to the status and history of every Amendment Proposal.
The Amendment Proposal Standing Committee maintains the online status and history of every Amendment Proposal.
9) New Amendment Proposals
In the draft, each State can propose at most one Amendment Proposal within the first 5 days. After 5 days, new Amendment Proposals can be proposed only by Standing (Rules, Style) or Select Committees or by unanimous consent. The CoPresidents refer each Amendment Proposal to a Committee. Each CoPresident selects 5 States for membership on each Committee. Each Committee has 2 CoChairs.
Alternatively, any 13 States may propose an Amendment Proposal to the Convention for decision by a majority of the States present to create a new Amendment Committee. The new Committee shall be formed from 6 sponsoring States chosen by the sponsors and 7 States randomly selected by the CoPresidents. The Committee shall select its Chair and Secretary. All motions are decided by majority vote of the members present. The Committee has no time limits for debate or to report, however debate can be closed by majority vote of the members present.
10) Resolving Repetitions and Inconsistencies Between Amendment Proposals
In the draft, the Committee on Style, 10 members with 5 selected by each CoPresident, amends Amendment Proposals for "inaccuracies, repetitions, and inconsistencies". Thirteen States may require reconsideration by a Committee of 15 States with seven States selected by the CoPresidents from the 13 States making the request and each CoPresident selecting 4 additional States.
Alternatively, all substantive amendment of Amendment Proposals would occur in Amendment Committees. The Amendment Committee would refer the Amendment Proposal to the Committee on Style and the Committee on Style would report an amendment to the Amendment Committee.
The Committee of the Whole would deal with "repetitions and inconsistency" by merging two Amendment Committees. Each merged Amendment Committee would select six States for the new Committee and the CoPresidents would randomly select one additional State. The Committee of the Whole could also refer an Amendment Proposal to a different Amendment Committee and dissolve the original Amendment Committee.
11) Regular Order for Proposals
In the draft, a Committee, with 5 States selected by each CoPresident, reports an Amendment Proposal to the Committee of the Whole. The Committee of the Whole goes though an Amendment Proposal clause by clause marking it up. The Style Committee amends all Amendment Proposals for "inaccuracies, repetitions and inconsistencies". The Style Committee also determines the order in which Amendment Proposals are presented to the Convention for Third Reading.
Alternatively, the Amendment Committees amend Amendment Proposals by majority vote and report them to the Committee of the Whole with all amendments applied and changes, to the last version considered by the Committee of the Whole, highlighted.
The Committee of the Whole considers each Amendment Proposal. States can propose amendments to the Amendment Proposal and the CofW can approve them. The CofW can refer the Amendment Proposal with both moved and approved amendments and Debate Comments to the reporting Amendment Committee. The Amendment Proposal may transfer from the Amendment Committee to the CofW and back to the Amendment Committee several times.
The CofW may decide to engross the Amendment Proposal and report it to the Convention. The CofW may decide to merge two Amendment Committees and refer both Amendment Proposals to the merged Committee. The CofW may decide to refer an Amendment Proposal to a different Amendment Committee. The CofW may decide to dissolve an Amendment Committee and reject its Amendment Proposal. The CofW may decide to change the membership of the Amendment Committee. The CofW controls the process but actual amendment of Amendment Proposals is done by Amendment Committees with extensive discussion.
The Convention may decide that it intends to adjourn permanently. Third Reading of Amendment Proposals reported by the CofW is now in order. Engrossed Amendment Proposals are accepted by a 3/5 vote of the States present.
After all engrossed Amendment Proposals are considered, the Convention votes on whether to continue deliberations by 3/5 majority.
If the motion to continue deliberations is accepted, then rejected Amendment Proposals are barred from further consideration while accepted Amendment Proposals will be carried over for another vote the next time the Convention passes a motion of Intent to Permanently Adjourn.
If the motion to continue deliberations fails, then the accepted Amendment Proposals are communicated to the States for ratification, any motion related to Amendment Proposals or rules is out of order, and only administrative tasks required to close the convention are in order.
12) Quorum and Voting
The draft quorum is 2/3 of the States, currently 34, having at least 270 electoral college votes. Alternatively the quorum is 3/5 of the States, currently 30.
Voting in the Convention and Committee of the Whole shall be by majority of the States present unless otherwise directed.
13) Mode of Ratification
The Committee on Information, Submission and Address to the States and Congress shall receive instructions from the Committee of the Whole before communicating with Congress concerning submission of proposed amendments to the States and Mode of Ratification.
14) 9.6 Article V Applications
This section intrudes upon the powers of Congress and creates the possibility of litigation that may hinder an Article V Convention.