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Article V Convention

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MSN/Public News Service: Progressives call push to change Constitution 'risky'

Jonathan Mehta Stein, executive director of California Common Cause, said the risk of a runaway convention is too great, because there are very few rules in place. "We would have no idea who's seeking to influence the members of the constitutional Convention," Stein pointed out. "What lobbying would be happening behind the scenes? Would there be public-records requirements? Would there be transparency requirements? We just have no idea."

Testimony for House Hearing on Threat of Article V Constitutional Convention

Today at 2:00 p.m. ET, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Limited Government will hold a hearing on "Examining Proposed Constitutional Amendments," including to review Article V of the Constitution and proposed amendments. Stephen Spaulding, Common Cause Vice President for Policy & External Affairs, will be testifying on the dangers inherent in calling an Article V constitutional convention. His written testimony submitted in advance of the hearing focuses on the risks and unpredictability of calling a constitutional convention but initially emphasizes the manner the nation has relied upon to amend the Constitution more than two dozens times in the past.

KCRA-TV: Key committee set to vote on Gov. Newsom's call for a constitutional convention

Critics note there are no guarantees that the convention would be limited to gun control if triggered. The nonpartisan democracy advocacy group Common Cause earlier this week blasted the push, noting a convention lacks legal guardrails and historical norms. "By calling a constitutional convention, Governor Newsom would invite wealthy special interests to open the hood of the U.S. Constitution and tinker with our rights and liberties—without a single rule," the group said in a news release. "There are few risks to the freedoms we cherish greater than calling for a constitutional convention. No matter what issue you care about—civil rights, abortion, housing, the environment, or gun safety — an Article V Convention carries the potential to take us back rather than move us forward."

The Center Square: Gavin Newsom's national Constitutional amendment to limit gun access put on hold

“Doing a convention puts every civil right we have in this country at risk,” said Viki Harrison, Director of Constitutional Conventions and Protecting Dissent Programs for left-of-center watchdog group Common Cause in an interview with The Center Square. “The entire Constitution could be rewritten.” “The amendment process is a lot more in the open,” Harrison said. “You're going through the state legislatures where people can testify. You are going through Congress where people can interact with their legislators and their senators.” 

Washington Times: California governor calls for U.S. constitutional amendment on gun control

Viki Harrison, director of constitutional convention programs at Common Cause, said her organization supports efforts to curb gun violence, but she said calling a convention “could put all of our civil rights up for grabs.” “A constitutional convention is not the way to go and could actually make reducing gun violence worse at the end of the day because gun interests could re-write the constitution,” she told The Washington Times. “With no rules in place, and many convention proponents advocating for the same number of delegates per state, gun control would not be the topic taken up at a convention.”

Common Cause Veterans Kathay Feng and Stephen Spaulding Step Into VP Roles

Common Cause is pleased to announce that two Common Cause veterans have stepped into the role of vice president at the government watchdog. Longtime Common Cause leader Kathay Feng will step into the role of Vice President for Programs and Stephen Spaulding is returning to Common Cause from his role as Policy Director of the U.S. Senate Rules Committee and will serve as Vice President for Policy & External Affairs. Together the two will help lead Common Cause’s national efforts to reduce barriers to a more representative democracy. They will also support efforts for the organization’s 30 state operations working to create a 21st Century democracy that works for everyone.

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