Momentum Gains in Stopping a Constitutional Crisis

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  • damon effingham
Over 40 national and state groups join legislative leaders in support of rescinding Maryland’s call for an Article V constitutional convention

The call to rescind Maryland’s application for a dangerous Article V convention is gaining new momentum and support from legislative leaders, grassroots organizations, and constitutional rights and democracy reform groups. 

Just a week after Maryland’s Democratic leadership included the rescission resolutions (HJ2/SJ2) in their priority package of bills, a coalition of 40 national and state organizations sent a letter to the state legislative leadership urging the state legislature take immediate action to rescind the state’s calls for an Article V constitutional convention. The letter thanks legislators, including Senator Madaleno and Delegate Frick, for their leadership on HJ2/SJ2, which would rescind Maryland’s call for an Article V Convention.

“Time is past due to rectify Maryland’s mistakes and rescind these calls for a constitutional convention, which would put everyone’s rights up for grabs,” said Jennifer Bevan-Dangel, executive director of Common Cause Maryland. “We are glad legislative leaders are prioritizing the rescission effort in order to protect all Marylanders and Americans’ civil rights and liberties.”

“Marylanders can’t let wealthy special interest groups rewrite our Constitution,” said Bevan-Dangel. “A constitutional convention is a dangerous threat to everyone, and the Maryland legislature must take action to help stop it.”

Under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, a convention can be called when two-thirds of the states (34) petition for a convention to enact amendments to the constitution. Conservative and balanced budget amendment advocates claim that 28 states, including Maryland, have active applications to call an Article V convention to enact a federal balanced budget amendment, leaving them just six states short of reaching their goal. There are no safeguards or guidelines in the U.S. Constitution that limit a convention to one issue or govern the rules of a convention, which makes the threat of a runaway convention very real.

Read the coalition letter here.

The groups who signed the letter are:

American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland
American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME)
AFSCME Council 3
AFSCME Council 67
AFSCME Maryland Retirees Chapter 1
ACE-AFSCME Local 2250
Brennan Center for Justice
Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)
Coalition on Human Needs
Common Cause
Common Cause Maryland
Communications Workers of America (CWA)
Democracy 21
Disability Rights Maryland
Economic Policy Institute Policy Center
Homeless Persons Representation Project
League of Women Voters of Maryland
League of Women Voters of the United States
Maryland Center on Economic Policy
Maryland Hunger Solutions
Maryland State and District of Columbia AFL-CIO
Maryland State Education Association
National Association of Social Workers
National Association of Social Workers – Maryland Chapter
National Disability Rights Network
National Education Association (NEA)
National WIC Association
National Women’s Law Center
People For the American Way
Public Justice Center
Save Our Votes
Service Employees International Union (SEIU)
SEIU 1199
SEIU Local 32BJ
SEIU Local 500
SiX Action
The Arc of the United States
The Veterans Health Council
Vietnam Veterans of America
Women’s Law Center of Maryland, Inc.