Resolution No. 33
February Session, 2016
LCO No. 2085
Referred to Committee on GOVERNMENT ADMINISTRATION AND ELECTIONS
RESOLUTION PETITIONING THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS TO CONVENE AN ARTICLE V CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION TO OVERTURN THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT'S DECISION IN CITIZENS UNITED V. FEDERAL ELECTION COMMISSION.
Resolved by this Assembly:
WHEREAS, the first President of the United States, George Washington, stated, "The basis of our political systems is the right of the people to make and to alter their Constitutions of Government."; and
WHEREAS, it was the stated intention of the framers of the Constitution of the United States of America that the Congress of the United States of America should be "dependent on the people alone" (The Federalist No. 52, James Madison); and
WHEREAS, that dependency has evolved from a dependency on the people alone to a dependency on those who spend excessively in elections, through campaigns or third-party groups; and
WHEREAS, the United States Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. 310 (2010) removed restrictions on amounts of independent political spending; and
WHEREAS, the removal of these restrictions has resulted in the unjust influence of powerful economic forces, which have supplanted the will of the people by undermining the people's ability to choose political leadership, write laws and determine the fate of the government; and
WHEREAS, Article V of the United States Constitution requires the United States Congress to call a convention, upon application of the legislatures of two-thirds of the several states, for the purpose of proposing amendments to the United States Constitution; and
WHEREAS, the State of Connecticut sees the need for a convention to propose amendments in order to address concerns such as those raised by the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and related cases and events, including those occurring long before or afterward or for a substantially similar purpose, and desires that said convention should be so limited; and
WHEREAS, the State of Connecticut desires that the delegates to said convention shall be comprised equally of individuals currently elected to state and local office, or be selected by election, in each Congressional district for the purpose of serving as delegates, though all individuals elected or appointed to federal office, now or in the past, be prohibited from serving as delegates to the convention and intends to retain the ability to restrict or expand the power of its delegates within the limits expressed above; and
WHEREAS, the State of Connecticut intends that this be a continuing application considered together with applications calling for a convention passed in the 2013-2014 Vermont legislature as R454, the 2013-2014 California legislature as Resolution Chapter 77, the 2013-2014 Illinois legislature as Senate Joint Resolution No. 42 and all other similar passed, pending and future applications, the aforementioned concerns of Connecticut notwithstanding until such time as two-thirds of the several states have applied for a convention and said convention is convened by Congress.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the people of the State of Connecticut speaking through its legislature, and pursuant to Article V of the United States Constitution, hereby petitions the United States Congress to call a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments to the Constitution of the United States of America as soon as two-thirds of the several states have applied for a convention; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the clerks of the House of Representatives and the Senate transmit copies of this resolution to the President of the United States; the Vice President of the United States in his capacity as presiding officer of the United States Senate and addressed to him at the office he maintains in the United States Capitol Building; the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives, the President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate, each Senator and Representative from Connecticut in the Congress of the United States with the respectful request that the full and complete text of this resolution be printed in the Congressional Record; and the Governor of each state and the presiding officers of each legislative body of each of the several states, requesting the cooperation of the states in issuing an application compelling Congress to call a convention for proposing amendments pursuant to Article V of the United States Constitution.
Statement of Purpose:
To petition Congress to convene a constitutional convention of limited scope to address concerns raised by and overturn Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and related cases.
[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]