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AVC Legislative Report, CRS Reports, Convention of States, The Historic Record of COS, COS Laws, COS Articles, John Birch Society, Con-Con, Runaway Convention, Who Called the Convention, Congressional Vote on a "Runaway" Convention, "Obey the Constitution, Only Two More States", Rescissions, The Phony Burger Letter, The Madison Letter, Fotheringham Exchange, JBS Articles, Sibley Lawsuit, General Interest, Article V.org, Robert Natelson, History of Article V, Counting the Applications, The Numeric Count History, Congressional Decision of May 5, 1789, Development of Article V, The Committee of the Whole, The Committee of Detail, August 30, September 10, Committee of Style, September 15, Official Government Documents, History of FOAVC, Founders, Audio/Visual, Links, Contact Us, Legal Page, 14th Amendment, The Electoral Process, Packets
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Page 5 B--COS, CFA State Laws
The purpose of this page is to present the text of all applications and
state laws submitted by the states
dealing a "convention of
states" or "compact" to propose amendments. Publication of any
application however is subject to publication first appearing in the
Congressional Record as proof the application was actually transmitted
to Congress. Due to the complexities of
some state legislature's web sites, FOAVC has, in some instances,
been unable to locate the appropriate application or legislation. This
missing information is noted below. FOAVC would appreciate anyone who
can provide a link to the needed information contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FOAVC believes in the principle of Res Ipsa Louquitur--let the facts
speak for themselves. FOAVC also believes people should have the
opportunity to make up their minds on an issue based on original
material rather than an interpretation by some individual or group. For
this reason FOAVC is presenting copies of the actual applications and
state laws thus far enacted in regards to COS/CFA. A brief description
of the state applications and state law from each state is next to the
state's outline. This said however FOAVC feels duty bound to point out some facts about these state laws:
Significantly, one thing is not present in these COS laws. There
is nothing in any COS law which limits what "instructions" the small
group of legislators controlling the convention may give to the COS
convention once it is convened. While COS may present one political
agenda in order to ensure passage of these laws and associated
applications for a COS convention, once convened, an entirely different
set of "instructions" may be given to the delegates to create new
amendments not even mentioned by COS during its campaign.
As discussed previously, even in the "simulated" convention held by COS
in September, 2016, the convention violated its own COS rules.
Moreover, as demonstrated by the CFA Compact there is nothing preventing the legislature from giving instructions to the convention to propose an amendment and simultaneously ratifying that proposal. This is why the Founders wisely did not allow for state legislatures to have the power to both propose and ratify amendments. As observed by Alexander Hamilton at the 1787 convention, "State Legislatures
will not apply for alterations [of the Constitution] but with a view to
increase their own powers." The COS/CFA
laws exclude the American people from any participation in the amendment process.
Therefore the people have no ability to prevent simultaneous proposal/ratification from occurring. This not true if the
convention is elected as the people control the proposal process
leaving the state legislatures to decide whether they will go along or
not with that proposal. Thus
two politically separate groups decide on an amendment proposal; under
COS/CFA a single political group, the state legislatures, (or a small
subsection of them) decide the question of an amendment proposal.
The prevention of a
"runaway" convention by passage of these state laws is a political
ruse. These laws are not intended to prevent a "runaway" convention but
in fact promote it in order to advance the political agenda of
COS/CFA by removing the one obstacle to that agenda--the American public. There is nothing in these laws preventing a
"runaway" state legislature controlled by COS/CFA.
by the state legislature of convention delegates rather than election
by the people (whose election is specifically stated in the law and
thus subject to the law) is forbidden by federal law. Federal law makes
it a crime to "directly or
indirectly, promise any employment [or] position ...provided or or made
possible in whole or in part by an Act of Congress...to any person as
consideration, favor or reward for any political activity." (Click
image left to enlarge).
Obviously, the law is intended to ensure that persons who are
"appointed" by the various members of the state legislatures will obey
the "instructions" or are close political allies of the politician
making the appointment. Politics is all about scratching--"you scratch
my back, I'll scratch yours," goes the old saying. It means you do me a
political favor, I'll do you one. How would a politician choose someone
who he is relatively sure will obey his "instructions" and vote the way
he instructs? By knowing that person has done him political favors in
the past (or heavily contributed to his political campaign) and, as a
reward, appoint him to the position of delegate or commissioner to the
convention. Federal law prohibits this from occurring where an act of
Congress is involved. Article V of the Constitution mandates
Congress call the convention. Such action is clearly "an Act of
Congress." State laws calling for a convention "called by the states" are clearly unconstitutional.
state laws which coerce a convention delegate to vote in favor of a pre-determined political agenda violate
federal criminal law. Federal law makes it a crime to
"directly or indirectly, knowingly cause any person to make a
contribution of a thing of value (including services) [such as serving
as an appointed delegate to a COS convention] for the benefit of any
candidate or any political party by means of denial or deprivation
of... any employment, position, or work in or for...a State...if such
employment, position, work, compensation, payment, or benefit is
provided for or made possible in whole or in part by an Act of
Congress..." State laws which threaten felony arrest for failure to follow
"instructions" as well as provisions which call for the removal of the
delegate from his position of state government clearly violate this federal law.
criminal further provides the term "election" includes "the
election of delegates to a constitutional convention for proposing
amendments to the Constitution of the United States..." (Click image
right to enlarge). COS/CFA might argue the state laws which do not permit election by the people and thus are in direct violation of federal law do not apply as the "commissioners" are "elected" by the state legislatures. This is incorrect.
Federal law defines the word "election" by the use of several examples
of "elections." These include a "general", "special primary" and
"runoff election." The law also describes a "primary election" of
delegates to a political convention. All these examples of election
described by law share a common trait: all are elections involving the American public, not just a select few state legislators. Moreover the purpose of an election is to obtain consent from the people directly
authorizing a candidate to hold and exercise the powers of a particular
office. Without that consent any person occupying that office or
attempting to exercise the powers of that office acts illegally as he
is not qualified under federal law to hold that office.
As with all other offices and events described in the law, federal law does not make
an exception or qualification for the "election" of delegates to a
"convention for proposing amendments." The word "election"
automatically excludes the appointment by the state legislature and requires direct
election by the people of candidates for the office of delegate to a
convention for proposing amendments (an Article V Convention).
Therefore appointment by state legislature to that office violates
criminal law. The word "election" as described by the examples of
election used in federal law clearly refers to the public event
routinely associated with the word "election." That word was equally,
and deliberately was intended to, apply to the election of Article V
Further, federal law describes
the term "candidate" for office as a person having "taken the action
necessary under the law of a State to qualify himself for election..."
All the state laws shown below establish certain minimum standards a
meet in order to be selected by the state legislature (but not the
American people) to the office of
delegate or commissioner to a Convention of States or Compact for
America convention. The person "appointed" to the COS/CFA office may
have taken the
actions necessary under state law to qualify himself for the
appointment but under federal law is not legally qualified to assume
office because federal law mandates the candidate must be "elected" by
the people not appointed by the state legislature.
Since the "appointed" candidates from the various states are illegal
under federal law and as the courts have ruled states operate under
federal law when involved in the amendatory process, this means any
"commissioner" appointed by the state legislature who has not been
elected by the people cannot legally exercise the authority granted the
convention in the Constitution meaning the COS/CFA convention the state
laws contemplate is illegal under federal law. Therefore that
convention cannot legally propose amendments to the United States
Constitution as the people have not consented through election to
authorize those delegates to have that authority as described by
removal of the right to vote when otherwise guaranteed by historic
intention of the Federal Convention of 1787, the Supreme Court and
federal law raises another issue--deprivation of civil rights. This
includes not only the removal of the right to vote from the American
people but also the threat of felony prosecution against convention
"commissioners" (or whatever term is used in the various state laws to
describing convention delegates controlled by the state legislatures)
for exercising their right of
vote at the convention.
Federal law (click images left to enlarge) make
it illegal to "threaten or intimate any person ... in the free exercise
or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the
Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so
exercised the same." Further federal law makes it illegal "under color
of any law" to willfully subject any person to "deprivation of any
rights, privileges or immunities secured or protected by the
Constitution or the laws of the United States...to different punishments...than are prescribed for
the punishment of citizens."
There is no law in the United States or
in any state which "punishes" a citizen for voting in an election
(except for these state laws) by depriving them of the right to vote in
that election which is guaranteed by federal law. There is no law which
"punishes" an officeholder in any office for voting as he thinks best
(except in these state laws) by depriving that officeholder of his
right of vote and arresting him for exercising a right guaranteed
by provisions in the Constitution. As
federal laws create the right
to vote on convention delegates state laws which prohibit or
prevent the "free exercise or enjoyment" of that right conflict with
federal civil rights law.
Clicking on the icon will bring up a page showing the
material obtained from the official records of the state legislature.
In some instances FOAVC will reference material within the official
documents it believes may be of interest to the reader. The files
presented are accurate as of September, 2016. However FOAVC realizes
over time the laws shown on these pages may
become out of date. FOAVC would appreciate anyone who discovers the
state laws shown have been altered to contact the above email address
with this information so that we may update our information.
The state of Alabama enacted HJR 112 on May 22, 2015 as it COS
application. The resolution requires state laws regulating convention
delegates. HJR 112 requests the political agenda expressed by COS as
described elsewhere in this website.
Despite the requirements of HJR 112, FOAVC has
been unable to locate any Alabama state law dealing with the regulation
of convention delegates.
The state of Alaska enacted a "Countermand" application under HCR14 as
its "convention of states" application which was permanent enrolled as
Legislative Resolution 49 on September 15, 2016. Despite claims by COS that Alaska passed a "convention of states" application
Resolution 46 only addresses a "Countermand" or nullification
amendment. It does use the term "convention of states" but only in its
opening remarks. FOAVC has been unable to locate any state record
showing the Alaska state legislature has, in fact, passed a "convention
of states" application supporting the COS political agenda.
The state of Alaska enacted Legislative Resolution 46 which was
permanently enrolled on September 23, 2016. The resolution deals with
the regulation of convention delegates from the state of Alaska to a
convention for proposing amendments. The delegates are "representatives
of the legislature" and therefore not considered "free agents" and only
are "authorized" to complete the terms specified in Resolution 46.
Delegates are strictly limited only to support a "Countermand" or
nullification amendment meaning they are not authorized to support
neither the COS or CFA agenda.
The state of Florida enacted SM 476, an application for a convention for proposing amendments on May 9, 2014. According to a COS news release
COS claims this application as COS application. However while the
application does support the political agenda of COS, it contains no
language referring to a "convention of states" but instead refers to
an "Article V Convention."
The state of Florida enacted CS/HB 609 on July 1, 2014
enrolled in Florida Code as Title 50, Section 38. The law establishes
the regulation of convention delegates and provides for criminal felony
prosecution (page 9) (felony in the third degree) of up to five years in prison or a fine up to $5,000
for failure of any convention delegate to follow instructions of the
state legislature. The law calls for delegate selection by the
The state of Georgia enacted SR 736 as its COS application on April 22,
2014. The application matches the political agenda of COS.
The state of Georgia amended Georgia State Code, Title 50, adding
Section 38 dealing with a Compact for a Balanced Budget on April 12,
2014. As far as FOAVC can determine there is no corresponding state law
addressing any COS convention. Apparently convention delegates from
Georgia to a COS convention will be regulated by state laws intended to
regulate the CFA compact. The compact requires delegate selection by the state legislature only.
The state of Indiana enacted SJR 14 as its COS application on March 17,
2016. The application matches the political agenda of COS.
The state of Indiana enacted two bills, SB 224 and SB 225 on May 7,
2013. The two bills combined to add a new section to the Indiana Code
IC 2-8 and IC 2-8.2. IC 2-8 deals with the selection of convention
delegates by the state legislature, criminal felony prosecution (page
3) (a Class D felony of up to three years in prison and a possible fine not to exceed $10,000)
and the creation of an "Advisory" committee made up state officials to
"advise" delegates as to whether a contemplated vote violates state
The state of Indiana's second bill, SB 225 created IC 2-8.2 in Indiana
Code. IC 2-8.2 defines the qualifications for delegate, their oath
office and other associated duties.
The state of Louisiana enacted as its COS application, SCR 52 on June 7, 2016. The application matches the agenda of COS.
FOAVC has been unable to locate any Louisiana state law dealing with convention delegates.
The state of Oklahoma enacted SJR 4 as its COS application on April 27, 2016. The application is unique in that combines two
applications in the same measure. The first, found in sections 2
through 5 is a general balanced budget amendment and specifies (page 3)
that the application is to be aggregated with 28 other state
applications. The second, found in sections 6 through 9 calls for a COS
convention following the political agenda of COS and the application is
to be aggregated with the application of six other COS states.
FOAVC has been unable to locate any Oklahoma state law dealing with convention delegates.
The state of Tennessee enacted as its COS application SJR 67 on
February 9, 2016. The application follows the political agenda of COS.
state of Tennessee enacted HB 1379 on May 22, 2014 regulating selection
by the state legislature of delegates to an Article V Convention. The
law provides for a Class E felony for any delegate failing to follow
"instructions" of the state legislature. A Class E felony is punishable
by one to six years in prison as well as a fine up to $3,000.
The "Compact for a Balanced Budget" regulates the convention, delegates
ratification and therefore requires no other legislative act by the
state. The state of Alaska enacted the CFA compact as HB 284 on July
The "Compact for a Balanced Budget" regulates the convention, delegates
ratification and therefore requires no other legislative act by the
state. The state of Arizona enacted the CFA compact as HCR 2002 on March 30, 2017.
The state of Georgia enacted the CFA compact as HB 794 which regulates convention, delegates and ratification on April 12, 2014.
The state of Mississippi enacted the CFA compact as SB2389 which
regulates convention, delegates and ratification on March 13, 2015.
The state of North Dakota enacted the CFA compact as EHB 1138 which
regulates convention, delegates and ratification on April 1, 2015.
Page Last Updated: 24 APRIL 2017