Bill Text: MS HC8 | 2017 | Regular Session | Introduced

Bill Title: U.S. constitution; application to Congress for calling a convention to propose amendments that address free and fair elections.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Failed) 2017-03-29 - Died In Committee [HC8 Detail]

Download: Mississippi-2017-HC8-Introduced.html


2017 Regular Session

To: Constitution; Apportionment and Elections

By: Representative Clark

House Concurrent Resolution 8


     WHEREAS, elections in the United States of America should be free from corruption and fair enough that any citizen can be elected into office; and

     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" (Farewell Address, 1796); 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" (James Madison, Federalist 52); 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 those restrictions has resulted in the undue influence of powerful economic forces, which have supplanted the will of the people by undermining our ability to choose our political leadership, write our own laws and determine the fate of our state; and  

     WHEREAS, the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution states, "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people," which, until 2010, had consistently been interpreted as allowing the states to establish their own laws governing the financing of elections; and

     WHEREAS, the American people, when asked, overwhelmingly expressed their desire to remove the corrupting influence of money from our political process; and

     WHEREAS, the United States Congress has been unresponsive to this expressed will of the American citizenry in addressing the problem of corrupting money in politics; and

     WHEREAS, Section 5 of the Constitution of the State of Mississippi affirms that governments are for the benefit of the people and Section 6 affirms that the people have the right to effect reform when it is not; and         

     WHEREAS, Article V of the United States Constitution requires the United States Congress to call a convention for proposing amendments to the United States Constitution upon application of two-thirds (2/3) of the legislatures of the several states; and

     WHEREAS, the State of Mississippi sees the need for a convention to propose amendments in order to respond to the will of the people and address the corrupting influence of money in our political process including, inter alia, relevant decisions by the United States Supreme Court, and desires that such convention be so limited:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE SENATE CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby, in accordance with Article V of the Constitution of the United States, apply to the United States Congress to call a limited convention to propose amendments to the Constitution of the United States for the exclusive purpose of protecting free and fair elections in the United States by removing the corrupting influence of excessive spending in our electoral process, by addressing, inter alia, concerns raised by Citizens United v. FEC and related decisions, as soon as two-thirds (2/3) of the several states have approved similar applications for a convention.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, 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 that the State of Mississippi retains the ability to restrict or expand the power of its delegates within the limits expressed above.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this application constitutes a continuing application to be 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 98th Illinois General Assembly as Senate Joint Resolution No. 42, the 2014-2015 New Jersey Legislature as Senate Concurrent Resolution 132, and all other passed, pending and future applications until such time as two-thirds (2/3) of the several states have applied for a convention and such convention is called by Congress.

          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That copies of this resolution be furnished to the Speaker and the Clerk of the United States House of Representatives, the President and Secretary of the United States Senate, to the members of the Mississippi congressional delegation, and to the presiding officers of each of the legislative houses in the several states, requesting their cooperation.