Sarah Palin and her reality TV show star daughter are promoting an obscure legal maneuver promoted by religious conservatives to propose new amendments to the U.S. Constitution.
Palin, the former half-term governor of Alaska and rumored 2016 presidential candidate, urged her Facebook followers to contact their state legislators to call for a convention of the states to limit “a Government Gone Wild.”
“By calling a Convention of the States, average citizens can stop the federal spending spree, power grabs, and other abuses by proposing amendments to rein in the federal government,” Palin posted on Saturday. “After the states draft, debate, and vote upon these proposed amendments, they will then be sent to all 50 states for ratification, and three-quarters of the states must agree for any of the proposed amendments to be ratified.”
Three legislatures have already passed bills calling for a convention, and Virginia lawmakers are expected to vote on such a measure this week.
The Constitution has been amended throughout U.S. history by Congress, but Article V guidelines set out by the founders allow revisions to be made at a convention called by at least two-thirds of state legislatures.
Those amendments would then be subject to ratification by three-fourths of the states, just as they are when passed by Congress.
The tactic is promoted by religious conservatives who want the Constitution to better reflect their belief that the U.S. is a Christian nation, as well as some progressives also seek a convention of the states to help limit corporate influence on politics.
“By calling a Convention of the States, average citizens can stop the federal spending spree, power grabs, and other abuses by proposing amendments to rein in the federal government,” Palin said.
She directed her social media followers to a blog post written by her daughter, Bristol Palin, who provided contact information for Virginia lawmakers.
“The beauty of this process is that neither the President nor Congress has the authority to stop it,” Palin said. “It is truly in the hands of We the People. This idea is really the last recourse of the citizens to rein in DC and restore our country to a Constitutionally limited federal government.”
Critics of the plan, including the anti-communist John Birch Society and Americans United for Separation of Church and State, warn the convention could potentially open up all constitutional amendments for debate and possibly weaken protections for gun ownership and religious freedom.