Opinions about unrestrained power regarding the federal government were one focus during the Santa Rosa County Delegation meeting earlier last week. Florida Representative Doug Broxson, R District 3, Representative Mike Hill, R District 2, and Senator Greg Evers, R District 2 presided over the meeting.
Local citizens gathered to converse state issues and legislative priorities. However, three local residents on the agenda, Sam Mullins, Carl Hudgens, and Thomas Rogers, made their case to stop the "abuse of power" by utilizing Article V of the U.S. Constitution.
Article V provides a method by which the States may propose and ratify amendments to the Constitution without approval by the Congress, the President or the Supreme Court. When thirty-four States first agree to a proposed amendment, and subsequently, thirty-eight of the States authorize the amendment, according to Article V, the modification becomes a part of the Constitution.
Senator Greg Evers, R-Baker filed a bill SB 480 on December 6 of this year, authorizing the Florida Legislature to establish a Commission on Federalism, assessing federal laws and determining whether laws passed in Congress are within the agenda of the Constitution and determining if an evaluated federal law violates the principle of federalism, specifying what sources the commission may rely on in an evaluation of federal law. Regarding the current circumstances within the political affairs within the country, Evers agreed with Mullins saying the government should not rule from the top, but from the bottom.
Mullins says having the people come together to "check the power of the federal government" will stem the tide. He referenced Senator Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, filing a measure known as a "memorial," asking Congress to convene a convention to consider Constitutional amendments to impose restraints on federal spending, set term limits for members of Congress, and put greater limits on federal powers over the states.
Mullins encouraged the delegation to support Evers' endeavor in SB 480. He mentioned on December 7 100 lawmakers from 32 different states gathered in Mount Vernon, Virginia, to discuss organizing the Article V convention.
Thomas Rogers says we are dependant on the "strings" of the federal government power. He says it's time the states take back their power and say no to the monies given to the states with stipulations to federal programs.
Hudgens explained later if and when Article V is complete, and thirty-eight states have ratified any or all proposed amendments, those ratified become a part of the constitution and "supreme law of the land." He explains that if Congress neglects their constitutional duty to cooperate with the process, or acts to obstruct the stipulations of Article V, the Federalist Papers and historical experience declare the political and legal principle that dictates, “when the end is prescribed, the means are to be provided.” He says should Congress intend to hinder the process, the States may decide to proceed on their own volition and pass the amendments by the standards provided in Article V. Hudgens continues to say considering the states hold the power to pass amendments without the approval of congress, the states also hold the power to create amendments by those same Article V standards, that would provide criminal charges for congressional members who would obstruct legitimate constitutional provisions.
Mullins, Hudgens and Rogers meet with the Constitution and Coffee group on Saturday morning at 7:00 at the Drowsy Poet at 4620 Woodbine Road in Pace.