Last week, the South Dakota state senate held a vote on SJR 503 – legislation that would rescind all applications South Dakota has for an Article V constitutional convention.
In January, South Dakota had introduced HJR 5001, a resolution that would have added their names to the Convention of States initiative, which seeks to call a dangerous Article V convention to limit federal powers and falsely claims they can limit the scope of a convention and ensuring its safety. Luckily, lawmakers in South Dakota heard their constituents, understood the danger of the bill, and did not allow this legislation to pass.
Although HJR 5001 did not pass, South Dakota still has applications for an Article V convention open for a balanced budget amendment. Although this initially sounded like a good idea to constituents and lawmakers alike, it has now become clear that this legislation would come at a huge detriment to the American people and the civil rights and liberties they so enjoy. A convention allows for the possibility of taking away our inherent rights, such as voting, the freedom of speech and religion, and the right to privacy. This is a risk the United States simply cannot take.
Senator Jeff Partridge, a Republican who originally voted for the convention application for a balanced budget amendment when it was presented to South Dakota in 2015, spoke on the Senate floor about the dangers an Article V convention could pose for the nation. “I was there in 2015 and voted for it, but what I’ve learned since about what they’ve talked about has really changed my mind.”
Senator Partridge went on to say, “The good senator from Sioux Falls brought up some of the exact reasons that I take pause. The Rules Committee, the Procedures Committee, the actual call, all can change and frankly can be lobbied. To think that there’s going to be pure as snow legislators that go to some location in the United States and do the absolute right thing for our country, I think is naïve. I think we have to consider that that group of people might be very well intentioned, but also might be pushed around by lobbyists and there might be a whole other set of rules that have to go into it just for lobbying efforts alone.”
Leaders across the country are facing immense issues that they must confront, but we cannot let these “solutions” bankrolled by wealthy special interest groups be the one-size-fits-all way to handle them.
Thank you to the states who have introduced rescission bills and stood up for the rights and civil liberties of all Americans.