Wisconsin Assembly Passes Call for U.S. Constitutional Convention

February 19, 2020

The GOP-controlled state Assembly passed a resolution on Tuesday that calls for a convention of the states to amend the U.S. Constitution. It’s part of an effort by Republicans nationwide in recent years to add a federal balanced budget requirement, term limits on federal offices, and restraints on federal government authority to the U.S. Constitution.

The proposal, Assembly Joint Resolution 77, passed on a near party-line 60-38 vote. Two Republicans, Reps. Amy Loudenbeck, of Clinton, and Dave Murphy, of Greenville, voted against the measure. GOP Rep. John Macco, of Ledgeview, did not vote. The measure now goes to the state Senate.

If approved by the Senate, Wisconsin would become the 16th state to approve a request for an Article V convention of the states. In order for a convention to occur two-thirds of the states, or 34, must approve such resolutions.

The resolution does not require the approval of Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. Democrats in Wisconsin and across the country have opposed the GOP-backed calls for an Article V convention. Democrats claim such a convention of states delegates could open the entire U.S. Constitution to changes sought by powerful special interests seeking to limit government power and people’s civil rights for their own gain.

Republicans have countered that rules would be created to curb the items that could be considered at such a convention.

A constitutional convention has not occurred since 1787 when the first one was held to create the U.S. government.

The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign is on record opposed to the resolution.