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Dry run set for convention to end executive orders, restore state rights

This article was originally published on the Washington Examiner.

Historic Williamsburg, Va., will host a first-ever practice of a "Convention of States" next month aimed at shutting down President Obama's use of executive orders and blocking the Supreme Court's heavy hand by returning power to state governments long overshadowed by Washington.

The "Convention of States Project" said Monday that it is hosting the meeting September 21-23 in Colonial Williamsburg to show how the event, proposed in the Constitution's Article V, would work to restore a power balance between the federal and state governments.

"What America needs right now is more than a change in personnel; we need a change in structure," said Virginian Michael Farris, co­founder of the project.

Former Sen. Tom Coburn, a senior adviser of the movement, said, "This convention comes at a crucial time for our country. Americans rightly have lost confidence in the federal government and realize we must act to protect against additional illegitimate executive orders, attacks on the Bill of Rights, and continued irresponsible spending and waste in Washington."

The movement is serious. Several states have already followed the process in Article V to endorse the convention and Coburn believes that soon it will have the needed 34 states to call a convention.

The dry run in Williamsburg is meant to show how one would work and focus on the changes and potential constitutional amendments that would be proposed.

It comes as many in the nation believe that the federal government is out of control, is imposing far too many costly regulations on states, and needs to give way to state governments more.

"Using Article V to rein in the federal government is exactly what 'we the people' are supposed to do," said Mark Meckler, the president of Citizens for Self­ Governance and a leader of the convention movement, also endorsed by radio talk show host Mark Levin. "An amending convention will hold the federal government to a new standard with amendments that may include a balanced ­budget amendment that uses generally accepted accounting principles, as well as ensure that the Commerce Clause and General Welfare Clause are interpreted based on original intent," added Meckler.

The practice convention will include many of the elected leaders from states who have endorsed the effort.

Author, Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at