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South Carolina following George Mason's lead

Once again, Aiken County is leading the way in advocating for personal liberties and less government intrusion in our lives.

That was most evident at the recent Republican Club luncheon where the audience of more than 100 citizens enthusiastically responded to a presentation on the Article V Convention of States project.

The speaker was Bob Menges who is a recognized Constitutional Scholar and teacher.

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., engaged Menges as his personal instructor on the Constitution when he ran for the U.S. Congress. Menges has taught a twelve month Constitutional course to High School Students in Summerville for over 10 years.

Fortunately, Aiken County is not alone; citizens are mobilizing all across South Carolina and the nation demonstrating grassroots support for the only legal and lawful way open to them to rein-in our out-of-control federal government.

As example, the South Carolina Convention of States’ Facebook page has gone from 400 “likes” to 7000 in just the last two months. South Carolinians are sending hundreds of petition letters to their state representatives and senators urging them to support a request for an Article V Convention of States.

Our Aiken County legislators are at the forefront of this initiative. S.C. Rep, Bill Taylor, R-S.C., has been the chief champion of this approach and filed legislation last session that got a hearing in the House of Representatives before time ran out on the session.

Taylor will pre-file the COS legislation next month for the new session and it already has 16 cosponsors.

Other legislators, S.C. Reps. Bill Hixon, Don Wells and Chris Corley have also signed on as co-sponsors. S.C. Sens. Tom Young and Shane Massey are also cosponsoring the Senate version of the Convention of States bill.

Menges’ subject was a project regarding Article V of the U.S. Constitution that delineates the process for amending the Constitution.

In it, there are two methods – one, which, so far, has been the only method for the 27 amendments, is for the U.S. House and Senate to propose and pass a bill, by a two thirds majority, calling for an amendment to the Constitution.

Once passed, the amendment is then sent to the states for ratification. Two thirds, or 38 states, must ratify an amendment for it to become law.

The second method in Article V is known as calling a convention of the states. In September of 1787, two days prior to adjourning the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, George Mason, who Thomas Jefferson once referred to as “the wisest man of his generation,” rose to plead for one more proposal.

He expressed his fear that the federal government would eventually abuse the balance of powers and need to be reined in by the states.

He argued that a runaway government would not be willing to discipline or correct itself or agree to measures that would restrict its power.

The result of his plea was that the delegates voted to include the second method of amending the Constitution by the states calling for a convention to amend the Constitution.

It states that “ ... on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, (Congress) shall call a convention for proposing amendments ...”

Click here to read more from the Aiken Standard.