Outside the Opportunity House, a storm raged Tuesday night. Rain pounded on the windows as lightning flashed and the wind blew. But inside a conference room, a new storm brewed as a crowd heard of a bloodless revolution… a chance to take back a country that many believe has lost its way.
Some people who believe the country has strayed from the Constitution have talked of nullifying federal laws. Some talked of secession. But Michael Farris, a teacher of Constitutional law and chancellor at Patrick Henry College, spoke about a more peaceful resolution, hailing a back-up plan crafted by the nation's founders… Article V.
The fifth article to the nation's founding document allows two-thirds, or 34, of the states to call for a convention to amend the Constitution. Changes would need to be ratified by three-fourths, or 38, of the states. Each state would have one vote, Farris told the crowd.
Nearly 100 people, running the gamut of ages, braved the wind and the rain to hear the plan at a town hall meeting called by Lt. Gov. Dan Forest at the Opportunity House. The meeting featured the Convention of the States Project, launched by Citizens for Self-Governance, urging states to exercise their Article V right and call for a convention to reduce the power of Washington, D.C.
Top on Farris' agenda is changing the Supreme Court.
“People think that we're not following the Constitution of the United States. I get that. I get why people think that. I get why people are frustrated by that, but it's not the most precise way to say what the problem is,” he said. “Because what's happened is there are effectively two Constitutions. There is the Constitution as written by the founders, and there's the Constitution that's interpreted by the Supreme Court of the United States.”