Early 2015 saw Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, and South Dakota bring the total of Article V Resos to 28. People begin taking it seriously. Then Wisconsin, 29; Kentucky, 30; and South Carolina, 31. Efforts in Arizona, Utah, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Virginia came up short, but a clear path to 34 was visible. The subject was a major issue in the Virginia state legislative election in November, 2015, and when proponents of Article V achieved a majority in that election, it was assured that Virginia would be the 32nd state — two to go.
2015 also saw a spirited, and crowded, field of Republican candidates seeking the nomination of their party. They were all for a balanced budget amendment, with Kasich, Paul, Pence and Jindal all actively endorsing the use of Article V to achieve it. With the Virginia election proving that 34 was within reach, all four of these candidates became active in pushing the Reso in the remaining target states: AZ, UT, ID, OK, WV and VA. A victory early in 2016 in Utah brought the total to 32, and Virginia, in March of 2016, made it 33.
This was now a national news story, promoted heavily by all of the Republican candidates. The MSM was forced to cover the story, and it caught the public’s attention. When Arizona Senate President Andy Biggs was removed from the chair by a legislative coup, staged by proponents of Article V, it was above the fold, leading the news. Passage in Arizona made 34, and the political story became the reaction from Congress. The Chairman of House Judiciary, Bob Goodlatte, was well prepared, and quickly held a committee vote to officially aggregate the 34 Resolutions, named Philadelphia as the site of the Amendment Convention, and July 1, 2016 as the opening date. This was easily passed by the full House, followed by the Senate.
All of these actions were the subject of intense media coverage, and even low information voters began to realize that an actual balanced budget amendment might be passed, without Congress.
Lawsuits were filed by opponents, challenging several State Resolutions as being inadequate. But these were largely made moot by the addition of Idaho and Oklahoma, bringing the total to 36.
In every state the legislature met, to name their delegates, and instruct them. This is a big story in every state in the Union. More drama with the convening of the Convention, and the election of a presiding officer.
As July and August go by, the deliberations of the Convention share center stage with the ongoing Presidential campaigns. The Republican nominee embraced the whole process, and when the Convention passed its proposed Amendment in September, he quickly endorsed it.
My vision doesn’t include the Democratic nominee’s response. I have no idea what they would do. A BBA is supported by 75% of the people, and 65% of Democrats. Could they oppose it? I don’t know.
Needless to say, the BBA has to be a major issue, if not the major issue, of the remaining Presidential campaign. The Republican has a huge advantage. Not just on the BBA, but on Article V, and federalism. People don’t trust the federal government — they want its wings clipped. When they understand Article V gives them power to do it, they’ll embrace it, federalism, and the Republican.
A man can dream.