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The Delaware General Assembly on May 3rd became the first state since 2010 to rescind an application for an Article V convention.
The state’s Senate approved House Concurrent Resolution 60 by a 16–4 vote, rescinding all previously enacted applications by the legislature. The state’s House of Representatives approved HCR 60 by a vote of 25–11 on April 19, before sending it to the Senate.
The rescission affects the state’s application for a convention limited to a balanced budget amendment, which was enacted in 1976. Delaware has long been a target of Article V opponents for rescission legislation because of the legislature’s liberal leanings. The next likely target for opponents to propose rescission legislation is in Maryland.
Delaware’s move to rescind its outstanding applications for an Article V convention was lauded by opponents on both the far-left and far-right. Claire Snyder-Hall, program director for Common Cause Delaware, said: “The General Assembly has made the right choice in rescinding Delaware’s call for an Article V constitutional convention. A convention could easily produce constitutional chaos, putting every American’s basic rights and civil liberties at risk.”
Kelly Holt, writer for The John Birch Society’s magazine The New American, stated: “In the minds of opponents however, the movement is revealed to be a false solution. Inherent in the process is the fact that the same congressional body that is currently ignoring its constitutional boundaries will likely continues ignoring the boundaries of future amendments. So, assuming an expensive, time-consuming, and flawed procedure is accomplished, we might be worse off than before—with the added risk that the current Constitution, as abused as it is, could be obliterated altogether.”
Delaware’s move to approve HCR 60 pales in comparison to the progress made in 2016 by supporters for a convention. West Virginia, on March 12, and Oklahoma, on April 26, became the two newest states to approve applications for an Article V convention for a balanced budget amendment.
The effort is being spearheaded by the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force. Seven states have already enacted applications for the multiple-amendment application backed by the Convention of States Project. The application includes a balanced budget amendment, term limits on members of Congress, and reductions in federal regulations. Oklahoma became the seventh state to fully enact the application backed by Convention of States on April 26. The BBATF and Convention of States Project have also enjoyed partial victories this year in states such as Arizona, Missouri, New Mexico, and Virginia.
Tennessee is the only other state to rescind an Article V application since 2010. However, Tennessee passed a new application in 2014.