The Dueling Resolutions About U.S. Constitutional Amendments

Feb 8, 2017

NC General Assembly building.
Credit Public Domain

On Wednesday, two joint resolutions will be introduced in the North Carolina House. They both make reference to Article five of the U.S. Constitution but that’s where the similarities end.

Article 5 of the U.S. Constitution lays out just how the document can be amended. And there are two ways to do that. One is by having two-thirds of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate propose an amendment. The other is by having two-thirds of states do the same.

Here’s where House Joint Resolution 44 comes in. It states that North Carolina calls for a constitutional convention over amendments that “impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and limit the terms of office for its officials and for members of Congress.”

This would stand until the end of 2026 to allow other states to do the same.

But House Joint Resolution 52 says not so fast. Citing other ways the Constitution can be amended and noting that document has been found to be a “sound document which protects the lives and liberties of the citizens,” this resolution would rescind any and all calls for a constitutional convention submitted by North Carolina.