December 9, 2021

It’s the latest bit of right-wing, corporate radicalism to come from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The Hill reports that state legislators who met at ALEC’s policy conference last week hope to invoke Article V of the Constitution, in order to call a convention and propose new amendments, all for the sake of eroding federal authority.

“It’s really the last line of defense that we have. Right now, the federal government’s run away. They’re not going to pull their own power back. They’re not going to restrict themselves. And so this Article V convention is really, in my opinion, is the last option that we have,” said Iowa state Rep. John Wills (R), the state’s House Speaker pro tempore who backs the convention.

Two-thirds (34) of the states must pass legislation calling for a convention, which is quite a high bar, but ALEC and the radical righties have already made inroads. 15 states have passed ALEC’s proposed legislation and bills have been introduced in 17 more states, according to The Hill. Nine states have passed bills in at least one legislative chamber.

Once 34 states have approved a call to a convention, God knows what could happen. The Hill notes that “like many provisions in the Constitution, Article V leaves much open to interpretation” and there’s no guarantee the convention will follow the rules Congress sets for it.

In case you’re not aware just how radical ALEC is, The New Republic reported that another item on the agenda is fighting discrimination against fossil fuels companies. Yep, you read that right:

The “Energy Discrimination Elimination Act,” voted through unanimously on Friday, directs states to compile a list of entities that are supposedly boycotting fossil fuel companies, explicitly citing banks that are “increasingly denying financing to creditworthy fossil energy companies solely for the purpose of decarbonizing their lending portfolios and marketing their environmental credentials”; institutional investors that are “divesting from fossil energy companies and pressuring corporations to commit to the goal of the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050”; and large investments that are “colluding to force energy companies to cannibalize their existing businesses.”

It’s yet another reason why voting in every single election has never been more important.

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