Article V of the U.S. Constitution describes a couple of ways to amend the U.S. Constitution.
Amendments may be proposed by either:
#two-thirds of both houses of the United States Congress; or
#by a national convention assembled at the request of the legislatures of at least two-thirds of the states.
To become part of the Constitution, amendments must then be ratified either by approval of:
#the legislatures of three-fourths of the states; or
#state ratifying conventions held in three-fourths of the states.
Congress has discretion as to which method of ratification should be used.
The only amendment that isn’t permitted is to deprive a state of equal representation in the Senate without its consent.
224 purports to limit a delegate’s authority to duties on which the delegate receives instruction by joint resolution of the Indiana General Assembly. 225 provides criteria for appointing a delegate – the person has to be over 18, an Indiana voter, not a lobbyist, and not a federal official. Votes for the delegate have to approved by majorities of each chamber.
I don’t have any particular objection to these provisions on their own terms. And if the provisions were just introduced in isolation, I wouldn’t mind the legislation as a “be prepared” measure that the General Assembly expected to gather dust over the decades. But it’s not an isolated measure. It’s of a piece with the John Birch Society Kool-Aid we’ve been seeing in the General Assembly lately: the nullificationists, the sovereign citizens, the Constitutional Sheriff’s movement – to name a few. It also comes combined with SJR 18 which tries to call a Constitutional Convention “strictly confined to consideration of amendments concerning the limitation of the commerce and taxing powers of Congress”. (Good luck picking just those two worms out of the can once you open it.)
There is a refusal to recognize that we are ordinary people living in ordinary times. Despite the reality that we have a moderate federal government making incremental changes, we hear cries of tyranny and desperate pleas to “take our country back.” This attitude is akin to — and, I think linked to — evangelical insistence that the end is nigh and persecution is everywhere. The Slacktivist speculates on the reason for the persistence of what he calls the “Christian Persecution Complex”:
[B]y pretending we’re a persecuted minority rather than the hegemonic majority we actually constitute, then we’re also able to pretend that we’re: 1) Noticeably different in our dreams, desires and daily lives from those otherwise indistinguishable-from-us neighbors who share our culture but not the particulars of our faith; and 2) Noticeably and intolerably more virtuous and righteous than those otherwise indistinguishable-from-us neighbors who share our culture but not the particulars of our faith.
My theory, in other words, is that we’ve chosen the illusion of self-righteousness over the actual hard work of becoming the kind of love-driven, love-shaped people Jesus called us to be.
In another context, I offered that it’s OK to be an insignificant part of an enormous universe:
It seems to me that, with some people, there is a driving need to see one’s self as a heroic figure in the consequential drama of one’s life. And that need leads to a view of the world that doesn’t comport with reality which, in turn, leads to interactions with the world that aren’t healthy and which aren’t helpful to others.
In this category, I also see the fervent believer with a personal relationship to God that helps them withstand the persecution that is everywhere while they are engaged in a noble effort to stand against evil; perhaps through a desperate battle to save America by battling its destructive cultural decline.
There hasn’t been a Constitutional Convention in the 230 years or so since our Constitution was adopted. There is no reason to think one is anywhere near the horizon; the Indiana Senate’s call to arms notwithstanding. Our time isn’t more laden with importance than normal. It’s grandiose to think it is. The barbarians are not at the gate. The bills don’t hurt anything on their own (though the resolution is irresponsible), but they look to be symptomatic of disturbing pathology in our political psyche.