On September 11, 2014, some of our nation’s finest legal minds convened at The Jefferson Hotel in Washington, D.C., to engage in a full, robust discussion of the Convention of States Project. The participants—including former members of the Reagan administration, seasoned Supreme Court litigators, and Ivy League professors—discussed and debated arguments for and against the use of Article V to restrain federal power and evaluated its potential to be used safely and effectively.
The hotel, which is four blocks from the White House, was the ideal location for this conversation. In fact, the hotel’s namesake, Thomas Jefferson, believed Article V should be used to “correct breaches of the Constitution.”
In this historic location, these renowned legal experts discussed how to effectively use the Constitution to save the Constitution. Several hours later, they had achieved consensus and endorsed the Convention of States Project.
They specifically rejected the argument that a Convention of States is likely to be misused or improperly controlled by Congress, concluding instead that the mechanism provided by the Founders is safe. Moreover, they shared the conviction that Article V provides the only constitutionally effective means to restore our federal system.
In an era of quick fixes, press conferences, and spin, this meeting was designed to go to the root of the problems that ail our nation. Thankfully, these constitutional experts saw the potential and the hope our Founders gave us even as they were forming our country.
The conclusions of these prestigious experts are memorialized in The Jefferson Statement, which is reproduced here. The names and biographical information of the endorsers, who have formed a “Legal Board of Reference” for the Convention of States Project, are listed below the Statement.