Mark Meckler, president of Citizens for Self-Governance and co-founder of the Convention of States project, told right-wing pundit Mark Levin on Sunday that his movement’s goal is “to reverse 115 years of progressivism.” The Convention of States project is an effort to get state legislatures to formally petition Congress to call an “Article V convention,” which would deploy a never-before-used provision for amending the U.S. Constitution.
Meckler’s campaign, with the support of right-wing corporate groups like ALEC and Religious Right leaders, is lobbying state legislators to call for a Convention of States that would consider constitutional amendments to radically alter American government and society by making much of what the federal government now does unconstitutional. A Constitution amended according to their vision would dramatically restrict the scope and authority of the federal government to regulate corporate behavior or address national problems. It would return America to a constitutional order grounded in states’ rights.
Right-wing leaders are pursuing this goal by other means as well, namely by trying to fill the federal courts with judges who share a radical “originalist” view of the Constitution and would be willing to rule that there is no constitutional authority for New Deal and Great Society programs such as Medicare and Social Security.
As RWW has noted, that’s not the end of it. Right-wing leaders have viewed the election of Trump and a Republican-majority Senate as a chance to create a judiciary that would essentially roll back much of federal policy-making in the 20th and 21st centuries.
But rarely has that point been made as openly and explicitly as Meckler did in his interview on Levin’s “Life, Liberty & Levin” show, which also featured former Sen. Tom Coburn, another Convention of States promoter.
Meckler called the campaign for a Convention of States “the battle of our generation, literally, because the question is the progressive vision of the future or the founders’ and constitutionalists’ vision of the future.” Meckler criticized a broad coalition of more than 200 labor, environmental, civil rights and other organizations that signed a joint letter last year opposing the push for an Article V convention—but he said the groups accurately described his end game.
“They actually said something truthful,” he said. “They said, ‘This is intended to reverse 115 years of progressivism,’ and we say, ‘Yes, it is.’”