Yesterday was an extraordinary day in Richmond that began with blizzard-like conditions and treacherous roads. Nevertheless, approximately 80 determined souls turned out for a “Rally for the Republic” on the grounds of the Capitol. After being inspired by the words of our House sponsor, Delegate Scott Lingamfelter, and Michael Farris himself, this entire group of citizens flooded the halls of the General Assembly building to meet with legislators.
Their work was soon to pay off big.
At around 1:00 p.m., we packed the House Rules Committee hearing room, outnumbering Article V naysayers by at least three to one. This was a special hearing, called by the Speaker of the House solely for the purpose of hearing the COS application and the application for an Article V Convention to pass a balanced budget amendment.
After Michael Farris gave his expert testimony about the Article V process, roundly refuting a number of specious claims meant to plant fear in the Committee members, many of our stalwart grassroots supporters rose to testify. They were a credit to the Convention of States Project. Respectful, knowledgeable, and diverse, they made the case for why state legislators should use their constitutional power to restore our federal system.
The House Rules Committee voted 11-4 to pass our application, sending it to the floor of the House for a vote within the next several days.
After only a few minutes of quiet celebration in the hallway, we headed back to the General Assembly Building to continue our work on the Senate side.
The Senate Rules Committee hearing convened at 5:00 p.m., and amazingly, many of our grassroots supporters were still in the hearing room at around 7:00 p.m. to either testify in support of our application or simply stand to quietly show their support when asked.
By 7:30 p.m., the Senate Rules Committee voted 9-2-1 to pass our application, sending it to the floor of the Senate for a vote within the next several days.
Virginia is proud to be the birthplace of George Mason, whose prediction of eventual federal tyranny led to the adoption of Article V’s Convention of States mechanism. Mason would have been proud of his Commonwealth last night—proud of the hard-working people who stood up, showed up, and spoke up, and proud of the statesmen who took a bold stand to restore our Republic.
It was an extraordinary day for Virginia and for the nation.