Republicans Plan to Rewrite the Constitution.

Article V to the US Constitution provides two ways to amend the nation's organizing document — the most difficult, but most dramatic way to alter American society's very foundation.

Republicans Plan to Rewrite the Constitution.

As former Republican senator Rick Santorum addressed Republican lawmakers gathered in San Diego at the American Legislative Exchange Council policy summit, he detailed a plan to fundamentally remake the United States.

It would become a conservative nation.

And the transformation, Santorum said, culminates with an unprecedented event: a first-of-its-kind convention to rewrite the Constitution.

"You take this grenade and you pull the pin, you've got a live piece of ammo in your hands," Santorum, a two-time GOP presidential candidate and former CNN commentator, explained in audio of his remarks obtained by the left-leaning watchdog group the Center for Media and Democracy and shared with Insider. "34 states — if every Republican legislator votes for this, we have a constitutional convention."

The December 2021 ALEC meeting represents a flashpoint in a movement spearheaded by powerful conservative interests, some of whom are tied to Trumpworld and share many of Trump's goals, to alter the nation's bedrock legal text since 1788. It's an effort that has largely taken place out of public view.

But interviews with a dozen people involved in the constitutional convention movement, along with documents and audio recordings reviewed by Insider, reveal a sprawling, well-funded, at least partly by cryptocurrency, and impassioned campaign taking root across multiple states.

During an extraordinary few weeks in June, the Supreme Court's three new Trump appointees powered the reversal of Roe v. Wade. They fortified gun rights and bolstered religious freedoms. Future presidents now have less power to confront the climate crisis. Each win is the product of a steady, and in some cases, decades-long quest by conservatives to bend the arc of history rightward.

This isn't an exercise, either. State lawmakers are invited to huddle in Denver starting on Sunday to learn more about the inner workings of a possible constitutional convention at Academy of States 3.0, the third installment of a boot camp preparing state lawmakers "in anticipation of an imminent Article V Convention."

Rob Natelson, a constitutional scholar and senior fellow at the Independence Institute who closely studies Article V of the Constitution, predicted to Insider there's a 50% chance that the United States will witness a constitutional convention in the next five years. Whether it happens, he said, is highly dependent on Republicans' success winning state legislatures during the 2022 midterm elections.

But not everyone in the conservative constitutional convention movement believes such a gathering is so imminent. It will likely take years more work to reach their goal, if they ever do. At minimum, Republicans will need to flip several Democratic-controlled state legislatures and convince remaining GOP holdouts of the necessity for a convention.

But during the past several decades, they've made progress. Lately, a lot.

And now, they have a plan.

Article V to the US Constitution provides two ways to amend the nation's organizing document — the most difficult, but most dramatic way to alter American society's very foundation.

The first is for a two-thirds majority of Congress to propose an amendment, with three-fourths of states ratifying it. This is how all 27 of the current amendments to the Constitution were added, but it's a path that today is largely blocked because of intractable partisan divisions. No American under 30 has experienced the nation amending the Constitution in his or her lifetime.

The second method — never before accomplished — involves two-thirds of US states to call a convention. The power to call for a convention belongs solely to state legislatures, who would pass and ratify amendments without a governor's signature, Congress' intervention, or any input from the president.

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