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Backers, opponents of constitutional convention both rally in front of Idaho Capitol

Rallies in front of the Idaho Capitol on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018 featured both proponents and opponents of calling a constitutional convention of states to amend the U.S. Constitution. (AP / Rebecca Boone)
Rallies in front of the Idaho Capitol on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018 featured both proponents and opponents of calling a constitutional convention of states to amend the U.S. Constitution. (AP / Rebecca Boone)

There were both protesters and counter-protesters in front of the Capitol over the noon hour today, as the Convention of States group brought its leader, Mark Meckler, in to speak at a rally, and groups opposing a constitutional convention held their own counter-protest. The AP estimated that the two sides had about equal numbers, with roughly 120 people participating as the dueling rallies launched.

Meckler’s group wants to call a convention of the states under Article V of the U.S. Constitution to make amendments to the Constitution that “limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, impose fiscal restraints, and place term limits on federal officials.” It takes 34 states to call such a convention, and 38 to ratify any amendments proposed. Meckler's group also is planning a presentation about the idea, open to the public, from 5-6 p.m. in Room WW17 of the Capitol.

The idea has been highly controversial in Idaho, with opponents warning of the dangers of opening up the Constitution to amendments.

Counter-protesting groups today ranged from United Vision for Idaho and the Idaho NOW chapter to IIIPercent Idaho, an armed constitutionalist group.

Adrienne Evans, executive director of United Vision for Idaho, said in a statement, “Idahoans are vehemently opposed to these repeated attempts by outside special interests. Idaho has defeated this effort in years past and we will do it again.”



Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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