to Interstate compact as an MSWord file)
A bill for an Act to create an interstate compact to establish,
structure and empower the Constitution Settlement Commission of the
WHEREAS, the states created the government of the United
States and conferred upon it certain powers enumerated in the United
WHEREAS, the states have reserved certain powers to
themselves and to individuals;
WHEREAS, from time to time there is disagreement about the
nature and scope of powers conferred upon the government of the
United States by the states in the Constitution; and
WHEREAS, as a matter or principle, it is improper for the
government of the United States, or any of its branches or agencies,
to define the scope of the powers it has been granted by the states.
I. States define the Constitution
The states declare that only the states may ultimately and properly
define the nature and scope of the power intended to be and actually
conferred upon the government of the United States by the states in
the United States Constitution.
II. Compact established
By compact among the several states, the states establish the
Constitution Settlement Commission of the States.
1. Parties to the compact. Every state which
adopts this compact shall remain a member of the compact in good
standing as long as that state remains compliant with the duties and
responsibilities of a member.
2. Purpose. The purpose of the Commission is to
provide a mechanism for a final decision from the states concerning
what powers the states have granted to the government of the United
States in the United States Constitution. The purpose is not
to overthrow or supplant the government of the United States, but to
define its scope, purpose and power.
3. Duties. The Commission shall render decisions
about the nature and scope of power authorized to the government of
the United States by the states in the United States Constitution.
4. Decisions final. A decision rendered by the
Commission is final and may not be amended or overturned by any
agent or branch of any state, any agent or branch of the United
States, or by any other nation or organization of nations.
5. Sources of information. The commission may
consider any sources of information it wishes, including the wording
of the Constitution of the United States, the writings and speeches
of the founders and others in the founding era, the enactments or
recorded debates of Congress or state legislatures, the opinions of
any United States or state courts, arguments made by proponents or
opponents to any question submitted, or any other. No opinion
of the government of the United States, including its courts, or of
any state or state court is binding upon the Commission.
6. Location. The Commission shall maintain its
office in or near Denver, Colorado.
7. Commission formulation; quorum. The
Commission is comprised of a minimum of nine delegates.
Delegates participating from a majority of states joining this
compact shall constitute a quorum for the business of the
8. Commission attendance. Commission rules must
allow Commission delegates to participate in Commission business
physically, or electronically without being physically present, as
long as such participation is documented.
9. Delegates appointed by states. A single
delegate from each compact member state may be selected by the state
and must be confirmed by the state senate of each compact member
state. A delegate is confirmed for a term of four years.
No person may serve as a delegate beyond one term. A delegate
vacancy shall be filled by the same process. A state senate
may make its own rules for nomination and confirmation of the
state's delegate to the Commission. A state senate may
withdraw confirmation of and replace its delegate at any time, and
for any reason it deems sufficient. If a state senate should
withdraw or replace its delegate to the Commission, it must provide
documentation of that act to the Chief Delegate within ten calendar
days of the act. To be properly seated on the Commission,
every delegate to the Commission must present credentials of
delegation from the state senate of that state to the Commission.
10. Delegate eligibility. A delegate must have
been a resident and elector of the state for at least ten years
immediately prior to appointment before confirmation by the state
senate. The states are exhorted to consider persons for
delegates who have studied the principles of constitutional
government and aspects of state sovereignty and individual liberty,
but no participating state may make academic credentials, election
to other office, or a license to practice law a prerequisite for a
person's nomination as a delegate candidate or for confirmation as a
11. Business year. The business year of the
Commission shall commence at Noon on the second Monday in January of
each year. The Commission may recess from time to time by a
majority of voting members of the Commission, and will continue
through as much of the year as the Commission determines in order to
consider and decide issues presented to it.
12. Selection of interim secretary. On the first
day of the first business year, the delegates present shall by
majority vote elect a delegate as an interim secretary for the
process of seating voting members of the Commission and of electing
a chief delegate. The interim secretary shall chair the first
meeting to select the first chief delegate. In subsequent
years, the last chief delegate of the previous year shall chair the
first meeting of each term to select the chief delegate.
13. Commission chief delegate. On the second day
of each business year and under the supervision of the interim
secretary for the first day, the seated delegates to the Commission
shall by majority vote elect one of the delegates as the chief
delegate. The chief delegate shall be responsible for the good
order of the commission and for the efficient and proper conduct of
the Commission business for the remainder of the year. Upon
election, the chief delegate shall replace the interim secretary. A
vacancy in the office of chief delegate may be determined and
declared by an affirmative vote of 2/3 of the seated delegates of
the Commission. In the event of a vacancy in the office of
chief delegate, that office shall be filled in the same manner as on
the second day of the annual session.
14. Other Commission officers. The delegates to
the Commission shall elect or appoint a Secretary, who may or may
not be a delegate, and who shall be responsible to maintain the
records and communications of the Commission in good order.
The delegates to the commission shall elect or appoint a Treasurer,
who may or may not be a delegate, and who shall be responsible for
the sound conduct of the financial affairs of the Commission,
including any periodic reports to the Commission that the Commission
may require. The Treasurer may be required by the delegates to
post a bond for the faithful performance of the Treasurer's duties,
in an amount and under conditions specified by the delegates.
The delegates to the Commission may elect or appoint other inferior
officials as needed.
15. Commission rules. Operating rules for the
Commission may be adopted by the delegates, which rules may be
readopted or amended by the delegates from time to time or for each
term. Where Commission rules are silent, Mason's Manual of
Legislative Procedure shall apply.
16. Delegate participation. Every delegate to
the Commission may participate in any hearings, discussions,
deliberations and votes of the Commission. No delegate in good
standing may be excluded from any Commission business.
17. Submission of questions. A question about
proper application of constitutional power proposed or assumed by
the government of the United States may be submitted by the
Governor, the Senate, the House, or the Attorney General of any
member state, by the President, the Senate, the House or the Supreme
Court of the United States, or by a petition signed by 1,000
electors of any one member state. The Commission may accept or
decline any request to answer any questions posed to it.
18. Implementation of decisions. Any decision
rendered by the Commission may be implemented or disregarded by
state members of this compact, and by any other state, however or to
whatever extent the state may choose.
19. Payment of Commissioners. Every state
confirming a delegate to the Commission must pay the salary and
state-determined benefits of that delegate, which amount shall be
equal to the amount that state pays its governor or the chief
justice of its supreme court, whichever the state may choose.
A state may pay or reimburse the travel expenses of a delegate to
and from Commission meetings. A delegate may not accept any
other compensation for or related to his or her service on the
20. Payment of Commission Operating Expenses.
Every state entering into this compact is obligated to pay a share
of the costs of operating the Commission. To pay for the
operating expenses of the Commission, each compact member state must
pay each year no later than the beginning of the annual term of the
Commission three times the total amount that member state pays its
governor each year in salary and benefits.
21. Notice of meetings of delegates. The chief
delegate must notify every delegate to the commission of every
meeting of the Commission at least five days in advance of that
meeting. Such notice may be by any means approved by the
Commission, including electronic.
22. Attendance at meetings; absence. A delegate
may elect to participate in a meeting of delegates by electronic
means, which shall be deemed sufficient presence. No proxy
votes may be exercised or accepted. Any delegate may be
excused an absence by a unanimous vote of other delegates. If
a delegate should have three consecutive unexcused absences or a
total of ten absences during one calendar year, that delegate
position may be declared vacant by a majority of the other delegates
and the position filled by the state senate of the state which
appointed the delegate.
23. Duration. The duration of this compact shall
be indefinite, and the participation of each state adopting the
compact shall be until the state repeals the compact adoption.
Seating of a state's single delegate to the Commission may not be
denied as long as the state's delegate is confirmed and documented
by the state senate and the state's dues are paid within the time
III. Compact amendment; withdrawal
This compact is subject to amendment by two-thirds of the states
party to the compact. Any state may withdraw from this compact
by repeal of its act of joining the compact.
IV. Provisional organization
The Speaker of the House of Representatives of the first state to
enact this compact shall be the interim secretary of the Commission
for the purpose of identifying other states enacting this compact,
and for scheduling and announcing the first meeting of the
Commission, which meeting must be scheduled to occur within 90 days
of the enactment of this compact by the ninth state to enact this