The Convention of States Project announced Monday that former Heritage Foundation President Jim DeMint would join their ranks as a senior adviser.
The conservative group aims to get state legislatures to call a convention to propose adding amendments to the Constitution under Article V.
“I tried to rein in Washington from inside the House and Senate, then by starting the Senate Conservatives Fund to elect good conservatives, and finally as president of the Heritage Foundation, creating and promoting good, conservative policy,” the former South Carolina senator said in a statement. “But once I realized that Washington will never willingly return decision-making power back to the American people and the states, I began to search for another way to restrain the federal government.”
Mr. DeMint was ousted from his role as head of the Heritage Foundation earlier this year over claims he was moving the foundation to a more political role rather than one of policy-based research.
For a Convention of the States, 34 state legislatures must pass and send to Congress a resolution requesting the convention, which Congress cannot block. States then send commissioners to the convention to debate and vote on amendments.
Sen. Tom Coburn, who became a senior adviser to the Convention of States Project in 2015, is out with a new book on the subject that argues the only way to fix the major problems in Washington is through such an action.
“This is exactly what our founders intended,” Mr. Coburn said on C-SPAN earlier this year. “They knew that at some point in time the ineffectiveness and cost of the central government collecting power to itself would have to be neutralized. And this is just about restoring what was originally in our Constitution in terms of the states having the ability to make decisions.”
Only 12 state legislatures have signed on for a convention. Even if 34 legislatures sign to enact Article V, however, they would need 38 states to ratify any amendments they wish to add.