The Liberty Project in Wyoming

The Liberty Project in Wyoming

The Liberty Project in Wyoming

Meeting at Wort concerns 17th amendment, limited federal powers

By Michael Polhamus Via Jackson Hole Daily –

If a group of activists meeting in Jackson have their way, you won’t have to worry about who to elect to the U.S. Senate.

Bondurant lawyer Steve Duerr hopes to draw interested people to a meeting Friday at the Wort to discuss what his promotional material calls “Liberty Amendments.” The constitutional changes include repeal of the 17th Amendment, term limits for Supreme Court justices, diminishment of the federal government power and greater power for the states.

Repeal of the 17th Amendment would return Congress to the way the framers of the Constitution intended it, Duerr said.

“Until 1913, the U.S. Senate was comprised of two senators from each state chosen by the state legislatures — they were not popularly elected,” he said. “This would return to that original structure.”

Though of a conservative bent, the meeting will deal with nonpartisan ideas, Duerr said.

“At the time the federal constitution was ratified there were no Republicans or Democrats — there were federalists and antifederalists,” he said. “The concept of a limited federal government is 220 years old.”

Duerr blamed both parties for letting the size and cost of the federal government grow out of control.

“I think [the meeting] has nonpartisan appeal, because the problem of federal deficits and growth of the federal government … has happened under both Republican and Democratic administrations,” Duerr said. “No one in the federal government seems capable of stopping the deficits, and it’s just not sustainable.”

Costs associated with the federal government, regardless of which party controls it, could burden future generations, he said.

“I’m not affiliated with any group — I’m doing this because I’m a grandpa,” he said.

“We are stealing the futures of our children and grandchildren” with an out-of-control federal budget, he said. “Under the last two presidents the deficits have skyrocketed.”

Duerr suggested a book by conservative author Mark Levin called “The Liberty Amendments” as a good resource for understanding the reasoning behind the movement.

Its proponents hope to circumvent Congress by convening representatives of two-thirds of America’s state legislatures to propose amendments, Duerr said. Article V of the Constitution provides that if three-quarters of state legislatures ratify amendments they can directly change the Constitution without congressional approval.

Such a move “is where the states have the role in limiting the federal government that was intended by the founders when the Constitution was ratified,” he said.

Wyoming House Speaker Tom Lubnau introduced a bill last week that would define the limits of responsibility for the state’s delegate to such a state convention.

“What it does is anticipates there will be Wyoming state delegates to a state convention, and it limits the delegates’ powers,” Duerr said.

Such a convention and the resulting amendments are appropriate remedies for federal leaders who behave in ways the founders didn’t intend, Duerr said.

“The Founding Fathers anticipated an imperial presidency, and a Congress which, because it has no term limits, it [caters] to lobbyists more than to the people of the states,” he said.

The meeting will be held Friday at 9 a.m. in the Clymer Room of the Wort Hotel, Duerr said.


  1. davidfarrar says:

    Having not read Mark’s book on the subject, I will have to ask…does Mark support repealing the 17th amendment as of of his 11 suggested changes to the constitution?

    ex animo

  2. Reblogged this on

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