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TO AMEND THE CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, BY ADDING SECTION 1-1-1520 SO AS TO REQUIRE COMMISSIONERS AND ALTERNATES TO A CONVENTION OF STATES OR TO A STATE RATIFICATION CONVENTION TO TAKE AN OATH, TO PROVIDE CRIMINAL PENALTIES FOR THOSE COMMISSIONERS AND ALTERNATES WHO ARE CONVICTED OF VIOLATING THE REQUIRED OATH; AND TO DEFINE RELEVANT TERMS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Article 23, Chapter 1, Title 1 of the 1976 Code is amended by adding:
"Section 1-1-1520. (A) As used in this section:
(1) 'Article V convention' means either a convention of states for proposing amendments or a state ratification convention, as expressly provided for in the United States Constitution, Article V.
(2) 'Article V application' means a joint or concurrent resolution enacted by the South Carolina General Assembly requiring the United States Congress to call an Article V convention 'on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States'.
(3) 'Commissioner or alternate' means a person selected to represent the State at the Article V convention. For a convention proposing amendments, the General Assembly shall make the selections. For a state ratification convention, the commissioner or alternate is elected by the people based on the candidate's oath to vote either for or against the proposed amendment to the United States Constitution.
(4) 'Legislative instructions' means the instructions provided by the South Carolina General Assembly to the commissioners and alternates before or during a convention to propose amendments.
(5) 'Unauthorized amendment' means a proposed amendment that is outside the subject matter of the state's Article V application or its legislative instructions.
(B) Each candidate for commissioner or alternate from this State to an Article V convention must be required to take the following oath:
'I do solemnly swear or affirm that to the best of my abilities, I will, as a commissioner or alternate to an Article V convention, uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States of America and the State of South Carolina. I will vote only as instructed by the vote of the people at a ratification convention or in accordance with my legislative instructions at a convention to propose amendments. I understand that any vote against the will of the people or for an unauthorized amendment will be voided, and I will be replaced, recalled, and subject to criminal prosecution.'
(C) The South Carolina General Assembly, or any official or committee authorized by a joint or concurrent resolution of the South Carolina General Assembly, shall certify in writing to the Article V convention the selection of commissioners and alternates, the vote nullification, and the recall and replacement of commissioners with alternates.
(D) A commissioner or alternate who is convicted of violating the provisions of the oath contained in subsection (B) is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, must be imprisoned for not more than ten years."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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