85R31203 KSM-D
  By: Klick H.C.R. No. 145
         WHEREAS, Through a persistent decade-long crusade that
  culminated in changing the U.S. Constitution, Gregory D. Watson of
  Austin has earned the unique distinction of completing what
  Founding Father James Madison left unfinished as well as
  successfully getting the overall course grade for his 1982
  University of Texas at Austin government class elevated from a C to
  an A after the intervention of 35 years; and
         WHEREAS, In the spring of 1982, Mr. Watson, then a UT
  student, was enrolled in a Government 310 course on American
  government; while researching a term paper on the proposed Equal
  Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, he happened upon some
  old constitutional amendments that had been proposed by Congress
  but not ratified by enough state legislatures to officially become
  part of the federal Constitution; and
         WHEREAS, One such amendment, dated 1789, mandated that any
  approved congressional pay raise not take effect until after the
  next biennial election; the measure specifically reads that "No
  law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and
  Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of
  Representatives shall have intervened"; only nine states had
  ratified that measure by 1978, and ratification by three-fourths of
  the states is required before an amendment to the Constitution can
  be certified; at the same time, the compensation amendment included
  no ratification deadline, in contrast to amendments proposed since
  the year 1917, when Congress began the practice of including a
  provision requiring that proposed federal constitutional
  amendments be ratified by the states within seven years; and
         WHEREAS, Inspired to change the focus of his research,
  Mr. Watson submitted a paper suggesting that unratified
  constitutional amendments from before 1917, which did not contain
  the built-in time limit, could still be ratified, even 200 years
  later, if they received the support of enough states; he further
  noted in the paper that there continued to be concerns among the
  American people relative to the methods used by members of Congress
  to increase congressional salaries; the course instructor and her
  teaching assistant were not convinced, however, and Mr. Watson
  received a grade of C for the paper and a final grade of C for the
  course overall; and
         WHEREAS, Shortly afterward, in April 1982, Mr. Watson
  embarked upon a labor-intensive campaign to prove the thesis of his
  paper; he began the 10-year process of writing letters to
  legislators in states across the nation, urging them to consider
  ratifying the measure, and by May 5, 1992, Alabama lawmakers
  furnished the pivotal 38th ratification, thus making it the 27th
  Amendment to the Constitution; since then, eight more states have
  ratified the amendment--most recently Nebraska in 2016--bringing
  the total to 46 of the 50 states; and
         WHEREAS, Impressed by what she publicly described as
  Mr. Watson's "heroic effort" to prove the validity of his thesis,
  his former professor has officially requested that his grade for
  Government 310 be raised from a C to an A; Mr. Watson was informed
  of her decision in March 2017, when he was invited to attend what he
  thought would be a mere Q and A about his work on the 27th Amendment
  and unexpectedly found his campaign being recounted in Pop-Up
  Magazine, a live news program performed onstage and resembling a
  stand-up comedy routine; and
         WHEREAS, Mr. Watson has continued to be engaged in federal
  constitutional amendment issues: in 1995, at his prompting, the
  Mississippi Legislature symbolically post-ratified the
  Constitution's 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery; at his urging,
  the Tennessee General Assembly ceremonially post-ratified the 15th
  Amendment in 1997, extending the right to vote to former male
  slaves; and, at his behest, the Texas Legislature, in 2009,
  formally endorsed the end of poll taxes by post-ratifying the 24th
  Amendment; furthermore, references to Mr. Watson's constitutional
  amendment-related activities are chronicled in countless books,
  newspapers, magazines, law reviews, video and audio recordings,
  resolutions, and entries in the Congressional Record; and
         WHEREAS, Gregory Watson's dogged determination resulted in a
  significant change in this nation's founding document, and he may
  indeed take great pride in his achievement and in his demonstration
  of what committed civic engagement can accomplish; now, therefore,
  be it
         RESOLVED, That the 85th Legislature of the State of Texas
  hereby congratulate Gregory D. Watson on receiving a revised grade
  of A in his 1982 Government 310 class at The University of Texas at
  Austin--albeit after the intervention of 35 years--and extend to
  him sincere best wishes for continued success and happiness; and,
  be it further
         RESOLVED, That an official copy of this resolution be
  prepared for Mr. Watson as an expression of high regard by the Texas
  House of Representatives and Senate.