Constitutional Reform via Con-Con Promoted
How can an outfit like the Heartland Institute who is on the correct side of so many issues such as opposing Climate Change be so wrong about promoting Constitutional Reform by way of an Article V Constitutional Convention? The question must be asked, “Are they the deluders or the deluded?”
A friend forwarded me an email he received from them introducing their position:
“Cato and Heritage have both done deep dives into the budget, I’m sure you can find their suggestions on their websites. We have not, since our focus is mainly on state issues.
“We’re late to the constitutional reform/ Article V effort, but now fully committed to it. Fear of a run-away convention is unjustified. Check out our webpage on this effort here. We will continue to win battles and lose the war if we don’t use the tools the founders gave us to address exactly this situation – the national government has slipped the bonds created by the founders and has grown all powerful. We have to change the rules, via a balanced budget amendment, repeal of the 16th amendment, term limits, and more, if we are ever to limit the size and power of the federal government. State constitutions requiring balanced budgets and term limits work, and are one reason we are winning at the state level and losing at the national level.”
So I guess it could be said that things are so bad and hopeless in Congress that we creators (the states) of the federal government must assert ourselves by taking the bull by horns and do something even if it might turn out wrong!
WHY IS OPENING AN ARTICLE V CON-CON WRONG TODAY?
Well in the first place, why should anyone believe new amendments and rules will be followed any more than current law? It’s illogical to think that adding or changing rules will compel chronic rule-breakers to follow new rules. What are they going to say…. “We really mean it this time?”
There are many good reasons why for 229 years America hasn’t had a new national constitutional convention (con-con). Historically, Americans have understood that a con-con will set its own rules, its own agenda and can even change the ratification process just like they did in 1787. This is how we got our current Constitution.
$alivating, originating forces of the many different calls really just want the door to a Con-Con opened, understanding full well once they’ve convened they can change anything and everything. These are very devious people with huge amounts of money and clandestine designs for our future who are being followed by the naïve and over trusting.
The proper solution: When followed, the Constitution provides the mechanism and limitations to stop special interest spending that balloons the budget and attracts special interest electioneering.
No risky Constitutional Convention is necessary!
An Article V Constitutional Convention Would Enable Powerful Special Interests to Revise the Constitution in Their Favor!
Legislators should not fall for poker face promises & hyped un-researched proclamations. They need to do the research, the hard work themselves. They owe it to us, their constituents that hired them and all our grandchildren. They should be curious why there are so many different organizations all calling for single issue Con-Con’s?
Idaho Legislators cannot control what will happen if an Article V Constitutional Convention is called. The Congressional Research Service says a likely scenario is that delegate apportionment would be based on the Electoral College model, which would give Idaho FOUR delegates out of 535!
Black’s Law Dictionary is America’s most trusted law dictionary. Its definition of a constitutional convention: “A duly constituted assembly of delegates or representatives of the people of a state or nation for the purpose of framing, revising, or amending its constitution.” Renaming it a “Convention of States” doesn’t change what it is.
Beware of false Constitutionalist. The Federalist Papers are not government documents. Our Constitution reigns. They’re making many assertions about state legislators being in control of the process that are simply not supported by Article V and are disputed by the Congressional Research Service, numerous law professors, constitutional scholars and judges who have warned about the dangers of a modern convention and the damage it could do to our Constitution and Bill of Rights.
The Congress, whenever two thirds of both houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose amendments to this Constitution, or, on the application of the legislatures of two thirds of the several states, shall call a convention for proposing amendments, which, in either case, shall be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of this Constitution, when ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the several states, OR by conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other mode of ratification may be proposed by the Congress; provided that no amendment which may be made prior to the year one thousand eight hundred and eight shall in any manner affect the first and fourth clauses in the ninth section of the first article; and that no state, without its consent, shall be deprived of its equal suffrage in the Senate.
WHY ARTICLE V WAS CREATED IN THE CONSTITUTION
Our sage founders who knew tyranny first hand also were realists of their day and knew all 13 states would not ratify the Convention’s fine work, the Constitution. So they created Article V and actually used 9 ratifying conventions for that purpose. Today we do not have near the caliber of Constitutional statesmen who understand the Constitution and the purposes for which it was written and they certainly do not adhere to it which is why we have our problems. Today in Congress, we have ‘baggage handlers’ who are loaded down with way too many $PECIAL INTERE$TS at heart influenced by LOBBYI$T$ and coached by their party’s handlers from the Establishment at the Council on Foreign Relations.
WHAT THE CON-CON CONNERS DON’T WANT YOU TO FULLY UNDERSTAND
All the proponents of the Con-Con emphasize very strongly that you should not worry about things going wrong because three-fourths of our state legislatures must ratify the convention bills before they can be signed by the President. They never (or very rarely) acknowledge the big word OR and the six very important words after it: by conventions in three-fourths thereof, …
In this beyond highly politicized world today, who in their right mind would believe convention delegates would send the results to state legislators for endless debate and legal challenges lasting months or maybe years for such ratification? They would select like-minded delegates for ‘safe’ special ratifying conventions with hand-picked members, all with special interest baggage, who will do the convention’s bidding. Legislatures won’t have a chance. Ratifying conventions are the stacked deck these slick designers are counting on and would be a rubber stamp. [FYI – A case in point: Utah’s legislature would not have repealed Prohibition. The rules for Article V were used to pass it through a ratifying Convention.]
Quoting Joe Wolverton, II, J.D. of The New American magazine:
“The various purportedly unrelated efforts by self-professed conservatives, socialists, and progressives to call for a new constitutional convention are moving forward. Many otherwise well-meaning state legislators are falling for their common line that such a convention is the only way to save the Republic.
“The self-professed conservatives, on one hand, insist that if a new convention isn’t held, the growth of the federal government will go on forever until all power is consolidated in Washington, D.C.
“Rhetoric and political leanings aside, the result of either scenario is a new Constitution. Of course, the Convention of States (COS), the Compact for America, and other Article V proponents on the right, argue up and down that they are not calling for a new constitutional convention. Then, as if that weren’t enough, they criticize those of us who oppose their movement for being ‘false constitutionalists,’ and for believing that the Constitutional Convention of 1787 was a ‘runaway’ convention.”
SOME CLARITY ON A RUN-AWAY CONVENTION
It is really amazing that many state representatives and senators can be so naïve or gullible on the con-job of proposing a Constitutional Convention (Con-Con), et al Convention of the States (COS), Assembly of State Legislators (ASL), Compact for America (CFA), Restoring Freedom.Org, Wolf PAC, Single Subject Amendment PAC, etc. As Joe A. Wolverton II, J.D. of The New American magazine states, “Many otherwise well-meaning state legislators are falling for their common line that such a convention is the only way to save the Republic.” And there is not a single word in Article V that connotes a limited or single issue restrictive ability.
Quoting the late Twin Falls, ID former assistant attorney general for the state of Idaho and practicing attorney, George Detweiler:
“United States Supreme Court Justices and the nation’s leading legal scholars have written privately that these single subject limitations cannot be enforced, that if a convention is called it will be free to propose any kind and number of Amendments to the same effect as if the limitations in the applications did not exist. In other words, although the applications are effective, all such limitations must be ignored.”
The late Gerald Gunther, Professor of Law at Stanford University, wrote:
“The fear that a Constitutional Convention could become a ‘runaway’ convention and propose wholesale changes in our Constitution is by no means unfounded. Rather, this broad view of the authority of a convention reflects the consensus of most constitutional scholars who have commented on the issue.”
Former Chief Justice of the United States, the late Warren Berger wrote:
“I have also repeatedly given my opinion that there is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention. The convention could make its own rules and set its own agenda. Congress might try to limit the convention to one amendment or to one issue, but there is no way to assure that the convention would obey. After a convention is convened it will be too late to stop the convention if we don’ like its agenda.
“Whatever gain might be hoped for from a new Constitutional Convention could not be worth the risk involved. A new convention could plunge our Nation into constitutional confusion and confrontation at every turn, with no assurance that focus would be on the subject needing attention. I have discouraged the idea of a Constitutional Convention, and I am glad to see states rescinding their previous resolutions requesting a convention. In these Bicentennial years, we should be celebrating its long life, not challenging its very existence.”
THE CORRECT ‘FIX’
We don’t have a constitution problem, we have an adherence problem. The ‘fix’ is following law, law enforcement and nullification. These are the real serious efforts that would surely work and needs being done, especially a lot of nullifying of unconstitutional laws & regulations such as Governor Otters nullifying future federal gun laws in the state of Idaho. See the article “Praise Be to Governor Otter“ at GemStatePatriot.com.
Recently the wise legislators of Montana defeated 3 applications for Con-Cons: SJ7 – Convention of the States and HJ3 – Wolf PAC were both killed in committees and HJ4 – Compact for a Balanced Federal Budget was voted down 77 – 23. Utah defeated HJR 3 – The Countermand Amendment and HJR 14 – Convention of the States. And Wyoming stopped SJR4 Convention of the States, HJR 4 Balanced Federal Budget (BBA) failed in the Senate committee and HB75 Compact for America (CFA), Compact for a Balanced Budget (CFBB) failed in Senate committee.
REVEALING FACTS ON APPLICATIONS AND RESCISSIONS
The simple reason there has been rescissions to states’ calls for conventions is that the states eventually came to their senses and recognized the formidable dangers of a convention.
Since applications have been recorded and tracked, there have been over 400 various applications for an Article V convention. 49 of the 50 states have at one or more times filed for an Article V Convention. Idaho has been listed for calls 6 times all the way back to 1910 and a most recent rescission in 1999.
Since 1988, 17* states have rescinded all of their constitutional convention calls after awakening to how fatal a Con-Con could be and the real root interest ($) behind them. Rescinded Con-Con calls: AL 1988, LA 1990, OR 1999, ID 1999, UT 2001, ND 2001, AZ 2003, VA 2004, SC 2004, GA 2004, MT, 2007, OK 2009, WY 2009, NH 2010, SD 2010, and TN 2010. *Actually FL had rescinded its Con-Con calls in 1988, but passed a new BBA Con-Con call in 2010.
Given the numbers of applications, it’s amazing that we’ve been blessed with forthright rescissions prevailing like they have due to awakenings of the fatal dangers a Con-Con would pose to our Constitution if one were called.
So in summary just two points are all you need to understand:
- Why should anyone believe new amendments will be followed any more than current law?
- Who would really believe that a convention would send their bills to state legislatures for ratification for endless debate, filibustering and legal maneuvering into infinity, when the convention can just send their bills to friendly hand-picked like-minded special interest delegates at a special Ratifying Convention, just like Utah did using Article V rules to repeal prohibition.?
It would be very dangerous to take this unnecessary risk that could rewrite the very Constitution that has enabled a greater amount of freedom and prosperity for a greater number of people than any system ever devised by man.
Wrapping this up is a quote from a patriot from Meridian, ID named Bonnie Carter who commented on a previous article of mine on the Con-Con con:
“So we are petitioning the same Government for grievance redress that caused the grievances in the first place. Nullification is already the State ‘Capital S’ Sovereign authority-to exercise for any Federal abuse of power. Henceforth, no Article V is necessary. The people are not a reflection of the Government, the Government is a reflection of the people.”