Nine Myths From the Convention of States Project
By Judi Caler
Rita Dunaway, staff counsel for the Convention of States Project (COS), wrote an article, Five Myths about Article Five, which turns the Constitution on its ear. Ironically, her article challenges five premises that are true, while invoking at least 9 myths of her own.
In fact, the very name “convention of states,” is being used by Article V convention advocates to deceive state legislators into thinking an Article V convention can be controlled by state legislatures; it cannot.
Rita’s Myth #1: A “convention of states” is the only “medicine that can cure the disease of federal overreach …
False: What did our Founders really say we must do when the federal government usurps power? They never said, “When the federal government ignores the Constitution, amend the Constitution.” Instead, in addition to electing faithful representatives, they advised Nullification.
Where powers are assumed which have not been delegated, a nullification of the act is the rightful remedy. – Thomas Jefferson; Kentucky Resolutions, 1798
According to the Tenth Amendment Center:
Nullification is any act, or set of actions, that results in a particular law being rendered null, void, or even just unenforceable within a particular area.
Nullification applies only to unconstitutional acts of the federal government—to usurpations of powers not delegated.
States, local governments, your County Sheriff or even The People can follow the advice of James Madison and refuse to comply with unconstitutional federal laws right now, without risking our Constitution through a convention. In fact, there were over 200 bills introduced less than one month into the 2015 state legislative season to do just that.
Rita’s Myth #2: The purpose of Article V is to protect The States and The People from an overreaching federal government.
False: Amendments are meant to correct errors, not to protect The People from an overreaching federal government. Alexander Hamilton at the constitutional convention on September 10, 1787, pointed out that amendments remedy defects in the Constitution. And he tells us in Federalist No. 85 (paragraph 13) that useful amendments would address the “organization of the government, not … the mass of its powers.”
You cannot “fix” federal usurpations of undelegated powers by amending the Constitution to say the federal government cannot do what the Constitution never gave it the power to do in the first place.
Rita’s Myth #3: The reason the drafters added the convention method of proposing amendments to Article V was to give the states a way to bypass Congress.
False: If Article V were meant for states to bypass Congress, it would have bypassed Congress! Article V gives Congress the power to “call” a convention; and Article I, Section 8, last Clause gives Congress the power to make whatever laws are “necessary and proper” to carry out the powers vested by the Constitution, e.g., Article V.
It’s true that George Mason wanted states to be able to make amendments without the assent of Congress and in a manner which did not depend on Congress. However, Mason lost on this issue and refused to sign the Constitution.
Rita’s Myth #4: A “convention of states” is different than a “constitutional convention” because of the source of authority of each. The former derives its authority from Article V itself and is limited to proposing amendments to the Constitution we have; whereas at the constitutional convention of 1787, The States gathered pursuant to their residual powers as individual sovereigns.
False: The only convention for proposing amendments is one called by Congress. And Congress has total power to organize and set it up. But once the delegates assemble, they are the sovereign representatives of The People, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence (paragraph 2), and have the right to alter or abolish our form of government and institute a new one.
Advocacy groups are using semantics to change the meaning of the term “constitutional convention.” According to Black’s Law Dictionary, a “constitutional convention” is defined as:
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.
COS cannot have it both ways. They cannot proclaim the enormous power of an Article V convention to take back our government; and, at the same time, rein in delegates and deny their sovereignty.
Rita’s Myth #5: We know how an Article V convention would operate.
False: Neither COS nor anyone else can guarantee what will happen at an Article V Convention. There are no precedents. With our Constitution at risk, are we to assume 200-year-old “customs” in conventions between a few states would prevail?
Proof that there are no rules for operating an Article V convention is that various organizations of state legislators, including the Assembly of State Legislatures (ASL) and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), are working furiously to hammer out rules. However, any finished product of such groups will have the “force” of a suggestion only.
The Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report issued April 11, 2014 confirms that Congress most likely will claim authority over the power to organize and set up an Article V convention. Because of lack of precedent and so many unknowns, the CRS Report suggests on page 27 that they’ll have to call a convention to see what sort of convention they’ll get: general, limited, or runaway!
Rita’s Myth #6: The reason we haven’t had an Article V convention yet is because there have never been 34 applications requesting a convention on the same topic.
False: This is speculation. Since Congress is given the power to “call” a convention, Congress decides how to count the applications. The hundreds of applications sent in thus far may not have met Congress’s criteria in terms of wording, timing, or any number of factors; or perhaps Congress has resisted calling a convention for reasons of its own.
Rita’s Myth #7: A limitation on the topic is necessary in order for state legislatures to provide instructions to the delegates.
False: There is nothing in Article V that calls for instructions to delegates. Since delegates can do whatever they want once the convention is convened, delegate instructions serve only as a gimmick to secure legislators’ votes on applications by giving them a false sense of security in thinking they can control what is totally out of their hands.
Rita’s Myth #8: Topics for an Article V convention can be limited so that convention delegates cannot re-write the entire Constitution once they assemble.
False: The delegates who represent “We the People” have the inherent right, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence, to alter or abolish the Constitution and disregard any limitation placed on them by state legislatures, Congress, or anyone else. This is what happened at the constitutional convention of 1787 which was called by the Continental Congress for the sole purpose of amending the Articles of Confederation. The result was a new Constitution with a new mode of ratification. There is nothing to prevent that from happening today.
Rita’s Myth #9: There are adequate safeguards in place to assure state legislators are in control of a convention, e.g., topic limitations, the ability to recall delegates, and the ultimate safeguard which requires 38 states to ratify any ill-conceived or illegitimately advocated proposal.
False: Delegates to an Article V convention would have more power than the federal or state governments and cannot be controlled by state laws. Topic limitations and Delegate recalls may be ignored. Also, Delegates may make their proceedings secret, as they did at the “amendments” convention of 1787, and they may vote by secret ballot. If this happens, States won’t know what is going on at the convention. If the States don’t know what is going on at the convention, then how will they determine whether to recall their Delegates or criminally prosecute Delegates who “violate their oaths” to obey the instructions of their states?
Furthermore, the ratification process may be changed. The Articles of Confederation required all of The States and the Continental Congress to ratify amendments. Nevertheless, the framers wrote a new Constitution with a ratification requirement of only 9 states (3/4 of those present). One Constitution waiting in the wings for a convention to be called would establish a dictatorship and require ratification by a referendum called by the President!
The only guarantee of power state legislatures have in the Article V convention process is to apply for a convention. Legislators are being duped by Article V convention advocates into believing they can necessarily control the convention rules and the ratification process. Congress controls the “call” and after the convention convenes, the delegates can do whatever they want, including rewrite the Constitution. Does anyone really believe that radical factions with ill-intentions will politely sit on the sidelines and relinquish the opportunity to participate in the demise of our beloved Constitution?
Article V Convention supporters assure us that the States will have control over Delegates to an Article V convention.
That is not true.
The Truth is States have no power over the convention at Art. V. All they can do is “apply” to Congress for Congress to “call” a convention.
Dangers of an Article V Constitutional Convention with KrisAnne Hall & Peter Boyce
Assembly of State Legislatures Changes Article V Text in Call for “Convention of States”
by Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
From November 11-13, an estimated 100 state legislators from 30 states met in Salt Lake City to draft a blueprint for a constitutional convention to be called (they claim) according to the process set forth in Article V of the Constitution.
The gathering hopes to establish rules to keep such a convention from departing from its designated purpose.
“We’re not focused on a specific amendment, so we’re not advocating for a balanced budget or any other amendment that is being proposed out there in the world of the Internet, and there are many of them,” said Utah state senator Wayne Niederhauser in a statement published in the Salt Lake Tribune. “What we’re focused on is establishing the rules and procedures under which a convention to propose amendments to the Constitution could be held.”
The Assembly of State Legislatures is the group sponsoring this conference, and it has held three similar meetings since 2013. The first of these “rules and procedures” conferences was held at George Washington’s beloved Mt. Vernon estate. When the legislators met at Mt. Vernon, they went by the name of the Mt. Vernon Assembly.
At a confab held the following year in Indiana, the group officially changed its name to the Assembly of State Legislatures.
The organization’s purpose is set out on its official website:
The Assembly exists for the primary purpose of defining the rules and procedures under which a Convention of the States to propose amendments would operate. Article V of the Constitution provides the states the authority to call a convention for the specific purpose of drafting a proposed amendment, but the rules of such a meeting are not outlined in the Constitution.
Constitutionalists will instantly recognize the slick bit of syncope perpetrated in that paragraph.
“Syncope” is defined as “the contraction of a word by omitting one or more sounds from the middle.” While the term is usually applied to spelling and grammar, it has some analogy to this claque’s repeated attempts to call a constitutional convention, as well.
Here is the actual text of the relevant clause of Article V of the Constitution:
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…
See the difference?
The Assembly of State Legislatures does something that those of us who cherish our founding charter loathe: when this or that party leaves out key words of the Constitution to suit their interests.
Article V does not “provide the states the authority to call a convention for the specific purpose of drafting a proposed amendment.”
No, Article V provides for a process that is much more powerful and thus much more potentially dangerous than the revision printed on the Assembly of State Legislatures’ website.
Typically this brand of constitutional contraction involves highlighting portions of the provision in order to convince those in the audience that the process is safe and that rogue amendments (such as those being promoted by George Soros and others) will never make it into the Constitution.
Take note also of the deception attempted by this group in its assurance that Article V gives power to the states to call a convention. There are a few significant misrepresentations in that short statement.
First, the Constitution does not give the states anything. The states created the federal government and retain the authority to resist the exercise by Congress of any powers not specifically granted to it by the states in the Constitution.
The documents sent by the states to Congress announcing their ratification of the Constitution provide additional evidence of the founding generation’s appreciation of the states’ and federal government’s respective roles as creator and creation. In nearly every one of these letters, the state legislature or ratifying convention delegation explicitly reminds Congress that the consent of the states formed the federal government.
The ratifying conventions called throughout the 13 states understood that the delegates sent to Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 created a general government of limited power, retaining for themselves nearly the full panoply of powers they had exercised successfully for over a century.
In other words, the states are the creator, the federal government is the creation, and the latter cannot control the former, regardless of the revisionist history promoted by the Assembly of State Legislatures.
The second problem is the assertion in their mission statement that Article V provides for the drafting of “a proposed amendment.”
Again, the plain language of Article V is subtly, yet significantly different from the version published by the Assembly of State Legislatures.
Anyone can read the actual text of Article V, and nowhere does that provision contemplate confining a convention to the consideration of one amendment.
In fact, in light of the roster of leftist groups present in the con-con camp, there is no limit to the lengths these delegates would go to change our charter.
The mind boggles at the potential proposals that could come out of a convention occupied by such radical enemies of the rule of law and the liberty of a Republic.
Furthermore, the results of these conventions could be an outright scrapping of the Constitution written by the Founders in favor of one more in line with the progressive ideologies of many of these Article V convention advocates.
Another irrefutable fact of political reality is that George Soros and other globalists are spending billions to fund these fringe groups, and contemporary politicians — no matter how “conservative” — aren’t exactly known for their ability to resist hefty campaign contributions.
All those who are at this moment involved in the battle to protect our Constitution, when confronting those of any political stripe should make particular mention of the fact that there is no limiting clause in Article V, no matter what their propaganda says.
The website of the Assembly of State Legislatures doesn’t disclose when the next meeting featuring slick and comforting presentations by the corps of “convention of states” spokesmen will be held.
But whenever and where ever these lawmakers gather to write the agenda for an Article V convention, remember to stand up and point out their constitutional contractions — their syncope — and the fact that adding and deleting words from the Constitution is a tactic used by enemies of our Republic, by those pretending to sail under the colors of the Constitution.
This is particularly true of state legislators, who each swore an oath as mandated by Article VI of the Constitution “to support this Constitution.”
It’s unlikely that deleting key words from the Constitution and misleading constituents is the sort of “support” the Founders had in mind.
A Look at the Folly of a Constitutional Convention
Publius Huldah: Reason why Convention method was put into Article V
Here is link to Publius Huldah’s Article v page https://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/article-v/
Constitutional Expert Publius Huldah Speaking to Campaign For Liberty Memphis
ARTICLE V – A VERY REAL AND PRESENT DANGER
By Paul L. Nally
A Sovereign State’s Prerogative and a Congressional Duty.
Is There a Better Way?
From as Socratic a perspective as possible, it is imperative that Article V, as it is written, be understood to be what it is and what it is not!
Article V is the LEGAL AUTHORITY (remember the Rule of Law?) by which our Constitution may be amended, a word of very specific meaning. It is NOT a Legal Authorization for a Constitutional Convention where the Articles of the entire document could be scrapped and totally rewritten, but it does provide alternative methods, one of which is a Convention of States, considered here. And, in considering the nature and effect of any amendments flowing therefrom, they MUST be rejected if they fail to maintain, heighten or greatly enforce the inalienable rights of man.
THE APPLICATION (a petition to Congress) – A decision to Petition Congress via an Application for the Call of a Convention of the States ONLY for the purpose of considering amendments is exclusively the Prerogative of at least 33 States (34 if you count the District of Columbia, which I do not as it is not a “State” as defined in our Constitution). This Article V power is an enumerated RIGHT of each State.
Upon prior consultation and negotiation between the several States concerning their agreement as to the amendment(s) necessary to be considered, the number of delegates, and instructions to be given their delegate(s) as to the use of the acceptable rules governing the proceedings of their delegates, each State, by an act of its Legislature, shall issue, individually or collectively, a Petition to Congress which may set forth some or all of those agreements, but, in any event, shall state, with particular specificity, that their mutual Petitioning is for the sole and exclusive purpose of considering amending the “Constitution of the United States” pursuant to the authority recognized in Article 5. There is no, NO, requirement that Congress be informed of any particular amendment proposed to be considered.
THE CALL – As is customary, a “Call” is properly a written document issued under an authority which provides notice to another of a meeting for a purpose, commands the presence of the other, and sets forth the date, time, and place of that meeting; other information may be included.
This Call is different.
With due deference to Ms. Publius Huldah’s standing, I must respectfully disagree with her characterization of the “call process” [“MARK LEVIN REFUTED”, Publius Huldah, September 21, 2013, NewsWithViews.com]. In the case of an Article V Call, this ‘Call’ is NOT notice under the authority of Congress to command the presence of others at a date and time certain for a specific purpose; rather it is a Constitutional Duty of acknowledgment by Congress of the notice under the constitutional authority of the States of their intent to perform a constitutional duty.
Once this notice has been served upon Congress, the congressional duty imposed is simple; to ascertain if 2/3 of the states have submitted Application(s) and are they for the statutory purpose, if so, send an acknowledgment and call it a “Call”. Nothing more. If those first two simple task are in the affirmative the “Call process” is accomplished by the issuance of a Joint Resolution of Congress which acknowledges that Congress has been served with notice by Application of the States’ Right to convene by the requisite number of States, that the Congress has been served with notice of the intended constitutionally mandated specific purpose, and that those States are authorized by the authority of the Constitution (not by authority of Congress) to proceed for the purpose defined. This Congressional acknowledgment of the States’ Right is then sent to the Governors of the several states.
It must be noted here, and noted clearly, that Article V, in this instance, demands an Administrative or Ministerial Duty on Congress, NOT a Legislative Duty! The reason for this distinction is for the purpose of providing Notice of Immunity of Congressional members.
The issuance of this “Congressional Call” is the exclusive legal, non-discretionary, self-enforcing DUTY of Congress, and the Art. V language is definite and explicit; Congress has NO discretion to deny it or to unreasonably delay it beyond that time necessary to determine the requisite number and stated objective of the Application(s).
THE ORGANIZATION OF THE CONVENTION – The organization of a Convention of States is exclusively the authority of the delegates once assembled consistent with the instructions of their respective state legislatures. Stare decisis from the organization of the Federal Convention of 1787 would indicate the modus operandi therefor.
Each House of Congress, consistent with its own rules of practice and procedure concerning the movement of a resolution through its respective committees, subcommittees, and to the floor for action, is without, and does not need, and may not legally enact, under the Necessary and Proper Clause any Conditions of Approval or Issuance and may only acknowledge the propriety of the Application(s) and issue the requisite Congressional acknowledgment that those States are authorized by the Constitution to conduct their Convention. Consistent with the precise and limiting verbiage of this Article, Congress is without statutory authority to set a date, time, and place for holding said Convention and without authority to order any particular amendment be considered, or in any way seek to administer or control those proceedings as these are to be left to the sole discretion and agreement of the States to be carried out by their delegates. If these issues are stated in the Petition of the States, they may be referenced in the Congressional Call.
In Dr. Vieira’s article (PRUDENT FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN IS NO “FALLACY”, Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., Ph.D., J.D., NewsWithViews.com, October 16, 2013) there is raised the specter as to congressional abuses which, though possible, would run afoul of the Separation of Powers Clause (Amend. X). Article V specifically states a broad State’s Right which is superior to Congress, and an exceedingly narrow Congressional Duty; and no other authority is either granted, contemplated, or implied to Congress in the Article V language.
Dr. Vieira’s suppositions as to what could happen by Congressional intervention and why Congress might want it to happen are, in a Constitutional sense, a very real and present danger. However, such an attempt would be immediately met (or should be met) by litigation requesting the Supreme Court to issue processes in the nature of Writs of Mandamus, Prohibition, Procedendo and / or Declaratory and Injunctive relief based upon delay or Ultra Vires acts of Congress in violation of the Reserved Powers Clause (US Const., Amendment X). This relevant part of Article V is purely and simply an acknowledgement by Congress of a superior State’s Right, but its implementation and its exercise demand the eternal vigilance of the people and a determination on their part to take any and all actions necessary to prevent the abuse of it.
Any group of congressmen, Senators or Representatives, in sufficient numbers to block the passage of such Resolution for any reason other than failure to comply with strict statutory language would be subject to sanctions, impeachment, and civil and/or criminal prosecution for failure to comply with their oath of office. No Federal Codified Statute, rule, or regulation could be interposed to prevent or delay the passage of said Resolution without subjecting the offenders to civil or criminal prosecution.
As to the Convention itself, any attempt to rewrite the entire Constitution would subject the delegates, also, to ultra vires Court review in a civil or criminal proceeding, and ANY proposed amendment, believed to contravene any protectable guarantees (prior to or after submission to the 50 state legislatures) may be the subject of a legal challenge and an injunction in a court of competent jurisdiction. Such a legal challenge may be brought by any citizen or group of citizens, a delegate(s) of the Convention, or by a State(s) or any group thereof. Still, given the personal experiences with the political mindset of Governors, Legislators, Judges, and Lawyers there is cause for no small amount of concern
Though I view the Article V preogative of the States as a reasonable and civilized method for the citizens of this Nation to manage their Government, I am saddened to note that in this Nation at this time we have no known Franklins, Jeffersons, Washingtons, Adams, Madisons, Hamiltons, etc. That alone is cause for considerable trepidation.
Though there are sound constitutional arguments supporting the use of the Militia to enforce Federal compliance with constitutional mandates and the Nullification Process by which Governors and Legislators could refuse to comply with corrupt federal dictates, both are, at the juncture in human history, unsound. The reason for this is simply that, at this time, the Militia has no qualified, conscientious, and dedicated leadership which could only result in at least a repeat of Kent State, and at worst, a full blown armed revolution. As for Nullification, that too suffers from the same malady of Leadership; not that there are none qualified, rather, based upon provable facts, there is a rampant corruption in the present leadership willing to bow to the Federal corruption at the state level. To paraphrase a most poignant thought by Ms. Huldah, it is idiotic to assert that you can rein in a federal government which ignores the Constitution by relying on corrupt State officials who do the same!
The bane of our present circumstance may be laid to just one proximate cause, and no, that is not the lethargy, indolence, or indifference to ignorance of the citizens of this Nation; Education is the culprit.
Far too many generations have passed since children were taught to read and write by referencing our Declaration of Independence or the Constitution of the United States, or the Constitution of your state, and for too long have children been daily tutored without instruction on how to properly think and have endured a total lack of imparted understanding of the Rule of Law. That deprivation of knowledge and understanding necessary for a graduating child to go out into the world prepared to become a responsible citizen, capable of thinking and acting for himself as one ultimately responsible for the management of his government, has slipped into nonexistence, unnoticed by our fathers until the time now is that our fathers are not capable of showing or teaching that which must be known for us to be other than a serf, a peon, kept in our gilded cages by crafty overlords who are supposed to be our public servants.
It may be truthfully said that our educational system in this Nation has performed a superb role in educating our present generations to the maximum level of their acceptable ignorance.
Yet, and herein might lie the salvation of this Republic, in spite of the indolence, indifference, and lethargy, natural maladies of the human condition of which evil intent makes profitable use, there is still possessed by most an acceptable degree of common sense. But where could that attribute be put to our salvation?
As necessity might dictate, the imposition of the power and duty of Article V is, if nothing else, a civilized manner, preferable to the Militia or to Nullification, for a people who want to be free, to manage their government, fraught with danger and delay though it would be. But I would be remiss if I did not point out that there is another venue, and one the legal scholars have not mentioned. This is probably due to the fact that this process is currently known only in Georgia, though not widely enough; not that it might not be applicable in other states.
We are all aware of the abuses put to guns, knives, crowbars, and other instrumentalities used by criminals to take or deprive us of our property, sometimes by force.
But what most DON’T understand, including most lawyers, is that a law enacted by a state or the Federal legislature may also be the instrumentality by which our property is unlawfully deprived or taken from us. Likewise, the vast majority don’t understand that our liberties, i.e., speech, petition, hearing, bearing arms, our right to be justly compensated for our property being taken for public use, just to name a few, are also our PROPERTY (O.C.G.A. 16-1-3(13)). Any time a law unlawfully deprives us of these pieces of property, or a government official unlawfully takes these while acting under such a law, both those who enacted the law and the agent enforcing it have committed a crime under Georgia’s Constitution and Statutes (O.C.G.A. 16-8-2).
Purely as a matter of common sense, you, as a private citizen, know when a law is bad and its enforcement wrong whether you or your neighbor is the victim; but who, you may ask, is clothed with the Authority of Law to hear your or your neighbor’s plea that a law is unjustly taking or depriving you of your property and is also vested with a sufficiency of power under the law to redress this grievance. In Georgia there is a two word answer.
In Georgia, there is a much more immediate, impressionable, and stringent a method for protecting ourselves from the abuses of corrupt politicians making bad laws which serve no other purpose than to take our property and give us no just compensation, either in a thing or to a service, in return.
That method is our right to appeal to a grand jury, or in the case of a corrupt law from Congress or even our state legislature, an appeal to all 159 grand juries in this State.
But how does Georgia Grand Juries have authority to subpoena federal authorities and possibly sent them to trial, and possibly jail, for such corrupt acts? You need to read and UNDERSTAND Ga. Const., Art I, sec. I, par. XI and XII. In Georgia, ONLY Grand Juries and Criminal Trial Juries, in criminal cases, are clothed with a power not acknowledged in or permitted to any other officer in any other branch of Government by our Constitution; THEY JUDGE THE LAW in addition to the facts. Our Constitution makes plain that the Governor, all Legislators, all Judges including those of the Supreme Court and all those on the Federal Bench whether their courts are in Georgia or in Washington, DC, all District Attorneys, all Sheriffs and their deputies shall answer before a Grand Jury in this State upon proper cause being shown. NONE are immune from the Inquisitorial Power of a Georgia Grand Jury … NO, NOT ONE!
The reasoning is quite simple; the unlawful deprivation of the property right of all the citizens of this state is a crime contemplated in the broad and all inclusive language of Georgia’s Theft statute (O.C.G.A. 16-8-2). Under the terms of that criminal statute the only thing that has to be proved is that there has been a deprivation or taking of your property by another, or others, who had the intent to deprive you of your property and their act was unlawful.
Next, consistent with your right to petition, speak, and be heard, you also have a right to prosecute your “own cause” in any court of this state, with or without the assistance of counsel. Therefore, You have a RIGHT to petition a Grand Jury (O.C.G.A. 1-2-6(6)), to speak verbally and through your evidence (to be a witness under O.C.G.A. 1-2-6(7)), and you have a RIGHT to be heard by them, and they have a duty to hear; and, in their presence, it is the sole and exclusive power of a Grand Jury in Georgia to “Judge the law”, not a district attorney and not a judge. Anyone, lawyer, judge, DA, or enforcement officer who obstructs your right to petition and be heard by a Grand Jury is a Thief, nothing else.
Eight Simple Questions Expose Dangers of a Constitutional Convention
1. Does the Congress or the administration follow the Constitution now?
2. If changes were made for the better, why would they follow that? Especially when it takes less to get a vote to balance a budget — a simple majority vs. two-thirds?
3. Do you believe that no matter how the “convention” was held — governors or elected/appointed delegates — that those in control would rise to the level of men such as Founders Washington and Madison?
4. Do you believe that no matter what the means to convene the convention, that a sizeable contingent of delegates would be at the level of Gore or Obama?
5. Ask yourself, if now we are not electing constitutionalists to office from our area, what makes anyone think that we will send constitutionalists to any meeting?
6. Do you want a balanced budget?
7. Are you willing to pay for it?
8. Is the Constitution flawed?
ARTICLE V CONVENTION: A TITANIC IRRELEVANCE
By Dr. Edwin Vieira, Jr., Ph.D., J.D.
The more I inflict upon myself the details of the on-going, extensive, and increasingly acrimonious debate about the supposed merits or demerits of what is called an “Article V Convention of the States”, the more my mind returns to the scene I have imagined taking place on Titanic. Having struck the iceberg, the great liner is down fifteen degrees by the head, and sinking fast, while in the Grand Salon her designer Mr. Andrews, Captain Smith, and a gaggle of marine engineers are discussing a new ship, to be built according to a new design which supposedly will obviate the flaw in Titanic that contributed to her demise. While in theory this discussion might have been very illuminating to the participants, it obviously would otherwise have been an irrelevance which could have saved neither Titanic nor a single soul who went down with her.
This, it seems to me, presents a perfect parallel to the present “Article V Convention” debate—a debate so completely out of touch with the actual situation now confronting this country, that one wonders how anyone could take it seriously as an observer, let alone participate in it. Consider the following:
• First, the “Article V Convention” debate does not address the immediate issue of the looming national economic crisis about which every informed observer is warning this country in no uncertain terms. The General Government is buried under some 200+ trillion “dollars” worth of unfunded long-term liabilities. This is an unpayable sum by anyone’s calculus. The failure to pay it will have catastrophic economic, social, and political consequences. The problem will not be solved by Congress. In fact, Congress is making the situation worse. The debt is the great rent in America’s ship of state through which economic dissolution is pouring in. Congress proposes to fix this problem by borrowing more money which can never be repaid. This is equivalent to the lunatic notion that blowing off the rear quarter of Titanic would have saved the ship by allowing the water surging in at the bow to flow out through the new hole at the stern!
If this were not enough, almost all Americans are utterly unprepared to deal with the consequences of the depression, hyperinflation, or combination of the two which collapse of the national economy will cause. Nothing anyone has written in favor of an “Article V Convention” has suggested how any new amendment to the Constitution would deal with this virtual Marianas’ Trench of unpreparedness. And especially how it would deal with this danger right now, not at some distant point in the future after the crisis has broken out and hurled the entire country into chaos.
And if that were not more than enough, the top noises in the Disgrace of Columbia are even now feverishly preparing to impose so-called “martial law” throughout America when the economic catastrophe strikes—in which event, of course, the Constitution will effectively (if illegally) be set aside, and all talk of an “Article V Convention” (or of the ratification of amendments proposed at such a shindig) will become blather even more worthless than it is now.
• Second, even if some part of an “Article V Convention” were addressed to the impending national economic crisis, the process could not be made to work in time. Time may not be everything; but everything depends upon time. The convention has to be called by the requisite two thirds of the States; it has to be held, for who knows how long; and the amendments it proposes have to be submitted to the States for ratification. One or more of the amendments necessary to deal with the crisis must be ratified by three fourths of the States. Each and every such amendment must then be enforced. How many years all this will take, and who will see that it is accomplished (especially with respect to enforcement), is anyone’s guess. And guess is the appropriate word, because no one can possibly predict when, how, and to what end this pie-in-the-sky process can and will be put into effect. We do not have to guess, however, whether the national economic crisis is coming sooner, rather than later—and certainly sooner than any “Article V Convention” could produce any useful amendments to the Constitution which States in the requisite number will actually have ratified.
• Third, one of the more outspoken exponents of an “Article V Convention” (Timothy Baldwin) himself tells us that “[i]t is time for the States to ‘take matters into their own hands’ and quit waiting for Congress to fix itself.” Yes, indeed, it is high time for that. But the question remains, how best to do it? For quite a while, I have been urging revitalization of “the Militia of the several States” as the proper way for the States “to ‘take matters into their own hands’” both in perfect accord with the Constitution and in a manner which will have an immediate and beneficial effect. It should be self-evident how, in both principle and practice, revitalizing the Militia could solve the pressing problems an “Article V Convention” could not possibly solve (and which its proponents do not even claim it could solve).
Convention of States
You can download all three parts of the Convention of States “Tele-Townhall” series, Article V: The Real Deal, by clicking on the links below
USA Convention of States
Goldwater Institute Article V Event – Nick Dranias
Kris Anne Hall’s podcasts on the Congressional view of an Article V convention
This is part 1 in a series on Article V Conventions. This is not the same old rehash of pro-Article V vs. no-Article V. This is a brand new discussion…one that should have happened a long time ago. We are going to discuss the perspective of Congress itself regarding Article V according to its own research staff. You don’t want to miss this series! You cannot make an educated decision about Article V without this information! – See more at:
Click here to Listen to the Podcast Article V Conventions – part 1
In this second installment of Kris Anne’s discussion of Congress’ own view of the Article V convention, she will answer the first question Congress asks itself about Art V conventions: Is Congress REQUIRED to call a convention?
You will be surprised how Congress answers this question.
Click here to Listen to the Podcast Article V Conventions – part 2
Do you want an open or limited Article V Convention? What Kind of Article V Convention does Congress think we should have? That is the question for today’s show. Proponents of an Art. V Convention claim we can limit the convention to specific amendments.
What does the Congressional research report tell us Congress believes? What Congress believes will determine what kind of convention we have. How will the the view of Congress affect your decision to open up the Constitution to their alterations? Let’s Get Educated!
Click here to Listen to the Podcast Article V Conventions – part 3
Continuing our series on “What Does Congress Believe An Article V Convention Should Look Like”, we discuss the question: “Is Congress required to submit all amendments proposed by the convention to the States for approval and ratification?” Again, this is about Congressional opinion, NOT the Constitution and NOT the framers intent. We need to know what Congress thinks its power and responsibilities are if we are to make an educated decision about Article V conventions! Let’s Get Educated!
Click here to Listen to the Podcast Article V Conventions – part 4
Today is the last installment of our series, “What Does Congress Believe An Article V Convention Should Look Like”. We will do a quick review and look at Congress’ answer for our final two questions, What role does the President play in an Article V Convention? and Who are the delegates and what is their motivation?
I guarantee you will be just as surprised by the answer to these questions, as we have been all week with the view of Congress regarding Article V Conventions.
Click here to Listen to the Podcast Article V Conventions – part 5
The Article V Convention to Propose Constitutional Amendments: Contemporary Issues for Congress
Thomas H. Neale
Specialist in American National Government
Click here to view or read document