Arizona Constitutional Committee
FACT SHEET: Why We Should Oppose the Dangerous
Convention of States Bill HB2305
HERE IS THE INSIDE STORY THE COMPACT FOR AMERICA DOES NOT WANT YOU TO READ!
We are aware of several organizations that are contacting all state legislators in the nation to promote bills or resolutions petitioning Congress to convene an Interstate Compact which will create an NGO to obtain ratification for a Balanced Budget Amendment. In Arizona this bill is HB 2305.
The Convention of States movement’s acclaimed safeguards are totally inadequate to prevent bad things from happening to a good Constitution. This noble attempt to restrain unconstitutional federal spending has a number of serious problems.
THIS COMPACT DOES NOT PASS CRITICAL REVIEW and so is not worth the paper it’s printed on.
The Convention of States movement is a new, legislative package with the goal of getting 38 states to legally commit to an interstate compact to:
(1) Petition Congress for an Article V amendments convention (also commonly known as a Convention of States) for the purpose of proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) to the U.S. Constitution; and
(2) “pre-ratify” a specifically worded BBA so that it would not be necessary to get 38 states to ratify a BBA after proposal by the amendments convention.
The basic argument against the Compact for America approach is that any Article V constitutional convention cannot be limited as to the subject matter or number of proposed amendments that would be considered.
No matter how much state legislatures attempt to restrict such conventions, the Right of the People in such conventions to alter their form of government is embedded right in the heart of the Declaration of Independence where it states:
“That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.”
Although Article V of the Constitution certainly provides for the calling of conventions for the People to exercise their right to alter their government, over the past 30 years or so most state legislators have voted against enabling such open conventions to be held, believing that the risk to the Constitution posed by such open conventions outweighs any possible benefits from one or a few specific amendments.
1. Only an Amendments, or Article 5 Convention ITSELF CAN LEGALLY MAKE ITS OWN RULES-not an Interstate Compact, per U.S. Constitution Article V.
2. What part of NO does Congress understand? NONE. NADA. If Congress willfully ignores the authority of the U.S. Constitution now, why would we expect Congress to obey the Constitution when amended? This bill is smoke and mirrors and its proponents refuse to answer this question BECAUSE THEY CAN’T!
3. The Convention of States movement would pose an unacceptably high risk of damage to the Constitution; it opens the doors to all manner of unseen attempts to hijack, disrupt and redirect convention proceedings with a high possibility of language weakening its structure or even totally revising the Constitution completely!
a. Example: the GOP Tampa, Florida convention rule changes forced through during the convention to defeat particular delegates’ proposals.
b. Example: In 1985, the Committee on the Constitutional System (CCS) proposed drastic changes such as emulating the European parliamentary system; the party of the president would designate one-sixth of all representatives in the House and one-third of all senators; requirements for Senate treaty ratification would be lowered; extending terms of office by an additional two years. (Shadows of Power, James Perloff 970-0-88279-134-0)
c. A NEW CONSTITUTION was already devised in 1970 by the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions and funded by the Ford Foundation!
d. A radical technique used to disrupt political proceedings is to organize mobs well in advance to activate civil unrest at key times when pressure is needed on decision makers. This was used by Soros-funded groups in the Ukraine to destabilize elections and also used in our 2012 Arizona Presidential Preference election and documented here. Click on the PDF listed on the Action Alert — 12/15/12
e. Manufactured national crises have been considered. The CCS co-chairman and former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Douglas Dillon (’61-’65) “thinks needed changes can be made only after a period of great crisis.”
f. Project ’87 co-chairman James MacGregor Burns stated in Reforming American Government: “I doubt that Americans under normal conditions could agree on the package of radical and ‘alien’ constitutional changes that would be required. They would do so only during and following a stupendous national crisis and political failure.”
4. It contractually forces Arizona to fund and otherwise support other agencies, lobbyists, or groups without constraint or legislative oversight.
5. Creates an indefinite commission that will last until long after its purpose is accomplished since THERE IS NO SUNSET CLAUSE. We don’t need another creature to wrestle to death when its supposedly finite purpose is achieved.
6. This is the same well known Balanced Budget Amendment movement periodically reappearing over the last three decades that has already been debunked many times over.
7. Howard Jarvis, the late leader of the conservative tax revolt in California during the 1970s, opposed a convention. He stated that a convention “would put the Constitution back on the drawing board, where every radical crackpot or special interest group would have the chance to write the supreme law of the land.”
8. Here’s the obvious–what makes anyone think a BBA will restrain spending? A BBA WILL REQUIRE MASSIVE TAX INCREASES. States are already almost broke and WILL NOT mandate federal reductions because federal monies are states’ livelihood! Finding 26 states to approve federal spending on monies for the states WILL BE ALL TOO EASY.
9. Congress has authority to RAISE TAXES in spite of a BBA and AFTER a BBA.
10. The State of Hawaii issued a convention call in 2011; Congress is REQUIRED to include Hawaii’s and any other state’s call in any convention that Congress convenes, including Hawaii’s call to remove the existing 2nd Amendment recognizing the right to bear arms. Hawaii then calls for replacing it with ‘Obamacare’. Do we really want to chance this happening when all the cost and tremendous effort going into developing the Convention of States may create the temptation to compromise instead of dissolve it? 32 states already have calls to Congress for various topics.
11. MANY states INCLUDING ARIZONA have ALREADY RESCINDED previous calls for just such a convention and for GOOD REASONS, many noted herein; let’s not have to rescind this all over again. Binding Arizona by contract against rescission already places Arizona at disadvantage and may be illegal.
12. Furthermore, during the last 25 years the following states have passed resolutions rescinding all of their previous constitutional convention calls: Ala., Ariz., Ga., Idaho, Mont., N.D., N.H., Okla., Ore., S.C., Tenn., Va., Utah, and Wyo. The fact that Georgia is considering another bill to participate in the Convention of States merely shows 1) that special-interest lobbying can sway votes, and 2) legislators often lack the necessary understanding of constitutional precepts and application to legislation they are asked to consider.
13. The parties attempting to achieve a Constitutional Convention plan to challenge the rescissions of the states and throw them into the courts while going ahead with a convention. The Constitution makes no provision for rescission. Considering the blatant corruption in courts at all levels today, it would be folly to rest on our laurels and feel safe that the courts would uphold those rescissions. [After experiencing the onslaught of lawyers in the 2004 presidential election Florida fiasco, we can well imagine the hay-day they would have with a court battle of this magnitude and importance!]
14. Since the Constitution went into effect, there have been about 400 petitions from state legislatures calling for a convention to consider one thing or another. None of these efforts ever succeeded.
a. Proposed amendments include: allowing prayers in the schools; prohibiting busing for racial balance; permitting the states to make abortions illegal; “People for a Safe America” has attempted to get Congress to pass the bogus “Safe America” Amendment; A new constitutional convention to consider the adequacy of our present Constitution, including interpretations of the Constitution by the Supreme Court, to the needs of our own time”; and many more!
15. Billionaire George Soros has VOWED to replace the U.S. Constitution by year 2020 and is in a position to take advantage of a convention to do so. While condemning what it calls “judicial activism” by conservative judges, the Soros funded American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) in fact encourages judicial activism by the left.
a. To cultivate such a spirit, the organization has initiated a working group under the heading “Constitutional Interpretation and Change,” which seeks to “debunk” the “neutral-sounding theories of … originalism and strict construction” that “ideological conservatives” purportedly have used to smear “judges with whom they disagree as judicial activists who make up law instead of interpreting it.”
b. This working group is part of ACS’s “The Constitution in the 21st Century” project, which aims “to promote positive, much-needed change in our legal and policy landscape,” “to formulate and advance a progressive vision of our Constitution and laws,” and “to popularize progressive ideas through papers, conferences and media outreach.”
c. In 2005 the American Constitution Society (ACS) Yale University chapter sponsored a conference at Yale Law School titled “The Constitution in 2020,” to give liberal/left lawyers and judges a forum wherein they could trade ideas on what they would like the U.S. Constitution to look like 15 years down the road, and how they could influence it toward that end.
d. The stated purpose of the conference, at which some of America’s best-known liberal law professors appeared, was to work toward a “progressive” consensus as to what the Constitution should provide for by the year 2020, and a strategy for how liberal lawyers and judges might bring such a constitutional regimeinto being.
e. Through its “International Law and the Constitution” working group, the Soros funded ACS disparages American law as antiquated and inequitable, and calls on judges to make American jurisprudence subservient to United Nations treaties and European Court of Human Rights decisions. Co-chairing this group are Jamil Dakwar, a former Human Rights Watch staffer who currently directs the ACLU’s Human Rights Program; Catherine Powell, a Board member of Human Rights Watch; and Cindy Soohoo, Director of the Center for Reproductive Rights’ Domestic Legal Program. With an eye toward cultivating ever-new generations of leftists in the future, ACS has developed a “Constitution in the Classroom” program whereby volunteers, under the banner of “education,” indoctrinate young students across the United States.
f. Cass Sunstein participated in this forum, where he put forth his ideas about a “Second Bill of Rights.” The Weekly Standard offered this assessment of the goals of the ACS forum:
“The essence of the progressive constitutional project is to recognize ‘positive’ rights, not just ‘negative’ rights, so that citizens are not only guaranteed freedom from specified forms of government interference, but also are guaranteed the receipt of specified economic benefits. The bottom line is that Congress would no longer have the discretion to decline to enact liberal policies. The triumph of the left would be constitutionally mandated.”
16. The ratification process originally required 100% of the states to ratify amendments, now it is set to 75%. This weakening precedent exists and holds weight in future conventions, with proposals to drop ratification requirements to 50% plus 1. This will transfer our system of government from a constitutional republic to a fascist democracy!
17. If any or several of these consequences result from a legislator voting FOR this Convention, these consequences will taint a legislator’s political and character reputation beyond recovery.
18. THE U.S. CONSTITUTION ALREADY IS A COMPACT. Why are we not mandating that the feds follow what we have already codified into law? Do we claim to follow the U.S. Constitution? Well then, the Constitution DOES NOT ALLOW:
a. $74 Billion per year for FOREIGN AID;
b. $4 TRILLION for UNDECLARED WARS;
c. $2 TRILLION for 185 federal welfare programs;
A TOTAL of $6 TRILLION spent over the last 10 years. That is 600 Billion per year! Except for declared war in defense of invasion, THESE ARE ALL STATE ISSUES TO BE CONSTITUTIONALLY ADMINISTERED BY STATES, not UNCONSTITUTIONALLY by the federal government.
19. Well-documented American history has shown a clear pattern of subversion.Thomas Jefferson once said: “Single acts of tyranny may be ascribed to the accidental opinion of a day; but a series of oppressions, begun at a distinguished period, and pursued unalterably through every change of ministers, too plainly prove a deliberate systematical plan of reducing us to slavery.”
20. FINALLY, A BBA IS NOT NECESSARY; it spurns the very Constitution the states already ratified: states ALREADY possess the power to prevent federal excess and usurpation. States have NOT entirely ceded their sovereignty to the federal government. In fact, the continuation of our Constitution and our Republic requires states to assert themselves and to reject any act of Congress that goes beyond the very narrow scope of authority granted to it by the states in the first place, by the Constitution we already have. This is called ‘Nullification’.
This is called NULLIFICATION and RECALLING ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES who vote UNCONSTITUTIONALLY is the Rightful Remedy to unrestrained and unauthorized Congressional spending; state legislatures need to ENFORCE THE CONSTITUTION, NOT AMEND IT.
We are very concerned that such a convention could lead to proposing one or more amendments that could have a very harmful effect on our freedoms under the U.S. Constitution. The Balanced Budget Amendment certainly harms working Americans and should not be enacted.
Please vote ‘NO’ on HB2305 to call a Convention of States for a Compact using the Compact For America Interstate Compact and a Balanced Budget Amendment.
Click on the link or copy/paste the link to your browser
Explains the arguments against passing the Compact for America legislative package.
A 12-minute video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wMg_yGlcUX4
Beware of Article V This 36-minute video to state legislators helps understand the negative aspects of convening a constitutional convention.
The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty. Proverbs 27:12
“If you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed; if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a small chance of survival. There may even be a worse case: you may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”
~Sir Winston Churchill
“THEY ARE OUT TO DESTROY
YOUR UNALIENABLE RIGHTS”
“The Constitution is no longer in line with our expectations regarding the role of the people in selecting the President.”
That is a quote from a December 2008 Wall Street Journal op-ed piece written by Jonathan Soros, son of globalist financier George Soros. In the article, Soros insists that the election of the President by the method established by the Constitution of 1787 is “antidemocratic by design.”
The younger Soros is right, but for the wrong reason. The prevailing spirit of the Constitution is antidemocratic, and is so by the very deliberate and express design of the framers thereof. Soros’ money is funding a large number of front groups to try to dismantle the U.S. Constitution in record time, since it guarantees to the states a Republican form of government–a greatly different government than the democracy Soros and Company are trying to implement (see Overview of America).
One of the highest priorities for keeping our God-given unalienable rights to liberty is keeping intact the U.S. Constitution that recognizes and supports those rights. We MUST BE CAREFUL when amending it to keep its law and concepts robust and unchanged.
In TODAY’S SOCIALIST-PROGRESSIVE-FASCIST POLITICAL CLIMATE there is no chance of holding an Amendments Convention without risking subtle or substantial, even wholesale changes to this Supreme Law of the Land.
The information contained herein presents a very strong case for addressing the ROOT CAUSES of our economic problems (unconstitutional federal government: central banking system, wealth transfer programs and entitlements, usurpation of states rights, etc.) instead of using a ‘Band-aid’ approach. One does not repaint a car when the motor is broken.
Organizing the state legislatures to submit to a constitutionally wayward Congress an Application for an Amendments Convention to try to force it to obey the U.S. Constitution is a Band-aid approach. Since Congress is forestalling public debt into the future for our children to pay and WILL NOT adhere to fiscal responsibility, it surely WILL NOT follow any amendment that restates the Constitutional Law already in effect.
Chief Justice of the United States Warren Burger
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’t like its agenda.”
Chief Justice Burger continues saying, “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 harshest criticism of using the convention method of amendment comes from Dr. Gerald Gunther, Professor of Law at Stanford Law School. After reviewing the political intrigue involved in seeking resolutions for such a convention he writes,
Dr. Gerald Gunther, Professor of Law at Stanford Law School
There is no denying the fact that, if the present balanced budget convention campaign succeeds in eliciting the necessary applications from 34 state legislatures, the convention call will be triggered by inadequately considered state applications; for the vast preponderance of the legislative applications rest on an entire absence of considerations of the risk of a convention route. In my view, that constitutes a palpable misuse of the Article 5 convention process. The convention route, as I have said, is legitimate when deliberately and knowingly invoked. The ongoing campaign, by contrast, has produced a situation where inattentive, ignorant, at times cynically manipulated state legislative action threatens to trigger a Congressional convention call. I cannot support so irresponsible an invocation of constitutional processes.
Later Professor Gunther also 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.”
“Our safety, our liberty, depends upon preserving the Constitution of the
United States as our Fathers made it inviolate. The people of the
United States are the rightful masters of both Congress
and the Courts, not to overthrow the Constitution,
but to overthrow the men who pervert
the Constitution” …
Joe Woolverton II rebutts Nick Dranias
There is another flaw in Dranias’ Executive Summary regarding the power of Article V, and it effectively impedes the Goldwater Institute’s march toward a new constitutional convention. Simply put, the black letter of Article V does not allow for a convention with any purpose other than “proposing amendments,” which if ratified by the states (by either of the two methods provided) would become “part of [the] Constitution.” Why would a constitutionalist, sincere in his desire to restore the proper balance between the state and national governments, advocate a convention to propose amendments to a Constitution that, according to both its authors and its plain language, already protects that delicate and unique balance of power between the states and the federal government?
By Tom DeWeese April 27, 2010 American Policy Center
In December, 2008, my American Policy Center (APC) led a fight to stop Ohio from becoming the 33rd state to call for a Constitutional Convention (Con-Con). In the 1980’s 32 other states had passed Con-Con resolutions for the specific purpose of passing a balanced budget amendment. Had that resolution passed the Ohio legislature, we would have been just one state awayfrom such an event. We argued then that one cannot call a Con-Con to discuss just one issue. Once a Con-Con is in place, there is no controlling the agenda.
We fought to stop the Con-Con because of fear. Today there is massive ignorance among the American people about the Constitution. Worse, there are powerful forces who consider that document to be antiquated and a hindrance to their vision of an all powerful government. These things, and more, make today the worst possible time in our nation’s history to mess with the greatest governing document of all time.
We stopped the effort in 2008, but the battle is on again as an even more determined plan is under way to gather support from the nation’s governors and state legislatures to pass Con-Con resolutions. Again, this is not the work of wild-eyed leftists intending to gut the Bill of Rights. This is an effort by conservative legislators who are alarmed by the growing power of government.
The new plan making its rounds in state capitals is much more ambitious than the 2008 Ohio resolution to simply discuss a balanced budget. Now an entire package of ten amendments to the Constitution is being proposed and promoted to state legislatures through a powerful and well funded campaign.
The main groups pushing for a Con-Con are the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a conservative association of state legislators; and a new group calling itself the 10 Amendments for Freedom, Inc, chaired by William Fruth, President of POLICOM Corporation, which provides independent economics research.
While ALEC is working behind the scenes to build support for a Con-Con among state legislators, Fruth and his 10 Amendments for Freedom group has moved into the public eye to sell the Con-Con idea to mainstream America. In March, Fruth kicked off his campaign by mailing out a slick, expensive package to conservative leaders and to over 7,000 state legislators. The package contained a book written by Fruth entitled “10 Amendments for Freedom.”
In the book, Fruth lays out an argument for the need for, not just a balanced budget amendment, but a total package of 10 Amendments to the Constitution including, the balanced budget; repay the national debt in 50 years; government transparency; line item veto; term limits for Congress; control illegal immigration; English-speaking nation; no foreign law shall bind us; government restraint (preventing the Federal Government from growth beyond constitutional powers; and finally, an amendment declaring “in God we trust.” Of course, there is no doubt that these amendments have great appeal for most conservatives, answering their growing frustration and fear of government expansion.
Arguing that Congress “will not likely take any action to cause the 10 Amendments for Freedom to become law of the land,” Fruth calls for all ten amendments to be packaged by state legislatures to be passed in a resolution calling for a Constitutional Convention. His package would include specific instructions to Congress as to how the delegates would be selected and outlining rules that would be enforced to assure only the ten amendments would be voted on.
Arguing the advantages of the Con-Con, Fruth says, “Can you imagine the excitement in the nation leading up to the Convention? Schools will have to dust off history books which teach how our nation was founded. Many people for the first time will read the Constitution. The issue will be discussed at length, exposing what happened to our country over the years.”
Fruth then scoffs at our fears of a Con-Con and efforts to stop it. He says, “Simply, it is not reasonable to assume there can be enough delegates sent to a convention who will propose amendments which ‘repeal the Bill of Rights’ or ‘legalize socialism.’ Even if they did, the amendments would never be ratified,” concludes Fruth.
Anticipating opposition to his scheme for a Con-Con, Fruth says that those who opposed the effort in the 1980’s, to call for a Con-Con for a balanced budget amendment, told the American people that the delegates at the convention can “change the Constitution any way they want.” Argues Fruth, “We know that is not true.” He says, “it is both irresponsible and disingenuous for anyone to publicly say that the convention can change the Constitution.” And he says, “any recommended changes must be approved by three-fourths of the states.”
These are the arguments now being presented to every single state legislator and Governor in the nation as Fruth and ALEC put on a full-court-press to call for a Constitutional Convention. While the intention may be an honest desire to reign in the power of government, the fact remains that every one of these arguments for a Con-Con is wrong.
The fact is, once 34 states petition Congress to convene a Constitutional Convention, the matter is completely out of the States’ hands. There is absolutely no ability to control what the delegates do in the convention. Attempting to instruct delegates to discuss only a specific issue like a balanced budget – or the whole package offered by the 10 Amendments for Freedom group — is absolutely impossible. Instead, once the convention starts, the delegates become super delegates which can take any action they desire concerning the Constitution. In short, at the convention the Constitution can be literally put on an operating table and the delegates can take a “scalpel” (pen) to it and change any section or even the entire document if they desire.
What proof do I offer? Here are the exact words of Article V of the Constitution: “…on the application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, (Congress) shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which…shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States.”
Article V gives absolutely no guidelines as to how it will be run, how delegates can be selected and who can do the selecting. Once the 34 states make the request, the entire matter is in the hands of Congress to decide. It does not matter if the states passed resolutions as Fruth proposes, containing absolute guidelines for delegate selection. The Constitution provides no rules – it is up to Congress to decide how delegates are selected and what qualifications they will have. The guidelines proposed by Fruth carry absolutely no weight in the final process – even if every state passes the exact same resolution including those rules. Again, Article V simply says that when 34 states have called for a Con-Con the Congress “shall call a Convention…” Period.
And there is more legal proof in support of the argument that delegates are not bound by any instructions or resolutions from the states.
First, of course, is the famous letter written by former Supreme Court Justice Warren Burger to Phyllis Schlafly, President of Eagle Forum. In the letter Burger writes, “…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’t like its agenda. The meeting in 1787 ignored the limit placed by the confederated Congress…”
And there is more legal documentation proving that Congress or the states can control the agenda of a Con-Con. Corpus Jurus Secundum is a compilation of State Supreme Court findings. The following is the collection of findings regarding the unlimited power of the delegates attending a Con-Con. (From Corpus Jurus Secundum 16 C.J.S. 9) “The members of a Constitutional Convention are the direct representatives of the people (1) and, as such, they may exercise all sovereign powers that are vesting in the people of the state. (2) They derive their powers, not from the legislature, but from the people: (3) And, hence, their power may not in any respect be limited or restrained by the legislature. Under this view, it is a Legislative Body of the Highest Order (4) and may not only frame, but may also enact and promulgate, Constitution. (5)” The footnote numbers after the citation quoted reference the particular cases from which the citations were made. (1) Mississippi (1892) Sproule v Fredericks (11 So. 472); (2) Iowa (1883) Koehler v Hill (14N.W. 738); (3) West Virginia (1873) Loomis v Jackson (6 W. Va. 613); (4) Oklahoma (1907) Frantz v Autry (91 p. 193); (5) Texas (1912) Cox v Robison (150 S.W. 1149).
Clearly, the position put forth by Fruth, and ALEC, that state legislatures can pass a resolution dictating the rules of the Con-Con is simply wrong.
Delegate selection is another dangerous trap waiting to spring. Again, Article V provides no guidelines. The process is left for Congress to decide. That means the current Congress could control the entire delegate selection. Under the rules that Congress could set, States may not even be represented. If the states are allowed to choose delegates, then what would be the method? Again, Congress will decide. Will the governor or the state legislature appoint delegates? Or could it be a bicameral panel or blue ribbon commission?
Or could it be a plebiscite – a vote of the people? If so, then who would be eligible to vote? Would it be all eligible voters? Or taxpayers only? Or would we possibly, in the interest of “enfranchisement,” allow all citizens, and potentially foreign nationals (illegal immigrants) to vote for this “special election?” There are no guidelines and anything is possible.
And what would be the qualifications to be a delegate? Would it be exclusively lawyers? A mix of professionals? So-called “proportional representation” of all special interest groups – NGO’s? Will some be excluded because of “extreme” convictions? Of course, according to the Federal Department of Homeland Security, “extreme convictions” includes those who want to protect the Constitution. So, what will the criteria for eligible delegates be? All of these choices would be made by Congress – that same one now controlled by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.
But again, none of that will matter, according to those calling for the Con-Con. William Fruth argues that no matter what such a convention does, it still must be ratified by two-thirds of the states, making it very difficult to do bad things against the will of the people. A history lesson is in order.
There has been only one Constitutional Convention in the history of the nation – that was in 1787. At the time, the nation was held together by the Articles of Confederation. The states were having a difficult time performing commerce among themselves. So it was decided to hold a Constitutional Convention to simply discuss how interstate commerce might be better organized. As the delegates were selected, some delegations were given specific orders by their states to discuss nothing else beyond the commerce issue.
However, as soon as the delegates arrived at Independence Hall in Philadelphia, they closed and locked the door, pulled down the shades and met in secret for a month. When they were finished, they had created an entirely new nation. We were very lucky that the convention was attended by men like Ben Franklin and James Madison. They produced the most magnificent document ever devised for the governance of man.
Today, we have Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. These are the people who will decide the rules for the convention, including delegate selection. Keep in mind, these are the people who just managed to ram through a health “reform” bill that the overwhelming majority of Americans opposed. These are the same people who managed to pass the bailout package opposed (according to polls) by almost 80% of the American people.
Do you trust them to follow the rules dictated by state legislatures? Do you think Pelosi and Reid would pass up an opportunity to set their own rules to guarantee a Constitution to their liking? Do you think for one minute that they would take any steps to protect our Constitution? We live in an era when the Supreme Court looks to foreign laws to assure our own laws are worthy. We live in an era when many believe that the Constitution is out of date for our times. Barack Obama has expressed his belief that the U.S. Constitution needs to be interpreted through the lens of current events. Pelosi and her cohorts are itching to get their hands on the old parchment. And as history has shown, once a Con-Con is called, delegates (picked though a Pelosi process) can do anything they want to it, including writing a completely new document.
And there is more. Concerning the argument that no matter what the delegates produce, the states still must ratify it – thus serving as a safeguard to tomfoolery, consider this fact: The Articles of Confederation required that any changes be ratified by 100% of the states. That was the document that was the law of the land – until something else was put into place. But, when the new Constitution was put to the states for a vote of ratification, suddenly they needed only two-thirds to approve it. Why? The fact is, Article V of the new Constitution was used – even before the Constitution which contained it was approved. Now, what do you think Reid and Pelosi and company would do with that precedent? What if the new document produced by the Con-Con said ratification only required a vote of Congress – or some special commission? The precedent of 1787 says that could happen. So much for protection by the states.
And rather than an excitement in the nation with a rebirth of study of the Constitution, as Furth envisions, there would in fact be a long, hard, ugly and expensive battle over the process, guaranteed to leave the nation split along ideological lines. It’s not difficult to envision civil unrest, riots or even civil war as a result of any re-writing of the current Constitution.
These are the reasons why I, and many others around the nation, adamantly oppose a Constitutional Convention at this time.
We fear a Con-Con because the subject matter cannot be controlled. And if the worst happens, there is no guarantee that we can stop ratification. There has never been a worse time in the nation’s history to consider changing this grand document. The Con-Con delegates could literally put the Constitution on an operating table and use their scalpels to slice it up, creating an entirely new form of government. That new document, as precedence has shown, could be enforced without ratification by the states. Remember, our current Constitution was not ratified by the rules set forth in the Articles of Confederation, but by an Article V that wasn’t yet law of the land. Now that the precedence is there, it can happen again. The Pelosi’s of the nation, proven to have the power and the will to twist any issue or initiative as they desire, are rubbing their hands together at the prospect of a Con-Con.
No doubt there is great need for several of the amendments Fruth and his group propose. But he seems to ignore the fact that there is a powerful, organized opposition. Again, I call your attention to the continuing battle over health care. That’s child’s play compared to what will happen in a Con-Con. Do Americans really want to risk that in these uncertain times? Every freedom-loving American must stand up against this misguided call for a Con-Con. Tell your state legislators NO.
The Freedom Movement, so necessary to end the growing tyranny in our nation is being destroyed from within. Tom DeWeese, president of American Policy Center and editor of the DeWeese Report gives a special report on who is behind it. Click on the image below to watch this powerful video featured on YouTube.
J. G. writes:
“I’ve been going back and forth on this with Nick Dranias for MONTHS. If AZ calls for an amendment, but 38 states call for something else, does Arizona control the convention? NO. Once the delegates have convened, they become the highest power in the land and Arizona’s “INTENTION” in their call becomes IRRELEVANT as the rest of the delegates can override. Even if Arizona “walks out”, but the rest of the states rewrite the constitution, the only option left for Arizona would be to secede.
There are other ways to pass an amendment. A constitutional convention is not required.
READ THE BILLS. I cannot believe the rumor and innuendo that get spread because “I heard” or “someone said”. That is COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT. The ONLY RELEVANT thing is what the words of the bill ACTUALLY SAY. Not what the intro says, what the proposed LAW says. This is unbelievable. We are letting our Republic go because of RAW IGNORANCE.”