VOTE ‘NO’ on the COMPACT FOR AMERICA
Arizona Constitutional Committee
Arizona Should Oppose the Dangerous
Compact For America
‘Constitutional Convention’ Bill HB 2328
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 a Constitutional Convention using the Compact For America Initiative Interstate Compact. In Arizona this bill is HB 2328.
The Compact for America Initiative 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 Compact for America Initiative is a new, complex 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 Constitutional Convention) for the purpose of proposing a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA) to the U.S. Constitution; and
(2) pre-ratify a specific BBA so that it would not be necessary to get 38 states to ratify a BBA after it would be proposed 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 constitutional 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 constitutional 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, according to the U.S. Constitution Article V.
2. What part of NO does Congress understand and respect? NONE. NADA. If Congress willfully ignores the authority of the U.S. Constitution now, why would we expect it 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 Compact for America Initiative 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. The presentation was so sensitive that was removed, so is posted here.
e. Manufactured national crises have been considered. The CCS co-chairman and former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury C. 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. In the HB2328 Overview Provision 2.c. states, “a state may only withdrawal by unanimous consent of the member states.” violates Arizona’s state sovereignty; opening the Compact/Convention to expensive litigation.
5. In the HB2328 Overview Provision 3.b.v. states, “Oversee the defense and enforcement of the compact in appropriate legal venues” and in 8.h. “Directs each member state’s chief law enforcement officer to defend the compact from any legal challenge” means legal challenges are fully expected but can be made only in a Texas court that could hamstring the process for a long time and require substantial legal fees which Arizona cannot afford.
6. It contractually forces Arizona to fund and otherwise support other agencies, lobbyists, or groups without constraint or legislative oversight.
7. In the HB2328 Overview Provision 3.d. states, “Prohibits the commission from taking any action that contravenes or is inconsistent with the compact” PROHIBITS withdrawing for NEW DISCOVERY of facts with which the State of Arizona may disagree, or be placed at disadvantage.
8. 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.
9. 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.
10. 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.”
11. 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.
12. Congress has authority to RAISE TAXES in spite of a BBA.
13. 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 and replace it with ‘Obamacare’. Do we really want to chance of this happening when all the cost and tremendous effort going into developing the Compact For America may create the temptation to compromise instead of dissolving it? 32 states already have calls to Congress for various topics.
14. 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 against rescission already places Arizona at disadvantage.
15. 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.
a. 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!]
b. 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.
c. Proposed amendments include:
i. allowing prayers in the schools
ii. prohibiting busing for racial balance
iii. permitting the states to make abortions illegal
iv. “People for a Safe America” has attempted to get Congress to pass the “Safe America” Amendment
v. 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.”
vi. Many more!
16. 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 regime into 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.”
17. 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.
18. If the DIRE CONSEQUENCES of voting FOR this Compact/Convention finally materialize, they will taint a legislator’s political reputation beyond recovery.
19. THE U.S. CONSTITUTION ALREADY IS A COMPACT FOR AMERICA. Why are we not mandating that the feds follow what we already have? Do you claim to follow the U.S. Constitution? Well then, the Constitution DOES NOT ALLOW:
b. $74 Billion per year for FOREIGN AID
c. $4 TRILLION for UNDECLARED WARS
d. $2 TRILLION for 185 federal welfare programs
A TOTAL of $6 TRILLION over the last 10 years or 600 Billion per year! Except for declared war in defense of the states, THESE ARE STATE ISSUES TO BE CONSTITUTIONALLY ADMINISTERED BY STATES, not the federal government.
20. American history has shown a clear pattern. 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.”
21. 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 did NOT cede 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, in the Constitution we already have. This is called NULLIFICATION and RECALLING ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES who vote UNCONSTITUTIONALLY; this is the Rightful Remedy to unfettered 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.
Please vote ‘NO’ on HB2328 to call a national constitutional convention using the Compact For America Interstate Compact for a Balanced Budget Amendment.
Click on the link or copy/paste the link to your browser
How the Compact for America Threatens the Constitution PDFexplaining the arguments against passing the Compact for America legislative package.
Beware of Article V This 36-minute video to state legislators helps understand the negative aspects of convening a constitutional convention.