Government Watch

Making a Difference through Article V: Understanding the Process and Getting Involved

By – Michael Farris

There are three numbers, that are key to understanding the process for a Convention of States: 34-26-38. If you understand the meaning behind these numbers, you can explain a Convention of States (COS) to anyone.

Stage 1: 34 states.

The first stage of a COS requires two-thirds of the state legislatures (34) to pass a resolution (formally called an “application”) applying for a convention for a particular purpose. Our COS application calls for a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments on the following topics: “to impose fiscal restraints on the federal government, to limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government, and to impose term limits on federal officials.”

There are also active efforts to pass applications for a convention for other purposes. The most notable of these is a movement to call for a convention to propose a Balanced Budget Amendment (BBA).

There are two key differences between our COS application and the movement for a BBA. First, our application seeks to curb abuses of federal power in a number of areas. The BBA only seeks to require the federal government to spend no more than it receives. There would be no jurisdictional limits on spending resulting from a BBA—something we think is key to achieving actual fiscal restraint. Second, our COS model application is designed to be passed in an identical fashion (at least as it regards the controlling language in the application) in every state. There are multiple versions of the BBA application.

An important legal problem is present when the applications differ in their controlling provisions. The question is whether the various applications can be “aggregated”—that is are they actually on the same subject.

Does a state application calling for a balanced budget exclusively through spending cuts address the same topic an application calling for a balanced by any means necessary? There are real differences between such seemingly similar approaches. A BBA which prohibits Congress from ever raising any tax presents all kinds of logistical issues and is very unlikely to ever pass. A BBA application that gives the convention more leeway to draft the amendment is less likely to run into these logistical issues, but produce a BBA that in effective in actually controlling Congress’s spending spree.  The point is that there are real differences between these two ideas for a BBA, and it’s at least possible that applications on these different but similar subjects may not be aggregated together.

Congress is the agency that determines when 34 states have passed applications on the same subject. If all 34 states pass language that is identical relative to the agenda for the convention, then Congress has no choice—it must call the convention. But, if Congress is presented with an array of applications that are similar, but far from identical, it give Congress much more leeway to squirm out of calling the convention.

The inevitable result for the BBA is litigation, regardless of whether Congress decides to aggregate the application or not. But, when Congress receives 34 identical COS applications, as it will under our approach, there is no opportunity for meaningful dispute or litigation. Of course, anyone can file a frivolous case, but if all the applications are uniform, the litigation will end in weeks not years. Once 34 states approve our COS application, there will be a convention promptly thereafter.

Stage 2: 26 states.

At the convention there are two voting rules: one state, one vote, and majority rules.

This means voting on each issue will be done by counting states, not by counting individual delegates. This was how voting was done at the original Constitutional Convention and all of the other multistate conventions in American history (over 30 of these have been held). So, if a state sends seven delegates, then whatever four delegates from that state decide on will determine the state’s vote at the convention. Accordingly, it doesn’t really matter how many delegates a state sends—at least for voting purposes—it is always one state, one vote.

It is in Stage 2 where the actual amendments are drafted. The amendments must be strictly limited to the subject matter of the call but the precise wording will be decided at the Convention by majority vote of 26 states.

Currently, 27 states are controlled by the Republicans in both houses (this doesn’t count Nebraska which is unicameral and nonpartisan, but effectively votes like a Republican state), 17 states are controlled by the Democrats in both houses, and 5 states are split.  Given present political realities, it is clear which party would control the outcome of any proposed amendments at the convention.

The reality, however, is that the convention delegates will be looking to propose amendments that can survive the rigorous ratification process in Stage 3. And Stage 3 will require some support from states controlled by both parties.

There are a number of issues for which there is wide bipartisan support: balancing the federal budget, placing term limits on Congress, imposing spending and tax controls on Congress, stopping the federal government from dictating policy to the states, finding a reasonable balance to federal judicial power, stopping federal agencies and the president from dictating laws rather than passing them through Congress.  These are the kind of amendments which have the possibility of being ratified in Stage 3 and for which bipartisan support is a real possibility.

Stage 3: 38 states.

The package of amendments that come out of the COS will be sent to the state legislatures for ratification. (While Congress could opt to have state ratification conventions ratify the proposed amendments, Congress is very unlikely to do so because such conventions would be far more likely to be dominated by grassroots conservatives.)

The original Bill of Rights proposed 12 amendments. Only 10 were ratified by 1791. (One was later ratified in the 1990s.) Each state gets to vote on each of the amendments. Whichever individual amendments are ratified by 38 state legislatures then become an official part of the Constitution.

If we get 34 states by the spring of 2016, the Convention would probably be held in the late summer and fall of that year. It would likely last 6 months or so, with ratification beginning in the 2017 state legislative sessions and carrying on for the next 2 to 3 years.

Thus, by the end of this decade, we could once again have a federal government that is truly limited in its authority. By 2020, we can bring a permanent end to the abuse of federal power.

How do we make this happen?

First, you need to be willing to stand up, speak up, and show up. If you write or call your state legislators, urging them to support a Convention of States, that is standing up and speaking up. And if you will come to their office, either in their district or in the Capital, that is showing up. Both kinds of activism are very effective especially on the state level.

The vast majority of state legislators in this country almost never hear from 100 people on a particular issue. It is unheard of for a state legislator to get calls or emails from 1000 voters on a particular issue—ever.

Our goal is to find at least 100 citizens to stand up, speak up, and show up in enough legislative districts to pass applications in 34 states and then ratify amendments in 38 states.

This would be satisfied by about 400,000 people joining this effort. There are 4000 state legislative districts in the 40 states most likely to approve of our efforts to limit federal government power. If we have 100 people in 100% of these districts, there is little doubt that we will win. Even if we only have 100 in 75% of the districts, our victory is still near certain.

AMAC alone has more than enough members to achieve these numbers by itself. If everyone reading this email will stand up, speak up, and show up we will win this fight.

But, we can go from virtual certainty to absolute certainty by adding more people. If only 25% of the people reading this email would recruit just 5 friends to join this effort, we would add an additional 750,000 people to the team. A grassroots movement of this magnitude on the state level is unheard of. At this level of activism, a Convention of States is no longer just a good idea, it is a practical reality.

The choice is ours. If we work together, we can stop the abuse of power in Washington, D.C.

Please join the movement at www.conventionofstates.com.


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VoiceofAmerica
8 years ago

I am in full support of Article V. All the naysayers are wrong, and are wrong. They are against the Constitution itself.
Do something about it. Term limits, Spending and taxing limits. Put roadblocks up against big out of control ignorant government.
Use Article V to get it done.
https://conventionofstates.com

http://indianaliberty.weebly.com/blog/article-v-the-1787-formation-process

SteveD
8 years ago

I’m very please AMAC is supporting an Article V effort, and that’s what prompted me to join AMAC, along with other good things AMAC does. I serve as a State Director for the Convention of States (COS) effort being led by Michael Farris and Mark Meckler. I hear a lot of opposition to Article V in various forums, and never hear of any other ideas that can have the same impact as an Article V convention in a similar timeframe. The Framers put a convention of the states in the Constitution precisely for the situation we’re in now. If we as a nation can’t find the courage and strength to stop the train in a peaceful manner as the Framers hoped we would, then we should, as someone else said, go home, hug our children and prepare for a thousand years of darkness. At least my kids know I’m trying to protect/preserve/restore their freedoms…

The OLD Warhorse
8 years ago

Almost didn’t comment. Too many of you trying to outdo each other showing “just how knowledgeable you all are” on the subject, having read or studied that.
Guys, it’s really simple. Our government today is overrun by lawyers. They’re everywhere. They are the majority of the congresscritters, senators, make up nearly every head of every department and agency in the Executive Branch, and of course the Supremes.
Now we all know that lawyers are smarter than we commoners, just ask them.
Any Constitutional Convention of any kind would be filled to the brim with even more of them and the first thing anybody in law school is taught is to lie effectively to win your case.
I don’t trust any of them to alter what those learned men of 250 years ago did. Hell, everything that’s been done to alter the original Constitution has ended up making things worse in this country, sometimes from just being misinterpreted from the intent or sometimes because the intent of those who passed it was to weaken the original document.
NO, NO, NO! Don’t let them do it.
It ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Ivan Berry
8 years ago

THE OLD WARHORSE, we have a debate going and it sometimes means showing your smarts, even at the risk of showing your ass. Unless I leave out something or fail to address properly, I most often know what I’m talking about. When someone poses an argument that is based on a false primise, it pays to make note of it. This is not to show off, but in order to get reasonable people to realize what’s going on. If mistakes are made, at least they are honest and not lawyers’ tricks.
:You are right that we are over run with lawyers. You are right, and there are valid reasons not to trust. Most all the Amendments to the Constitution have only made the central government more powerful and has given control to those that do not have the nations best interests at heart.
But in order to counter the false reasoning of those who believe a COS to be a quick fix, it becomes neccessary to disclose their falicy. That’s what many of have tried to do. I appreciate those in agreement with us anti’s regardless of whether they are ultra smart or not. The common people should always have a say in their government despite variation in levels of intelligence. But there also should be no shame in having abilities to disclose the errors within something so risky.
Maybe it rubs some the wrong way when anyone thinks they have the right to “educate” others, but what has been proposed by the COS is a risk to all of us and we should use whatever ammunition we possess to overcome it.
Thank you for your comments, even reluctantly. At least we are in agreement on the major issue.
You are right. It ain’t broke.

Dougjay
8 years ago

Old Warhorse. I agree. Our Constitution ain’t broke, it’s just that, with the help of the Supreme Court, Congress and the president do not follow the original intent of the Framers. Much was not written specifically into the Constitution because the Framers assumed and relied on we Americans being a ‘virtuous people’ that could govern ourselves in the form of a republic.
But look at us now. Washington is riding roughshod over virtually everything we say, do, drive, eat, flush, and on and on, with thousands of new rules, laws, and regulations thrown at us every year.
European progressivism was imported and began to take hold over 100 years ago. Wilson and FDR were outspoken critics of the Constitution (before becoming president) as it got in the way of their progressive agendas. Other progressives/liberals have been more stealth in this regard – but just as damaging.
If you would take the time to read Mark Levin’s book ‘The Liberty Amendments’ you’d learn that most proposals are to simply codify into the Constitution that what the Framers assumed. Example: A citizen legislature. Until 100 years ago, congressmen would only serve one or two terms. No need for term limits. Example: A balanced budget. Because most people lived within their means, it was assumed a ‘citizen legislature’ would do the same. Now we go into bigger and bigger debt as the ‘professionals’ give out favors willy-nilly with OUR tax money to insure their re-election.
Finally, it irks me when folks write about a Constitutional Convention. It’s is NOT! We do not intend to write a new Constitution. It is a Convention of the States. Words Matter.

Ivan Berry
8 years ago

The following is a critique of Mr. Farris’ article:
Stage 1:34.
Nowhere in Art.V does it limit a convention to a “specific purpose,” nor to restrain the “topics” brought forward once the process has begun. Art.V is the “Law” provided to make “amendments” (plural). Its operational rules, to exist, must be proposed by the U.S. Congress’ Legislation should the Congress decide, under Art.I, section 8: “to make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department thereof.”

So far as multiple versions or identical versions go, Art.V only states that the Congress “on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments…” Not covered by Art.V is whether the applications need be on the same topic, and it will be up to Congress regarding “Aggregation.
If Congress does decide to aggregate, any prior calls that they deem to be added to those of the COS States’ applications could reach the magic number of 34 and trigger the Congress’ call for the Convention even before the entire COS applications are tabulated. In that case, the Convention called will involve those others and what PaulE stated last week about Compromising may be the result. This is not a moot concern, but is possible given the make up of our present Congress. The “array of applications” already exists to some extent.
The “litigation” mentioned in the article involves lawyers, and whether suits be “frivolous” still lends to lawyers’ fabricating arguments and legal manipulations. No one can determine beforehand how that might play out nor who would become involved. Would Congress allow the Surpreme Court to be involved in any appeals? It’s anyone’s guess.

Stage 2: 26
The fact that the majority of the States have Republican majorities in both Houses should give no overbiding confidence in outcomes since many Republican leaders are of the progressive persuasion. We did not get to this point without the bad actors on the Republican side of the aisle.

Stage 3: 38
Whether the Ratification is by States’ Legislatures or by Convention (a Ratifying Convention) will be determined by the Congress. Should they choose to accept the amendments or not may determine the selection of method. Art.V does not specify how Ratification Delegates are to be selected.

The conclusion that many, based on the above, may well be that this is a risk that should be avoided and that a run-away process that poses the danger that the Constitution could be thus destroyed for all time is quite possible.

The COS may be promulgated with good intentions. Just remember the old addage: No good deed goes unpunished.
Beware.

PaulE
8 years ago
Reply to  Ivan Berry

Well said Ivan. Hopefully it gets people thinking about the whole COS process in more depth. If you don’t mind, I’ll just add a few items I touched on last week, that folks may have not have had a chance to read.

Just to remind everyone that Progressives have been pushing for the same type of COS, since the late 1970s and early 1980s. While Mr. Farris may be looking at having a COS for conservative reasons, as he perceives there to be some common ground between Conservatives and Progressives on four issues, Progressives want it for an entirely different goal: It would be an extremely expedient way to shred the Constitution of the restrictions it places on what the federal government can do to the people in one fell swoop. In short, your rights would be what the federal government says your rights are, as they see fit, on any particular day. Just like what exists in every Socialist Democracy.

Last week I submitted a partial list of the Progressive organizations that have been actively advocating for a COS for their own purposes. I will re-post that list at the end of this post. Suffice it to say, that all these organizations are very well-funded and have substantial legal staffs or access to top-flight Progressive lawyers more than capable of drafting an application for proposed amendments that would neither be deemed “frivolous” nor improperly prepared to void them from being considered for inclusion in any COS. So there is no way to reasonably expect you would be able to exclude Progressives from active participation in any COS process. When you couple that with the strong likelihood that the Progressive media will be touting the need to “reach bi-partisan compromise” 24×7, you can bet that several weak-kneed and spineless RINOs will be more than happy to accommodate that request. Especially if they think it will win them a few extra votes during the next re-election campaign.

So any call for a COS, especially when there is nothing fundamentally broken in the Constitution as it is exists today, poses far more risks than potential rewards. What we have are so-called representatives of the people in Washington, who refuse to honor the oath that they’ve all sworn to, which is to obey and defend the Constitution. No additional amendments would fix that issue. That is something that the people of this country have to address by choosing to stop voting for the same ineffectual or corrupt representatives. There is no “magic fix”, which is what I fear a COS is being sold to the American people as, for NOT doing their part to ensure we have the right people in Washington representing us.

We have to view the environment in which such a COS would occur today, not in the light of how the original one played out in the late 18th century. Conceptual theory of how things “should work” has to give way to the practical reality of how things “will likely turn out” given the societal dynamics in play today. The country was much different in the late 18th century. The people basically shared many common values and expectations for what a government should and should not do on behalf of the people. There concept and importance of a limited federal government, with limited powers over what it could do to the people, was still fresh in many minds. None of that exists today. What we have today is basically two competing societies, actually almost polar opposites, living within the same geographical boundaries of what we call the United States.

On the one hand, there are still people that view the federal government as a necessary evil, that must be tolerated for a very few specific functions. Those are outlined in the Constitution. These people believe in personal freedoms, inalienable rights, and personal initiatives to try and improve their lives.

On the other side, you have people who view the federal government as the ultimate nanny or provider of all essential things in life. A force that provides them with “free” money, housing, food, phones, health care, education, and whatever else they can dream up, all in exchange for their vote and blind obedience to the State. Where personal responsibility and individual initiative are quaint notions that those fools that work for a living still cling to.

So in that light, we would be risking national suicide to move forward with a COS, where we have far more to lose than gain. Now for the list of Progressive organizations I promised earlier. Enjoy.

After Downing Street
Alliance for Democracy*
American Friends Service Committee
American Friends Service Committee – NE Ohio*
Backbone Campaign
Black Agenda Report*
BuzzFlash
Center for Corporate Policy
Center for Media and Democracy*
Code Pink
Coffee Party USA
Democracy Unlimited*
Detroit Women of Color
Family Farm Defenders
Friends of the Earth
Global Exchange
Independent Progressive Politics Network*
Liberty Tree Foundation*
National Lawyers Guild*
North Carolina AFL-CIO
Organic Consumers Association
Peace Action
Peace and Freedom Party of California
Peaceful Uprising
People-Centered Development Forum
Portland Jobs with Justice
Program on Corporations Law and Democracy*
Progressive Democrats of America*
Reclaim Democracy*
Ruckus Society
Sebastopol Grange
Shays 2
Sierra Club
smartMeme
The Pachamama Alliance
Ultimate Civics*
Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community
Velvet Revolution
Vermont for Single Payer
Veterans For Peace
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom*
Oak Ridge Unitarian Universalist Church
1% A Peace Army
19 Organizations
2013 National OCCUPY Gathering
A New Way Forward
Abolish Corporate Personhood Now
Abolish Corporate Personhood Now
Agricultural Permitting Services, LLC
Alachua County Democratic Executive Committee
Alachua County Democratic Party
Alachua County Green Party
Alliance for Progressive Values
Americans for Healthcare
Americans Who Tell The Truth
Animal Medical, Inc.
Anti-War Committee
APS, LLC
Association of Federal, State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Local 1684
AWAKE Palm Beach County
Barbour County Democratic Women
Berkeley Fellowship of Universalist Unitarians, Social Justice Committee
Berks Gas Truth
BitJazz Inc.
Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project
Bullfrog Communities
Bus For Progress
California State Grange
Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood
Center for Corporate Policy
Center for Justice, Peace and the Environment/Fort Collins Community Action Network
Central Labor Council of Humboldt & Del Norte Counties (CA)
Central Ohio Green Education Fund
CGR Consulting
CirclesWork!
CirclesWork!
CitizenControl.org
Citizens for Legitimate Government
Citizens for Peaceful Resolutions
City Lights Books in San Francisco
Civic Satisfaction
Clay Street Counseling and Consulting
Clifton Citizens to End Corporate Rule
Clove Valley CSA at Outback Farm
Coal Moratorium Now!
Coalition of Concerned Patriots
CoalSwarm
Columbus Free Press
Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism
Commonweal Institute
Community Democracy Project
Community Organizing Center
Community Unitarian Universalist Church
Compassion dba Small Change
Concerned Citizens of Tioga County
Conejo Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
Connect The Dots For Democracy
Constitution Restoration Cooperative Association
Cook Inletkeeper
Corporation Separation Movement
Counter Culture Frozen Yogurt Mansfield Road
CounterCorp
Culver City Democratic Club
Dave Swager Photography
Declaration of Reindependence
Declaration of Reindependence
Defiance Citizens For Change
Democracy Amendment Coalition of Massachusetts-West
Democracy for America (DFA) Palm Beach County
Democracy for America of Fairfield County, Connecticut
Democracy for Missouri
Democracy for Montgomery County
Democracy for Pittsburgh
Democratic Committee of Essex County, NY
Democratic Socialists of Central Ohio
Democrats United for Progress
DGC Press
Dick Eiden for Congress 2012
District 7 West Move On Council
Divide Democrats
DocExamPro LLC
DuPage County Green Party
East Bay Peace Action
Eastern Washington Voters
Eat Drink Politics
Eco-Eating
EcoBirth-Women for Earth and Birth
EcoJive
Economic Justice Action Group of the First Unitarian Church
Essex County, New York, Democratic Committee
Ethical Business Society
First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus, OH
First Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Palm Beaches – Social Action Committee
Florida Immigrant Coalition
Florida Initiative for Electoral Reform (FLIER)
Florida Voters Coalition
Food & Water Watch
Free Speech For People
Friends for a Non-Violent World
Full Moon Sanctuary Church
GlobalSolutionsMN.org
Grace Productions, Inc.
Greater Peoria Progressive Coalition
Green Democratic Club of Sacramento County
Green Party of Dallas County
Green Party of Florida
Green Party of Hamilton County Ohio
Green Party of Humboldt County
Green Party of Monroe County, NY
Green Party of Monterey County
Green Party of Ohio
Green Party of San Mateo County
Green Party of Santa Fe
Green Party of Skagit County
Green Party of Suffolk
Green Party of Tennessee
Green Party of Washington State
Green Sanctuary Task Force, Unitarian-Universalist Church of Bloomington, INdiana
Green Sanctuary Task Force, Unitarian-Universalist Church of Bloomington, Indiana
Greenway Flooring, LLC
HEAL Utah
Health Care for All Oregon
Heartwood
Hip Hop Congress
Human Agenda
Humanist Community of Central Ohio
Humanist Community of Central Ohio
Humboldt Bay Veterans for Peace
Information Press
Inner Works Acupuncture and Physical Therapy
International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees, Local 60 Pensacola, FL
Iowa Sierra Club
Jackson County Democrats/ Occupy Ashland
Justice Through Music
Kentucky Education Association
Kitchel Family Organic Farm
Klamath Sustainable Communities
Lake County Democratic Club
Lake County Democratic Club
Larry Packwood Builder
Las Vegas (NM) Peace and Justice Center
Lawmaker Ethics.org
Leftist Marching Band
Local 20/20 – A Transition Town Initiative
Lompoc Democratic Club
Lompoc Films endorsed petition to Lompoc City Council
Lotus Tribe
lowercase d
Macrocosm USA
Main Street Alliance of Oregon
Main Street Alliance of Oregon
Maine Citizens for Clean Elections
Mainstreet Moms
Manatee Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
Media Action Center
Metro Justice, Inc.
Michael Cavlan US Senate Campaign
Middle Class Clout
Miniprotests.com
Minnesota Alliance of Peacemakers
MN Citizens Federation N.E.
Montgomery County Progressive Alliance
Move On – Vancouver Washington Chapter
Move To Amend Coalition of Mendocino County
Move to Amend Savannah
MoveOn Council of South Palm Beach/ North Broward Counties
MoveOn metro Denver council
MoveOn.org Southern Alameda County Council
MovetoAmend.Net
National Consortium of What’s Happening Now
Nature Coast Unitarian Universalists Inc. of Citrus Springs FL
Needs of the People Foundation
Network for Environmental and Economic Responsibility of United Church of Christ
New Harmony Watch
New Progressive Alliance
New York Democracy Group
New York Occupy Wall Street Restore Democracy Working Group
No Money Congress
No More Stolen Elections!*
No More Victims
North Shore Labor Council
North Shore Labor Council
Northeast Philly for Peace and Justice
Occupy Amherst
Occupy Baltimore
Occupy Berkshires
Occupy COMO – Columbia, MO
Occupy Danbury
Occupy Falmouth
Occupy Hendersonville (NC)
Occupy Houston
Occupy Merced
Occupy Moab
Occupy Mountain View
Occupy Mountain View
Occupy Newport Corporate Personhood Group
Occupy North Palm Beach
Occupy Oakland Local Business Liaison Committee
Occupy Oceanside
Occupy Our Home
Occupy Palm Beach County, Florida
Occupy Port Townsend
Occupy Rockford
Occupy Sacramento
Occupy Saint Paul
Occupy Salem Oregon
Occupy San Fernando Valley
Occupy Santa Rosa
Occupy Seattle’s Get Money Out of Politics workgroup
Occupy Space Coast
Occupy Springfield Missouri
Occupy Springfield Missouri
Occupy Tucson
OccupyKst
OccupyWNC
Ohio Conference on Fair Trade
Oil Change International
One Goal Campaign
Opednews.com
Orange County Peace Coalition
Oxford Citizens for Peace and Justice
Pacific Green Party of Oregon
Palm Beach County Chapter of the Network of Spiritual Progressives
Palm Beach County Environmental Coalition
Palm Desert Greens Democratic Club
Patriots for Change
Patriots Grow Alliance
Peace & Justice Center of Nevada County
Peace Action of San Mateo County
Peace Education and Action Center
Peace Education Center of Greater Lansing
Peace Network of the Ozarks
Peace Network of the Ozarks
PeaceWorks KC
PeaceWorks KC
Pediatric Psychology of Connecticut, LLC
Pediatric Psychology of New York, PLLC
Peninsula Peace and Justice Center
PennVentures, Inc.
Pensacola Patriots for Peace
Pensacola Solutions Project
People Against Chemical Tresspass
People For A New Society
People’s Democratic Club of Santa Cruz County
Permaculture Activist Magazine
Petaluma Grange
Point Nine Nine, .99 Advocacy Fund
Porterhouse LTD
Proaction Associates
Progpen Consulting, Inc.
Progressive Coalition of Northern New York
Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) – Palm Beach County, Florida
Progressive Democrats of America – Arizona
Progressive Democrats of America, Ohio Chapter
Progressive Party of Oregon
Progressive Peace Coalition
Progressive Push
Prosperity Agenda
Public Banking Institute
Raleigh-Wake MoveOn Council
Re-Employ America
Reasonable Solutions OWS Philadelphia
Reclaiming the American Dream team
Redwood Alliance
Refuge Ministries of Tampa Bay
Restore Sanity and Take Back America
River of Grass Unitarian Universalist Congregation
Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
RTSV United
Sacramento for Democracy
Saint Paul Regional Labor Federation AFL-CIO
San Diego Clean Elections
San Diego Computer Consulting
Santa Monica City Council
Sarasota Alliance for Fair Elections (SAFE)
Sarasota County Council Of Neighborhood Associations
Second Sister Solutions
SEIU Local 503, Oregon Public Employees Union
Sentient Times
Service and Social Justice Committee, River of Grass Unitarian Universalist Congregation
Sierra Club, Manatee Sarasota Group
Sierra Club, Osage group of the Missouri Chapter
Sierra Club, Thomas Hart Benton group of the Missouri Chapter
Siskiyou Progressive Alliance
Smiling Bear Woodcrafts
Social Action Committee UU Church of Brevard Melbourne FL
Social Action Committee, UU church, Newburyport MA
Social Justice Committee of Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Marion Co.
Social Justice Council of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tarpon Springs
Social Justice Council, Unitarian Universalists of Clearwater, FL
Solano Peace, Justice & Freedom Coalition
South Carolina Progressive Network
South Country Peace Group
South Florida Interfaith Worker Justice
South West Florida Coalition for Peace and Justice
Southern Illinois People for Progress
Southwest Ohio Green PAC
Split This Rock Poetry Festival
Squadron 13 Aviation Museum
St Petersburg Greens
Suffolk Peace Network
Surf Dog Enterprises LLC
Sustainable Living Systems
Syracuse Peace Council
Take Back America for the People
Tao Sun Promotions
Texas Democratic Women
Texas Democratic Women of Ellis County
The 28ers
The 99% of Newark and East Central Ohio
The Ahimsa Store
The American Institute for Progressive Democracy (TAIPD)
The Canary Coalition
The City Council of Oberlin, Ohio
The City of Silverton Oregon
The Climate Crisis Coalition of the Twin Cities (3CTC)
The Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive
The David and Goliath Project
The Enviro Show
The Hampton Institute
The Impartial Review, LLC
The Interfaith Alliance of Rochester
The Main Street Alliance
The Missouri Chapter of the Sierra Club
The Pachamama Alliance
The Pacific Green Party
The People For Peace Project
The People’s Congress
The Taos Group
The Universal Center for Peace and Development.
The Women’s Network, Advocates for Democratic Principles
The Women’s Network, Advocates for Democratic Principles
theRevolutionCenter
Thwink.org
Time to Amend
Tioga Peace and Justice
Tom Dwyer Automotive Services
Treasure Coast Progressive Alliance
Treasure Coast Progressive Alliance
TriLibrium
Triple L, Ink Graphic Design
Umpqua Chapter of the Pacific Green Party
Unitarian Fellowship of South Florida
Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
Unitarian Universalist Church of Brevard
Unitarian Universalist Church of Corpus Christi, TX
Unitarian Universalist Church of Delaware County
Unitarian Universalist Church of Tarpon Springs
Unitarian Universalist Congregation East
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Duluth
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Salem Oregon
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Salem Oregon
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Social Justice Team
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Venice, Florida – Social Justice Committee
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship at Stony Brook
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Gainesville, FL
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of St Augustine, FL
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Vero Beach, FL – Social Justice Committee
Unitarian Universalist Legislative Ministry of Florida (UULMF)
Unitarian Universalist Parish of Monson – Social Action Committee
Unitarian Universalist Service Committee
Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Committee of Fresno
Unitarian Universalist Society of the Daytona Beach Area, Inc.
Unitarian Universalists of Grants Pass fellowship
Unitarian Universalitst Church of Sarasota – Social Justice Committee
United for a Fair Economy
United Progressives
United to Save Our Democracy
United Wisconsin
Upper Arlington Progressive Action
Upright U.S.A.
US Day of Rage
US Uncut
Vermont for Single Payer
Veterans For Peace Chapter 27
Victoria Armigo, EA
Video Rodeo, Inc.
Voting Matters
We Are One, Inc.
WELL Willits Economic LocaLization
Wendler Law, PC
West Virginia Highlands Conservancy
West Yolo Democratic Club
Western New York Peace Center, Inc.
WildWood Productions
Wisconsin Democracy Campaign
WMNF 88.5 FM Community Radio in Tampa, FL
Women Against Military Madness
Women Occupy San Diego
WSLR, Inc.
Wunderman Comics

Ivan Berry
8 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

Hi PaulE. Thank you for rejoining the conversation. There are a number of us who always appreciate your participation, me included. You have such a well developed ability to improve on any argument and flesh out with additional observations briefs by others.
Most of what I comment on is already learned from years of study. That list of progressive subversives requires much recent effort and must have taken quite awhile to gather, much less type. Thank you for that as well.
I know we all get tired of hammering the same nail week after week, but lest we forget, some have been newly convinced by our efforts.
Until next week and let’s keep up the good fight.

Wayne
8 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

Paulie, have you gone through and actually checked all these names out? It would be instructive for you to do so. Many of them don’t even exist and many are so small they might as well not exist. And even it they all did, who cares. Where are they listed in the Constitution as having anything to do with the process or the procedures?

Again, as I said before. You can continue doing what you’ve always done and you are going to continue getting what you have always gotten. And twhat you’ve gotten is a runaway government that is using an “interpreted” Constitution, not the one you think you are protecting, the one as written. But ask them why and they’ll tell you they are following the constitution.

PaulE
8 years ago
Reply to  Wayne

Wayne,

You yourself admit that the actual problem is that we have so-called representatives (Congress, the White House and to some degree the Supreme Court) in Washington that do NOT adhere to their sworn oath to follow the Constitution as written. Essentially when you strip away all the pretense of an “interpreted Constitution”, what you’re left with is they essentially make things up as they go along and count on the public never pushing back hard enough to cost them their jobs. Yet rather than trying to educate the public to realize the problem can ONLY be solved by replacing these representatives,that don’t actually represent us or adhere to their sworn obligations, related to the written Constitution, you advocate the solution of a COS to amend the Constitution. The only document that is holding them back, at least partially at this point, from unlimited federal power over the people.

Please explain to me how NOT addressing the real root problem, which is that a significant and growing portion of the people keep making bad long-term decisions, either through ignorance, which is correctable via education, or simple greed, as to who they select to represent them in Washington in exchange for “government freebies” or empty promises is solved by a COS to amend the Constitution.

Ivan Berry
8 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

PaulE, was I not clear? Doesn’t Wayne realize that the COS is just another political pressure group to put pressure on the States’ Legislatures so that they can get the Application for Amendments from States’Legislatures (34 or more)?
His saying that those organizations you listed were not in the Constitution. Well, neither is the COS. None of them even existed. What kind of argument is that?
The COS cannot apply to the U.S. Congress. They have to pressure the States’ Legislatures in order to get it done.
The hope is that the Republican held States have wise enough Representatives to not fall into the trap being laid.
I have notified my Reps on many occassins that they should decline and have given reasons not to open that can of worms.

PaulE
8 years ago
Reply to  Ivan Berry

You were crystal clear Ivan, but some people simply want what they perceive is a quick fix. Whether it actually addresses the actual root cause of the problem or not is unimportant to them. What they want is to “do something”. Educating the public and building support for reforming the political system is hard work and it never ends. However, it is the only way to ever achieve true positive change to bring the country back from the edge. Far too few people are willing to put that amount of effort in saving the nation. There is always a litany of excuses. Instead they look for something, a perceived quick fix, that doesn’t involve their personal time and involvement. Where they can say someone else has to handle it all on their behalf and that’s about as far as they’ll go.

Having our elected representatives, either at the state or federal level, simply “do something” over the decades, has caused more cumulative damage to this nation, via all the “unintended consequences” (what occurs from NOT thinking through what would be the actual result of the action they were so anxious to pursue), than if they had simply re-directed their efforts to address the real root cause of the problem in the first place.

Wayne
8 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

Paule,

You say, “…rather than trying to educate the public to realize the problem can ONLY be solved by replacing these representatives …”. Do you seriously believe that is the answer? Let me suggest you dig in and do a little research on what has been going on for the last 40 years with the attempt by “conservatives” in educating their fellow Americans. Heck, look at the hundreds of millions being spent now on elections and then look at what we have.

Everyone that thinks elections are the answer need to understand the following. Every two years all 435 reps and 33 Senators (a total of 468) can be replaced. However, the real problem is the incumbency reelection rate of Congress, which is 95 percent. That means, realistically, only 23 people are replaced every election.

In order to pass “good” legislation a simple majority is needed, which is 218 in the house and 52 in the senate. Just for the sake of argument let’s assume the voters leave 50 “good” people in the house and 10 in the senate. To have a simple majority in the House 198 reps would need to be replaced; 40 in the Senate. Therefore, in order to reach a simple majority in both houses it would take 11 election cycles (22 years!).

That also would require that one faction wins 100 percent of the elections, every person that got elected stay in office for at least 22 years, and none of them gets corrupted by the temptations of Washington DC. (Yea, right).

On the other hand, the average time to ratify a constitutional amendment (excluding the 27th, which took more than 208 years) is one year, eight months and ten days. Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not advocating we walk away from getting (our guys) elected. Just that we need to be realistic. Elections will NEVER correct the problems we have in our government today, and as for a quick fix, I’d love to hear all of you sound off about how long you really believe we have left before the freedoms you’ve grown to love in this country are no more.

Ivan Berry
8 years ago
Reply to  Wayne

Wayne, you misquoted PaulE. By leaving out the first word, “Yet” you changed the meaning, I believe intentionally based on the confusion you generated by the rest of you statements. PaulE was ascribing the idea that instead of educating, you in fact advocate the COS instead.
And based on the comment later in which you addressed to yourself instead of to me, you made another statement that I will address there that had nothing to do with what I had said. Check that out.

Wayne
8 years ago
Reply to  Ivan Berry

I also remember the addage that says if you continue doing what you’ve always done you’ll continue getting what you’ve always gotten.

Much of what you said can be challenged, but quite honestly it’s getting tiring having to deal with it over and over. I’ll just say this. From my readings on this subject, which have been quite extensive, there were 32 conventions before the one in 1787 and the history is crystal clear on the process and the procedures. What that means is that if Congress tried to play games the Courts have clear evidence to guide their decision, and the states clearly rule in this process.

Ivan Berry
8 years ago
Reply to  Wayne

Wayne, what happened regarding Conventions prior to 1787 has no value in determining what will happen in 2014 or beyond. Since when have Judges and Politicians relied upon president when it got in their way? You’re blowing smoke like a coal fired plant prior to soot filters. That pre-soot era set president.

As far as the whether PaulE or I have suggested “doing what you’ve always done:” We are not saying do the same thing as before under the same circumstances. We advocate the process of educating and changing habits to improve voter selection and avoid the risks that are avoidable while the un-dumbing down of our nation proceeds. In this so-called information age, there has been an erosion in our schools regarding the founding principles. What we are advocating is that instead of trying to bring the wash pot to a boil using a small candle flame in the night, let us build a bonfire and increase the heat, bringing it to a boil and hold our Representatives over the flame till we reverse the direction we are on. What you seem to be for is to put the fix in the same kind of hands that got us to this point in the first place.

Sure, some on PaulE’s list have disbanded. Others had members join more successful groups. Others incorporated. They have not all gone into the night. The Wolf Pac is alive and well (not listed). The Greens, the groups “Occupy…” as well as “Move On…” still functions with major funding. The “Progressive Democrats…” are everywhere. The Sierra Club is huge. The Unitarians have not gone away, and the United Methodists were not even on the list.
So far as not being listed in the Constitution (they didn’t even exist then) has nothing to do with the influence and pressure, to say nothing of bribes that can be brought to bear in order to get their way.

Primal cause, or the “root problem” is what we attack. Is what you want more law? Don’t we have enough law for the time being without adding more? Abide by the Constitution. Disband all Executive agencies that Legislate. Congress should never have delegated law making authority to an unelected bureaucracy, much less put it in the hands of the Executive. This is part of the “Education” plan to put before the people.
Reign in the appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court. Teach these principles at large and keep on.

But if you must do something on the order of a Hail Mary or Quick Fix, consider “Nullification.” That’s a lot less risky and only involves the States’ governments once the people become informed. Beats Revolution.
Try reading up on that.

Wayne
8 years ago
Reply to  Ivan Berry

Wayne, you are dead wrong that what happened in the past has no bearing on the future, especially when the past history is as clear as the history of our conventions are. And as for your admonition to “read up on that”, I have, and I’ve also read the history on all 32 conventions before the one in 1787. If anyone is interested in taking a look at the “facts” of history let me know and I’ll provide you the links to pretty much everything you want to know about Article V.

As for you that “fear” of all those nasty groups let me simply say this. If it is fear that motivates you then you’ve lost already. I will not let fear stop me from utilizing everything the founders gave us to use to stop an out-of-control federal government, and on of the clearly enumerated powers they gave us is Article V. In the very document you believe is an “illegal” document, and I would add that if you are correct about that (and you aren’t), then it would also be an immoral document. In either case, your proposal is nothing new. Educate the masses, get them out to vote for the “good” guys and we’ll be just fine. Personally, that has been tried and found wanting. The system itself is rigged against you accomplishing that, and after 32 years in the trenches I know from first hand knowledge that is an exercise in futility. It’s the finger in the dyke mentality

Every two years all 435 reps and 33 Senators (a total of 468) can be replaced. However, the real problem is the incumbency reelection rate of Congress, which is 95 percent. That means, realistically, only 23 people are replaced every election.

In order to pass “good” legislation a simple majority is needed, which is 218 in the house and 52 in the senate. Just for the sake of argument let’s assume the voters leave 50 “good” people in the house and 10 in the senate. To have a simple majority in the House 198 reps would need to be replaced; 40 in the Senate. Therefore, in order to reach a simple majority in both houses it would take 11 election cycles (22 years!). You get that? Twenty two years! And that would also require that one faction wins 100 percent of the elections, every person that got elected stay in office for at least 22 years, and none of them gets corrupted by the temptations of Washington DC. (Yea, right).

Ivan Berry
8 years ago
Reply to  Wayne

Wayne, what document are you calling one that I believe to be “illegal?” I have no idea what you are talking about. And what is “immoral” about this phantom document?

As far as all those calculations about how many and when the individuals in the Congress can/will be replaced assumes that no changes in the publics awareness might have an effect. Simply put, those calculations are moot and of no effect when it comes to an awakened public. Let us try our utmost to awaken as many as possible before it really is too late.
Avoid the COS. If it really is an Art.V avenue, why is it not provided for in the law (the Art.V itself)? The Art.V requires the States’ Legislatures to apply to the Congress for amendments and when enough applications (34) are in, then Congress calls a Convention, the Convention does not call a Congress.
So, when enough applications are in, a Con Con is the result. Kinda makes it sound like a COS is just another one of the many that have gone before and are likely to continue–just another Lawyer’s Trick.
Hey Rik, where are you?

Yea, I just quit trying to be nice. Oh well, this time I mean it. See you next week.
In parting just let me say, “I really don’t want to have to say ‘I told you so’ when it all comes tumbling down.”

Rick
8 years ago

Given the masses leaning toward changing the US to a communist 3rd world banana republic by robbing our wealth, lying to us, slowly enslaving us, while building a one world government. A constitutional convention is the last thing we
need. They will use it to completely re-write the constitution to mirror the UN’s agenda.
There are no rules confining a Con-Con to one ammendment.
The constitution is as it stands the finest of any ever written. It just needs to be HONORED.
To be honored, we need to vote in representatives who know the true God of Heaven. The God of Liberty.
and Justice. Those who know that God examines their heart’s intent.

Leonard Martinez
8 years ago

Those who know the Constitution advise against this. The problem it is trying to resolve is already resolved in the Constitution itself. This project will open up the possibility of throwing out the Constitution in favor of something else. I think the Constitution must be followed, not replaced.

PaulE
8 years ago

YES!

Ivan Berry
8 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

See, it’s as if a new light just got turned on. This was my motivation to only comment on comments in a limited manner. I am enjoying the response of the many who are at last speaking up, maybe because they can at last get a word in edgewise.
Given time and initiative, I plan to critique the article, but will save that to give others the opportunity, should they so desire.

Later

Andy S
8 years ago

Yes, I agree, the first thing they will do is repeal the Second Amendment, you watch

And when will the Senate EVER approve an actual BUDGET?

Wayne
8 years ago

Leonard, who are those that “Advise against this”? And which “Constitution must be followed”? The one as written or the the one as interpreted? The problem today is that most people in DC believe they are following the constitution, but they are referring to the one as interpreted. And if you think you can just keep saying “just follow it” as if that will solve things you are living on another planet. And if you think you can change things through the electoral process, well, good luck.

edward j
8 years ago

I would love to see a change== this is making me sick every time I open the newspaper ===== I’m trying to work through my church—ONE NATION UNDER GOD

Taajh
8 years ago

Constitutional amendment should be the last resort in resolving any issue. It is premature to consider this process without having exhausted normal approaches. This is where we find ourselves today. Although we are frustrated and impatient with our system, we have not exhausted efforts to enforce existing law. A few examples follow:

1. Federal representatives need to evaluate constituent needs: much, much more accurately, and their actions need to reflect these ACCURATE evaluations. The voting both is an excellent place to remind them that you still exist, you’re watching them, and YOU STILL COUNT.

2. States need to stand up: by exercising their rights under the constitution, and voters need stand ready to remind them. Make yourselves heard!

3. Local governments also need to do their part: by reviewing their ordinances and regulations, relieving their citizens of oppressive policies. Many local authorities are still writing and enforcing ordinances/policies that are not not needed or are no longer relevant, but continue to restrict enterprise and other freedoms. Give them a nudge.

4. States and individuals need to ween themselves from federal handouts: with their attendant federal encumbrances. Americans are a resourceful people and don’t need federal funding to operate the same programs, and to do it more efficiently. There is NO CONSTITUTIONAL REQUIREMENT (except in mythology) FOR SAMENESS ACROSS THE SEVERAL STATES, in education or anything else.

5. Representatives need to recognize: and actively oppose, as common enemies, all who act CONTRARY TO THE RULE OF LAW, ENVISIONED IN OUR CONSTITUTION. Reading VOTING RECORDS AND JUDICIAL RULINGS are all the research that is required to know who should be opposed.

6. Citizens need to EFFECTIVELY inform their representatives: of their concerns. Try registering to vote as a good beginning.

7. Representatives who are unresponsive to voters: need to be identified: These representatives have not been effectively informed. Voting for their qualified opponents is an effective way to inform them.

8. OUT-OF-TOUCH PARTY HIERARCHY must be replaced: Voters need to stand up and vote for candidates who reflect THEIR will rather than the will of an. Don’t allow your loyalties to become misplaced, used, and abused. And don’t feel smug, Democrats and Republicans are mired in the same problem.

9. CONSTANT VIGILANCE: as you may recall, is the price of freedom: To discharge these responsibilities requires effort and courage. Because, as corruption becomes more and more blatant and egregious, it becomes more and more difficult to root out. Would you rather have to pull a sprouting weed or wait and have to pull out tree?

10. STOP LOOKING FOR PANACEAS AND QUICK FIXES: Constitutional amendments can bring unintended consequences, which we know from experience are almost always counter productive, and very difficult to remedy.

Directions:

Step-1 Learn how to be more effective citizens, to be more proactive, and at a minimum, to make the minimal effort to VOTE, VOTE, VOTE. Let’s do this instead of taking a chance on making the constitution a legislative vehicle. Let’s make our representatives do their jobs, which is to REPRESENT US. This should correct all our problems.

Step-2 Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat, until We The People are back in charge.

Wayne
8 years ago
Reply to  Taajh

TAAJH. “It’s premature”?! Seriously? What would make you think it’s time? That’s a serious question by the way.

“Stop looking for Panaceas and quick fixes”? You my friend have a lot to learn about what is going on in this government and also about the Article V process itself (it’s anything but a “quick fix”).

“Make our representatives do their jobs”?! Did you just become involved in the electoral process in the last two or three years? People have been trying to do that for decades, and guess what …. we are continually getting worse. The problem is the system, and it is the system that needs some serious correcting.

Jonathan
8 years ago

I believe a States Convention is the only peaceful way we are going to take this Republic back. Sheesh, even if the convention went all ape crap, it couldn’t be worse than where we are heading now.

Ivan Berry
8 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

What makes you think it would be peaceful?
Yes, it could be worse. It could well speed up the “where we are heading.”

PaulE
8 years ago
Reply to  Ivan Berry

Ivan,

I am so glad I decided to not comment on this topic anymore. While there appears to be a number of us that do actually understand and appreciate many of the negative ramifications and risks associated with proceeding with any sort of COS under the present societal conditions at work in this country, far too many people still are all “pie in the sky, nothing can possibly go wrong with the process, so lets just do it and hope it all works”.

Ivan Berry
8 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

Yea, PaulE, but rescan the comments and see how many picked up the opposition to the Art.V since we who have previously carried the ball hesitated prior to responding to this latest article.

BobL.
8 years ago

The biggest problem with our runaway federal government today is unelected bureaucrats and employees writing rules and regulations that carry the weight and penalty of law. This is a problem equal to or greater than the unconstitutional liberties being taken by the three legal branches of our national governing bodies.

If a con-con does come about, the main reference work needed to work by should be The Federalist Papers. This ignored and forgotten work is the foundation of what is contained in our Constitution.

By the way, I still fear that things have gone too far to recover from and foresee the real possibility of a break up of the country with one segment returning to the Founding Principles and the other continuing in the direction of becoming a member state of a Socialist world government, the direction our current national leadership is taking us.

Ivan Berry
8 years ago
Reply to  BobL.

BOBL, your first paragraph is definitally true, and it was the U.S. Congress that created all these agencies and departments that were placed under the Executive, as well as their having failed to control the appeallate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, which is Constitutionally within their power to regulate.
Your second will never happen because too many of those involved in the Convention process have no allegiance to the “Federalists.”
Your third paragraph is very possible, and an additional fear in that event is revolution.

Russell Errett
8 years ago

I think that a little less time and money should be spent on COS and more time and money spent on demanding that the government abide by the constitution. JUST COMPENSATION It’s in the constitution. If we demand “just compensation” then only money for government duties would leave the treasure.
Which is more preferable, 1) Continue the government nanny state with the debt rising so high that the interest will consume the entire tax revenue. Or 2) returned to (We the people) the obligation of taking care of the needy. I am certain that no.1 above is unconstitutional. We do not elect people to take our money and give it to anyone with a sob story or any scheme that comes down the pike.

Dean Cassano
8 years ago

Very good comments, of course. The 10th Amendment is the key. The states should start standing up and exercising their Constitutional rights. Maybe we are seeing the beginnings of this in Texas. There are at least 30 states that would be able to initiate activity under the 10th Amendment. It is time, America. Without action now, there will be no America in the next decade.

Ivan Berry
8 years ago
Reply to  Dean Cassano

DEAN CASSANO, that’s how “Real ID” got set aside. It is still Law, but the Feds are not attempting to inforce it.
Walter E. Williams wrote and article titled “Should We Obey All Laws?” presented on May 16, 2012. In it, he had good points as why we should not.
Quoting Thomas Jefferson, he said, “to consider the judges as the ultimate arbiters of all constitutional questions (is) a very dangerous doctrine indeed, and one which would place us under the despotism of an oligarchy.”

He also referenced Madison’s “Federalist No. 45:” “The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite.”
That provision has been over the past 100+ years, turned on its head. Now the States hold few powers, but the central government can now control whatever it chooses.
Your suggestion of returning to the 10th Amendment makes a good case for Nullification. When enough States Nullify what the central government attempts in any given instance, the result could be similar to what happened with Real ID.

Socrates
8 years ago

Over the course of a long time, very few Amendments should be needed, and they should be considered one at a time, NOT in a wide-open Convention. How about getting the President and Congress to obey the Constitution as written?! Go to http://www.JBS.com for more information.

George J. Goodwald
8 years ago

More important than a balanced budget amendment is an amendment for 12 year term limits for all members of Congress. This would limit Senators to two (2) six (6) year terms and Representatives in the House to six (6) two (2) year terms. If a member of the House runs for the Senate or a Senator runs for a seat in the House, the number of years they have served must be subtracted from 12 so that their combined years of service don’t exceed 12 years. The problem with our federal government today is that the majority of the Congress is made up of career politicians. It is no wonder they are no longer in touch with the average American. There is no way they should be permitted to exempt themselves from the laws they create and pass, they should not be able to set their own salaries, medical benefits, or retirement benefits. Most of them are lawyers, MDs, and business people. Their incomes and medical benefits should be provided by their businesses and professions. There should be no retirement benefits. They have long forgotten that they are public servants. They govern with our approval. By eliminating the career politicians, the ruling class that now exists will come to an end. A major improvement would be that the people in office would be people who are in touch with the average person and know what is going on in peoples lives. Our present day Congress could care less about how we want things done. The only time they even think of us is when it is time to vote. Their priorities are party power and how to get re-elected. This is ruining our country. Everything is approached from a political point of view rather than what is best for the country. For example, ISIS and Muslim terrorism is a world wide problem. It is threatening all civilized societies. These barbarians need to be totally eliminated from the face of the earth. The “peaceful” Muslims want Shira Law to exist in every country. Their population is increasing and their voting influence is increasing as well. They are making more and more demands for Shira Law and making more and more complaints about being offended by things that they find offensive (e.g. bacon advertisements). Our politicians don’t look at these issues from the point of view as to what is best for our country. They look at these issues based on what is politically expedient. This will lead to the total destruction of our country. It will fall to the hands of these ungodly people who have never contributed a positive thing to mankind. Only destruction and a touch of hell. (I don’t care what Obama says. He lies about everything. He is also a Muslim and taking part in jihad.)

FranV
8 years ago

George J. Goodwald

More truer words could not have been spoken about our elected career politicians and the barbarian Muslims!!!

Your brilliant message and warning to America should be read by young and mature alike. I am especially concerned about the threat of radical Muslims in America and the threat to our values, traditions and security.

WAKE UP AMERICA!! The Muslims are so successful in their goals because WE are ignorant of their radical Islamic political system that is disguised as a religion. Islam is 20% religion and 80% political totalitarian ideology. The radical Islamists mission is for Global conquest, a never-ending jihad, an the subjugation of non-Muslims. Non Muslims must either(1) convert to Islam, (2) pay a protection tax, or (3) die because they refused 1 and 2.

Remember, the Muslims rely on your ignorance of Islam and they get away with so much because of that. Sharia Law should never be allowed in any American courts, state or federal. You can not live by the laws of the constitution and by the laws of Sharia, they are opposites. One represents freedom, the other represents 7th century barbarian behavior i.e. beheadings, sex slaves, stoning for adultery etc. and laws for which all Muslims must abide by. This is America and we better stand up for her today!!!!!!! Go to the website ACT! for America.org. where you will get the facts and an education about Islam and Muslims. I suggest reading two books: Because They Hate and They Must Be STOPPED! written by Brigitte Gabriel the president and founder of Act for America, She is a survivor of radical Islamic terrorism when she lived in Lebanon with her parent before they were murdered because they were Christian. Radical Islam is spreading everywhere in the U.S., in school textbooks, governments ,state and federal, businesses, churches, and medical professions, in facilities, hospitals etc.
This my fellow Americans is the transformation that President Obama promised and its here.

Robert Brien
8 years ago

I agree somewhat. We already have the power in hand for term limits: it’s called the vote. A better idea
would be to deny benefits (insurance, pensions and similar) unless the representative in congress
achieves at least two terms or twelve years in office–much like a typical worker on the street. In
other words, work for the benefits, instead of gaining automatic tenure immediately once voted into
office. Earn the people’s vote first!!!

Gary Adams
8 years ago

Is the present United States Government a Corporation along with all State, County, and Cities being Incorporated? If the answer to that is yes than all plans to correct anything in reference to the organic ” Constitution” is a waste of time. As can be seen by any one who can read the “Constitution” we have not been abiding by it since the acts of 1871 thru HJR 192 that declared the bankruptcy of the UNITES STATES INC.
The united states of America under the Constitution for the People has been pushed aside for the Charter of the Incorporation.
Take a bit of time and review all the Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR) of all the Federal, State, County, City, Sheriffs, Schools, etc, and etc, There you will find where all the peoples money is invested. At what point in our history was the Incorporation of the Government authorized?
Unless this present condition is corrected and eliminated all other attempts will be ignored by the Corporation.

Charles
8 years ago

I am somewhat alarmed that AMAC is supporting a Convention of the States. Apparently the pundits of a convention have made a impact on your viewpoints and the fact that history is not considered. In 1787 a Convention of the States was convened for the expressed purpose of “Amending the Articles of Confederation” – what was the outcome?? Thinking that the states can control the purpose of a Convention of the States is in contravention of history! Our current constitution contains all the mechanisms to reign-in our federal leviathan yet the states and electorate do nothing but complain. The powers delegated to the federal government are defined in Article 1, Section 8 yet we have allowed the usurpation of additional powers that should reside within the States as proposed in the 10th Amendment. In today s’ political environment who would you trust with such awesome power? Who would pick the delegates and what would keep special interest monies from co-opting a convention? If the federal government ignores the Constitution now what makes anyone think that they would abide by any new amendments – especially those that would limit their power. Let’s get real here, the states must stand up and invoke their power in order to tame the Feds. The better avenue to explore at this juncture would be repealing the 17th Amendment and restoring the States’ participation in Congress. Even if amendments were introduced and ratified by the states who would enforce compliance??? A Convention of the States is a Trojan horse that should be avoided at all costs!!!!!! Read and learn history before signing on to such an endeavor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gary Adams
8 years ago
Reply to  Charles

I agree without reservation!!!!!

Rik
8 years ago
Reply to  Charles

I wholeheartedly agree with Charles, this is one of those “be careful what you ask for” moments … Today’s politicians only care about staying in power and accumulating the personal wealth that it can provide! Patriotism be dammed!

UNTILL YOU KEEP ALL THE ATTORNEYS OUT OF HOLDING PUBLIC OFFICE, IT’S JUST A PIG OUT AT THE PUBLIC TROUGH!

Charles Romer
8 years ago
Reply to  Charles

This is a very good comment. I agree wholeheartedly with it. Too bad it is degraded by childish punctuation.

Jean Casanave
8 years ago
Reply to  Charles

I agree as well. NO CON-CON! The States have to regain their strength! They have all let the feds go too far; particularly with the judicial system and appointments. Why is the SCOTUS getting involved in the Hobby Lobby case? Why are they ruling on same sex marriage???? That gun owner in Illinois should have accepted the states law and moved. Now the Federal courts can rule on other gun related issues and folks would have to abide.

Once they get to rule and opine, they can tell the States what to do. And how did it become that Fed law trumps States laws? I am sick of federal government intervention.

Ivan Berry
8 years ago
Reply to  Charles

Very good points, CHARLES, but repealing the 17th must driven by the States influence by getting the States’ Legislatures involved to influence the several States’ Legislatures in putting pressure on the U.S. Congress, and definitaly not through the Convention process.

Howard Last
8 years ago
Reply to  Charles

My thoughts exactly. A Trojan Horse. An additional poit, who would control such a convention? Why Congress the very bunch of crooks and/or mental midgets that got us in this predicament to begin with.

Wayne
8 years ago
Reply to  Charles

Charles, you did not quote the entire “purpose” as to why the states were convened. It said more than “Amending the Articles of Confederation”. By the way, everyone that thinks the 1787 convention was a “runaway” convention and that the founders did not follow their commissions, needs to stop and really think about what you are saying. Without going into why you are wrong on the history, let me just say this. IF you were correct (and you are not) then you would be telling everyone today to follow an illegal document, one forced on us by lying, deceitful leaders. That is what you are saying.

Charles
8 years ago
Reply to  Wayne

I am not quite sure what you are saying here so I cannot refute any of your comments. If the Constitution is illegal document the we have been living a lie for over 230 years. Their are those who believe the teachings of Lysander Spooner in that the Constitution cannot be forced on future generations without their consent. If you honestly believe that the law of the land is an illegal document is that reason enough to ignore it? Does a better governing document exist anywhere in the world? If so where? If you are not satisfied with the governing principles enshrined in the constitution you are still bound to abide by them or change them. I am inclined not to change them through the Article V process since, as you mentioned, the influence of “lying, deceitful leaders” will push their own agenda which may not compliment the principles of freedom.

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