Government Watch

Stopping Abuses of Power through Constitutional Amendments: Why the Process Works

by Michael Farris – 

When sensible citizens think about stopping the abuses of federal power by using Article V’s convention process, they often begin with a logical question: The federal government is not obeying the Constitution right now, so why would it obey these new amendments?

To understand the answer, we to realize that there are actually two Constitutions operating in America today: There is the Constitution as it was written, and there is the Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court.

The fact is that the vast majority of time the federal government does actually obey the Constitution—but normally it obeys the wrong one. Usually, the federal government obeys the Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court rather than the Constitution as written.

There are exceptions to this rule. In a few areas, the Constitution as written is being followed. For example, the two most recent decisions of the Supreme Court on the Second Amendment follow the original meaning of that provision very closely. (District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago.)

But in the vast majority of cases, the Supreme Court’s view of the Constitution is essentially unrelated to the original meaning of the document. In the Obamacare case, the Supreme Court said that the power of Congress to tax and spend had no effective limitations. (NFIB v. Sebelius). That was not the original meaning of the Constitution. In the area of federal regulation, the Supreme Court has said that the Commerce Clause gives Congress vast power to regulate almost any transaction involving money. That too is an abusive reading of the Commerce Clause.

The power to make treaties was intended by the Founders to be limited to agreements about how nations treat nations—the law of war, piracy, law of the high seas, and trade—not about the internal domestic policies of this country. Congress and a series of presidents have abused the treaty power by effectively rewriting the Constitution by changing the working definition of the term “treaty.”

Every one of these abuses could be changed for the better by carefully drafted constitutional language.

For example, the General Welfare Clause could be worded like this:

Congress may tax and spend for the general welfare provided that this does not grant power to tax or spend for any purpose that is within the jurisdictional competence of the states.

If this was the controlling language, all federal spending on education and welfare programs—for example—would be eliminated because they programs are within the jurisdictional competence of the states.

The Commerce Clause could be amended to add this additional sentence:

The power to regulate interstate commerce is a grant of power only to regulate shipments of goods or passengers between the states.

Or what if the treaty power had this additional language:

No treaty dealing with any issue of domestic policy may be enforced by the United States or by any federal or state court unless it has been ratified by two-thirds of both houses of Congress and by the legislatures of three-fourths of the several states.

No one can promise that any specific language like this will be the final result of a Convention of States (COS).  I share these ideas simply to illustrate a point: these changes are possible and if adopted would be incredibly effective. Clear, well-written constitutional provisions can stop the abuses of federal power.

The Convention of States Project that I lead is promoting a convention for three specific purposes: “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.” This language sets the official agenda for the COS which will be called when the legislatures of 34 states approve our model application.

The COS can discuss and then draft provisions to require a balanced budget, tax limitations, spending limitations, an end to the use of executive power to pass laws, and to impose real checks and balances on the federal judicial power.

(Did you know that the Supreme Court has said, approximately 30 times, that the only check on the Supreme Court’s power is its own sense of self-restraint? I, for one, don’t want to live in a country where there is no realistic check on federal judicial power.)

Three states, Georgia, Florida, and Alaska, passed our model COS application in 2014. It will be introduced in more than 20 additional states in 2015. We hope to reach the required 34 state applications by 2016 or 2017.

In the next two installments in this series, I will explain the details of the process, why your involvement is so important, and why the process is safe.

We can save our nation. We can preserve liberty for ourselves and our posterity.

(Please visit for more information).

Michael Farris is the head of the Convention of States Project, the Chancellor of Patrick Henry College, and the Chairman of the Homeschool Legal Defense Association.  During his career as a constitutional appellate litigator, he has served as lead counsel in the U.S. Supreme Court, eight federal circuit courts, and thirteen state appellate courts.  Mike and his wife Vickie have ten children and seventeen grandchildren.

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Ivan Berry
8 years ago

I really thought that we were done yesterday. But after reading all posts since then and esp.

Allen’s comments using Levin’s book, I had to comment.

Allen, the first amendment from the book, term limits for Congress to be 12 years would only allow them to learn the system and enable them to game the system even after they were no longer in Congress. They could use their influence on newly elected members by offers of campaign contributions or monetary or regional rewards under the employ of Big Business, foreign businesses or even foreign nations as lobbists or representatives. They do so now as ex-Congressmen. Why would it be any different with term limits? With the Lobbying option, term limits do not solve anything by itself. They could despoil the ethics of the newbys before they are dry behind the ears.
Also, the only directly elected member of Congress representing a limited district, the House of Reps., would be eliminated and then the district could no longer get their possible choice as to fills that job, no matter how good a job he or she had done in the past or might do in the future. I do not the nation or the nations other States telling me I cannot vote for my preferred Rep.
So far as Government spending, without addressing the descretionary versus non-descretionary and off budget items, this on the surface seems a senseless action. Levin’s proposal appears to be a backdoor balanced budget amend with a built in work around with a one year suspension requiring a 3/5ths majority in both Houses.
About his taxing amend: The tax codes are promulgated by Congress and have excluded Hedge fund operations and the large Tax exempt foundations and Trusts so that though the individuals did not inherit, they could still contron the funds so that the Gates Foundation could support Common Core and other things like Population Control and call it charity. None of this would go away with Levin’s amendment. Those Foundations that support the left’s agenda would still be alive and well (see PaulE’s answer about who funds what groups for the Left’s agenda for a Convention). He lists a couple. There are many others. The Unitarians are not the only religious group that support socialism. The Northern Baptists and the United Methodists do as well. They are not alone in this.
Term limits for the Supreme Court: Congress already has the authority to limit the appeallate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court (where most of the evil in the Court have occurred) by Art. III, Sec. 1 of the Constitution already extant.
Concerning Government over-reach (regulations–you mean Administrational Law by Departments and Agencies), Congress created them and turned them over to the Executive to shield Congress from taking the blame when voters become displeased. This way they can claim that Congress is not to blame for bad regulations. Congress has nor had the authority to delegate their responsibility to an unelected bureaucracy. The Constitution is not Broke; the Congress is and that is where the correction should be made. Levin also suggested forming another “Committee,” The Congressional Delegation Oversight Committee to monitor Executive department regulations for determination of any over 100 million dollar burden. This does not even attatch to the spending limit, just to the Committee’s approval or revue. Why hasn’t Congress already formed a Committee to have an overview as to what is and is not Constitutional? I’ll tell you why, Committees too often become complicite in centralising power.They do not attend to what is and is not Constitutional.
The Appropriations Committee and the Congress could already un fund at will any Executive expendatures that it had the will to. Why would another new Committee do any better than the Committee already in place to do the monitoring and review of what the Administration is doing?
That pretty well sums up what you covered and it’s late. There are many other areas that could use a little light, but there is a limit to what people want to hear, much less read. And with a breather, I’ll probably come back with more the next a pro Convention article appears on AMAC’s site.
My thanks to all you who are or have come on board to recognize the risks.

Tim Benton
8 years ago

Many authorities on the Constitution have said there is no way to limit what amendments could be considered by an Article V convention. Many liberal and neoconservative groups have been trying to get a convention for years so they could rewrite the document. No matter how well intentioned the people who call for the convention, I’m sure the liberals would find ways to control it by stacking the delegate body or other forms of trickery to acheive their goals. The real problem with our system is there are too many citizens who are not informed of the methods of constitutional government and are not moral and religious. John Adams said our form of government was made for a moral and religious people and is wholly inadequate for the government of any other. The moral condition of the people is the real problem.

I believe in the Constitution, Congress presently has the power to limit and control the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to specific areas. That is the constitutional check on the court. Of course with an immoral electorate represented by immoral representative, they would not vote to morally control the Supreme Court.

MSgt Ed
8 years ago
Reply to  Tim Benton

Hello All,

I’ve seen a lot of good discussion on this subject of the last several weeks and months. I’m sure we are all, or almost all, agreed that we are for conservative living, personal responsibility, smaller government, balancing of budgets, etc.
While it may sound like a good idea to formulate an Article V action, I think Tim here and a number of other folks are making a good point about the actual product of such an action. The old adage “Be careful what you wish for.” is prudent in this discussion. It’s one thing to get your convention. It’s a whole other thing to get the results you had envisioned out of it. But don’t get me wrong…I agree, something has to change to bring the Nation back to the Constitution. We just need to be very careful when it comes to an Article V Convention.
Here is a reprint of my comments from the last time Mr. Ferris posted a piece on this subject. Thanks for taking the time to read them. Just food for thought going in…

“I agree that the dangerous progressive slant we’re on has got to be turned around. We are on a nasty downhill slide that has to be stopped. An Article V Convention could be a sword that swings both ways though. The agenda must be agreed upon, so “aisle crossing” type entities may be able to introduce a poison pill subject just so they can get the Convention launched. Then we may end up eating an Amendment we never really wanted, or the Convention just gets locked up like Congress is and no Amendment survives the process. My definition of aisle crossing types means those that abandon their convictions for the purpose of passing something or anything whether or not the “thing” has any value so they can say “Look what I did.”. To me, aisle crossing is no badge of courage. Anyway, current levels of polarization would make an Article V process tough. If we had an aisle crossing State or Legislative body or committee, etc. involved, we could end up with a real mess. Possibly worse than we are now since this is the US Constitution we are talking about. I’m glad this safety valve was built in, but can it really work right now? Maybe so. Not a process to rush into without some serious strategic planning ahead of time. If there are enough conservative States to slam dunk an issue, fine. If not we may be playing with fire. Getting your fingers burned playing with matches is one thing. Getting your fingers burned playing with matches and burning your house down in the process is a whole other matter. The US Constitution is the frame work of our house. Proceed with caution and conviction. Soap Box Out.”

Ronald Howard
8 years ago

If it were possible that the proposed Convention could be controlled to limit it to only the specific subjects and to limited specific language, it might well be the best thing that could happen to America and the government at this point. However, my fear that it could not be controlled in such a way prevents my favoring such a Convention. While I am not a well educated, or especially religeous man, I pray that the hand of God, or some bizare, or unexpected event will happen soon that will reverse the trend of destruction to the country that is being orchestrated by Obama and the Democrats, and currently supported by a large number of ignorant and misinformed voters.

8 years ago

I’ve been wrestling with this for months, having read Levins book over the winter. Several of the regulars on this site are experts on this subject, or nearly so. Take a bow, Ivan and Paul E. In trying to boil down my concerns over this and other related attempts to course correct and restore this country, I’ve come up with this: since the left will be as heavily involved with this process as will be those who wish to hew to the actual Constitution, we can reasonably assume the final result to be some sort of grand compromise. So how is it possible to compromise with communists while trying to preserve liberty and freedom? Secondly, let’s say that by some miracle most of the liberty amendments are ratified. Conservatives cheer and celebrate that now we have fixed a major problem and all will be fine, right? What if a newly elected pres Warren or Hillary simply ignore the amendments and proceed exactly as the current pres has, ignoring the law as he sees fit. The new pres will have a carefully selected AG. Is it lost on anyone that each iteration of the demon party is more vile than the last? The closer they come to their goals the harder they push. Can anyone imagine the current set of rinos doing anything but furrow their brows when the next dem president, with 100 million droolers behind them, ready to take to the streets in a flash, just ignores the revisions. Folks, we have a problem that will take fifty years to fix.

Ivan Berry
8 years ago
Reply to  D.A.

Fifty years or more, D.A. I wouldn’t be so worried if enough Republicans in Congress were Constitutionalist minded.
They often appear just as difficient as the Democrats.
You fall into a small class of those who are willing to study and observe reasons on both sides of an issue and take an effort to use your critical thinking skills to resolve conflicts regarding the pros and cons of an argument. Too many see a complex set of arguments and decide it’s too complicated for them to involve themselves, so just go with the feel good set.
I also read Levin’s book on the Liberty Amendments and initially thought it a reasonable start until I looked deeper into the issue. Many of his books have been truly worthy, and had this one held as much promise, it would have been easy to defer to his arguments. I loved his “Men In Black,” as welll as “Ameritopia” and others.
I also appreciated Gonah Goldberg’s “Liberal Faschism.” Mark Stein’s “After America” was worth reading as well, but just because these and other very smart and knowledgable men have valid ideas does not make them always right, as you seem able to realize.
Not being a talking on TV or on the radio, we have no following to speak of and have no celebrity on which to rise to hero status. All we have is our minds and what little ability God has allowed us to present our case, but with the dumbing down of our nation, it seems less and less likely that we can have enough influence needed in order to sway opinion to the good. Only if people have already made up their minds beforehand can we go along to get along, much like members of Congress do amongst themselves despite party affiliation.
I have heard all my life that it’s lonely at the top. I wouldn’t know. But without the likes of you and PaulE and others who weigh in on the side right reason, it would be very very lonely at the bottom.
It also seems AMAC is doubling down on their Convention of States narrative, as well, even with their 93% for the COS in the poll results. Maybe oversell will backfire and give some hope. Not expected, but would be welcome at this point.

Ivan Berry
8 years ago
Reply to  Ivan Berry

Yeah, I know, “talking heads” and 97%. Sometimes get in too much of a hurry.
Hey, take a look at PaulE’s reply below in answer to my comments to Mr. Mangione’s address using another article by Mr. Farris to illustrate his points. PaulE, as usual, fleshed it out quite well.

A lot of material exists and many professionals hold opinions differing from the majority of AMAC’s poll takers as well as Mr. Mangione’s and Mr. Farris’, but for now I’ll just let it rest. Maybe tomorrow some additional points can be raised, but until then…

8 years ago
Reply to  D.A.

Hi D.A.,

Please read my post to Ivan dated today at 5.42 p.m. It expands on my original posts from last week, as well as some points Ivan correctly pointed out.

To your point concerning compromise, the issue is you can’t compromise with a group that holds diametrically opposed values to your own without agreeing to surrender a large portion of those values in the process. There is no functional overlap between conservatives and progressive ideals on any issue of real importance. The Progressive (Socialists / Communists), for their part, won’t compromise, because at this point they no longer need to hide what they really are from the public. A significant portion of the public actually thinks that socialism would be a preferable form of government to our own. Thank the successful progressive indoctrination process of our public schools and colleges over the last 40 to 50 years for that one. So Progressives can and will use the media to paint conservatives as “out of touch”, “racists”, “mean-spirited” and whatever else they can dream up along the way to sway a largely ignorant and apathetic public, that they are simply “protecting the middle class”, “looking out for “real American values” such as social justice, economic justice, the socialist meaning of “fairness”. All the while seeking to further erode what freedoms and liberties we still have left and bringing more and more of the economy and our lives under the direct control of Washington.

Let me ask you a question. How would you negotiate with say al qaeda or ISIS on governing a country? You wouldn’t right? That’s because there is no overlap of shared values from which to reach a common ground of agreement. Their views of how things should be run, on a societal basis, is completely unacceptable to how we view humanity and peoples’ rights in the 21st century. Their entire ideology is based on a 7th century view of conquest and forced submission, by means of either brute force or excessive taxation, of anyone not of their faith. You may say that’s an extreme view and doesn’t apply to Progressives, but I’m simply illustrating a point about what it means to “compromise” with people that share no common ground with you. It means compromising one’s principles and accepting the other person’s views and values as equal and worthy of acceptance, even when you know they will be detrimental to you over the long run. Yet we are supposed to believe we can sit down with Progressives, who share virtually no common ideals with conservatives, and have a wonderful Article V Convention, that can’t possibly end badly for us as a nation, as the public is screaming for “compromise” under the skillful direction of the progressive media . The risks far out weigh the potential rewards of opening up the Constitution to amendments at a time when a significant portion of the public views the Progressive vision as the right course for America.

The Constitution isn’t broken to start with. What is broken is the American people keep electing and re-electing politicians to represent us, that WILL NOT carry out their sworn duty to uphold the Constitution of the United States. That is NOT something that is fixed by further amending the Constitution. The Republican primaries are the latest example of the people talking about conservative values, but then voting to put the same ineffectual and weak-kneed RINOs back on the ticket for the general election in November.

I agree with your concerns about a “grand compromise” that is then largely ignored by Warren or Hillary or whomever the Progressives convince the people to vote 2016. That person will simply follow the blueprint Obama has already put in place of a compliant, Progressive AG, who will see nothing wrong in any executive over-reach. The RINOs will do nothing but grumble. Coupled with the real possibility of one or more Supreme Court seats becoming open by then and we face a real fast slide into the gutter.

8 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

As usual you have articulated the situation about as well as can be done, I think. Today as I scurried about I recalled the speed with which the National Socialists cemented their control. Too bad this is a grossly overused reference. It happens to be something I’ve read about. They hit hard at first then backed off, allowing their dupes and dolts to think all is well. All the while they consolidated power and issued edicts. One of my fantasies is to go back in time and arm every Jewish male w a Mauser and 100 rounds. We’d see how brave the arresting agencies would be then. I know, this us supposed ti be a serious conversation about the cos. I’m done giving it serious consideration, though, as it is clearly a magic fix to folks who still wish to avoid fathoming the scope of the problem.

8 years ago
Reply to  D.A.

Remember that one of the first things the National Socialists pushed for once in power was gun registration. Just for records keeping sake they initially claimed. No need to worry about your right to possess a handgun, rifle or shotgun. That was of course subsequently followed up by tighter and tighter rules for all forms of gun ownership, until private possession of firearms was outlawed in Germany. Once the public was effectively disarmed and completely defenseless, there was nothing to stand between them and the whatever Hitler and the National Socialist party deemed the most expedient thing to do to its citizens. Virtually every socialist / communist regime over the last 100 years has used the same tactic time and time again and it has always led to horrible results for the people to one degree or another. If the American public wasn’t so blissfully ignorant of world history, they would recognize the ongoing push by Progressives here for gun registration and so-called “sensible gun control” for what it really is. A prelude of the eventual disarming of the public. Sadly, they don’t, so that’s another potential shoe that will drop.

I too am done with the issue of a COS. Based on the real-world conditions that exist in this country today, we would be inviting national suicide of our republic without ever addressing the real, underlying problem. If the majority of American people are foolish enough to go down that road with the view that the Progressives and their supporters / enablers are just going to sit quietly on the sidelines, while conservatives go about undoing or weakening the progressive gains that already exist, then I guess America needs to learn a very painful lesson the hard way.

Ivan Berry
8 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

Yeah, we’re all tired, and it’s really depressing when trying so hard results in so little benefit, but I haven’t totally given up yet. I remember months ago when I had become so very discouraged, a couple of guys came forward and lifted me up for another round or two (using D.A.’s boxing analogy) to continue the fight for liberty.

8 years ago
Reply to  Ivan Berry

Ivan and D.A.,

I thought you both might find this interesting. I decided to do a bit of research today to see if there were any Progressive groups that are publicly advocating for any sort of Constitutional Convention along the lines of what Mr. Farris is proposing. What I found in just a few short hours was literally a laundry list of socialist / communist organizations on the left, that have been chomping at the bit for decades (since the late 70s and early 80s) for an opportunity to participate in a chance to amend (meaning shred) our Constitution. Here’s a partial list of the organizations I’ve found:

After Downing Street
Alliance for Democracy*
American Friends Service Committee
American Friends Service Committee – NE Ohio*
Backbone Campaign
Black Agenda Report*
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
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
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
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
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
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
EcoBirth-Women for Earth and Birth
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
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
Health Care for All Oregon
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
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
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 Southern Alameda County Council
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
Ohio Conference on Fair Trade
Oil Change International
One Goal Campaign
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
Time to Amend
Tioga Peace and Justice
Tom Dwyer Automotive Services
Treasure Coast Progressive Alliance
Treasure Coast Progressive Alliance
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

PaulE, looks like a lot of work. That’s a lot more than any imagined on the right.
Can you guess who is funding those listed as “move on…” and “occupy…?”
I hope enough are still monitoring these comments to get an inkling of what we have been talking about.
And notice all the “Green”s that you found.
All those communists, communists sympathizers and useful idiots could fill a small book.
Oh, to be progressive and so enlightened. It must be a really feelgood rush for so many so affiliated and so well established as insiders.

8 years ago
Reply to  Ivan Berry

Well the Move On and any of the groups with Progressive, Center for, Think or Occupy in their names are all funded by George Soros. Some of the other groups are funded by the Ford Foundation, which is well known for financing left wing organizations nationwide. As for the rest, that would take a lot more time and effort than I’m willing to put into running a trace on where they get their funding from.

All the Green groups have always been nothing more than thinly-veiled socialist / communist fronts. They’re just packaging the same socialist / communist message a bit differently to make it sound more palatable to the public. Who wouldn’t want to micro-manage, through layers upon layers of regulations and taxation, the economy into the ground for the sake a saving a polar bear, which isn’t endangered in the first place? However, the end goals of the Green groups are exactly the same, when you strip away the pretense they hide behind.

As I said Ivan, I simply wanted to get a sense for myself of how many different socialist / communist groups in this country had an active interest in participating in a COS. I knew this was a long-term dream of theirs to be able to have the opportunity to shred the Constitution, so it would no longer restrict what government can do to the people. However, I didn’t envision finding so many active groups myself. Mind you, this is just a partial list. I didn’t want to submit a post that would be considerably longer.

I don’t expect to change people’s view towards having a COS. If a majority of the people think a COS is a good idea, then all we can do is live with the consequences when things don’t turn out as they’ve envisioned. As I said, I simply did this research to better understand how many different groups would potentially be sitting on the opposite side of any table from conservatives during “negotiations” on any amendments being discussed. From a personal perspective, if anything, this bit of research has only made me much more wary of any push to have a COS.

8 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

Thanks Paul E. Wow.

8 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

It’s a pleasure to see AMAC promoting the use of the Article V amendments process to amend the constitution and to get this country back on track.

This is one tool the founders gave us to combat government tyranny that we have never used. The founders were insightful enough to build this safety mechanism in to the constitution, to protect the people against future abuses by the Federal government.

Many of us have become seriously concerned about the direction America is headed. The problem is that there is a disconnect between Washington D.C and the rest of the country: Washington no longer answers to the people. Washington politicians on both sides of the aisle recklessly persist on steaming the ship of state in one direction, while the people have been desperately trying to paddle in the opposite direction.

I want to address just a few of the problems we face today and explain some of the solutions proposed by Mark Levin in his great book, The Liberty Amendments. In this book, he suggests 11 different beneficial amendments that we should promote with a COS.

1. Government spending: Most people, both Democrats and Republicans, balance their own budgets and understand that running trillion dollar deficits will eventually lead to a financial collapse. But Washington politicians continue to run huge deficits, despite the demands of the people.

Taxing: No one likes the current income tax system. Most of us want a simplified flat tax that is fair for all. But Washington feathers their own nest and bows to the special interest groups and gives us: 81k pages of gibberish and crony capitalism.

Solution: Mark Levin proposes an amendment that will limit taxing and spending.

Spending: Congress must submit an annual budget, or an automatic 5% reduction will occur.
Total outlays cannot exceed receipts for that fiscal year (balanced budget).
Total outlays cannot exceed 17.5% of the GDP of the previous year.

Taxing: Congress cannot collect more than 15% of a person’s income.
Shall not collect on the estate of a decedent.
Shall not impose a vat.

2. Term limits. Most voters from both parties see the need for term limits because incumbents, no matter how inept, have an 85% chance of being re-elected. We want to change this, but it is in the best interest of the Washington politicians to ignore the wishes of the people and create lifetime security for themselves.

Levin’s solution? We call a COS to amend the Constitution to limit Congressional terms to 12 years max.

Someone said that every politician deserves two terms? One in Congress and one behind bars.

Levin also proposes we provide for states to override Congress with a 3/5 vote. That means thirty states can overturn bad legislation.

He also proposes we limit the Supreme Court to one 12 year term. The 22nd amendment already restricts the president to serving no more than two terms. It seems very logical to place similar restrictions on Congress and the Supreme Court, as well.

3. Another problem we face is Federal over-reach and over-regulation. In their never ending quest for power, the Feds have set up an unconstitutional fourth branch of government that is not accountable to the people. The Executive branch uses the EPA, NLRB, USDA, IRS and hundreds of other agencies to bypass the duly elected Congress and instead act as their own de facto congress.

Most voters don’t want an unscrupulous Federal government to be able to target those who happen to oppose their political views. But we have seen the IRS targeting the Tea Party and other conservative organizations who oppose the policies of this administration. Most people realize that this sword can cut both ways.

Most voters, regardless of party, don’t want an agency like the EPA to be able to seize their private land, or fine or imprison innocent people, with no due process. But Washington condones these acts.

Solution: Pass an amendment to Limit federal bureaucracy. All agencies expire in three years, unless reauthorized by a majority vote of Congress. Executive branch regulations exceeding $100mm must be approved by Congress.

We agree on the problems, but we have not had much luck finding real solutions. . We have tried to fix our broken system through elections, reason, and persuasion to no avail. But things just get worse and worse because Washington no longer listens to the people; they listen only to the lobbyists, unions, and big money corporations.

It’s high time we try something different, now! By getting involved in the Article V COS project, we can divest a tyrannical Federal government of the powers it has unconstitutionally usurped from the states and return those relinquished powers back to the states and the people, where they belong.

We Need folks, who are willing to write their state legislators, meet with those legislators, pen op-ed pieces, and recruit others in the fight.

It’s crucial that we educate ourselves and educate our state legislators and work closely with them to implement this solution

We need strong state legislatures in America, not a strong federal legislature. This was what the founders intended, and it is what is good for America.

If you want more information on the Article V Convention of States project or want to get involved in this movement, please go to the Convention of States website.

8 years ago
Reply to  Allen

I urge you to consider some of the recent posts by Paul E and Ivan Berry. I too was taken with Levins book, thinking the cos to be a movement solely springing from conservatism. Not so fast.

8 years ago
Reply to  D.A.

Why is it that we have an Attorney General who is appointed by the prez.? The ATs will almost always go along with their “boss”. Years ago I signed a petition to have an elected AT, but I do not know what happened with that. In a lot of states, including Ohio, we elect our AT. It avoids a lot of conflicts of interest.

We should not work to redo our Constitution. We should work toward getting to the true meaning of the one we have. In it, Congress makes the laws. The Supreme Court is to uphold and preserve the laws. Supreme Court made “laws from the bench” should be held invalid and ignored. That could be inserted as an amendment under the statement that Congress makes the laws.

8 years ago
Reply to  Bill


On one hand you state we should not work to redo our Constitution and then end your comment with a call to insert an amendment to the Constitution concerning the Supreme Court. You do realize can’t have it both ways correct?

There is NOTHING broken in the Constitution. What is BROKEN is the people of the United States keep electing and re-electing people to office who refuse to abide by their sworn duty to uphold the Constitution as written. That is the oath they take upon being sworn into office. Instead what we have are people who either decide to re-interpret the Constitution to their personal liking or belief in what it “should be” or simply ignore it altogether and make up rules as they go along. That is NOT something that is fixable by messing with the Constitution.

8 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

Hi PaulE: I can always agree with all of your comments … Here’s another thought: if the president and each member of Congress are all sworn into office with the same oath, why can’t We the People sue them to be dismissed from said office when they blatantly disregard their oath by their actions that are contrary to upholding the Constitution? … Maybe it’s as simple as that? … Imagine using lawyers to finally do some good for a change!!! … Did I really say this?

8 years ago
Reply to  Rik

Lest you soften your stance, I found a good quote; Luke 11, 52: ‘ Alas for you lawyers! You have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not go in yourselves, and those who were on their way in, you stopped.’ Of course, we do have to use the tools and methods at hand.

8 years ago

I have no real opinions at this point, but I read the articles and the comments to become better educated. I thank people who have commented here and at previous times, because I am amazed at many of the well thought responses and ideas that are or have been presented here.

8 years ago

Even though we are all supposed to be mature adults I think that some of us need to get a grip on reality. To do nothing is to essentially sanction what is going on at the moment. The Founding Fathers foresaw a time when an Article 5 convention might be the only way to fix a broken system. Many of the the Founding Fathers are probably rolling in their graves at the shenanigans of the current administration and the attendant bureaucracy. There are no silver bullets and there is no magic involved. The equation is do nothing and complain incessantly because nothing changes or take a leap of faith and do something. I vote for doing something.

8 years ago
Reply to  Karen

“Doing something” has resulted in more bad law and policy in the last 100 years, than simply removing those who failed to fulfill their duties to serve within the guidelines of the Constitution.

Ivan Berry
8 years ago

Mr. Farris’ first sentence contains a legitamate question. In the next set of statements he mentions that we have two Costitutions, the one written and another by Supreme Court rulings. He of course ignored the Administrative and the departments and agencies that Congress created that fall under the executive authority, who often actually take action long before the Court even gets addressed. However, we have but one Constitution and it is the only one that is addressed as the Supreme Law of the land, with all other law oblidged to be made in Pursuance thereof. Under his reasoning, we would have numerious constitutions: one for the Dept. of Education, for The EPA, one for the Commerce Dept., Agricultural Dept. Dept. of the Interrior, and so on.
Further, he said,”No one can promise that any specific language…will be the final result…” (after his) “ideas to simply illustrate a point (and) are possible if adopted.” What if they are drastically changed or if the Constitution is totally rewritten? He does not address that possibility.
Remember Rik? He said that lawyers were taught to create reasonable doubt, shades of gray, where there is no right or wrong or justice involved in the will “to win.” I call the creation of opinion by lawyers and the courts “lawyers tricks.” There seems to be no end in sight. Maybe this is only beating a dead mule that will not, no matter how much I beat it, ever get up, but here goes again.
Last week I listed some of those who were involved in forming a collaboration of the Left and the Right to move our States into calling for a Convention of States. I made note that the orgainzation that Mr. Farris is associated with is a part of that collaboration. I am not, however, accusing him of a conspiracy involvement, but he should be willing to make known in a more forthcoming manner who else is for the amentments project he represents and what dealings his org. has with them.
The Constitution is not broken, although it has been bent by many “bad amendments” of the past, like the 16th and 17th. Since it isn’t broken, it is fruitless and much too risky to try the proposed Convention to “fix” it.
All the faults in our government, at least for the most part anyway, are the fault of Congress. Congress members have used the Administrative law and the courts to hide from decisions that they don’t wish their constituents to see them condoning. In order to not offend, they allow the courts and the administrative departments (all unelected) to make rulings that become law whether allowed by our Constitution or not. Congress pleads that there is nothing they can do, since the rulings are outside their authority. However, Congress has the authority to set the apealate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court and anything that should not be rendered to the Court could be withdrawn from its oversight at the will of a Congress that faced up to its responsibility. The Administrative Law arena could be canceled by canceling any agency or department that Congress should decide to do away with. The people vote for their Congressmen. We do not vote for bureaucrats and Supreme Court Justices. Therefore, by what right does a Congress place us in the position of being ruled by unelected rulers who are unanswerable to the people? And by what logic does Mr. Farris propose fixing the Constitution by putting it up for grabs?

8 years ago

Rik is correct. Obama has wreaked such havoc on our Constitution it may be in shreds….. He is hell bent to fulfill his agenda at any cost. He touts the “fact” that he was a Constitutional Law professor. WHERE? Where are his students? Why has not one come forth? Where are his credentials? He’s a hack as a man, a President and will see this country in flames soon if he doesn’t take action against the ISIS threat. He is so loath to even say the word “Muslim”, or Terrorist that it makes one wonder if in fact he’s not one of them; or purposely allowing them to get a foothold in America. He despises the United States and all it has stood for – read his books – or listen closely to old speeches he made; and yet his drooling Kool-Aid drinkers pulled the lever for him anyway. Congress needs to get back to work, GROW A SET, and get tough. Harry Reid (from the looks of him) can’t last forever — and we MUST TAKE THE SENATE BACK in November – or we are all in deep doo doo. His lawless disregard for the Constitution has put us in dire jeopardy – yet he’s allowed to continue on his merry way. I’ve written to my reps until my fingers hurt -(and Jim Inhofe and Coburn ALWAYS answer) – but it will take a massive stand to back him down. I feel like I have a huge water balloon over my head, ready to drop — something dire will happen in this country, yet we have no leadership to slow it down, or stop it.

Vera Olver
8 years ago
Reply to  KarenFaye


Felix Guerrera
8 years ago

The Supreme court gets into Documents and when they do this, they expound to be magnetized to the document and this is so common to do as it shows their expertise. However there are those in the judicial system that become too engrossed or magnetized to the Gist of the document and do not either by lapst of forethought or of purpose for good or bad, change the real meaning of that Document ! I believe they are educated enough to know but sometimes refuse, adding the thought that should forever be in their mind and be associated with every word of any document ! Those words are as follows: FOR THE GOOD AND WELFARE OF THE PEOPLE, GOD AND COUNTRY ! We have to associate these words with each word we read in that Document ! Remembering that we live and are bound to a Blessed, Sacred and individually was thought out with such purpose and devotion, knowing that we have had to summon with FAITH and Devotion in Prayer To Almighty GOD to complete the NATION we now have ! ONE NATION UNDER GOD ! Thanks to our forefathers that had this in mind every minute of their lives. We all know their names!. And so the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA became ONE NATION UNDER GOD FOR WHICH IT STANDS ! Our Government and That is You and I and Each Individual American born or sworn to be an American and Fought and Died for it, now we are facing what Almighty GOD has told us in scripture of “THE Powers of Darkness”. Well,it has been here before or since we were Born and many of us have been Brainwashed to live with EVIL. We certainly are Living, Breathing, Eating, Listening to, Hearing, Seeing, Watching it almost every minute of the day ! The devils discipels are everywhere ( Powers of Darkness ) Their job is much easier if they can remove GOD from us as you can see they are trying to do ! Don’t let it Happen ! We have to reprogram ourselves now and live righteously,and devoted to all that is good. DO NOT ENTERTAIN EVIL, FILTH, NEWS MEDIA THAT HOLDS BACK TRUTH ! Thank you AMAX for bringing inspiration to us all YOUNG and OLD. We truly need all the help we can get !

8 years ago

Obamination has done more damage to this country in 6 years than the last 60 previous years! This next election is a start to just derail Socialism, but until we can purge the Republican party of ALL the rino’s, I fear it’s only a minor delay of becoming totally Socialistic. Too many of the same worthless incumbent rino’s will be re-elected! The Republican party leadership is still dominated by the old Rockefeller “Big Business” faction, that’s why I feel ONLY Dr. Ben Carson is our best chance to cripple the big business faction! … Dr. Ben won’t “owe” his allegiance to big business, he’s truly the candidate of the people, who REALLY is conservative AND a REAL Christian to boot! … Not a CONVENIENT Christian for votes only! … Dr. Ben LIVES his Christianity EVERYDAY! … If you don’t believe me, watch how the Republican hierarchy will adopt the Dr. Ben can’t win language, they and the Socialists fear his candidacy! Run Ben Run!

8 years ago
Reply to  Rik

I agree with you on the candidate of choice for 2016. Pray God that Ben Carson runs and that he wins at that time.

Run Ben Run!

8 years ago
Reply to  Alice

Dr. Carson has more common sense and moral turpitude in his pinky finger than Barak Obama has in his whole body. I am sure he will attempt the nomination, and pray he gets it. I also hope that he and his wife Candy can handle the mud and filth that will be thrown at them from all sides by the Democrats. I feel secure they have nothing to hide!

Let’s all pray for a better tomorrow, and a change in leadership before this whole country is lost forever!

8 years ago
Reply to  KarenFaye

I too feel confident they have ‘ nothing to hide’ . My question is what happens when the commie media unveils women who claim to have been harrassed by the doc, or worse. They will do this at worst, at least they will manufacture lies about his patients or business. I just hope he is ready to get mean. Remember Ronnie at that news conference. I paid for this, he bellowed.The usual smile was gone for a moment. Believe me, they are already planning their smears. I most earnestly hope he is studying up on progressiveism and is hardening himself. Like boxers, some can take media lynching and come out swinging. Others get one across the chops and drop. The doc is going to be a player, so I hope he is ready for all hell has to offer. He will have to go On The Offensive and not just take hits.

Ivan Berry
8 years ago
Reply to  D.A.

Before our fantasies turn to total horror, let us propose the good doctor, being a neurosurgen, perform a massive lobeotomy on the Washington establishment, that establishment which seems to have already performed a lobeotomy on the majority of this nations people.
Have any of you noticed that the horror movies seem to be filled with vampires and zombies. Americans once did for themselves and their communities, now a large portion just suck the blood of the living; the rest just grovel around in a daze. This entire culture has become a collective of Hollywood zombies and vampires. If something doesn’t change our direction, I fear it is all over, and the Great American Experiment is doomed to end.
Maybe it IS time for us to sink into the ocean like Atlantis. But before we do, get off your duffs and get busy. At least if we are destined to go out, let’s do it with a bang. And Rik, it really does make sense to go after the lawyers first.

Ivan Berry
8 years ago
Reply to  Ivan Berry

An may I join the crowd?

8 years ago

I have seen constitutional revisions, posted on the inter-net, which would substitute a Socialist-Fascist manifesto for our current constitution. There are many groups, with varying agendas, waiting for such an opportunity to seize control of the convention.

These people want the same thing, — power. Power to order and control the lives of the rest of the populace, power to enrich or enslave.

Men of good intent will abide by the rules and attempt to make reasonable modifications. These others will not abide by any ethical or moral standards, but instead will use any means — legal or not, to foment discord, strife and chaos, so that they can take control of any such convention. Those whose intentions were honorable will be eaten alive by the tactics of the power mongers. Anyone who does not realize this is naïve in the extreme.

I have read their proposed substitutions and they are the death of liberty. Your convention of States is perilous in the extreme. Better to leave Constitutional revisions in the hands of those poltroons, thieves, venal, and corrupt representatives we have elected to be our government.

Our Congressmen will fall on each other like rabid wolves, in the attempt to control the changes. At least there we can expect that their conflicting self-interests will cancel out and negate the more egregious elements of the changes. We cannot afford to allow any such uncontrollable force to tamper with our freedom

Andrew Mangione
8 years ago

This essay should clear up any concerns regarding a leftist takeover of a potential Convention of States. Please take the time to review. Thank you!

Why Liberals Cannot Realistically Hijack the Convention of States
Michael Farris, JD, LLM
Chancellor, Patrick Henry College

The Convention of States Project proposed an Article V Convention limited by subject matter. The proposed subject matter is to limit the power of the federal government. The question is: Can the left hijack this process and obtain constitutional amendments that will grow the power of the federal government?

The realistic answer is: Absolutely not.

The reason this is true is found in the specific steps in the process and the current control of legislatures by political party.

There are three steps in the process: 1. Application; 2. Drafting Amendments; 3. Ratification.
The rule of one-state, one-vote applies to each stage.

There have been 400 Article V applications in the history of the country. But, we have never had a convention because there never has been an agreement among two-thirds of the states on the subject matter. When 34 states call a convention on the same subject, then and only then do we have a convention.

While the left can certainly propose a convention on their own, they do not have the necessary number of states to get to 34 applications.

There are currently 28 states where the GOP controls both houses of the state legislature. Governors have no say in the Article V process. There are 5 states where each party controls one house. There are 17 states where DEMs control both houses.

The left simply cannot get to 34 without gaining approval from all 5 split states and 12 more GOP states if they seek to call an Article V convention to expand the power of government. That is a political impossibility.

It is possible to get to 34 for a conservative convention by gaining support from most of the split states and two or three DEM states. For example, if the West Virginia legislature believes that they will get the power to set their own coal policy, then gaining approval from that DEM state becomes very plausible.
The same thing is true for stage two—drafting the amendments.

The subject matter of the convention was already established by the application stage, but the specific language of proposed amendments must be approved by 26 states. The 17 DEM states simply don’t have the votes to get language approved. They really can’t even stop good language if all GOP states agree.

For stage three, the possibility of gaining approval for a liberal constitutional amendment goes to absolute zero. At this stage, 38 states must vote to ratify. A state does not ratify unless both houses agree. Therefore, if a single house in 13 states votes NO on a particular amendment, it is defeated.

The math simply dictates that it is impossible to ratify a liberal constitutional amendment because there are 28 GOP states and in 5 other states the GOP controls one house. Getting one house in 13 out of 33 states to vote NO on a liberal amendment is a political certainty.

In theory, both sides can use the Article V process equally. But, in reality it is like saying that the Peace & Labor Party has the right to run its candidates for President. They may have the right to do so, but it is impossible for them to win. The same thing is true here.

Conservatives can win any battles that will be won. Since we don’t have 38 states, we can’t expect to ratify anything perceived as extremely conservative. But, we can gain victory for a package of conservative ideas with broad popular appeal like balanced budgets, term limits, spending and tax limitations.

Ivan Berry
8 years ago

That last paragraph sounds like compromise and that’s one of the things that has gotten us to this point: “a package of conservative ideas with broad popular appeal” but not “anything perceived as extremely conservative.”

You (Mr. Farris) also left out the other option for step three: Ratification by Convention. It is not determined by the States if ratification is by States’ Legislatures or by the Convention method. That is left up to Congress to decide.
How Delegates are appointed is not spelled out in Art.V, nor are the details of organization spelled out in that Article.
The 1787 Constitution (our’s today) in Art.I, Sec. 8 states that “The Congress shall have power to…make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the forgoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.”

So far as a balanced budget, which do you propose, cutting benefits, raising taxes, cutting defense, taking more items “off budget,” eliminating “non-discretionary” items, or what?
Oh, and you don’t need both Houses of a State’s Legislature to agree to Ratify if Congress chooses the Convention method for Ratification. The States’ Legislatures would become moot.

8 years ago
Reply to  Ivan Berry


Mr. Farris’ last paragraph set off alarm bells for me as well. When he says “we can’t expect to ratify anything perceived as extremely conservative”, he immediately capitulates to what would be deemed “acceptable” to the progressive media and Progressive Democrats. Virtually anything designed to rein in the abuses created by decades of progressive legislation and regulation would be deemed “extremely conservative” by these groups and thus be off the table for inclusion in any convention. So right off the bat, the entire scope and debate of any convention would be compromised in favor of Progressive ideology by the exclusion of most, if not all, of the type of amendments that would put the country back to something approximating its original footing.

Mr. Farris then talks about four areas where he believes there would be broad-based popular appeal between both conservatives and progressives. What he fails to recognize and what you correctly point out is that in each case, when you get into the details of what constitutes “balanced budgets, term limits, spending and tax limitations”, there is very little, if any, overlap in what the two sides would agree on.

Say balance budgets to a conservative and he or she will suggest the federal government spend less money by eliminating wasteful, unnecessary and counter-productive federal programs and agencies. That we have a massive spending problem, not a tax revenue shortfall problem in this country. When politicians talk of any reform by saying it has to be “revenue neutral”, they are already conceding that real spending cuts, of any form, are off the table. That all you’re talking about is simply some minor tweaking the rate of spending increases in future years and not true reform (reductions). That the scope of the federal government should be limited to largely what is defined in the Constitution and all other authority should reside back within the states as originally intended.

Say balance budgets to a progressive and he or she will immediately suggest higher taxes, new taxes, massive cuts to the military regardless of the risks posed to the country, and expansion of all sorts of federal programs and agencies, along with whatever funding is deemed necessary to further centralize power in Washington to manage everything associated with our lives.

If you drill down into the details of the other three so-called popular issues Mr. Farris has identified, you would find essentially the same diametrically opposed perspectives between conservatives and progressives. So by excluding the what would be deemed “extremely conservative” by the progressive media and Progressive Democrats, what is exactly left that would result in a net positive benefit to the country in the form of returning it to a less Progressive era? Nothing! On the other hand, the risk of our remaining freedoms being “compromised away” by weak-kneed RINOs, who fell they have to “do something” in such an environment is extremely high.

David Elstrom
8 years ago

A convention called by the states need not be a “runaway”, because states can provide specific authority to their delegates. If you are interested in this topic, I strongly suggest Mark Levine’s book “The Liberty Amendments”. It has excellent suggestions and includes some fascinating history on the original constitutional convention.

Howard Last
8 years ago
Reply to  David Elstrom

There is no way to limit what the convention does. In fact it can throw out the entire Constitution. To make it worse who will control the convention, why Congress the very group that fails to follow the Constitution and got us into this mess. The convention could throw out the entire Bill of Rights or several of the amendments.

8 years ago

While I’m not ruling this approach out as a last resort, we need to remember that it is fraught with peril. There are reportedly many left-wing groups that would welcome such a convention, to propose amendments of their own. Once such a convention is called, there is no way its scope can be controlled, and it might easily become a runaway convention, that would entirely re-write the Constitution. The original convention of 1787 — which is the only precedent we have — was a runaway convention. It was originally called to simply propose revisions to the Articles of Confederation. Instead, it went ‘way beyond its mandate and proposed an entirely new governing document. Another danger is that such a convention might change the rules of ratification, like the original 1878 convention did. (The Articles of Confederation required unanimous consent by all the States before a change to the Articles could be approved. The convention changed it to ratification by three-quarters of the States.) The delegates at the original 1787 convention were arguably one of the greatest collection of geniuses and patriots in history. Can we really be assured that a modern-day convention would consist of anything like that? Even so, the convention nearly fell apart until Benjamin Franklin urges them all to seek divine guidance. Can you imagine the reaction of the Democrats and the press (which essentially is the mouthpiece of the Democratic Party) if a modern convention did that? James Madison praised God for the results of the 1787 convention, but said that he shuddered at the thought of what the results of a second might be.

8 years ago

You are very wrong to support this…

Dear friends, This is an article I just wrote on Article V. If you want to print it I have attached the document. It contains the most pertinent arguments against an Article V Constitutional Convention. Please feel free to share it. Janine Hansen

Everything is so bad we have to do something…so let’s have a
An Article V Constitutional Convention, by Janine Hansen, August 2014

Last week I spoke at Carole Fineberg’s Conservative Talk Lunch in Reno, about the dangerous threat of an Article V Constitutional Convention now being promoted by such “conservative” elitist as Mark Levin, Glenn Beck, Michael Farris, Mark Meckler, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity.

Most recently, in the June 2014 Newsletter, I included an article by Phyllis Schlafly about the threat to our Right to Keep and Bear Arms from the Article V Constitutional Convention. I have fought this dangerous idea for more than 30 years and serve as the National Constitutional Issues Chairman for Eagle Forum. But now more than ever before, the extreme hazards of this bad idea have been exposed.

A Constitutional Convention will be the Greatest Political event in the history of our nation since the original Constitutional Convention… Do you think that the liberals will sit back and let the Conservatives control the Convention? Are you dreaming?

Just ask yourself: Do we control our City Council, County Commission, State Legislature or Congress? How in the world are “conservatives” going to control a Constitutional Convention of the States? This is the myth being promoted by the Convention of the States group…that the people, of course the conservatives, will control a Convention.

A proponent of a Constitutional Convention (ConCon) said to me at the Conservative Talk Lunch, “That’s what’s the matter with you. You don’t trust the people!” Am I supposed to trust the people who voted for Obama for President? Or perhaps the people who voted for Harry Reid? Did the Founding Fathers trust the people? Absolutely not! That’s why they gave us a Republic not a Democracy and that Republic had lots of checks and balances to restrain the government and the people.

Some Background: Article V of the U.S. Constitution states: “The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing Amendments, which, in either Case shall be valid to all Intents and Purposes, as Part of this Constitution, when ratified by the Legislatures of three fourths of the several States, or by Conventions in three fourths thereof, as the one or the other Mode of Ratification may be proposed by the Congress…” Notice that Congress Calls the Convention and will set the rules…not the States. Can you imagine this happening without dingy Harry Reid’s fingers in the pie?

All we know for sure about an Article V Convention is what Article V states. There are no precedents because there has never been one called. All else is speculation. However, proponents tell us that the safeguard is that any amendments coming out of an Article V will have to be ratified by three-quarters of the states. As history tells us the original Constitutional Convention CHANGED the ratification process in the Articles of Confederation which required unanimous agreement to a requirement of only nine states.

A Convention cannot be Limited: Former Chief Justice Warren Burger stated: “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…”

Interesting note: Michael Farris/Mike Meckler’s Convention of the States organization is proposing three amendments and Mark Levin’s book promotes Ten separate amendments. There can be no legitimate discussion of limiting a convention to a single subject.

How will Delegates be chosen? We don’t know. Will there be one vote per state like the original Constitutional Convention? Can you imagine California or New York putting up with that? If delegates are based on population the large liberal states will control the convention. And don’t forget recent experiences at Republican and Democrat Conventions. He who has the gavel makes the rules.

Who else is interested in Changing the Constitution besides the Conservative Elite?

Liberal Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens recently published a book about the Six Constitutional amendments he is promoting. Specifically he wants to change the Second Amendment. Stevens proposes that the Second Amendment should be modified by adding five words, as follows: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the militia shall not be infringed.” This change adding “when serving in the militia” eliminates the individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms. A Convention would be a real opportunity for the Gun Grabbers.

Move to Amend is a leftist organization which opposes the U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Citizens United. Move to Amend wants to take away our right of free speech by eliminating independent contributions for campaigns and limit campaigns to government money only (which will silence dissent). They support an Article V Constitutional Convention. This year Vermont became the first State Legislature to pass this radical proposal calling for an Article V Constitutional Convention to implement it. If you go to Move to Amend’s website you will see nine pages of leftist organizations across the nation supporting this radical idea. “We will win our amendment through Congress or through a Constitutional Convention (Article V)…”

Their radical amendment prohibits candidates from spending their own money on their own campaigns. Their claim is that money is not free speech. Really? I guess we can stand on the corner and shout at passing cars with our message, because you won’t be able to purchase literature, pay for a website, place ads on TV, put up campaign signs, pay for phone calls or campaign workers or print and mail a newsletter. Screaming on the corner would be about all that would be left to us if we can’t spend any money to exercise free speech.

Conservative Republicans who claim to support a Balanced Budget Amendment are blowing smoke!

All States receive a significant portion of their budgets, between 19% and 45%, from the federal government. Nevada receives 25.48% of its budget from the federal government. You could look high and low and not find a conservative Republican legislator willing to refuse the federal money and mandates. They want to cut the federal budget but not their state’s budget! This is why conservatives who say they want a Balanced Budget Amendment are blowing smoke. Legislators, conservative or not, will not vote to reject federal funds and mandates. Do you think they will go to an Article V Convention and vote to cut their own state budgets by 25%? This is why a Balanced Budget Amendment won’t work.

BBA supporters admit a BBA Article V Convention will raise your taxes, not cut spending

Fritz Pettyjohn, a former Alaska Legislator, is the Co-Founder of the Balanced Budget Amendment Task Force and currently the Field Director of Lew Uhler’s National Tax Limitation Committee. February 26, 2014, during a meeting of the Utah Legislature’s Conservative Caucus in a room full of Legislators, Pettyjohn was asked, “What would prevent the Congress from raising our taxes to balance the budget?

Pettyjohn responded by saying, “They probably will raise our taxes, but there’s nothing wrong with that. It would make the people so mad they would throw them out.” WOW! The Article V BBA failed at the Utah Legislature. Many Legislators were not willing to support a measure that would result in taxes being raised.

I often hear the argument in favor of an Article V Constitutional Convention that everything is so bad that we have to do something. If my house was on fire and the only liquid available was gasoline I would not throw gasoline on my burning house because I had to do something. That’s what an Article V gives us…the real chance of throwing gasoline on an already burning Constitution.

I was asked what is the alternative to an Article V Convention? I agree that the situation is truly bleak. The solutions to our nation’s plight will not be legislated by corrupt politicians representing morally bankrupt citizens. The only real solutions to this problem is the answer given by the Lord in 2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked way; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

Originally published in the Nevada Families for Freedom Newsletter,

8 years ago

To Judi’s comment. Remember, no matter what amendment is proposed, all it would take is 13 States to keep it from being ratified if it is not acceptable. This would not be a runaway convention, as some have suggested. We have a federal government who has already instituted a runaway convention in which the States are not allowed to participate.

8 years ago

This is all well and good and I hope it will go in this direction. But, we all know that things could be changd in the other direction and I fear that more.

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