Publius-Huldah's Blog

Understanding the Constitution

PH explains American vs. European Views on Relation Between People and Civil Government

[The video is only 2 minutes & 9 seconds long.]

Under the European model, the people are the subjects of the King or the State and are subject to the Will of the King or the State.

But the Framers of the American Constitution implemented the radically different conception that The People are the original source of political authority (Federalist No. 22, last para). The American People CREATED the federal government when they ratified the US Constitution. The federal government is not a party to the Constitution – it is merely the creature of the Constitution and is completely subject to its terms.

But Americans are losing the vision our Framers implemented and are reverting back to the European Model where the People are the subjects of the government and must obey the will of the government.

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April 5, 2015 Posted by | Creature of the Compact | , , , , , | 18 Comments

PH’s Article V & Nullification Event in West Chester, Ohio

I will speak on the deadly danger of an Article V convention, and of the two remedies our Framers actually told us to use when the federal government usurps power, at the following event:

Date: Saturday, April 11, 2015
Host:  Building Blocks for Liberty
Location: Lakota West Freshman Auditorium, 5050 Tylersville Road, West Chester, Ohio 45069
Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM Eastern Time

See website describing event HERE.

 

There will also be someone from COS there to tell you that all our problems can be fixed by having a CONVENTION where our Constitution will be “amended”.  The official COS line is that only amendments will be proposed.

But Jordan Sillars, Communications Director for the COS, let the cat out of the bag when he said:

“… 3. I think the majority of Americans are too lazy to elect honest politicians. But I think some men and women could be found who are morally and intellectually capable of re-writing the Constitution” [boldface mine].

So the Communications Director for the COS says our Constitution will be “re-written”.  HERE is the screen shot of Sillar’s comments.

And what will this “re-written” Constitution look like?  Michael Farris’ proposed “parental rights amendment” gives us an ominous warning of what anything Farris has a hand in will look like:  His proposed amendment, which he claims will protect parental rights, actually delegates power over children to the federal and state governments! Read it HERE.

And don’t forget, the re-written Constitution will have its own new mode of ratification.  It need not be 3/4 of the States – it can be any mode of ratification the drafters want.  E.g., the proposed Constitution for the Newstates of America is ratified by a Referendum called by the President.  Read the proposed Newstates Constitution HERE.

The reason these people want a convention is because a new Constitution can only be imposed at a convention.

Any needed Amendments can be made the way the existing 27 Amendments were made!  Congress proposes them and sends them to the States for ratification!  James Madison always said that when States want Amendments, they should instruct their Delegations to Congress to propose them.

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April 4, 2015 Posted by | Article V, Article V Convention, constitutional convention, Convention of States project, Jordan Sillars, Michael Farris | , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The States won’t save us at an Article V Convention

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March 27, 2015 Posted by | Article V, Article V Convention, Jim Crow laws, Nullification by States, Nullification of unconstitutional acts | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

PH’s Article V Convention & Nullification Events in Kentucky & North Carolina

I will speak on the deadly danger of an Article V convention, and of the two remedies our Framers actually told us to use when the federal government usurps power, at the following events:

Date: Thursday, March 19, 2015 in Union, Kentucky.
Host: John Birch Society – Kentucky
Location: Triple Crown Country Club, 1 Triple Crown Blvd, Union, KY 41091
Time: Noon to 2:00 p.m.  Eastern Standard Time.
This is a lunch event – lunch is $16.00

 

Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2015 in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Host: Conservatives for Guilford County (C4GC)
Location: The Oakbranch Conference Center, 23 Oak Branch Drive, Greensboro, NC 27407
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m., Eastern Time.

See flyer here: https://www.facebook.com/conservatives4gc/photos/gm.342448609282620/10152684533065373/?type=1&theater

 

Date:  Saturday, March 28, 2015 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Host:  The Rightful Remedy Conference
Location: University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd, Fretwell Building, Room 100
Time: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time

On internet: http://rightfulremedyconference.com/

On face Book:  https://www.facebook.com/events/386914354780520/

 

Love to see you at any of these events!  And if you can’t come, please forward to your contacts in these areas.

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March 15, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | 29 Comments

Behind The Mask of Convention Supporters – “whacking away” at our Constitution

quote

Representative Sickles may have meant this as a warning of what would be the attitude of Delegates to a convention – as opposed to what he himself would  do as a Delegate to a convention.

But the point is: We don’t want anyone “whacking away” at our Constitution – and Delegates to an Art. V convention would have the power to do just that….

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February 6, 2015 Posted by | Amendments to the Constitution, Article V, Article V Convention, constitutional convention, Convention of States project, re-writing the Constitution | , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

Why was the Convention Method put into Article V?

See this – only 3.5 minutes:

But for the complete story of what happened at the Federal Convention of 1787 respecting the development of Article V, read this:  https://publiushuldah.wordpress.com/article-v/

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February 4, 2015 Posted by | Article V, Article V Convention, constitutional convention, Convention of States project | , , , , | 6 Comments

Delegates to an Article V Convention Can’t be Controlled by State Laws!

By Publius Huldah

Our Declaration of Independence (2nd para) sets forth our long forgotten Founding Principles that:

♦  All men are created equal.

♦  Rights come from God.

♦  People create governments to secure God-given rights. The first three words of our Constitution throw off the European model where political power originates with the State; and establish the new Principle that WE THE PEOPLE are the “pure, original fountain of all legitimate political authority” (Federalist No. 22, last sentence).

♦  When a government seeks to take away our God given rights, we have the right to alter, abolish, or throw off that Form of government.

These are the Principles which justified our Revolution against a King.

These are also the Principles which permit us today to throw off our Form of government by discarding our existing Constitution and replacing it with another one. This is why the language at Article V of our Constitution, which authorizes Congress to call a convention “for proposing amendments”, does not restrict Delegates to merely “proposing amendments”: Delegates are invested with that inherent pre-existing sovereign right, recognized in our Declaration, to abolish our existing Form of government (our Constitution) and propose a new Constitution.

This has happened once before in our Country. I’ll show you.

The Federal Convention of 1787: Federal and State Instructions to Delegates

Pursuant to Article XIII of The Articles of Confederation (our first Constitution), the Continental Congress resolved on February 21, 1787 (p 71-74) to call a convention to be held at Philadelphia:

for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”.

The Continental Congress authorized each of the then 13 States to appoint Delegates to the convention. Twelve of the States 1 made laws respecting the appointment of Delegates and issuing instructions to Delegates. Ten States instructed their Delegates to propose alterations to the Articles of Confederation; and only two (North Carolina and New Hampshire) gave instructions which arguably permitted their Delegates to do more than propose alterations to the Articles of Confederation. 2

But the Delegates ignored the federal and State limitations and wrote a new Constitution (the one we have now is our second Constitution).  Because of this inherent authority of Delegates, it is impossible to stop it from happening at a convention today (which will surely result in a third Constitution).

The Delegates to the 1787 convention also instituted an easier mode of ratification. Whereas Article XIII of the Articles of Confederation required approval of all of the then 13 States before an amendment could be ratified; Article VII of the new Constitution provided that only 9 States were required for ratification of the new Constitution.

 Why is an Article V Convention Dangerous?

So! Do you see?

If we have a convention today, there is nothing to stop Delegates from proposing a third Constitution with its own new method of ratification.

New Constitutions are already prepared and waiting for a convention. Here are three:

♦  Fifty years ago, the Ford & Rockefeller Foundations produced the Constitution for the Newstates of America. It is ratified by a referendum called by the President [Art 12, Sec. 1]. If we have a convention, and Delegates propose the Newstates Constitution, it doesn’t go to the States for ratification – it goes directly to the President to call a Referendum. The States are dissolved and replaced by regional governments answerable to the new national government. Read the Newstates Constitution and tremble for your country.

♦ The Revolutionary Communist Party, USA has a Constitution for The New Socialist Republic in North America.

♦ The Constitution 2020 movement is funded by George Soros and supported by Marxist law professors and Marxist groups all over the Country, Cass Sunstein and Eric Holder. They want a Marxist Constitution and they want it in place by the year 2020. It further appears that Soros is funding much of the current push for an Article V convention.

Warnings from the Wise

Brilliant men have warned against an Article V convention. It is immoral to dismiss their warnings:

♦  Alexander Hamilton writes of “the utter improbability of assembling a new convention, under circumstances in any degree so favorable to a happy issue, as those in which the late convention met, deliberated, and concluded…”  Federalist No. 85 (9th para)

♦  James Madison writes in his Nov. 2, 1788 letter to Turberville that he “trembled” at the prospect of a second convention; and that an Article V Convention would give “the most violent partizans” and “individuals of insidious views” “a dangerous opportunity of sapping the very foundations of the fabric” of our Country. In Federalist No. 49, he shows that the convention method is NOT GOOD to correct breaches of the federal constitution because the People aren’t philosophers – they follow what influential people tell them! And the very legislators who caused the problem would get themselves seats at the convention so they could control the outcome.

♦  Former US Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg reminds us in his Sep. 14, 1986 article in The Miami Herald, that at the convention of 1787, the delegates ignored their instructions from the Continental Congress and instead of proposing amendments to the Articles of Confederation, wrote a new Constitution. He warns that “…any attempt at limiting the agenda [of the convention] would almost certainly be unenforceable.”

♦  Former US Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Berger warns in his June 1988 letter to Phyllis Schlafly that “there is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention”; “After a Convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the Convention if we don’t like its agenda”; and “A new Convention could plunge our Nation into constitutional confusion and confrontation at every turn…”

Can State Laws Control Delegates?

Convention supporters say we don’t have to worry about any of the above because States can make laws controlling their Delegates.

Really? James Madison, Father of our Constitution and a consistent opponent of the convention method of proposing amendments, didn’t know that. Two US Supreme Court Justices didn’t know that. They said there is no effective way to control the Delegates.

But in case you are uncertain as to who is telling you the Truth – and who isn’t – I will show you how easily State laws which pretend to control Delegates can be circumvented.

Let’s use House Bill 148, recently filed in the New Hampshire Legislature, to illustrate this:

Section 20-C:2 I. of the New Hampshire bill says:

“No delegate from New Hampshire to the Article V convention shall have the authority to allow consideration, consider, or approve an unauthorized amendment to the Constitution for the United States of America.” [italics mine]

Section 20-C:1 V. of the bill defines “unauthorized amendment” as:

“any amendment outside the scope permitted by the Article V petition passed by the general court of New Hampshire”.

What is wrong with this?

♦  It doesn’t prohibit New Hampshire Delegates from proposing or approving a new Constitution.

♦  Article V of the US Constitution provides that Amendments will be proposed at the convention. Any state laws contrary to Article V must fall under the supremacy clause at Article VI, US Constitution.

♦  New Hampshire Delegates can’t restrict Delegates from other States.

♦  It ignores the inherent sovereign authority of Delegates to throw off both their State governments and the federal government by proposing a new constitution with whatever new mode of ratification they want. Remember! Under the proposed Newstates Constitution, the States are dissolved and replaced by regional governments answerable to the new national government.

♦  And if the States already know what amendments they want, they should tell their State congressional delegations to propose them in Congress. This is the method James Madison always advised.

Section 20-C:2 II. of the New Hampshire bill says:

“Any vote taken by a delegate from New Hampshire at the Article V convention in violation of paragraph I of this section shall be null and void. Any delegate making this vote shall be immediately disqualified from serving as a delegate to the Article V convention.”

What is wrong with this?

♦  What if the Delegates vote to keep their proceedings secret? At the federal convention on May 29, 1787, our Framers made rules restricting publications of their proceedings.

♦  What if the Delegates vote by secret ballot? As long as some vote “for” and others vote “against” every proposition, there is no way to tell who did what.

Section 20-C:2 III. of the New Hampshire bill says:

“Every delegate from New Hampshire to the Article V convention called for by the Article V petition shall be required to take the following oath:”

“I do solemnly swear or affirm that to the best of my abilities, I will, as a delegate to the Article V convention, uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States and the state of New Hampshire. I will accept and will act according to the limits of the authority as a delegate granted to me by New Hampshire law, and I will not vote to consider or approve any unauthorized amendment to the Constitution for the United States of America. I understand and accept any penalties that may be imposed on me by New Hampshire law for violating this oath.” [boldface mine]

Does one need to comment on the efficacy of Oaths of Office in our degenerate times? Article II, §1, last clause, of our Constitution requires the President to take an Oath to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States”; and Article VI, last clause, requires everyone in the federal and State governments to take an oath to obey the Constitution.

Who today honors his Oath of Office? 

Section 20-C:2 IV. of the New Hampshire bill says:

“Any delegate who violates the oath contained in paragraph III of this section shall be subject to the maximum criminal penalty under RSA 641:2.”

Any criminal defense attorney worth her salt can figure out how to get around this one:

♦  As shown above, if the proceedings of the convention are kept secret, or Delegates vote by secret ballot, one would never know if any one Delegate violated his oath. Defense counsel would get any attempted criminal prosecution of any particular Delegate dismissed at a pretrial hearing.

♦  Congress can pass a law granting immunity from prosecution to the Delegates.

♦  The Delegates can insert a clause in the new constitution granting themselves immunity from prosecution.

♦  If the new constitution abolishes the States, as does the Newstates Constitution, there is no State left to prosecute Delegates.

♦  The local prosecutor is the one who decides whether he will prosecute any criminal offense under his jurisdiction. Politics are a deciding factor in deciding whether to prosecute. Remember Eric Holder refused to prosecute Black Panthers who intimidated white voters at a polling place?

Do you see? James Madison, Justice Arthur Goldberg, and Justice Warren Burger were right: It is impossible to restrict the Delegates.

Everything to Lose, Nothing to Gain

If there is a convention today, George Washington, James Madison, Ben Franklin, and Alexander Hamilton won’t be there to protect you. Who will the Delegates be? You don’t know. Do you trust them?

Our Framers never said that when the federal [and State] government violate the Constitution, the remedy is to amend the Constitution they violate. They never said the remedy is to file a lawsuit and let federal judges decide.

They expected us to act as they did – with “manly firmness” 3 – and resist unconstitutional acts of the federal and state governments. Our Constitution doesn’t need “fixing” – it needs to be read and enforced by our votes; and failing that, by manly opposition – resistance – nullification.

Endnotes:

1 Rhode Island boycotted the Convention. See RI’s Statement of Reasons in document at 2 below.

2 For the texts of the States’ instructions to their Delegates and a helpful commentary, go to Principled Policy Blog HERE.

3 The 7th paragraph of the Declaration of Independence says: “He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.” [boldface mine] PH

 

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February 1, 2015 Posted by | Amendments to the Constitution, Article V, Article V Convention, Convention of States project | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 49 Comments

Rob Natelson Perverts the Necessary and Proper Clause and Thinks in Circles

By Publius Huldah.

In former law professor Rob Natelson’s recent paper, “No, the Necessary and Proper Clause Does NOT Empower Congress to Control an Amendments Convention” [read it HERE or HERE], he makes several untrue statements and commits the gross fallacy of making a circular argument which begs the question.

Natelson is the intellectual guru of those pushing for an Article V convention. Among the false claims they make is that a convention will be controlled by the States, and Congress has nothing to do with it. 1

That false claim rests on Natelson’s (1) fanciful theory of “customs”, (2) his tortured interpretation of the necessary and proper clause, (3) his misrepresentations of Supreme Court cases, and (4) his crimes against the Laws of Logic.

I’ll show you.

What Does Article V Say?

Article V provides two methods of proposing amendments to our Constitution. Congress proposes amendments and submits them to the States for ratification; or Congress “calls” a convention if 2/3 of the States apply to Congress for a convention. All our existing 27 amendments were proposed using the first method. We have never had a convention under Article V – for good reason. 2

 

What does the Necessary and Proper Clause Say?

Article I, §8, last clause says:

The Congress shall have Power … “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 3 or Officer thereof.” [boldface mine]

The Federalist Papers confirm the plain language of the Constitution: §8 delegates to Congress the power to make laws for executing the powers delegated to each branch of the federal government. 4

 

How Does the Necessary and Proper Clause Apply to Article V?

Article V delegates to Congress the power to “call” the convention. The necessary and proper clause delegates to Congress the power to make all laws necessary and proper to carry out its power to “call” the convention.

The April 11, 2014 Report of the Congressional Research Service 5 shows that Congress claims exclusive authority over both methods of amending the Constitution, and that Congress claims the power to organize & set up a convention.

But Natelson – mind, he is their “cutting edge intellectual” – insists that the necessary and proper clause does NOT delegate to Congress power to organize & set up an Article V convention.

Well, well! Let’s look at Natelson’s four arguments:

 

(1) Natelson’s Fanciful Theory of “Customs”

A convention called under Article V of our Constitution is governed by provisions in our Constitution: Article V and Article I, §8, last clause – the “necessary and proper” clause.

But Natelson has long insisted that customs followed at conventions during our “Founding Era” determine how a convention called under Article V will be organized & set up. He says in his paper:

“… An entity that calls an interstate convention always has been limited to specifying the time, place, and subject matter. It is the state legislatures who control selection of their own commissioners, thank you very much.”

“Founding Era” customs supersede our Constitution? And where does Article V say a convention called under Article V is an “interstate” convention?

 

(2) Natelson’s Tortured Interpretation of the Necessary and Proper Clause

Natelson says the necessary and proper clause:

“… is not a grant of authority, but a rule of interpretation. It tells us to construe certain enumerated powers as the ratifiers understood them rather than in an overly-narrow way. …” [emphasis mine]

A “rule of interpretation”? As authority for this claim, Natelson cites a book co-authored by his own illustrious self which you can buy for $34.99.

So! While Hamilton and Madison said in The Federalist Papers 4 that the necessary and proper clause was a “grant of power to Congress” to make the laws to execute the powers delegated;

and Madison and Thomas Jefferson said The Federalist Papers were:

“an authority to which appeal is habitually made by all, and rarely declined or denied by any as evidence of the general opinion of those who framed, and of those who accepted the Constitution of the US. on questions as to it’s genuine meaning” 6

Natelson says the clause is a “rule of interpretation” instead of a “grant of power”, and his $34.99 book is authoritative instead of The Federalist Papers.

 

(3) Natelson’s Misrepresentations of Supreme Court Cases 7

Natelson next asserts “the Necessary and Proper Clause does not extend to the amendment process” because when Congress acts on Article V, it is not a Department or Branch of the federal government. Instead, it is an “ad hoc assembly”.

Congress is sometimes not a branch of the federal government? It is sometimes an ad hoc assembly? The Constitution doesn’t say that! The Federalist Papers don’t say that! Madison’s Journal of the Federal Convention doesn’t say that!

But Natelson says he “knows” this from the “Founding Era record”, from subsequent history, and from decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, such as U.S. v. Sprague (1931).

Of course, Natelson doesn’t show where the “Founding Era record” says this; he doesn’t show why assemblies which met during our “Founding Era” are relevant to a convention called under Article V; he doesn’t show where “subsequent history” says this; and he doesn’t tell the truth about the holding in U.S. v. Sprague.

The issue in U.S. v. Sprague was whether the 18th Amendment (Prohibition) should have been ratified by conventions in each State instead of by State Legislatures. The Supreme Court held that Article V “is a grant of authority by the people to Congress” and that the people “deliberately made the grant of power to Congress in respect to the choice of the mode of ratification of amendments”. Accordingly, Congress had authority to select ratification of the proposed Amendment by State Legislatures instead of by conventions in each State.

U.S. v. Sprague has nothing to do with what Natelson claims it says!

Yet, Natelson goes on to say he “knows” that Congress can’t pass laws structuring the Convention because a “long list of 20th century cases” holds that “ordinary legislation does not bind the amendment process. See, for example, Leser v. Garnett (1922).”

Congress can’t pass laws organizing a convention under Article V? The Constitution doesn’t say that! The Federalist Papers don’t say that! Madison’s Journal of the Federal Convention doesn’t say that! And the Supreme Court case Natelson cited doesn’t say it either!

Of course, Natelson doesn’t provide this “long list of 20th century cases”; and the one case he did cite, Leser v. Garnett, has nothing to do with Congress’ law making powers.

The issue in Leser v. Garnett was whether States – whose State Constitutions restricted voting to men – could ratify an Amendment to the federal Constitution which allowed women to vote. The Supreme Court held that when State Legislatures ratify proposed amendments to the federal Constitution, they are performing a federal function derived from the federal Constitution and it transcends any limitations imposed by State Constitutions. So! Provisions in State Constitutions restricting voting to men did not prevent State Legislatures from ratifying an amendment to the federal Constitution which would have supremacy over a contrary provision in the State Constitution.

 

(4) Natelson’s Fallacious Circular Argument Begs The Question (Petitio Principii) 8

Now let’s look at Natelson’s crimes against the Laws of Logic.

The fallacy of begging the question is committed when one assumes as true the conclusion he seeks to prove. An argument is circular when one seeks to prove the premise from the conclusion.

Natelson was supposed to prove that the necessary and proper clause does not give Congress power to make laws to organize & set up a convention under Article V.

But – as you have seen – he didn’t prove it. So he assumed it to be true. He asserts as true:

“The framers inserted the ‘Convention for proposing Amendments’ in the Constitution to provide the states with a way of obtaining constitutional amendments without federal interference.” [emphasis mine]

Since he assumes this to be true – he concludes that the necessary and proper clause can’t give Congress power to make laws to organize & set up a convention under Article V. He says:

“Why would the framers place in the Constitution a method by which Congress could largely control a convention created to bypass Congress?”

Do you see? He concludes that the necessary and proper clause doesn’t give Congress the power to make laws to organize & set up a convention because he has already assumed as true that the convention method was put in so States could get amendments without Congress’ control.

 

Conclusion

Yet, Natelson’s work is the “authority” on which those who seek to force an Article V convention on us rely – a slender reed, to be sure. Take heed, America!

Endnotes:

1 Above all else, REMEMBER THIS: Whether Congress or the States organize & set up a convention is NOT the critical issue. In either case, the delegates – whoever selects them – are vested with that inherent sovereign right to throw off our Constitution and propose a new one (Declaration of Independence, 2nd para). The new one will have its own new mode of ratification.

2 Brilliant men have warned against an Article V convention. It is immoral to dismiss their warnings:

Alexander Hamilton writes of “the utter improbability of assembling a new convention, under circumstances in any degree so favorable to a happy issue, as those in which the late convention met, deliberated, and concluded…”  Federalist No. 85 (9th para)

James Madison writes in his Nov. 2, 1788 letter to Turberville that an Art. V convention would give “the most violent partizans” and “individuals of insidious views” “a dangerous opportunity of sapping the very foundations of the fabric” of our Country. In Federalist No. 49, he shows that the convention method is NOT GOOD to correct breaches of the federal constitution because the People aren’t philosophers – they follow what influential people tell them! And the very legislators who caused the problem would get themselves seats at the convention so they could control the outcome.

Former US Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg reminds us in his Sep. 14, 1986 article in The Miami Herald, that at the convention of 1787, the delegates ignored their instructions from the Continental Congress and instead of proposing amendments to the Articles of Confederation, wrote a new Constitution. He warns that “…any attempt at limiting the agenda [of the convention] would almost certainly be unenforceable.”

Former US Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Berger warns in his June 1988 letter to Phyllis Schlafly that “there is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention”; “After a Convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the Convention if we don’t like its agenda”; and “A new Convention could plunge our Nation into constitutional confusion and confrontation at every turn…”

3 In Federalist No. 48, Madison refers to the 3 branches of the fed gov’t as “departments”.

4 Federalist No. 33 is devoted to the necessary and proper clause. Hamilton writes:

“What is a power, but the ability or faculty of doing a thing? What is the ability to do a thing, but the power of employing the MEANS necessary to its execution? What is a LEGISLATIVE power, but a power of making LAWS? What are the MEANS to execute a LEGISLATIVE power but LAWS? …. But the same process will lead to the same result, in relation to all other powers declared in the Constitution. And it is EXPRESSLY to execute these powers that the sweeping clause, as it has been affectedly called, authorizes the national legislature to pass all NECESSARY and PROPER laws…” (3rd para) [caps Hamilton’s; boldface mine]

In Federalist No. 44, under “The SIXTH and last class” of powers, Madison refers to the necessary and proper clause as a grant of power to Congress by which efficacy is given to all the rest of the powers and that “…Without the SUBSTANCE of this power, the whole Constitution would be a dead letter….” [caps Madison’s; boldface mine].

5 HERE is the CRS Report. The Report exposes as false the assurances that the States would be in control of a convention. The Report says:

“First, Article V delegates important and exclusive authority over the amendment process to Congress…” (page 4)

“Second . . . Congress has traditionally laid claim to broad responsibilities in connection with a convention, including . . . (4) determining the number and selection process for its delegates; (5) setting internal convention procedures, including formulae for allocation of votes among the states; . . .” (page 4)

“. . . [In previous bills filed in Congress] [a]pportionment of convention delegates among the states was generally set at the formula provided for the electoral college, with each state assigned a number equal to its combined Senate and House delegations. Some bills included the District of Columbia, assigning it three delegates, but others did not include the federal district. . .” (page 37)

“…A related question concerns vote allocation in an Article V Convention. Would delegates vote per capita, or would each state cast a single vote, during the convention’s deliberations, and on the final question of proposing amendments?. . .” [then follows a discussion of different views on this undecided issue] (page 41)

“Article V itself is silent on membership in an Article V Convention, so it is arguable that Congress, in summoning a convention to consider amendments, might choose to include the District of Columbia and U.S. territories as either full members at a convention, or possibly as observers. As noted previously, some versions of the Article V Convention procedures bills introduced in the late 20th century did provide for delegates representing the District of Columbia, although not for U.S. territories . . .” (page 42)

Page 40 of the Report shows there doesn’t seem to be any:

“. . . constitutional prohibition against [U.S.] Senators and Representatives serving as delegates to an Article V Convention. . . “

So! As the CRS Report states on page 27:

“In the final analysis, the question what sort of convention?” is not likely to be resolved unless or until the 34-state threshold has been crossed and a convention assembles.”

Do you see? But by then, it will be too late to stop it.

Furthermore, as all lawyers should know, since the power to call the Convention is delegated to Congress, the supreme Court is unlikely to interfere with Congress’ decisions in this regard because it is a “political question” for Congress alone to decide. See short discussion of “political questions” HERE.

6 See the Minutes of March 4, 1825 of the Board of Visitors of the University of Virginia (Thomas Jefferson & James Madison were present) where they acknowledged the authoritative status of The Federalist Papers and made them one of the texts books for the Law School.

7 See Robert Brown’s astute discussion of this issue in Mr. Brown’s Face Book Note HERE.

8 Give your Family and Country a wonderful gift: Everybody LEARN LOGIC – it’s fun to play the “spot the fallacy” game! These delightful books are marked 12 years and up, but much younger children can learn the fallacies. My Papa started teaching me before first grade. Look at The Fallacy Detective and The Thinking Toolbox. PH

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January 13, 2015 Posted by | Article V, Article V Convention, Convention of States project, Necessary and Proper clause, Rob Natelson | , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

How our Federal Constitution “Secures” our God Given Rights

By Publius Huldah

Our Declaration of Independence says the Creator God endowed us with Rights, and that the purpose of government is to “secure” the Rights God gave us.

What does this mean? How does a government go about “securing” God given rights?

I will show you.

The miracle of our federal Constitution was that it created a federal government which, by means of exercising the enumerated powers listed in the Constitution, was enabled to “secure” our God given Rights in specific ways.

It isn’t the federal government’s job to secure our God given Rights in all ways, just in the ways appropriate for the national government of a Federation.  Our Rights are to be secured in other ways by State governments. 1

The federal government is supposed to secure our right to life by:

  • Military defense (Art. I, § 8, cl. 11-16);
  • Laws against piracy and other felonies on the high seas (Art. I, § 8, cl. 10);
  • Prosecuting traitors (Art III, § 3);
  • Protecting us from invasion (Art IV, § 4); &
  • Restricting immigration (Art. I, § 9, cl. 1).

It is supposed to secure our property rights by:

  • Establishing a money system based on gold & silver and by establishing uniform weights & measures (Art I, § 8, cl 5);
  • Punishing counterfeiters (Art I, § 8, cl 6);
  • Establishing bankruptcy courts (Art I, § 8, cl 4);
  • Issuing patents & copyrights (Art I, § 8, cl 8); and by
  • Regulating trade & commerce so we can produce, sell, & prosper (Art. I, § 8, cl.3). The original intent of the interstate commerce clause was to prohibit the States from imposing taxes & tariffs on articles of commerce as they were transported thru the States for purposes of buying & selling. Go HERE for the Proof.

And it is supposed to secure our right to liberty by:

  • Laws against slavery (13th Amendment); 2
  • Providing fair trials in federal courts (4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th Amendments); and by
  • Obeying the Constitution! The reason our Constitution so strictly limits and enumerates the powers of the federal government is to secure our basic right to be left alone to live our lives free from meddlesome and interfering do-gooders, tyrants, bullies & thieves.

So!  THIS is how our federal Constitution implements that glorious Founding Principle that the purpose of government is to secure Rights God gave us – and I just listed for you most of the enumerated powers!

By exercising these enumerated powers, the federal government protects us from those who seek to take our Rights from us.

The federal government is never supposed to “secure” our Right to Life by giving us what we need to live. That could not be for it would require the federal government to take other peoples’ God given Property Rights away from them.

When a government secures God given Rights by protecting us from those who seek to take our rights away, we are never put in conflict with each other, because no one has his hand in anyone else’s pocket.

THIS is why our Declaration of Independence and Constitution were a Miracle.

But we abandoned this Miracle long ago when we let the federal government pervert our Constitution and abuse its power in order to benefit some at the expense of others. This is what turned us against each other.

So, what should we do?

Reclaim and Restore the Constitution our Framers gave us!

This is how we do it:

Learn the above; spread the word; and stop electing candidates who don’t know the lists of enumerated powers and who don’t sign an oath that they will obey. Hold candidate exams and test the candidates! Grill them!  Make them sweat.

Look for candidates who are willing to employ beneficial methods of financing 3 such grossly unconstitutional (and fiscally & morally destructive) programs as social security and Medicare as they are gradually phased out of existence.

Learn HERE about the remedy our Framers actually advised when the federal government usurps powers: Don’t comply – resist – nullify!

Beware of those Pushing for a Convention.

I have already shown – most recently HERE – that what these demagogues are saying is not true; and that the real purpose of a convention is the imposition of a new constitution.

Endnotes:

1 State governments are to secure our God given Rights in other ways: E.g., they secure our right to life by prosecuting murderers, drunk drivers, and outlawing abortion & euthanasia; they secure our rights to our own persons by prosecuting rapists & kidnappers; and they secure our property rights by prosecuting robbers, thieves & defrauders. They provide courts for peaceful resolution of private civil disputes.

2 Our Declaration of Independence states, as one of our Founding Principles, that “all men are created equal”. We were faithful to this Principle when we outlawed titles of nobility (Article I, §§ 9 & 10). But we violated this Principle when we permitted hereditary black slavery to continue.

3 E.g., vast holdings of unconstitutionally held federal lands could be sold to fund social security & Medicare as they are phased out of existence. PH

 

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December 1, 2014 Posted by | Declaration of Independence, Rights, secure these rights | , , | 20 Comments

Straight Talk About An Article V Convention

By Publius Huldah

This speech was presented to Campaign For Liberty – Memphis on March 24, 2014. It exposes some of the false claims made by those pushing for the so-called “convention of states”. 1

Below are hyperlinks to the exhibits referred to in the speech. Additional resources are also included.

The one page Chart which illustrates our Declaration, Constitution, and federal system is HERE.

The Congressional Research Service (CRS) Report 2 cited in the speech was dated March 7, 2014. CRS’s revised Report, dated April 11, 2014, is HERE.   The Report exposes as false the assurances that the States would be in control of a convention. The Report says:

“First, Article V delegates important and exclusive authority over the amendment process to Congress…” (page 4)

“Second . . . Congress has traditionally laid claim to broad responsibilities in connection with a convention, including . . . (4) determining the number and selection process for its delegates; (5) setting internal convention procedures, including formulae for allocation of votes among the states; . . .” (page 4) 3

“. . . [In previous bills filed in Congress] [a]pportionment of convention delegates among the states was generally set at the formula provided for the electoral college, with each state assigned a number equal to its combined Senate and House delegations. Some bills included the District of Columbia, assigning it three delegates, but others did not include the federal district. . .” (page 37; see also page 41)

“. . . A related question concerns vote allocation in an Article V Convention. Would delegates vote per capita, or would each state cast a single vote, during the convention’s deliberations, and on the final question of proposing amendments?. . .” [then follows a discussion of different views on this undecided issue] (page 41)

“Article V itself is silent on membership in an Article V Convention, so it is arguable that Congress, in summoning a convention to consider amendments, might choose to include the District of Columbia and U.S. territories as either full members at a convention, or possibly as observers. As noted previously, some versions of the Article V Convention procedures bills introduced in the late 20th century did provide for delegates representing the District of Columbia, although not for U.S. territories . . .” (page 42)

Page 40 of the Report shows there doesn’t seem to be any:

“. . . constitutional prohibition against [U.S.] Senators and Representatives serving as delegates to an Article V Convention. . . “

So! As the CRS Report states on page 27:

“In the final analysis, the question what sort of convention?” is not likely to be resolved unless or until the 34-state threshold has been crossed and a convention assembles.”

Do you see? But by then, it will be too late to stop it. HERE is former US Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger’s letter confirming this. 4

The text of the “parental rights” amendment is HERE. For two papers showing how Michael Farris’ proposed amendment delegates power over children to the federal and State governments, go HERE  and, for the follow up paper, HERE.

To see how six of Mark Levin’s so-called “liberty amendments” do the opposite of what he claims, go HERE.

To see – on one page – proof of the original intents of the “interstate commerce”, “general welfare”, and “necessary and proper” clauses, go HERE.

The proponents of a convention portray the States as victims of federal tyranny. But the Truth is that the States voluntarily surrendered their retained powers, and the natural rights of The People, TO the federal government. And they did it for federal funds. Today, States get from 20% (Alaska) to 45.3% (Mississippi) of their State budgets from the federal government. State governments don’t want to rein in the feds! The people who run your State will do anything to keep their federal funds. HERE is the Pew Report.

Our Framers – those who actually signed the Constitution – NEVER said the purpose of amendments is to rein in the feds if they usurp powers. What they actually said is:

  • amendments remedy defects in the Constitution (Hamilton at the federal convention on Sep. 10, 1787);
  • useful amendments would address the “organization of the government, not … the mass of its powers” (Federalist No. 85, 13th para); and
  • “amendment of errors” & “useful alterations” would be suggested by experience (Federalist No. 43 at 8.)

HERE are the Articles of Confederation. Note that Art. XIII required approval of amendments by every State.

HERE is the Resolution, made by the Continental Congress on February 21, 1787 (p 71-74), to call a convention to be held at Philadelphia:

“…for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”.

HERE is James Madison’s letter of Nov. 2, 1788 to Turberville. Copy it to word processing, make paragraph breaks, & highlight it. Madison NEVER supported the convention method of amending our Constitution.

HERE is Joe Wolverton’s article about the Socialists’ involvement in the push for a convention.

HERE is the Constitution for the Newstates of America. Article XII addresses ratification by a referendum called by the President. Read HERE about the proposed Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. Read them and see what is being planned for you by people you think are on your side.

HERE is the screen shot of Jordan Sillars’ comment re re-writing the Constitution.

For Q’s & A’s on this issue, go HERE.

Endnotes:

1 There is no such thing as a “convention of states” to propose amendments. The term is a marketing gimmick used by proponents of an Article V convention to manipulate people into believing that the States would control an Article V convention – from start to finish.

Article V, US Constitution, provides two methods for proposing amendments to the Constitution:

1. Congress proposes amendments and submits them to the States for ratification [the method we used for our existing 27 Amendments]; or

2. Congress calls a convention for the purpose of proposing amendments [for good reason, we have never used this method].

2 Even though we have never had an Article V convention; Congress has examined procedures for “calling” a convention so as to be ready if the need arises. The CRS Report proves that Congress has historically viewed its powers respecting “calling” a convention as exclusive and extensive. I thank Robert Brown for bringing the CRS Report to my attention.

3 The position Congress has historically taken in this regard is totally consistent with Article I, Sec. 8, last clause, which delegates to Congress power to make all laws “necessary and proper” to carry out the power vested in Congress at Art. V to “call” the convention.

4 Folks! For the sake of your Posterity, you must understand this: After a convention is convened, the delegates can do whatever they want – including coming up with an entirely new Constitution with its own new method of ratification. Chief Justice Burger wrote in his June 22, 1988 letter to Mrs. Phyllis Schlafly:

“… there is no effective way to limit or muzzle the actions of a Constitutional Convention. The Convention could make its own rules and set its own agenda. Congress might try to limit the Convention to one amendment or to one issue, but there is no way to assure that the Convention would obey. After a Convention is convened, it will be too late to stop the Convention if we don’t like its agenda. The meeting in 1787 ignored the limit placed by the Confederation Congress “for the sole and express purpose. . .”

The federal convention of 1787, which was called by the Continental Congress “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”, should serve as a warning: The delegates to the 1787 convention ignored their instructions from the Continental Congress [and from their States]; ignored Art. XIII of the Articles of Confederation which required the States to obey Congress on matters covered by the Articles, and wrote an entirely NEW Constitution with a NEW method of ratification which required only 9 of the 13 States for ratification.

Credits:  Many thanks to Devvy Kidd, Blue Tail Gadfly, and M. Craig Elachie, from whom I lifted the very best lines in the speech. PH

Posted October 11, 2014.

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October 11, 2014 Posted by | Amendments to the Constitution, Article V, Article V Convention, constitutional convention, Convention of States project, Federal Convention of 1787, James Madison, Jordan Sillars, Liberty Amendments, Mark Levin, Michael Farris, Necessary and Proper clause, Phony right wing, re-writing the Constitution, Retained Powers, The Liberty Amendments | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

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