Publius-Huldah's Blog

Understanding the Constitution

What the Framers really said about the purpose of amendments to our Constitution

By Publius Huldah

One of the silliest of the many unsupported claims made by those lobbying for an Article V convention is that our Framers said that when the federal government violates the Constitution, the remedy is to amend the Constitution.1

It shouldn’t be necessary to point out that their claim makes as much sense as saying that since people violate the Ten Commandments, God should amend the Ten Commandments.2

And since none of our Framers said such a silly thing, the convention lobby can’t produce a quote where it was said.

Even so, some have believed it and repeated it to others. Americans! We must demand that people prove their claims before we believe what they tell us.

I will show you original source documents, and you can see for yourself what our Framers really said about the purpose of amendments to our Constitution.

Madison’s Journal of the Federal Convention of 1787

James Madison was a delegate to the federal convention of 1787 where our present Constitution was drafted. He kept a daily Journal. I went through it, collected every reference to what became Article V, and wrote it up – here it is.

Madison’s Journal shows what our Framers said at the convention about the purpose of amendments to our Constitution:

♦ Elbridge Gerry said on June 5, 1787: the “novelty & difficulty of the experiment requires periodical revision.”

♦George Mason said on June 11, 1787: The Constitution now being formed “will certainly be defective,” as the Articles of Confederation have been found to be. “Amendments therefore will be necessary, and it will be better to provide for them, in an easy, regular and Constitutional way than to trust to chance and violence. It would be improper to require the consent of the Natl. Legislature, because they may abuse their power, and refuse their consent…The opportunity for such an abuse, may be the fault of the Constitution [i.e., a defect] calling for amendmt.” [boldface mine] 3

♦Alexander Hamilton said on Sep. 10, 1787: amendments remedy defects in the Constitution. 4

The Federalist Papers

In Federalist No. 43 at 8, Madison said the purpose of amendments to the Constitution is to repair “discovered faults” and “amendment of errors”; and “amendment of errors” and “useful alterations” would be suggested by experience.

In Federalist No. 85 (13th para), Hamilton said useful amendments would address the “organization of the government, not…the mass of its powers” 5

Throughout Federalist No. 49, Madison warned against a convention for proposing amendments, and showed that a convention is neither proper nor effective to restrain government when it encroaches.

Madison’s letter of August 28, 1830 to Edward Everett (p. 383-403)

Madison says:

“Should the provisions of the Constitution as here reviewed be found not to secure the Govt. & rights of the States agst. usurpations & abuses on the part of the U.S…” (p. 398)

So he is talking about provisions – defects – in the Constitution which permit the federal government to abuse the States. He goes on to say:

“…the final resort within the purview of the Constn. lies in an amendment of the Constn…” 6

So he’s saying that when a defect in the Constitution exposes the States to abuses by the federal government, the remedy is to amend the Constitution.

To fully grasp Madison’s point, we must look at his letter in its historical context of the Tariff Act of 1828: The southern states bought manufactured goods from England. England bought southern cotton. But infant industries in the Northeast couldn’t compete with the English imports. So during 1828, Congress passed a Tariff Act which imposed such high tariffs on English imports that the southern states could no longer buy them. England stopped buying southern cotton. This devastated the southern economy. So South Carolina wanted to nullify the Tariff Act (the “Tariff of Abominations”); and developed a theory that a State had a “constitutional right” to nullify any federal law, and the nullification would be presumed valid, unless three-fourths of the States said it wasn’t valid.

Madison opposed South Carolina’s theory because the Tariff Act was constitutional – it was authorized by Art. I, §8, cl. 1, US Constitution. States can’t nullify a constitutional law! 7

But while the Tariff Act was constitutional, it was abusive: Article I, §8, cl. 1 was being used to benefit infant industries in the Northeast at the expense of the southern states. 8

So what’s the remedy “within the purview of the Constitution” for the Tariff Act of 1828? Madison doesn’t spell it out – but obviously Art. I, §8, cl. 1 could be amended to say that Congress may impose tariffs only to raise revenue to carry out the enumerated powers; and may not impose tariffs in order to benefit domestic industries, or to benefit one section of the Country at the expense of other sections. 9

Washington’s Farewell Address

In his Address, Washington warns that we must require people in the federal government to confine themselves within their constitutional powers; and we must not permit one department [branch] of the federal government to encroach on the powers of the other departments (p. 15-19). He then says,

“If in the opinion of the people the distribution or modification of the constitutional powers be in any particular wrong, let it be corrected by an amendment in the way which the Constitution designates. But let there be no change by usurpation; for though this, in one instance, may be the instrument of good, it is the customary weapon by which free governments are destroyed.” (p.19)

So Washington is talking about what the people may come to see as defects in the Constitution:

♦ If we want one branch of the federal government to have a power which the Constitution delegates to another branch, we should amend the Constitution to redistribute that power.10

♦ If we want the federal government to have a power the Constitution doesn’t grant, we should amend the Constitution to delegate the additional power. No matter how desirable it is for the federal government to have the additional power, we must not permit it to exercise the power by usurpation.11

And this is what Alexander Hamilton, who along with James Madison assisted Washington in drafting his Farewell Address, 12 had previously said in Federalist No. 78: The representatives of the people [Congress] may not violate the Constitution even if a majority of their constituents want them to:

“…Until the people have, by some solemn and authoritative act, annulled or changed the established form, it is binding upon themselves collectively, as well as individually; and no presumption, or even knowledge, of their sentiments, can warrant their representatives in a departure from it, prior to such an act…” (5th para from the end)

Our Constitution isn’t defective, it’s ignored!

Our Constitution is a 5,000 year miracle. Our problem is everyone ignores it. The solution is to dust it off, read it, learn it, and enforce it. Downsize the federal government to its enumerated powers.

Demand Proof of what people say before you believe them.

If Americans would follow the example of the Bereans (Acts 17:11) and demand proof of the claims the convention lobby makes, they would spot the false claims and preserve our blessed Constitution. Judges & Juries require trial lawyers to prove their claims. Demand the same from lobbyists for a convention!

Endnotes:

1 Michael Farris claimed [but couldn’t link to a quote because Mason didn’t say it]:

“George Mason demanded that this provision [the convention method of proposing amendments] be included in Article V because he correctly forecast the situation we face today. He predicted that Washington, D.C. would violate its constitutional limitations and the States would need to make adjustments to the constitutional text in order to rein in the abuse of power by the federal government.”

2 Amendments can’t “rein in” the fed. gov’t when it “violate[s] its constitutional limitations” because when it does so, it is ignoring the existing limitations on its powers. Hello?

3 Mason’s concern was that the new fed. gov’t wouldn’t agree to amendments needed to correct defects in the new Constitution:

♦ Under the Articles of Confederation (our 1st Constitution), amendments had to be approved by the Continental Congress and all of the States (see ART. 13). So Art. V of the new Constitution dispensed with the requirement that Congress approve amendments.

♦ Who should be able to propose amendments? Madison wanted Congress to propose all amendments, either on their own initiative or at the request of 2/3 of the States. But Mason said the States should be able to propose amendments without asking Congress because Congress might become oppressive and not permit the States to get the necessary amendments.

So the convention method was added. And it provided a way for States to propose amendments. But it also provided a convenient opportunity to get a new Constitution, since the delegates would have that transcendent right, recognized in our Declaration of Independence, to throw off one government and write a new constitution which creates a new government.

George Mason hated the new Constitution. He said on Aug. 31, 1787 that he “would sooner chop off his right hand than put it to the Constitution as it now stands”; and if it wasn’t changed to suit his views, he wanted another convention. Everybody knew that to get a new Constitution, you need a convention.

Madison and the other Framers went along with adding the convention method because they knew the people had the right to meet in convention and draft a new Constitution whether or not the convention method was added to Art. V [e.g., Madison’s letter of Nov. 2, 1788 to Turberville p. 299 at 2.]; and they couldn’t stop People in the future from doing what they had just done. So Madison, Hamilton & John Jay promptly started warning of the dangers of another convention: see the Brilliant Men handout.

4 Here’s an illustration of what States soon saw as a defect in our Constitution: Art. III, §2, cl. 1 delegated to federal courts the power to hear cases “between a State and Citizens of another State”. But when a citizen of South Carolina sued the State of Georgia, the States were outraged! See Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 U.S. 419 (1793). So the 11th Amendment was ratified to take away from federal courts the power to hear such cases.

5 The Constitution drafted at the federal convention of 1787 delegates only a tiny handful of powers to the fed. gov’t. See this chart.

6 Madison continues, “… according to a process applicable by the States.” Madison always said that when States want amendments, they should ask their congressional delegation to propose them. E.g., Madison’s letter of Nov. 2, 1788 to Turberville (p. 299 at 2.).

7 See Madison’s Notes on Nullification (1835) HERE (p. 573-607).

8 The Tariff Act of 1828 violated our Founding Principle (2nd para of the Declaration of Independence) that the purpose of government is to secure the rights God gave us. God never gave us the right to be free of competition in business.

9 In the very next paragraph, Madison says that when there is a pattern of usurpations and abuses, we must step outside of the Constitution and resort to the original right of self-defense: resistance, i.e., nullification or revolution (p. 398).

10 E.g., Art. I, §8, cl. 11 delegates to Congress the power to declare war. But if we want the President to have that power, we should amend the Constitution to delegate that power to the President. We must not permit the President to exercise that power by usurpation!

11 If we wanted the fed. gov’t to exercise power over labor unions, wages & hours, safety standards, food & drugs, manufacturing standards, agriculture, energy, housing, transportation, education, medical care, the environment, etc., etc., etc., we should have amended the Constitution to delegate those powers to the fed. gov’t. But we ignored Washington’s advice, and permitted the fed. gov’t to exercise those powers by usurpation.

12 The Introduction to the Farewell Address (p. 3) says that George Washington composed it with the assistance of Alexander Hamilton and James Madison.

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November 11, 2018 Posted by | Amendments to the Constitution, Article V, Article V Convention, Convention of States project, Federalist No. 49, George Mason, James Madison, Madison's Journal of the Federal Convention of 1787, Madison's letter to Edward Everett, Michael Farris, Publius Huldah, Purpose of amendments to constitution, The Ten Commandments, Washington's Farewell Address, What our Framers gave us, what our Framers really said, why convention was added to Art. V | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Exposing the real agenda behind the push for an Article V convention

This presentation was given on April 17, 2017 at the beautiful old Supreme Court Chamber at the Tennessee Capitol Building in Nashville.

Exhibit List

The proposed Constitution for the Newstates of America is HERE

The Chart which illustrates our Declaration, Constitution, federal structure, and enumerated powers is HERE.

The text of the “parental rights” amendment is HERE.

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

Federalist No. 16 is HERE.  See next to last paragraph.

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

HERE is a synopsis of what happened at the Federal Convention of 1787 re the development of Article V with links to the pages in Madison’s Journal of the Federal Convention.

Our Framers NEVER said the purpose of amendments is to restrain the feds if they usurp powers. What they actually said is:

The “novelty & difficulty of the experiment requires periodical revision” (Gerry at the federal convention on June 5, 1787);

“The plan now to be formed will certainly be defective, as the Confederation [Articles of Confederation] has been found on trial to be. Amendments therefore will be necessary, and it will be better to provide for them, in an easy, regular and Constitutional way than to trust to chance and violence. It would be improper to require the consent of the Natl. Legislature, because they may abuse their power, and refuse their consent on that very account….”(Geo. Mason at the federal convention on June 11, 1787);

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);

“amendment of errors” & “useful alterations” would be suggested by experience (Federalist No. 43 at 8.)

The Congressional Research Service 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)

“. . . [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 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.”

In other words, we’ll have to get a convention before we know how it is going to operate. But by then, it will be too late to stop it. And if the proceedings are secret, we won’t find out anything until they are finished.

The Chart which shows who (States, Congress, & Delegates) has the power to do what respecting an Art. V convention is HERE.

HERE is Rob Natelson’s speech of Sep. 16, 2010 announcing that he would no longer call it a “constitutional convention”, but would henceforth call it among other things, “a convention of states”. (page 2)

HERE are the Articles of Confederation, our first Constitution. Article XIII required approval of amendments by the Continental Congress and by every State.

HERE is Federalist No. 40 (James Madison) See especially the 15th para.

HERE is the Resolution of the Continental Congress dated Feb. 21, 1787, to call a convention to be held at Philadelphia,

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

HERE are the Credentials of the Delegates to the Federal Convention of 1787 and instructions from their States. These Instructions encompassed:

“alterations to the Federal Constitution which, when agreed to by Congress and the several States, would become effective”: Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Georgia, S. Carolina, Maryland, & New Hampshire.

“for the purpose of revising the Federal Constitution”: Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Delaware, and Georgia;

“for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”: New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

“provisions to make the Constitution of the federal Government adequate”: New Jersey

Rhode Island boycotted the convention.

HERE is the proposed Constitution for the Newstates of America. Article XII, Sec. 1 (page 27) addresses ratification by a national referendum.

Read HERE about the proposed Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America. It was prepared by the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. HERE is the text of their proposed Constitution.

Read HERE about The Constitution 2020 movement funded by George Soros and supported by Marxist law professors throughout the Country as well as Cass Sunstein and Eric Holder. They want a Progressive Constitution in place by the year 2020.

Read HERE about the Council on Foreign Relations’ (CFR) Task Force Report on the North American Union. Canada, the US, and Mexico are to merge and a Parliament will be set up over the 3 countries. The CFR site has a link to the Task Force Report. Read it!

News Flash:  The CFR has removed the Task Force Report from their website.  Now, one must purchase a copy.  It’s on Amazon

Update Jan. 8, 2018:  The Task Force Report is back up on the CFR web page.  GET IT WHILE YOU CAN – IT LAYS OUT WHAT THE GLOBALISTS HAVE PLANNED FOR US

It is not the “grass roots” which is pushing for an Article V convention. The big money is behind it. See THIS and THIS.

James Madison’s Journal of the Federal Convention of 1787 shows that on May 29, 1787, the delegates to that convention voted to make their proceedings secret.

Here is Federalist No. 49 where James Madison warned against having a convention to address breaches of the federal Constitution.

HERE is James Madison’s letter of Nov. 2, 1788 to Turberville warning of the terrible dangers of an Article V convention. Madison NEVER supported the convention method of amending our Constitution.

Here is Federalist No. 85 (last para) where Alexander Hamilton said he “dreads” the prospect of another convention because the enemies of the Constitution want to get rid of it.

  • [Note: Our Constitution was ratified by the 9th State on June 21, 1788. Federalist No. 85 was published during mid-August 1788. The anti-federalists wanted to get rid of our Constitution. They argued that our Constitution isn’t perfect – so we should have another convention so we can get a new Constitution. They also argued that Amendments to our Constitution are too hard to get it. Those were the arguments which Hamilton addressed in Federalist No. 85.]

Here is Justice Arthur Goldberg’s op ed in The Miami Herald of Sep. 14, 1986 where he warns us that “…any attempt at limiting the agenda would almost certainly be unenforceable.”

HERE is Chief Justice Warren Burger’s June 22, 1988 letter to Phyllis Schlafly:

“…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 * * * A new Convention could plunge our Nation into constitutional confusion and confrontation at every turn…”

Justice Scalia said on April 17, 2014 at the 1:06 mark of this video

“I certainly would not want a Constitutional Convention. I mean whoa. Who knows what would come out of that?”

  • [The convention lobby quotes Law Professor Scalia from 1979, when he didn’t object to an Article V convention. By 2014, the wiser Justice Scalia had changed his mind & now “feared” a convention.]

HERE are additional letters and articles by eminent Jurists and scholars to the same effect.

HERE is where James Madison said our Constitution depends on the people having the “virtue and intelligence to select men of virtue and wisdom” to office. [see text at 223]

Since the States created the federal government, they are the final authority on whether their creature has violated the constitutional compact the States made with each other. Those are our Framers’ words you can find them HERE and HERE.

HERE is the Pew Report: At the “select a state” box, you can find out what percentage of your State government’s revenue was from federal funds.

For a model Rescission Resolution, go HERE and then scroll down to “Take Action”.

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April 19, 2017 Posted by | Amendments to the Constitution, Article V, Article V Convention, constitutional convention, Convention of States project, Council on Foreign Relations, Declaration of Independence, Delegates to a convention can't be controlled, Faithful Delegate Laws, Federal Convention of 1787, George W. Bush, Mark Levin, North American Union, not on the list | , , , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

Convention Supporters’ Myths about State Control of Delegates

By Publius Huldah

Convention supporters assure us that the States will have control over Delegates to an Article V convention.

That is not true.

The Truth is States have no power over the convention at Art. V.  All they can do is “apply” to Congress for Congress to “call” a convention. THIS CHART by Judi Caler shows who has the power to do what respecting an Article V convention.

Delegates to an Article V convention are performing a federal function – they are not under the authority of the States.

Furthermore, Delegates are the sovereign representatives of The People and thus are vested with plenipotentiary powers to alter or abolish our form of government – our Constitution (Declaration of Independence, 2nd para).

This has already happened once in our history:

At the Federal Convention of 1787, this plenipotentiary power was exercised to replace our first Constitution, the Articles of Confederation, with the Constitution we now have. On February 21, 1787, the Continental Congress called a convention “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”. But instead of proposing amendments to our first Constitution, the Delegates wrote a new Constitution – the one we now have.

Furthermore, the new Constitution had a new and easier mode of ratification: Article XIII of The Articles of Confederation (p 8-9) provided that Amendments to the Articles had to be approved by the Continental Congress and all of the then 13 States. But the new Constitution, drafted at the “amendments” convention of 1787, provided at Art. VII thereof that it would be ratified upon approval by only nine of the then existing 13 States.

And the Delegates to that convention disregarded the instructions of their States as well as the instructions of the Continental Congress.

So! Not only do Delegates to a national convention have this plenipotentiary power to impose a new Constitution; the precedent to do so has already been established.

It is child’s play to figure out how to get around State’s “faithful delegate” laws.  This is how to do it:

Delegates can vote to make the proceedings secret – that’s what they did on May 29, 1787 at the federal convention where our present Constitution was drafted.

  • If the proceedings are secret, the States won’t know what is going on – and can’t stop it.
  • And if Delegates vote by secret ballot – the States would never know who did what.

So!  Do you see?  It would be impossible for States to prosecute Delegates who ignore State instructions.

Is it any wonder that James Madison, and Supreme Court Justices Arthur J. Goldberg and Warren Burger said that Delegates to an Article V convention can’t be controlled?

When James Madison and two former US Supreme Court Justices have warned that delegates to an Article V convention can’t be controlled, it is wicked to dismiss their warnings as “fear mongering”.

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January 27, 2016 Posted by | Article V, Article V Convention, constitutional convention, Delegates to a convention can't be controlled, Federal Convention of 1787 | , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 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 | , , , , , , | 6 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 | , , , , , , , | 34 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 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 appointed Delegates and  instructed them to propose amendments 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 the Continental Congress and 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 Foundation 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 text of their proposed constitution is HERE.

♦ 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.

Do you know about the North American Union (NAU)?  During 2005, George W. Bush met on his ranch with the Prime Minister of Canada and the President of Mexico and they sketched it out.  The three countries merge and a Parliament is set up over them.  HERE is the Task Force Report on the NAU by the Council of Foreign Relations – Heidi Cruz was on the Task Force which wrote this up.  The United States will need a new Constitution wherein we surrender our sovereignty to the North American Union.   People!  If there is an Art. V convention, the Delegates can impose such a new Constitution with whatever mode of ratification will guarantee approval; and before you know it, we will be a Member State of the NAU.

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); and that he “dreaded” the consequences of a new convention because he knows that there are powerful individuals in several States who are enemies to having any kind of general [federal] government.  This could result in our losing the Constitution we have (No. 85, last 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, Madison 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…” 

♦ Former US Supreme Court Justice Scalia said on April 17, 2014 at the beginning of this video:

“I certainly would not want a Constitutional Convention. I mean whoa. Who knows what would come out of that?”

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? Alexander Hamilton and James Madison (father of our Constitution), opponents 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?

♦  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 used and always advised.

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

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

♦  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.

♦ Delegates to an Article V convention are performing a federal function – they are not under the authority of the States.

♦  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.

 

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.

Article XIII of the Articles of Confederation required approval of amendments by the Continental Congress and by every State.

HERE [from Farrand’s Records, vol. 3, Appendix B, p. 559-586] are the Credentials of the Delegates to the Federal Convention of 1787 and Instructions from their States.  These Instructions encompassed:

♠ “alterations to the Federal Constitution which, when agreed to by Congress and the several States, would become effective“:  Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Georgia, S. Carolina, Maryland, & New Hampshire;

♠ “for the purpose of revising the Federal Constitution”: Virginia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Delaware, and Georgia; 

♠ “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”: New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut;

♠ “provisions to make the Constitution of the federal Government adequate”: New Jersey.

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

Published Feb 1, 2015
Revised July 9 &10, 2015; Oct 25, 2015; Jan 8, 2017

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February 1, 2015 Posted by | Amendments to the Constitution, Article V, Article V Convention, Convention of States project, Delegates to a convention can't be controlled, Faithful Delegate Laws, New Hampshire Faithful Delegate Law, North American Union | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 58 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 | , , , , , , , , | 19 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 | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

We Don’t Need an Article V Convention to “Clarify” Our Constitution!

By Publius Huldah

Those pushing for the so-called “convention of states” 1 say we must amend the Constitution because the people in Washington “don’t understand it”.

Rubbish!

Our Constitution is so simple that Alexander Hamilton expected us to be “enlightened enough to distinguish between a legal exercise and an illegal usurpation of authority”; and he said the people are “the natural guardians of the Constitution” (Federalist No. 16, next to last para).

Well then, if our Constitution is something The People are expected to know and enforce; is it plausible to assert that the Representatives we send to Washington – and even supreme Court Justices – are incapable of understanding it?

Justices on the supreme Court have been perverting our Constitution for a long time. Do they do this because they are so stupid they don’t understand our Constitution? Of course not! They violate our Constitution because they claim the right to impose their own personal views on the rest of us.

As every American over the age of 10 should know, the powers our federal Constitution delegates to Congress and the President are limited & defined – they are “enumerated”.

So! Progressives on the supreme Court had to find a way to get around the limitations imposed by the enumerated powers. And they did it by perverting three clauses: the “interstate commerce”, “general welfare”, and “necessary and proper” clauses.

However, a quick look in The Federalist Papers shows the original intents of these clauses. We don’t need a convention to draft amendments showing what these clauses mean – just look it up in The Federalist! But! You don’t have to – I’ve already done it – and here it is: 2

The “interstate commerce” clause (Art. I, §8, cl. 3)

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary says “commerce” is the buying and selling of goods.

In Federalist No. 22 (4th para) and Federalist No. 42 (9th & 10th paras), Hamilton and Madison explain the primary purpose of the clause: To prohibit the States from imposing taxes & tolls on merchandize as it is transported through the States for purposes of buying and selling.

The “general welfare” clause (Preamble & Art. I, §8, cl. 1)

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines “welfare” as:

“2. Exemption from any unusual evil or calamity; the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, or the ordinary blessings of society and civil government; applied to states.”

It has nothing to do with handouts, public relief, or the feds doing whatever they think is a good idea.

In Federalist No. 41 (last 4 paras), Madison points out that Art. I, § 8, employs “general terms” which are “immediately” followed by the “enumeration of particular powers” which “explain and qualify”, by a “recital of particulars”, the “general phrase”. It is “error” to focus on “general expressions” and disregard “the specifications which ascertain and limit their import”; thus, to argue that the general expression provides an unlimited power is “an absurdity”.

So yes! The powers of Congress over the Country at Large really are limited primarily to those few listed at Art. I, §8, clauses 3-16.

Our Framers understood that “general Welfare”, i.e., the enjoyment of peace and prosperity, and the enjoyment of the ordinary blessings of society and civil government, was possible only with a federal government of strictly limited powers. [Let that sink in.]

The “necessary and proper” clause (Art. I, §8, last clause)

This clause delegates to Congress power to pass all laws necessary and proper to execute its declared powers (Federalist No. 29, 4th para); “the constitutional operation of the intended government would be precisely the same if [this clause] were entirely obliterated as if [it] were repeated in every article”; a power to do something must be a power to pass all laws necessary and proper for the execution of that power, and thus the clause is “perfectly harmless”, a  “tautology or redundancy” (Federalist No. 33, 2nd & 3rd paras). Madison writes to the same effect in (Federalist No. 44, under his discussion of the SIXTH class of powers).

So the clause permits the execution of powers already delegated and enumerated in the Constitution.  No additional substantive powers are granted by the clause.

Learn the enumerated powers delegated to Congress & to the President. With our Votes & Nullification of unconstitutional acts, let’s enforce the Constitution we already have. Don’t let others change or replace it! PH

Endnotes:

1 The term, “convention of states”, is deliberately deceptive. The only convention for proposing amendments is the one at Article V of our Constitution – and Congress has the power to “call” it. And since Article I, Sec. 8, last clause, vests in Congress all powers “necessary and proper” to carry out its power to “call” the convention, Congress decides all organizational issues, such as, the number and selection process for delegates.

But once the delegates (whoever they turn out to be) are seated, neither Congress nor the States have any control over them. The delegates can do whatever they want. They can propose a new Constitution with a new method of ratification. Here are two Constitutions already waiting in the wings: The “Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America”, which you can read about from their own website HERE and from JBS HERE; or the “Constitution for the Newstates of America”, which you can read HERE. Do you think that any of the delegates (remember, you have no idea who they will be), can be bribed to introduce and vote for one of these proposed constitutions?

Disabuse yourself of the false notion that “the States have to ratify anything the convention does”. That is the second biggest lie ever told: The proposed “Constitution for the Newstates of America” is ratified by a Referendum called by the President. The States, as political bodies, never get the opportunity to reject it – they are dissolved and replaced by regions answerable directly to the new national government.

The ONLY precedent we have for an “amendments convention” is the federal convention of 1787 which drafted & proposed our existing Constitution.

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”.

The delegates ignored their instructions from the Continental Congress (and from their respective States) and wrote an entirely new Constitution – the one we now have. Furthermore, whereas Article XIII of the Articles of Confederation (LINK) required all of the then 13 States to ratify Amendments to the Articles; Article VII of the new Constitution required only 9 of the 13 States to ratify the new Constitution.

Do you see?

2 Our People don’t have a clue about what these 3 clauses mean. So YOU learn the original intent. On social media, start teaching that original intent to The People. Help turn on the lights in their minds. PH

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September 21, 2014 Posted by | Article V, Article V Convention, Convention of States project, Federal Convention of 1787, General Welfare Clause, Guardians of the Constitution, Interstate Commerce Clause, Necessary and Proper clause | , , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

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