Publius-Huldah's Blog

Understanding the Constitution

Honest discourse about Article V convention needed

By Publius Huldah

Whether States should ask Congress to call a convention under Article V of our federal Constitution is one of the most important issues of our time. The Delegates to such a convention, as Sovereign Representatives of The People, have the power to throw off the Constitution we have and set up a new Constitution – with a new and easier mode of ratification – which creates a new government.1

Americans need the Truth. But former law professor Rob Natelson’s recent article in The Hill is filled with ad hominems and misstatements. Natelson is legal advisor for pro-convention groups such as “Convention of States Project” (COSP).

“Poisoning the well” fallacy

Natelson characterizes those who oppose an Article V convention as “big government advocates”; “Washington insiders” who protect “judges and politicians who abuse their positions”; chanters of “talking points” from the “disinformation campaign” of the 1960s and early 1970s who have “no real expertise on the subject”; and, like those involved in “voter suppression efforts”, use “fear and disinformation” to discourage citizens from exercising their rights.

And while such tactics clearly resonate with COSP’s cheerleading squad; 2 others immediately recognize the preemptive ad hominem attack known as the “poisoning the wellfallacy. That fallacy is committed when one primes the audience with adverse information or false allegations about the opponent, in an attempt to bolster his own claim or discount the credibility of the opponent.

Obviously, Natelson’s characterizations don’t constitute proof that he is right, and opponents are wrong.

Misrepresentations, omissions, and irrelevant “academic research”

1. Natelson asserts:

“Our founders designed this [Article V convention] as a way the people could fix the federal government if it became abusive or dysfunctional”.

But he presents no proof – and can’t because no one at the federal convention of 1787 (where our present Constitution was drafted) said such a thing. As proved in The George Mason Fabrication, the Delegates agreed that the purpose of amendments is to correct defects in the Constitution.

2. Natelson asserts:

“Any proposals must… be ratified by 38 states before they become law.”

That’s not true. While any amendments to our Constitution must be ratified by 38 States; our Declaration of Independence says it’s the “self-evident” Right of a People to abolish their government and set up a new one.

We invoked that Right in 1776 to throw off the British Monarchy.

In 1787, we invoked that Right to throw off our first Constitution, the Articles of Confederation; and set up a new Constitution – the one we now have – which created a new government.

How did we get from our first Constitution to our second Constitution? There was a convention to propose amendments to 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”.

But the Delegates ignored this limitation – they ignored the instructions from their States – and they wrote our second Constitution.

And in Federalist No. 40 (15th para), James Madison invoked the “precious right” of a People to throw off one government and set up a new one, as justification for what they did at the federal “amendments” convention of 1787.

We can’t stop that from happening at another convention. Furthermore, any new constitution will have its own mode of ratification. Whereas Art. 13 of the Articles of Confederation required amendments to be approved by the Continental Congress and all of the then 13 States; the new Constitution provided at Article VII that it would be ratified by 9 States.

Any proposed third constitution will have its own mode of ratification. The proposed Constitution for the Newstates of America is ratified by a national referendum (Art. XII, §1). The States don’t ratify it – they are dissolved and replaced by regional governments answerable to the new national government.

3. Natelson asserts that “academic research” shows:

“…how the convention is chosen and operates: It is a meeting of state representatives of a kind very common in U.S. history…The convention follows a pre-set agenda and attendees are subject to state legislative direction.”

Natelson’s “meetings” are irrelevant:  they weren’t constitutional conventions called to propose changes to our Constitution!

Furthermore, Natelson doesn’t mention the one relevant convention we have had in this Country: the federal “amendments” convention of 1787. That convention involved Delegates who ignored the instructions from their States 3 and from the Continental Congress, and resulted in a new Constitution with a new and easier mode of ratification. That is the only “meeting” which is relevant to the convention Congress has the power to call under Article V of our Constitution.

The “calling” of a convention by Congress is governed – not by Natelson’s “meetings” – but by provisions in our Constitution. Article V delegates to Congress the power to “call” a convention; and Article I, § 8, last clause, delegates to Congress the power to make laws “necessary and proper” to carry out that power.

As to the sovereign powers of Delegates, look to the Declaration of Independence, the federal “amendments” convention of 1787, and Federalist No. 40 – not to Natelson’s “meetings”.

4. In an earlier article, Georgetown law professor David Super cited Coleman v. Miller (1939) to show that as amending the Constitution is a “political question”; the courts are unlikely to intervene. 4

Natelson responded that Coleman is a 79-year old “minority opinion the courts have long repudiated”; but doesn’t show where the Supreme Court “repudiated” its opinion.

What Coleman shows is this: we can’t expect federal courts to make Delegates obey instructions. No one has power over Delegates – Delegates can take down one government and set up a new one.

Conclusion

Here’s an idea: Let’s all read our Declaration of Independence and Constitution; elect only people who have also read them, know what they say, and agree to obey; and then let’s downsize the federal government to its enumerated powers.

Endnotes:

1 This is why James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, four Supreme Court Justices, and other luminaries warned against an Article V convention.

2 At 5:25-7:35 mark. Archived HERE.

3 The States’ instructions are HERE at endnote 9.

4 Professor Super is right: When the Constitution delegates a power to one of the “political” branches [legislative or executive], federal courts [“judicial” branch] traditionally abstain from interfering and substituting their judgment for that of the branch to which the power was delegated.

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June 24, 2018 Posted by | Article V Convention, constitutional convention, convention lobby, Convention of States project, Delegates to a convention can't be controlled, James Madison, Professor David Super, Rob Natelson | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

The “Compact” Gimmick to circumvent the Powers granted to Congress by Article V

By Publius Huldah

The supremacy clause at Article VI, clause 2, US Constitution, says:

“This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”

Two bills produced by the Convention of States Project (COSP), SJR 31 & HJR 49, which purport to provide for the selection and control of “commissioners” to an “interstate convention” for “proposing amendments” to our federal Constitution, were filed in the Virginia General Assembly this past session.  The General Assembly postponed consideration of the bills until 2019.

The bills assert that such an “interstate convention” is authorized by Article I, §10, clause 3; the 10th Amendment; and Article V of our Constitution.

As shown below, the bills are unconstitutional because they seek to circumvent Article V; and are not encompassed within Article I, §10, clause 3, or the 10th Amendment. Under the supremacy clause, they would be struck down.

1. What Article V says about amending our Constitution

Article V says:

“The Congress, whenever two thirds of both Houses shall deem it necessary, shall propose Amendments to this Constitution, or, on the Application of the Legislatures of two thirds of the several States, shall call a Convention for proposing amendments…”

Our existing 27 Amendments were obtained under the first method: Congress proposed them and sent them to the States for ratification or rejection.

We’ve never had a convention under Article V – they are dangerous! If Congress calls an Article V convention, our existing Constitution could be replaced with a new Constitution which sets up a completely new structure of government. 1

Nevertheless, the People granted to Congress at Article V the power to “call” a convention; and to the Delegates to the convention, the power to “propose amendments”. 2

Yet COSP, in brazen disregard of the plain meaning of Article V, has long insisted that the States “call” the convention; the States propose the amendments for the convention to rubberstamp; and the States will have total control over the Delegates to the convention.

SJR 31 & HJR 49 are an implicit admission that we who oppose an Article V convention have proved our point: Congress really does “call” the Convention; and pursuant to its grant of power to “call” the convention, Congress really is granted by Article I, §8, last clause, the power to make all laws “necessary and proper” to carry out the powers granted to Congress by Article V; and the States actually have no power over an Article V convention – except to ask Congress to “call” one. 3

The Congressional Research Service Report dated April 11, 2014 likewise reflects Congress’ clear awareness that it alone has the power to organize and set up an Article V 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; 4 (5) setting internal convention procedures, including formulae for allocation of votes among the states; . . .” [page 4] [italics added]

And contrary to COSP’s previous assurances that the States would have total control over an Article V convention, the CRS Report says 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 what the Delegates are going to do!

2. The new Gimmick to circumvent Congress’ powers under Article V

SJR 31 & HJR 49 make the bizarre claim that Article I, §10, clause 3, which says:

“No State shall, without the Consent of Congress … enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State…”,

is really talking about an “interstate convention” for the States to meet and “propose amendments” to our Constitution!

First of all, our federal Constitution doesn’t address “interstate conventions”! 5 State and local governments and private organizations may hold nationwide conventions (gatherings) on an endless list of matters: trade shows, book fairs, sports events, high school marching band contests, agricultural fairs, meetings of County Sheriffs, whatever they like! And they don’t need permission from Congress.

Secondly, a “Compact with another State within the meaning of Article I, §10, clause 3, is separate, distinct, and totally unrelated to the Article V convention called by Congress for the purpose of addressing our federal Constitution. “Compact”, as used in Article I, §10, clause 3, means binding agreements or contracts between States which deal with state matters. Traditionally, “compacts” have been used to resolve such matters as boundary disputes between States; and may be used to address various other issues between States. 6

Article V governs amendments to our Constitution – not Article I, §10, clause 3!  Virginia may not lawfully set up any gimmick to circumvent the powers granted by Article V to Congress. And Congress may not lawfully approve a “compact” which violates our Constitution!

Thirdly, SJR 31 & HJR 49 claim the 10th Amendment gives States the power to hold an “interstate convention” to propose amendments to the Constitution. Rubbish! The 10th Amendment addresses powers “reserved to the States…or to the people.” It is inapplicable here because no powers respecting an Article V convention were reserved to the States: The People granted to Congress the power to “call” an Article V convention; and to the Delegates, the power to “propose amendments”. The only power the States have is to ask Congress to call the convention.

Once the requisite number of States has applied to Congress, it’s out of the States’ hands. Pursuant to Article I, § 8, last clause; 7 Congress has the power to make all laws necessary and proper to carry out its power to “call” the convention. And then, our Fate is in the hands of the Delegates; and they can do whatever they want – as they did in 1787.

3. The new Gimmick attempts to circumvent the Plenipotentiary Powers of the Delegates to an Article V Convention.

Article V shows on its face that the convention is the deliberative body. The Delegates hold the Power to “propose amendments”; or, to do what our Framers did at the federal “amendments” convention of 1787 (invoke the 2nd paragraph of the Declaration of Independence) and write a new Constitution which creates a new government.

So, while the States are free to propose amendments to their Congressional Delegations [and this is what James Madison advised]; 8 the States have no authority to dictate the amendments to be proposed at the convention called by Congress.

And as shown in “Why states can’t prevent a runaway convention” and “Delegates to an Article V Convention can’t be controlled by state laws! attempts to control Delegates with “unfaithful delegate” laws are laughably ineffective.

Apparently, COSP now concedes that “unfaithful delegate” bills won’t work, since with SJR 31 & HJR 49, COSP attempts to circumvent the plenipotentiary powers held by Delegates to an Article V convention, by fabricating a new kind of convention (meeting) out of Article I, § 10, clause 3!

4. The solution is to enforce the Constitution we already have

Americans don‘t know what our Constitution says and don’t care what it says. They want what they want; and elect politicians like themselves. The politicians made a mess. To fix the mess, Americans must read our Declaration of Independence and Constitution, and enforce them with their votes and by repudiating unconstitutional federal programs. State and local governments must enforce our Constitution by renouncing federal funds to implement unconstitutional programs and by nullification. See also James Madison’s specific suggestions on how States & Citizens can resist federal usurpations.

End notes:

1 This is why Brilliant Men (Madison, Hamilton, four US Supreme Court Justices, and other eminent jurists and scholars) warned against another convention. And this flyer sets forth the Facts of the federal “amendments convention” of 1787 at which our existing Constitution was drafted to replace our first Constitution (the Articles of Confederation).

2 The issue in U.S. v. Sprague (1931) 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 18th Amendment by State Legislatures instead of by conventions in each State.

3 THIS handy chart lists who has the power to do what respecting an Article V convention.

4 Congress is under no obligation to permit States to participate in the Convention. Congress has the power to appoint its own members, federal judges, or whomever else they want as Delegates!

5 “Convention” has several meanings. It can be a meeting or gathering, such as a national convention of County Court Clerks or architects; or it can refer to a treaty with foreign countries, such as the Hague and Geneva Conventions on the laws of war. The author of SJR 31 & HJR 49 may have fallen victim to the Fallacy of Ambiguity since he slips and slides between the two meanings. “Compact” in Art. I, §10, cl. 3, means “agreement” or “contract” – not meetings!

6 E.g., States could properly enter into “Compacts”, within the meaning of Art. I, §10, cl. 3, wherein they agree to prohibit waste being discharged into a River shared by them; or respecting the construction of a hydroelectric dam on the River. Even though the federal government has no delegated authority to deal directly with such issues; the requirement of Consent by Congress to such Compacts is proper because States situated above or below the proposed dam could be affected by the dam.

Neither the Federalist Papers nor Madison’s Journal of the Federal Convention of 1787 set forth what our Framers meant by “compacts” at Art. I, §10, clause 3. Here are two secondary sources: The Evolving Use and the Changing Role of Interstate Compacts: A practitioner’s guide, by Caroline N. Broun & Michael L. Buenger (see pages 1-9 for the historical basis of “interstate compacts”). See also Justice Story’s “Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States” (1833), Book 3, Ch. 35, §§ 1395-1403.

7 Former law professor and pro-convention operative Rob Natelson’s statements to the contrary are untrue. See “Rob Natelson perverts the Necessary and Proper Clause and thinks in circles”.

8 E.g., Madison’s letter of Nov. 2, 1788 to Turberville (pages 297-301) at the end of Madison’s point 2 [and then read Madison’s point 3!]

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June 13, 2018 Posted by | Article V Convention, Convention of States project, Faithful Delegate Laws, interstate conventions | , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

COS Project’s “Simulated Convention” Dog and Pony Show and What They Did There

By Publius Huldah

1. Foundational Knowledge

Our Constitution delegates only a handful of powers to the federal government. But 100 years ago, we started electing Progressives (Fabian socialists) to State and federal office. With the enthusiastic approval of the American People, the Progressives set up the socialist regulatory welfare governments (state and federal) we now have. It’s unconstitutional; but Americans didn’t care because they were being taken care of by the governments, and their children were getting “free” public school educations.

So for the past 100 years, the federal and state governments and the American People have ignored our Constitution.

Now that our socialist system is collapsing, along comes the “Convention of States” Project (COSP), blames all our problems on the federal government, and claims we can fix the federal government’s violations of our Constitution by amending the Constitution. 1

And they say amendments which will “rein in the abuse of power by the federal government” when it “violate[s] its constitutional limitations”, 2 can be obtained only at a convention called by Congress pursuant to Article V of our Constitution.

Article V provides that if two thirds of the States apply for it, Congress shall call a convention for proposing amendments to the Constitution. 3 However, Delegates would have the right, as recognized in the 2nd paragraph of our Declaration of Independence, to throw off the Constitution we have and write a new Constitution which creates a new government. This has happened before!

Our first Constitution was the Articles of Confederation. It had defects, so on February 21, 1787, the Continental Congress called a convention to be held in Philadelphia “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation”. But instead of proposing amendments, the Delegates wrote a new Constitution, with an easier mode of ratification, 4 which created a new government. In Federalist No. 40 (15th para), James Madison invoked the Delegates’ right to abolish our form of government, as recognized in the Declaration of Independence, to justify ignoring their instructions and drafting a new Constitution which created a new government.

So! Ever since the federal convention of 1787, it has been known that any convention called to address our Constitution under Article V provides the opportunity to impose a new Constitution. 5 That’s why the enemies of our Constitution periodically push for an Article V convention. 6

In response to the current push, constitutionalists are warning Americans that if Congress calls an Article V convention, a new constitution with a new mode of ratification is likely to be imposed – probably a new constitution which moves us into the North American Union.

2. COSP’s “simulated” Article V convention

So during September 2016, COSP held an “invitation only” “simulated convention” in Williamsburg, Virginia attended by State Legislators handpicked by COSP, 7 to show us that Delegates to a real Article V convention called by Congress will do nothing more than propose amendments.

And lo! At the “simulated convention”, all the handpicked invitees did was propose six amendments to our Constitution – they didn’t “run away” and propose a new Constitution with a new mode of ratification!

COSP would like us to believe that their “simulated convention” proves that a real Article V convention called by Congress also won’t run away when, in fact, it proves nothing except that handpicked COSP invitees fall in line with the COSP agenda.

Now let’s look at the proposed amendments: COSP posted them HERE; an archived copy is HERE.

3. COSP’s six amendments

Like Newspeak in George Orwell’s “1984, the amendments would do the opposite of what COSP claims.

 

Fiscal Restraints Proposal 1”:

“SECTION 1. The public debt shall not be increased except upon a recorded vote of two-thirds of each house of Congress, and only for a period not to exceed one year.

SECTION 2. No state or any subdivision thereof shall be compelled or coerced by Congress or the President to appropriate money.

* * *”

So! Congress can’t increase the debt unless they decide to increase the debt. Wow. This is “fiscal restraints”?

If you read through the Constitution and highlight the powers delegated to the federal government, you will get a list of the objects on which Congress is authorized to spend money.

The reason we have a huge debt is because for 100 years, Congress has been spending on objects which aren’t on the list of delegated powers. The States go along with it because they get federal funds for implementing unconstitutional federal programs in their States. 31.9% of the States’ annual revenues is from federal funds. All this federal money is borrowed and added to the public debt!

To say that State Legislators display hypocrisy when they decry “out of control federal spending” when they have their hand out for all the federal money they can get, is an understatement. The amendment authorizes such spending to continue for as long as Congress continues to approve increases in the debt! The amendment legalizes – makes constitutional – all such spending and debt increases!

Section 2 gives us nothing. Our existing Constitution doesn’t permit the federal government to require States or local governments to spend money.

 

Federal Legislative & Executive Jurisdiction Proposal 1:

“SECTION 1. The power of Congress to regulate commerce among the several states shall be limited to the regulation of the sale, shipment, transportation, or other movement of goods, articles or persons. Congress may not regulate activity solely because it affects commerce among the several states. [boldface added]

SECTION 2. The power of Congress to make all laws that are necessary and proper to regulate commerce among the several states, or with foreign nations, shall not be construed to include the power to regulate or prohibit any activity that is confined within a single state regardless of its effects outside the state, whether it employs instrumentalities therefrom, or whether its regulation or prohibition is part of a comprehensive regulatory scheme; but Congress shall have power to define and provide for punishment of offenses constituting acts of war or violent insurrection against the United States. [boldface added]

SECTION 3. The Legislatures of the States shall have standing to file any claim alleging violation of this article. Nothing in this article shall be construed to limit standing that may otherwise exist for a person.

* * *”

Section 1: The original intent of the interstate commerce clause (Art. I, §3) is to prohibit the States from imposing tolls & tariffs on merchandize as it is transported through the States for purposes of buying & selling; and to permit the federal government to impose duties on imports & exports, both inland & abroad. 8

With Roosevelt’s “New Deal”, the federal government began to pervert the original intent so as to exert power over whatever they wanted to regulate.

The amendment legalizes the perversions! It delegates to the federal government powers it has already usurped to regulate the sale, shipment, transportation, or other movement of goods and articles.

Furthermore: the amendment delegates to the federal government a sweeping new power over the movement or transportation of persons across state lines! It would, e.g., authorize the federal government to prohibit use of privately owned vehicles to cross state lines, and to require prior written permission to cross state lines. I saw in communist East Europe & the Soviet Union a system where governments control movement of persons. Will “Papers, please” be heard at checkpoints in America? This malignant amendment would be constitutional authority to impose such a system here. 9

Section 2: The federal government has no existing constitutional authority to regulate intra state commerce, so the first clause of this section adds nothing our Constitution doesn’t already prohibit.

But the second clause delegates to the federal government another significant new power over persons: it comes verbatim from Randy Barnett’s so-called “bill of federalism”: 10

“…Congress shall have power to define and provide for punishment of offenses constituting acts of war or violent insurrection against the United States.”

Why does Barnett, who attended the “simulated convention” as “Committee Advisor”, want the federal government to have this new power? What’s an “act of war against the United States” – doing what the Bundys and their supporters did? The amendment delegates to Congress the power to define “acts of war against the United States” – and to re-define it from time to time – to encompass whatever they want!

We need to understand the implications of delegating such power to Congress. As with “treason” under the Tudors in England, anyone can be accused of “acts of war against the United States”. Does Randy Barnett, law professor, understand the implications? James Madison understood them and thus said that “treason” must be defined in the Constitution; 11 obviously, no one of Madison’s caliber was at the “simulated convention”.

Section 3: Our Framers didn’t advise the States to file lawsuits against the federal government when it violates the Constitution! Our Framers told the States to nullify such violations. 12

 

Federal Term Limits & Judicial Jurisdiction Proposal 1”:

“No person shall be elected to more than six full terms in the House of Representatives. No person shall be elected to more than two full terms in the Senate. These limits shall include the time served prior to the enactment of this Article.”

This amendment is a feel-good palliative which caters to Americans’ pervasive desire for a quick “fix” which permits them to avoid dealing with the real causes of their problems. See Term Limits: A Palliative not a Cure.

 

Federal Legislative & Executive Jurisdiction Proposal 2”:

“SECTION 1. The Legislatures of the States shall have authority to abrogate any provision of federal law issued by the Congress, President, or Administrative Agencies of the United States, whether in the form of a statute, decree, order, regulation, rule, opinion, decision, or other form. [boldface added]

SECTION 2. Such abrogation shall be effective when the Legislatures of three-fifths of the States approve a resolution declaring the same provision or provisions of federal law to be abrogated. This abrogation authority may also be applied to provisions of federal law existing at the time this amendment is ratified.

* * *”

Section 1: Article I, §1, US Constitution, provides that all legislative powers granted by the Constitution shall be vested in Congress. Only Congress may make laws [and laws are restricted to the powers granted in the Constitution].

Accordingly, executive orders and federal agency rules and orders are not “law”.

The amendment would supersede Art. I, §1. It would elevate to the status of “federal law” every order or regulation burped out by bureaucrats in the executive branch; every executive order signed by every President; and every order barked out by jack-booted thugs working for federal agencies. And unless three fifths of States agree that you don’t have to obey – you must obey or bear the consequences of violating what would be – thanks to this amendment – “federal law”.

Section 2: James Madison, Father of our Constitution, showed how individual States or several States could carry out resistance to the federal government’s unconstitutional encroachments. But the amendment would require 30 States to agree before any one State or person could defend itself!

 

Fiscal Restraints Proposal 2:

SECTION 1. Congress shall not impose taxes or other exactions upon incomes, gifts, or estates.

SECTION 2. Congress shall not impose or increase any tax, duty, impost or excise without the approval of three-fifths of the House of Representatives and three-fifths of the Senate, and shall separately present such to the President. [boldface added]

SECTION 3. This Article shall be effective five years from the date of its ratification, at which time the Sixteenth Article of amendment is repealed.”

This amendment doesn’t impose “fiscal restraints” – it authorizes Congress to impose new and different taxes on us!

The words in boldface authorize Congress to impose “any tax” if three fifths of both Houses agree. “Any tax” includes a national sales tax and a national value added tax (VAT). Statists love the VAT because it raises a “gusher of revenue for spendthrift governments”. This is what will replace the income, gift, and estate tax.

 

Federal Legislative & Executive Jurisdiction Proposal 3”:

“Whenever one quarter of the members of the United States House of Representatives or the United States Senate transmits to the President their written declaration of opposition to any proposed or existing federal administrative regulation, in whole or in part, it shall require a majority vote of the House of Representatives and Senate to adopt or affirm that regulation. Upon the transmittal of opposition, if Congress shall fail to vote within 180 days, such regulation shall be vacated. No proposed regulation challenged under the terms of this Article shall go into effect without the approval of Congress. Congressional approval or rejection of a rule or regulation is not subject to Presidential veto under Article 1, Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution.”

As shown in The “Regulation Freedom” Amendment and Daniel Webster, rulemaking by federal agencies is unconstitutional as in violation of Art. I, §1 of our Constitution.

The proposed amendment would supersede Art. I, §1 and legalize such rulemaking! And the existing Code of Federal Regulations and the rulemaking process itself – which now violate the Constitution – would be made constitutional!

The solution to the burden created by unconstitutional federal agencies is to do away with the agencies! Downsize the federal government to its enumerated powers!

4. Conclusion

The “simulated convention” was a dog and pony show put on to produce amendments to con us into believing that a real Article V convention called by Congress won’t “run away”.

But it’s impossible to fix federal usurpations of non-delegated powers with amendments, because amendments can’t take away powers the Constitution didn’t delegate in the first place. Thus, the amendments the hand-picked attendees approved legalize powers already usurped or delegate sweeping new powers to the federal government over States and individual persons!

Statecraft is serious business which requires systematic study to master. The “simulated convention” shows we live in a time of constitutional illiteracy where people of good intent can be misled by persons of “insidious views”. Heed the words of Daniel Webster in his 4th of July Oration, 1802:

“The politician that undertakes to improve a Constitution with as little thought as a farmer sets about mending his plow, is no master of his trade. If that Constitution be a systematic one, if it be a free one, its parts are so necessarily connected that an alteration in one will work an alteration in all; and this cobbler, however pure and honest his intentions, will, in the end, find that what came to his hands a fair and lovely fabric goes from them a miserable piece of patchwork.”

Endnotes:

1 If your spouse commits adultery, will your marriage be saved if you amend the vows to permit adultery? When People violate the Ten Commandments, will morality be restored if we amend the Ten Commandments to permit sin?

2 Michael Farris’ words in “Answering the John Birch Society Questions about Article V” or HERE.

3 None of the Delegates to the convention of 1787 said the purpose of amendments is to rein in the fed. gov’t when it usurps power. They said the purpose is to fix defects in the Constitution. See The George Mason Fabrication at subheading 4.

4 Article XIII of the Articles of Confederation (AOC) required Amendments to the AOC to be ratified by the Continental Congress and all of the then 13 States. But Article VII of the new Constitution (the one we now have) provided that it would be ratified by 9 States.

5 The enemies of our Constitution knew from day one that they could get rid of our Constitution at an Art. V convention! Our present Constitution was ratified by the 9th State on June 21, 1788. In Federalist No. 85 (mid-August 1788), Hamilton addressed the arguments of the anti-federalists who were agitating for another convention in order to get rid of our new Constitution.

On Oct. 27, 1788, anti-federalist Patrick Henry introduced into the Virginia Assembly a Resolution asking Congress to call an Art. V convention. In Madison’s letter to Randolph of Nov 2, 1788 (pages 294-297), he speaks of Henry’s “enmity” “agst [against] the whole system” [the new Constitution]; and “the destruction of the whole system I take to be still the secret wish of his heart, and the real object of his pursuit.”

6 New Constitutions are already prepared or being drafted: e.g., the Constitution for the Newstates of America is ratified by a national referendum (Art. XII, §1). Globalists [e.g., the Council on Foreign Relations] who want to move us into the North American Union (NAU) need a new Constitution to transform us from a sovereign nation to a member state in the NAU.

7 COSP’s page is archived HERE. See “who attended the simulation” in right column. [Archived list of attendees is HERE or HERE.]

8 Proof of the original intent of the interstate commerce clause & how it was abused is HERE.

9 Yet, Legislators from 44 of the States at the “simulated convention” approved this!

10 See Barnett’s Amendment 2 – Limits of Commerce Power”. It’s archived HERE.

11 “Treason” is defined at Art. III, §3. In Federalist No. 43 (at 3.) Madison warns that the definition must be locked into the Constitution. Otherwise, malignant people fabricate definitions as needed in order to condemn their enemies.

Compare Art. I, §8, cl. 10 which delegates to Congress the power “To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations”. In Federalist No. 42 (1st & 4th paras), Madison points out that this class of powers is among those which “regulate the intercourse with foreign nations” and so must be handled by the general [fed.] gov’t. And since everyone’s definition of the terms is different, the fed gov’t should define them. This class of powers wouldn’t affect private Citizens. For more on the limited criminal jurisdiction of the fed gov’t over private Citizens, see What Criminal Laws are Congress Authorized To Make?

12 See Nullification made Easy. And remember: State officials are required by the Oath at Art. VI to “support” the federal Constitution – not to obey the federal government!

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January 14, 2018 Posted by | Article V Convention, Code of Federal Regulations, Commerce clause, commerce clause, Convention of States project, Daniel Webster, dog and pony show, Fabian socialism, fabian socialists, James Madison, Michael Farris, Newspeak, Randy Barnett, simulated convention, Term Limits Amendment | , , , , , , , , , | 31 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)

Update Sep 27, 2017:  Natelson’s speech has been removed from the above site.  But you can read Natelson’s speech HERE.

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’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

The TOP DOWN push for an Article V convention

By Publius Huldah

Ever since, some 50 years ago, the Ford Foundation produced the Constitution for the Newstates of America, it has always been the political elite and the big money who are behind the push for an Article V convention.  Today, people and politicians who posture as men of virtue and “conservatives principles” are being paid to support an Article V convention – e.g. http://www.dallasnews.com/news/texas-legislature/2017/03/01/major-conservatives-piggy-banks-behind-texas-obsession-amending-constitution

See also, http://le.utah.gov/house2/CofI/IVORYK1.pdf

Anyone who refuses to look into this is willfully blind and morally culpable.

The billionaires who are buying an Article V convention (e.g., Koch Brothers, George Soros), have no intention of limiting the power and jurisdiction of the  government over us!

The propaganda put out by the con-con lobby is able to take root in those who don’t know what our Constitution already says; don’t understand our Founding Principles; and don’t know our History on throwing off governments and setting up new ones.  We’ve already done it twice!

The enemies of our Constitution want to do it a third time.  Since they know you wouldn’t agree to it; they are telling you things which aren’t true.

Listen up:

Our Declaration of Independence says at the 2nd paragraph that a People have the right to throw off their form of government and set up a new one. We invoked that Principle in 1776 to throw off British Rule. We invoked that Principle again in 1787 to throw off the Articles of Confederation and the government it created, and set up a new Constitution [the one we have now] which created a new government.

People who don’t know that are unable to understand that if there is an Article V convention today, the Delegates can do the same thing! Throw off the Constitution we have and set up a new one which creates a new government.

For heavens sake, People! New Constitutions are already written and waiting in the wings for an Article V convention! Here’s one of them – it’s ratified by a national Referendum. The States don’t vote on it. The States are dissolved and replaced by regional governments answerable to the new national government. http://www.sweetliberty.org/issues/concon/newstates.htm#.WLrJEn98ExE

George Soros wants a Progressive Constitution in place by the year 2020. http://keywiki.org/Constitution_2020

George W. Bush, the Council on Foreign Relations, and others want to move the United States into the North American Union. Canada, the US, and Mexico are to merge and a Parliament set up over them. In order to do this, they need a new Constitution for the US to transform us from a sovereign nation to a member state in the NAU. How do they get a new Constitution? At an Article V convention.  How do they get an Article V convention?  Pay people who pose as conservatives to tell the American People that we need a convention to get amendments which will limit the power of the federal government.

And the people who don’t understand our Founding Principles, don’t know our History, and don’t know what our Constitution already says, fall for the subterfuge.

READ the Task Force Report on the NAU. Heidi Cruz was on the Task Force which wrote the Report:  http://www.cfr.org/canada/building-north-american-community/p8102

Americans! Wake up! You are being scammed and tricked and lied to. And bought and paid for politicians and charlatans are selling you into slavery.

God gave you a brain.  It is wicked for you to refuse to use it.

Update Jan. 12, 2018All US Presidents since (and including) Ronald Regan have been advancing our movement into the NAU. Watch this excellent 15 minute video: https://youtu.be/lNhp9H3yCsI

This is a Revolution against us by the global elite. This push for an Article V convention is from the top down – it is how the Elite can impose their will on us.

Do not continue to unwittingly assist the global elite in enforcing their will on us!

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March 9, 2017 Posted by | Article V Convention, constitutional convention, Convention of States project, Council on Foreign Relations, Delegates to a convention can't be controlled, George W. Bush, Heidi Cruz, North American Union | , , , , , , , , , , , | 52 Comments

Open Letter to State Legislators Everywhere: The Other Side of the Article V Convention Issue

By Publius Huldah

If there is an Article V convention, we will lose the Constitution we have, and another Constitution will be imposed.

You are not getting both sides of this issue. Throughout the Country, those of us who are warning of the dangers of an Article V convention are marginalized, ridiculed, smeared, shut out of meetings, and barred from speaking in public forums. THIS short essay from the Principled Policy Blog describes what we face every day.

THIS article is an account by Donny Harwood, a Citizen of Tennessee, describing how he was shut out of the public meeting which the Convention of States people held on October 19, 2015 at the Millennium Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. According to The Leaf-Chronicle, a number of Tennessee Legislators were at the meeting. A prominent Tennessee radio talk show host was also present.

And everyone at the meeting was prevented from hearing the other side of this issue.

The reason convention proponents forbid dissenting voices is that we prove, by means of Facts and original source documents, that the claims and promises of the convention proponents are false. HERE are some of the original source documents Legislators would hear about if they were presented with the other side of this issue.

We are in the final stage of a takeover. Statists of every variety [this includes the phony “conservatives”] want a new Constitution to legalize our transformation from the constitutional Republic created by our existing Constitution to a dictatorship.

To get a new Constitution, they need a convention. So they are telling conservatives that our Constitution is causing our problems and we need to amend the Constitution. And they say we can only make the amendments they say we need at a convention.

Article V of our Constitution provides two methods of amending our Constitution. Congress:

1. Proposes amendments, or

2. Calls a convention to propose amendments if 34 States apply for it.

The first method was used for our existing 27 amendments: Congress proposed them and sent them to the States for ratification or rejection.

Under the second method, Congress calls a convention. We have never had a convention under Article V. Such conventions are extremely dangerous. THIS is one of many articles which illustrate the danger, sets forth warnings from two of our Framers and two former US Supreme Court Justices, and explains why Delegates to a convention can NOT be controlled by State laws.

National conventions are dangerous because the Delegates have the plenipotentiary power to impose a new Constitution with a new mode of ratification. The video by Chuck Michaelis at the bottom of THIS page explains these plenipotentiary powers. Such Delegates are the Sovereign Representatives of The People and have the power to impose a new Constitution. This has already happened 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.

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.

Statists have been pushing for a convention for 50 years – ever since the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations produced the Constitution for the Newstates of America. They need a convention to get it imposed.

Several other Constitutions are already prepared and waiting for a convention.

If there is a convention, the only issues will be (1) whose Constitution will be imposed by the Delegates; and (2) what new mode of ratification will be set forth in the new Constitution.

♦ The Constitution for the Newstates of America imposes a totalitarian dictatorship. Article XII, § 1 thereof provides for ratification by a Referendum called by the President. The States are dissolved and replaced by regional governments answerable to the new national government.

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

♦ George Soros, Marxist law professors all over the Country, Cass Sunstein and Eric Holder want a Marxist Constitution in place by the year 2020.

♦ The “Convention of States” project wants a “re-written” Constitution which legalizes powers the federal government has already usurped, and delegates new powers to the federal government such as total power over children. Yet they are telling conservatives that they want a convention so they can get amendments “to limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government”!

♦ The political establishment [both major parties] wants to transform the United States from a sovereign nation to a member state of the North American Union:  Canada, the United States, and Mexico are to merge and surrender their sovereignty to a Parliament which is to be set up over the three countries.  The United States will need a new Constitution to bring about this transformation.  This is being imposed on us by stealth.  Read the Task Force Report of the Council on Foreign Relations HERE. And to see how the European Union is working out for the formerly sovereign nations of Europe, watch this 7.5 minute video by Pat Condell.

In the past, conservatives defeated the periodic pushes for a convention. So the statists changed tactics: Now, they are marketing it to appeal to conservatives: they are telling conservatives that a convention is the only way to rein in the federal government. These statists, some wearing conservatives’ clothing, are using the classic techniques of statists: They are not telling the truth; they are smearing their opponents; and they have divided conservatives. Conservatives who were deceived by the marketing have been induced to attack and exclude conservatives who are warning of the dangers of a convention. And they won’t let us address their groups.

Our existing Constitution really was a 5,000 year miracle. We delegated only a handful of enumerated powers to the federal government – you can see what we delegated HERE. Our Constitution doesn’t need “fixing” – we need to restore the Constitution we already have. We begin the Restoration by reading and learning our Constitution and Declaration of Independence. And enforcing it! See, in this regard, the Tenth Amendment Center’s 2015 State of the Nullification Movement Report.

For the Love of God and Country, heed this warning.

Nov. 25, 2015; revised Dec. 23, 2015.

 

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November 25, 2015 Posted by | Article V Convention, Convention of States project, Delegates to a convention can't be controlled, Federal Convention of 1787 | , , , , , , , , | 52 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

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